Destiny Review

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"The game is eminently engaging while it lasts, but I haven’t experienced the vast living and breathing universe the developers so confidently gloated about."

Destiny is a tough game to score. On one hand, venturing through the exotic landscapes, upgrading gear, searching for loot and shooting aliens during my week-long playthrough was quite enjoyable. One the other hand, Destiny doesn't live up to its absurd marketing hype. Destiny is a very (very!) standard first person shooter with gorgeous visuals, solid controls but sadly lacks innovation and variety. The missions are repetitive, the world feels small and lifeless, yet simultaneously Destiny manages to perpetuate Bungie’s charm and indisputable polish. Maybe if Activision hadn’t raised everyone’s expectations so high, my ultimate enjoyment of the final product would have been different. As it stands, I want to love Destiny…but the initial hype has regrettably raised my expectations a little too high. The game is eminently engaging while it lasts, but I haven’t experienced the vast living and breathing universe the developers so confidently gloated about. Maybe this is just the beginning. Maybe Destiny will grow over time as new players and new environments are introduced, but in its current state Destiny feels too safe and devoid of Bungie’s acclaimed creativity. So it comes down to whether Destiny is worth the asking price? Yes, absolutely! As long as high expectations are set aside, Destiny is a fun time and has the potential to be something truly great.


"Destiny’s entire design is genuinely impressive and taking the first steps through the vibrant scenery of futuristic Russia feels mysterious and unfamiliar."

It was hard, but I managed to steer away from Destiny’s beta because I wanted a sense of discovery and awe when first booting the game. Being patient certainly paid off. The opening cinematic does a superb job of setting the stage and Paul McCartney’s musical partnership with longtime Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell and colleague Mike Salvatori is a divine match. The score makes an immediate impact and continues to amaze throughout the entire adventure. Destiny’s entire design is genuinely impressive and taking the first steps through the vibrant scenery of futuristic Russia feels mysterious and unfamiliar. Bungie’s legendary gunplay becomes immediately apparent. The Halo makers certainly know how to craft believable futuristic weapons and both fps veterans and newcomers will immediately adapt to Destiny’s mechanics.  

It’s a shame then that the overall lore and narrative feels so stale. It’s difficult to become invested in anything that’s happening in Destiny and Peter Dinklage’s atrocious voice acting doesn’t help either. Don’t get me wrong, Dinklage is one of my favorite actors of all time…but his performance in Destiny is absolutely laughable. I’m not sure if it’s just the poor writing and directing or Peter’s lack of experience doing voiceovers. Either way, if you thought the “Moon Wizard” phrase was a joke, wait till you hear the rest of the game. The remainder of Destiny’s narrative doesn’t fare any better. It boils down to shooting the clichéd bad guys and reviving “The Traveler”…a white, spherical celestial body that seemed way cooler in the trailers than in the actual game. 


"The superbly polished shooting is the core reason why I kept coming back to Destiny."

Luckily, the gratifying gameplay makes up for the lack of plot. The superbly polished shooting is the core reason why I kept coming back to Destiny. Every gun feels unique, every upgrade feels substantial and taking on colossal bosses is incredibly satisfying. Destiny also does a wonderful job of blending MMO and single-player elements together. As someone who typically shies away from multiplayer games, Destiny feels surprisingly welcoming. Planets are divided into numerous activities: Explore Destiny, Strikes, Story and Competitive Multiplayer. Strikes are intense cooperative missions where three players form a Fireteam and set out to fight hordes of enemies, which ultimately lead to massive boss battles. The story and exploration modes offer a nice single player/cooperative balance where players can choose to play solo or join others in unfolding Destiny’s narrative or revisit areas to seek out rare loot and upgrade their characters. The competitive multiplayer is my least favorite. In terms of functionality, it does everything flawlessly…but it feels no different from traditional multiplayer in any other game. For a title that prides itself in reinventing the genre, I expected something new…something risqué. Instead I was met with familiarity. This may not be an issue to most gamers, but it certainly doesn’t feel like the next big thing. Fortunately, I enjoyed myself enough in other modes as they offered more diversity and excitement. Being able to explore the vast environments with buddies or even strangers is undeniably fun and it’s easy to see how far Destiny can grown once more content is added to the existing universe. 


"I can see myself revisiting planets and trying out new classes for the unforeseeable future, and the idea of Destiny’s universe constantly expanding is quite intriguing."

Ultimately, Destiny keeps drawing me in day after day…meaning Bungie obviously did a lot of things right. I can see myself revisiting planets and trying out new classes for the unforeseeable future, and the idea of Destiny’s universe constantly expanding is quite intriguing. At the same time, I can’t shake the feeling of disappointment. Destiny’s lore lacks personality and the entire experience feels all too familiar. Destiny has potential to be something truly special, but it’s not there just yet. It’s a good game…maybe even great at times, but it does little to separate itself from the rest of the crowd. For science fiction and FPS fans, Destiny is worth every penny…and if you were lucky enough to avoid the game’s ludicrous hype, you’ll get far more value out of it than the rest of us who expected something more revolutionary.

Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Playstation 4

7.5

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