GameDaze: Thoughts on Destiny
Bungie’s big cross-gen shooter Destiny is finally in consoles all over the world but is it the revolutionary shooter that Bungie has been touting for years? Yes and no.
Destiny at this point is the WaterWorld of next-gen video games. Huge Hollywood style production but its somehow forgotten to add soul. There’s a lot of good in there and even some great. It’s just buried under a lot monotony.
Destiny is very much the bastard love child of Borderlands and Halo with a dash of the classic Dreamcast title Phantasy Star Online. You’ll find a hearty blend of all of the above, with some incredibly solid gameplay but sadly lacking the charm to go with it.
Borderlands has charm. Loads of it and loads of loot. While Destiny has the superior gameplay and visuals, it lacks in character. Yes, I love mystery and awe as much as the next person but give this world some context. You don’t want to stuff it full of lore in-game? That’s fine, at least have a codex similar to Mass Effect to let those that want to know more dive in. Oh, wait you do have a Codex. It’s just only viewable on Bungie.net and not in your game? That was a smart move. /sarcasm
Borderlands has some insane missions: For example, kill yourself and get money, or call the suicide hotline and be a wimp. Go collect flowers for Jacks grandma and kill the bandits who he hired to murder her so he doesn’t have to pay them. Collect body parts to turn a robot into a human. I don’t expect that amount of silliness, clearly, but for fucks sake - Mix it up!
Playing with friends is a blast. But Bungie has said time and time again that SP gamers would be able to enjoy all of Destiny equally. That’s not the case. I won’t even get into my issues with the lack of no-brainer social features, incredibly rare world events, lackluster NPCs, missions variety and more. Destiny is a good game but it’s not a great one. It has the ability to be though, with time.
For a game built on the foundations of being a social playground full of possibilities Bungie has crippled communication. The Tower is supposed to be a social Hub, a place to meet fellow Guardians and trade war stories, make friends and find fellow gamers to launch out into a Strike; but I can’t as we can only emote. Shaking my ass and pointing really doesn’t get much across. Proximity chat in social areas and the wild would go a long way in making Destiny the social experience myself and some others want it to be. Being an MMO-lite, the game we’re all playing today could drastically change in 6 months time. Destiny is obviously a labor of love for Bungie. It’s polished, visually gorgeous and has one of the most beautiful soundtracks this year. Couple that with some solid FPS gameplay and what’s there is a fantastic foundation for something that could be very much like the marketing wants us to believe - Legendary. Destiny currently isn’t exactly the game I hoped it would be, but I’m excited to see where it is 6 months from now. Destiny easily has the potential to be the Phantasy Star Online of this console generation. I just hope Bungie listens to fans and builds on what Destiny could be.