Bungie’s newest game, Destiny, has been extremely divisive amongst gamers. There’s a lot to like, but there’s also a lot to hate. In this quick review, I’ll summarize my own opinions on the game in the form of a sandwich.
Some of you may already know what a compliment sandwich is. For the uninitiated, have a look.
Got it? Okay, moving on.
THE BOTTOM BUN
Destiny is beautiful.
Every environment is painstakingly crafted to look and feel amazing. The technological-ruins setting gives the game a unique ambiance. There were several places in the game where I just stopped and stared.
Cruising through these environments on a Sparrow just clinches the experience. Whoever designed the hover bikes deserves some kind of award.
The music is also incredible. From the gentle music that plays in orbit to the heroic battle rhythms, Destiny’s score, composed by Martin O’Donnell, C. Paul Johnson, Michael Salvatori, and Paul McCartney is simply mind-blowing
#feels. Listen for yourself.
THE CRUD IN THE CENTER
Destiny is annoying.
In a game prominently featuring multiplayer and teamwork, why limit chat only to pre-made fireteams? If you play alone you won’t hear anyone, even people 2 feet in front of you. Remember hearing players based on proximity in Halo 2? What happened to that? Make no mistake, Destiny is an MMORPG, and a good MMORPG needs strong social elements.
Why frustrate gamers by dangling carrots in front of their faces and yanking them away? In Destiny, players will often receive items called “engrams.” Engrams come in different rarity levels. Each has a chance to give you an item of its rarity but a much higher chance of giving you an item of lesser rarity.
And even if you get a rare item, there’s no guarantee that it’s something your chosen character class can equip. Why would you give someone stuff they can’t use and not have a trading system? I just don’t understand why engrams work this way when buying equipment through in-game currencies is way more efficient. If it’s to encourage making alternate characters, it’s not enough.
Almost all of Destiny’s missions use the same scenarios over and over again. I can’t even begin to count how many times I had to defend Peter Dinklage from an oncoming horde of aliens. After getting through all that (and doing it again and again for gear/materials), there is no way I would go through the trouble to level up another character just because I have some items I can’t currently use.
Destiny’s story feels like it wasn’t even there. I don’t even remember any characters’ names. Judging from the DLC advertisement stuck in the box, I strongly suspect that it was made this way intentionally.
THE TOP BUN
Destiny can be a blast. Despite being frustrating in major ways, there are definitely parts of Destiny that are extremely satisfying.
Playing a tough Strike mission with people and coordinating through voice chat is a lot of fun. We call targets, watch each other’s backs, and zip through vivid landscapes like a futuristic biker gang. When the mission boss dies, the cheers and elation are very vocal and very real.
The game mechanics are solid. Fighting is visceral and satisfying. The new double-jump/glide abilities allow players to take full advantage of vertical space.
I’m just going to place some extra thoughts here.
Destiny has a lot of potential. Bungie updates their games pretty regularly, and their first update, a 6-man raid, received near universal praise by those who have played it.
Hopefully the game improves through patches, although I wish it didn’t have to come to that. I also wish this kind of thing wasn’t a trend, but perhaps that will be another article.
So there you have it: Destiny from my point of view in a nutshell
wrapped in an enigma. What are your impressions of the game? Love? Hate? Love-hate? A question for Dr. Lovett?
Let us know in the comments!