First thoughts on Destiny.

In episode 50, we brought Mike back to have a follow up discussion from our previous Destiny Beta talk. As part of that episode, we each shared our reviews of the game after the first ten hours, which can now be read right here – well, below here anyways.

Adam’s Prose Review:
As a long time Halo fan, Destiny already had my interest from the first glimpse into the new world. Bungie’s involvement with Halo ignited something inside me that has been attributed to gaming since: the sense of wonder, adrenaline pumping action and beautiful worlds with expansive tales to experience first hand and accentuated with an exquisite symphony of music. Halo began a new age in gaming for me and with that; Destiny has a lot to live up to. Even though my excitement for the game went on a roller coaster of highs and lows; now years later I, along with millions of others, get the opportunity to experience Destiny.

Monday night, I patiently waited in line along with many other Guardians-to-be for the midnight release. My brethren Dan and I took Tuesday off to throw down and level up inside the ample game hoping to unlock achievements, secrets of the Traveler, and get to know our chosen character classes more intimately than the beta allowed us. We set up shop at my place. Pulling my two larger TVs together to try to simulate a local multiplayer experience. Taking extra steps to play a game in the same room so that we can extend our shared experiences and camaraderie as we’ve done so many times before. (Sadly I cannot do this with my fiancée and our shared console).

Destiny has a wonderful compliment of character customization and Borderlands outfitting in a Halo-esqe world. It’s an MMO-JRPG-FPS, idk imo, lol. The title seems to have an identity issue touching upon a lot of different game styles but nonetheless, it shines through with interesting environments, enemies and character classes with skill trees, abilities and outfitting to boot.

It feels good to get into another AAA FPS by Bungie. I can see they’ve grown as a company to give gamers something a bit newer and more involved. Since Titanfall, I was excited to get some story with a greatly anticipated FPS game. Bungie has given Destiny a large multi-world environment with a supposed 10 year plan to support the title. As it stands I’ve put the most time into my Hunter-class Guardian (level 15 with about 20 hrs). Starting off the story is frail, taking a back seat to understanding your character and the Cosmodrone. Replaying the story from the Beta, I was more focused on getting past the stuff I’ve already played while realizing the narrative wasn’t telling me much. Only after planet jumping do you start experiencing more of the campaign, beginning to see a story developing and opening up the universe and game itself.

With the ability to pick and choose where your ship takes you, Guardians are able to replay story missions with equal or greater difficulty than before. The game also allows players to roam around their environments with ‘patrolling’ and ‘strike’ missions. These narratives are most times an afterthought allowing players to moe down enemies for Vanguard notoriety, XP and some collectables. Most enemies can be taken out with one melee attack or a couple head-shots with your weapon of choice (mine being an Auto Rifle). The baddies early on don’t have enough differentiating levels with strength or agility. Halo 4’s elites were like bullet dodging tanks that would deliver a killing blow if you went too close and Promethean Knights were phase shifting titans equipped with scattershot to bring you down while crawlers would overwhelm you. In Destiny, the varying of enemies does open up, but the Cosmodrone does seem drought. Strike missions give you the opportunity to stack up against a bigger boss, only I found them more time consuming than exciting or engaging.

After playing for 20 hrs I can only say this is a review that’s a work in progress. I’m greatly anticipating where this will go while I level up another 10 or more times. Getting back to some gaming roots I realized that I had something to say about Destiny and my experience with Bungie as a company. Now as I’m typing this days after the release; I’m sure my opinions will change and grow as I play more. Traveling the planets with Tyrion the Ghost and becoming a true Guardian. It feels good to play an ambitious follow up to one of the greatest games of my life. There’s no doubt Destiny is not for everyone (Mike), but for me it feels nice to be playing a new game that is living up to a great portion of it’s hype!

Mike’s Five Sentence Review:
Bungie has made a game that has little to no identity. Destiny is a “shared world shooter” but it feels like they half-assed both the FPS and MMO elements, as if logic dictated that two mediocre parts would make a great whole. The fireteams are too small, the chat/social experience is nonexistent, and missions are yawn-inducing. For a world that is billed to be social, persistent, and inclusive, I’ve never felt more alone playing a game with other people. Destiny might be the game Bungie wanted to make, but one wonders if pleasing 500 people in a studio somewhere was a good strategy.

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Visit blog.mikevotto.com for more ‘Five Sentence Reviews’!

Dan’s Haiku Review:
On spinmetal moon –
hunting down the Servitor.
Back to The Tower.

So, there ya have it folks! Listen to Episode 50 for a more in depth discussion of our first thoughts and subsequent episodes as we continue to develop our review of Bungie’s FPS-MMO, Destiny.

As always, Throw Down & Level Up!

Spinmetal

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