Destiny (PlayStation 4)
Activision’s ambitious title brings online adventuring to the stars.
- Impressive visuals and scale
- Immersive setting and gameplay
- Story is not as epic as the game
- Requires an Internet connection
Destiny does a good job of meeting its hype by providing a memorable online gaming experience. The large time investment will turn off some, but those willing to put up with the grind will find much to like.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
Having established a name for itself with the Halo series for Microsoft, Bungie’s next title is a first person shooter universe for Activision. The world and characters may be different, but the familiar well-tuned gameplay remains intact. This time, however, the scale has been ramped up to include players from around the world.
Quest for booty
Destiny is a single player first person shooter on the surface, yet it shares many attributes with massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, such as World of Warcraft. For one, it requires a permanent online connection to play. In-game progress is also entirely reliant on gaining XP and “grinding” to get better weapons and items.
The game is set on earth in the future, and you take on the role of a Guardian. Guardians are now awakening after having been frozen for a long time, hence why there are many other identical adventurers populating the game world. At the start of the game you can choose from one of three classes, Titan, Hunter, or Warlock, as well as adjust the appearance of your Guardian.
There is a plot involving aliens, though it essentially boils down to you adventuring out and defeating enemies. The game has a levelling structure that is tied to what powers and weapons you have access to, as well as progressing the game plot. From the get-go, the Destiny experience becomes about venturing out, shooting enemies, and then using that XP to level up.
A world to explore
Destiny’s gameplay may seem simplistic at first impression, though games such as World of Warcraft have used this levelling system to much success. Taking part in and completing the story missions is the main draw, though player vs. player matches, like in an MMO, are also available. The time spent in between those missions and matches will consist of grinding, namely stalking a territory and shooting waves of enemies in the hope one will drop a substantial reward.
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This drive to collect XP and items has driven players to come up with innovative shortcuts. One popular method was shooting enemies that keep emerging from a cave opening, allowing players to mow them down from a distance. That exploit has already been patched to discourage the spectacle of a dozen or so players congregating in front of a “Loot Cave”, though other exploits like this will likely show up in the future.
Destiny does not disappoint in the sound and visual departments. The open world is vibrant and runs at a steady 30 frames per second with a solid Internet connection, and each of the game’s four planets have a unique look and feel.
The developer’s pedigree with the Halo series also means the controls and weapons are responsive and satisfying to use, which is crucial for a heavily combat-focused game such as Destiny.
Making the journey
A lot of care seems to have been put into making Destiny a fun and well-balanced game, though the narrative does not quite match up to the title’s lofty premise. The world’s premise is intriguing, though the narrative unable to progress the story in a meaningful way. The in-game dialogue is also badly written and can be a bit tedious.
Much like World of Warcraft, Destiny is not for the faint hearted and requires many hours of commitment. Those willing to take on the task will find a deeply immersive and action-packed world to explore. If you do not have the time or Internet connection for Destiny, then revisiting Bungie’s legacy with the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection may be the alternative.
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