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Sep 10, 2014 / 5 notes

VIDEOGAME REVIEW: DESTINY FIRST IMPRESSIONS

"The birth of a star."

DESTINY is the new game from Bungie & Activision which came out today. This is my FIRST IMPRESSIONS & doesn’t equate as a full blown review of any kind. This is my opinion on the first day of DESTINY & my time with my Level 15 Titan. 

*All photos from now on are captured from my Playstation 4*

Let’s begin.

When someone asks, "What is DESTINY?" People tend to get confused. Is it like Halo? Is it like Borderlands? Is it similar to World of Warcraft? DESTINY is a First-Person Shooter RPG with MMO elements mixed into it. It’s a somewhat persistent world that exists where your character can interact & play with others in real time but it can be enjoyed alone if you want.

DESTINY’s strengths lie, in my opinion, in its multiplayer & social interactions between myself & my friends. The multiplayer is pound for pound Halo down to the map designs, modes, vehicles & structure overall as an experience. This is amazing, I personally feel like the multiplayer is tight, direct & crafted with a sense of true direction making it fun & not feel unfair, well so far anyway.

The best part about multiplayer is that you can use all your gear drops & set ups from the rest of the game as your loadout. Also you can level up, gain Crucible Marks & Reputation in order to further yourself in the PVP environment side of DESTINY.

This is easily the strongest component of the game.

The other side is the social interaction with friends, where you team up & kill things in droves together for new loot & experience points similar to Diablo or Borderlands. Having played various missions by myself & with friends it’s easy to say DESTINY is at its core much more interesting when you have a pal to talk to. 

What I do find interesting about DESTINY is its difficulty, which caters to a nice curve of players by not feeling too hard or too easy throughout. My favourite missions thus far & experiences all stem from the HARD mode missions which are pretty ruthless & much more engaging. These missions are not only my favourite but the most interesting. 

I also love the sense of progression in DESTINY with equipping new weapons that I obtain from missions then levelling those weapons up by simply using them then being able to upgrade these weapons with new scopes or damage increases. It’s pretty simplistic so far, I’m sure Exotic/Legendary weapons get much more intense later on but for now it’s welcomed & easy to understand.

The menu is simple & clean as you can see above right here with my Titan. Your gear is displayed in a nice fashion with various categories, colours ranging the rarity of items & simple info like your level or defensive ratings. The menu design & overall UI structure of DESTINY is solid making even people who are alien to MMO-like experiences or RPG’s feel at home with the simplistic layout. 

You can also buy new gear, emblems, ammo or trade in encrypted items you get in the world back at home base to transform into new powerful items. The progression feels balanced & fair with every mission to some degree offering something tantalizing to pursue. 

The armour upgrades as well as ability upgrades are great too.

Every item has a clean display showing you the upgrades available in a simple to use easy fashion. Here you can see my rare drop chest piece with an ammo ability built in which is signified by the BLUE. The GREEN abilities are ones I can further upgrade as well as you can see here I can increase my defense. But in the rarer items you need to spend weapon parts to augment your gear because the stat increase is much better than normal or uncommon gear. 

Abilities work in a similar fashion as well, here you can see my Titan’s skill tree for his Striker class. The Striker specializes in melee combat, heavy weapons & Hulk Smashing everything into bits. But at Level 15 I gained the ability to use The Defender class, which is a supportive type of gameplay which specializes in mitigating damage through summoning a gravity barrier or being able to generate light orbs to help my team mates use their specials more often.

As far as I know, there’s two classes for Titan. If there’s more, I have no idea but I’m sure in the future there will be. But as it stands the option to change at a whim, though if you change you need to level up that new class style from scratch, it’s always an option. Notice how some abilities are BLUE & others GREEN. Blue means I chose that style of ability over the other. 

But you can swap whenever you want. Also most uncommon or rare gear will have special properties as well. As you can see my helmet increases my melee attack speed or below my Fusion Rifle has various upgrades & paths to use. It’s all up to you to decide.

The storyline so far, without delving into any spoilers, is interesting but doesn’t feel like anything you haven’t seen before. It’s all about “Light vs Dark” but again I’m not very far so I can’t say anything besides that. It’s compelling enough that I do want to see it through & so far there’s enough incentive with Bungie’s inclusion of lore in the form of Grimoire scores which you obtain by encountering new enemies or locations or people. 

I also find the locations you visit, visually, are amazing. They are detailed & look astonishing on the Playstation 4 as well are the maps you play in multiplayer. It’s a beautiful game for sure. I also enjoy the very Halo-like level design of some levels but I do have problems with that as well.

Lemme get into what irks me so far. 

As beautiful as DESTINY is there’s a sense of linearity during missions that really feel like they’re killing my sense of exploration. For an example you might be visiting Venus & are on the job to find info on something. The sense of direction is conveyed perfectly but if you go down a different path than the route intended, you just fight enemies. There’s nothing too interesting to find. There’s also tons of little caves that usually have nothing in them or giant areas that look nice but you just shoot stuff in them.

There are chests laying around sometimes but they’re very few & far between from each other. Every time I enter an area, I want to explore every nook like I would in the original BIOSHOCK but here there is usually never anything to find. You might find a Dead Ghost collectible once in a blue moon maybe but for the most part it’s pretty vacant.

Or maybe I suck at finding things & there’s tons of things to find & I’m an idiot. That could honestly be true too, again first impressions.

Every planet feels like a giant map with different paths but when you go down a path not intended for your mission you assume that path is for another mission, which is correct. So you finish the mission you’re on, choose another, come BACK to the planet only to have to kill the same mobs of enemies again THEN take that other path you were curious about & continue that other mission now.

There are "Patrol Missions" which are basically free roam missions where you do random smaller missions all over the map, which are fun y’know but they get repetitive. There are thankfully a few races of enemies to fight but it does sometimes feel repetitive, which yes I know every game is by nature but DESTINY doesn’t do the best job of masking that repetitive motion in a convincing way sometimes. 

With that being said, I don’t want this to sound like a negative first impression because it isn’t. DESTINY is a fun game with interesting mechanics, gameplay & ideas at hand but it does falter in some key areas. The mission design feels uninspired & the sense of exploration might feel a bit downplayed than I was hoping it to be but it’s still a great game.

The promise is there & I believe in Bungie to fulfill their vision for DESTINY, as of right now I would say DESTINY is worth the price of admission but keep your expectations in check. This is a game that’s going to be improved on in the long long run of its lifetime & again this is all based on less than 24 hours with the game itself. 

DESTINY is a solid refreshing change of pace to the genre but it does have its own demons it still needs to exorcise in order to become the great game I know it’s capable of being.

DESTINY is great, I’m interested to see where it goes. Thanks for reading.

By: MILAN JEGENJAN
Email: AscendancyMilan@hotmail.com OR MilanMJ@outlook.com

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