Destiny is the first new game by by developer Bungie in 4 years, and its first new franchise since Halo: Combat Evolved back in 2001.
It’s a strange game to review so early in its lifecycle: it’s presented as an online persistent-world first person shooter running on an in-house engine which Bungie have stated will be able to cope with graphical requirements for the next 10 years. On top of that, extra content has been announced in the form of Future DLC (downloadable content) and already events have started to show up; such as weekend play lists in the player vs player online crucible, the high level raid Vault of Glass, The Queens Wrath bounty missions, and a high level of similar unique missions throughout September and October. With all this future content coming a review at this time would never be able to give the full perspective as to whether destiny is a classic game.
Having said that Destiny, so far in its first week, is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in recent memory.
You start your journey by choosing a class, selecting a race, doing some minor character customisation and then jumping into Destiny ready to become a legend. Of course, before you can get into the real meat of the game you’re given a brief synopsis about the world you’re about to step into; a story I wont ruin for you, but that does involve a great power that has helped humanity and a darkness set to conquer it. You are then transported to Cosmodrome in old Russia where you’re resurrected by a floating robot named a Ghost (voiced by Peter Dinklage) and now you’re a Guardian!
Now its go It is your chance to finally get behind one of the most anticipated games of the year and see if it was all worthwhile. You run towards the checkpoints laid out for you, to pick up your first rifle. The Fallen enemy pop at you from all corners and you take them out with superb accuracy – the gun feeling every bit as visceral as it has done in every good first person shooter, all the time the musical score ramping up the emotion, making you feel the anxiety you would feel had you been dropped into a fight you didn’t quite understand.
This also highlights one problem with Destiny, this is a fight you don’t understand. You’re never really given a clear reasoning as to what you’re doing, why what has happened has happened, and what your main aim as a protagonist is (apart from shoot bad guys, get weapons, travel places and shoot more bad guys).
This is a game designed on being a massive online game where everyone plays together, where everyone’s game is intertwined and where playing with a friend is definitely the best way to play. When you look at it like this, a story is practically impossible… how do you have a story when everyone is a Guardian killing the same enemy and fighting together? We can’t all be the Master Chief, the lone wolf out to save the world. Instead we are the Guardians, a force of players all taking on evil together and proving that more people is definitely more fun.
Mobile companion apps, weapon upgrading, ability upgrading, armour customisation, unique gear, an amazing sci-fi setting and the sparrow (a flying motorbike!) are just some of the features all equally as fun and incredible to use and learn about.
Destiny is a game that sets itself apart by combining its single player campaign and online multiplayer with amazing fluidity. It offers a depth of play that really shouldn’t be missed.
Reviewed on Xbox 360
Author – Hal, Plymouth store