Sunday, September 14, 2014

Destiny Review

Destiny has been one of the most hyped up games of 2014 for a reason- it's a new IP from Bungie, the makers of Halo. In fact, it made back it's entire budget (500 million) in one day! That's insane! So, after all this hype, does Destiny live up to the hype? Not really. Destiny isn't a bad game by any means, it's just really, really flawed.

First, let's start with something that apply to both the campaign and PVP: graphics. The graphics and environments are excellent and shows the power of what the 8th generation can do. Both PS4 and Xbox One are 1080p 30 FPS and there's no difference between them graphically aside from some lighting.

The game takes place in a post apocalyptic future after an event called the Collapse has wiped out most of mankind. The only survivors were saved by the Traveller, a giant white sphere, and it now protects the last safe city on Earth. It also grants the guardians (the protectors) to have a power called the Light. It's discovered that aliens have taken over the planets that were wiped out and are getting ready to invade the city. It's up to you to protect what's left of humanity and get rid of the aliens before they reach the city.

You get revived by a Ghost (voiced by Peter Dinklage) and get to create your character. You can choose between three races- Human, Awoken (a vampire-like race), and Exo (robots), and then you choose a class- Hunter, Warlock, and Titan. All classes have advantages, but I chose an Exo Hunter for my playthrough.

The story is very barebones with no surprises or twists. It's pretty much what I said in the first paragraph- you have to protect the city. The characters are boring and the voice acting is average, but Ghost and the PVP narrator (we'll get to him later) are bad. Half the time Peter Dinklage doesn't even know what he's saying. The rest of the cast is basic; not bad, just nothing noteworthy.

The gameplay is fun at first, but after the first planet (there's four in total) it starts getting repetitive, and by the end it's just tedious. Most levels are the same exact thing: get through enemies, have Ghost scan something, fight more enemies, have Ghost scan something while protecting him from enemies, level over. In fact, sometimes you'll have to go to the exact same area!

There's only 3 races of enemies: Hive, Vex, and Cabal. Hive enemies are the easiest as most can be killed in two shots while the latter two have a sweet spot on most enemies that needs to be shot a few times. Overall there isn't much variety on them, and another race or two would have been welcome.

There's a nice variety of guns to choose from. I found myself using the hand cannon most of the campaign but started using the auto rifle towards the end. The only weapon I wasn't a fan of was the pulse rifle as the bursts of 3 bullets got annoying.

As far as collectables go, you unlock Grimoire cards that you have to view on Bungie's site. They're nice to read and worth a look if you happen to be on the site. Loot chests are hard to find and I only unlocked about 3. Rewards at the end of a quest or PVP will be weapons, armor, or materials you can trade at the tower. Rewards come at a steady rate in PVP to my surprise, and it's not as rare as the item drops in Team Fortress and Counter Strike.

In order to gain XP and level up, you need to complete story quests, kill enemies, play in PVP, go on strikes, or do patrol quests. Levelling up is very easy in the game. There's only 20 levels in the game (30 with armor) and in the 11 and a half hours I played I got up to Level 18. Going to the bounty tracker at the tower is a big help in levelling up as he'll give you bounties for doing patrols, strikes, and PVP matches. I wouldn't recommend getting bounties until level 10-ish as that's when it starts taking longer to level up.

Patrol quests are the side quests and they're essentially there for XP. When you have a bounty to do 6 of them on a planet you'll get a nice chunk of XP. Strike missions are essentially the dungeons of the game where you and two other players go through the planet to achieve a goal. These are by far the best part of the game and provide a fun challenge.

The Crucible, aka PVP, has several basic FPS multiplayer modes: Clash (6 vs 6), Skirmish (3 vs 3) Rumble (6 players against each other), Control, and Salvage (capture the most relics). PVP maps are good and it can be fun, but it's nothing groundbreaking. Like I said earlier, the narrator is terrible. He just sounds so bored whenever he says something it's kind of funny.

Unfortunately, the game is short. The game took me 11 and a half hours total to complete. The campaign took 7 hours and the other 4 and a half hours was to level up, which included 1 hour 15 minutes of strikes (I didn't do all of them), 1 and a half hours of patrols, and about 1 hour 50 minutes in PVP. I did two campaign levels on hard (which I don't recommend unless you're with friends), and had I done them on normal the campaign would have only taken me 6 hours, and if I did every quest with friends it probably would have taken under 5 hours.

Destiny gets some things right, but there's some major flaws with the game. Hopefully the sequel will have a campaign that's short and has better quests. Overall, I give Destiny a C+/6.

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