Community Review: Destiny

Already Destiny seems to be eliciting some extreme reactions. What are your thoughts?

Reviews of Destiny are starting to creep in almost a week after its massive release and they're surprisingly negative. After a Beta where the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, I have to admit this surprised me. But I understand the concerns.

Some think Destiny is too safe, it's too generic. Some think there simply isn't enough to do in the game world, that it relies too heavily on the same endless game loop. I say these are all fair criticisms, and to a certain extent I agree with every single one of them.

But if that's the case, why am I enjoying Destiny so much? Why do I want to return to it? Why am I sitting at my desk swirling in my chair eagerly awaiting the moment I can sit down and explore that universe once again?

It's hard to pin point, but I suspect it boils down to two central aspects: the tight and endlessly rewarding core shooting and the design of the world itself.

I say the 'design' of the world, because it's a broad catch all word that encompasses a number of things: the layout, the aesthetics, all of that. All of these combined means that Destiny is a universe I want to inhabit. I want to shoot enemies in this world, I want to traverse it, I want to simply stand in the universe and pause.

The core of Destiny is interesting. I think it's almost too easy to compare it to Halo. Sure, I've made that lazy comparison before -- Halo's 30 seconds of fun is at the core of Destiny's DNA -- but Destiny is markedly different because it has to be different. For one, Halo's legendary weapon balance has to be completely reinvented. Because this is an 'MMO' with levels and scaling enemies it's far more difficult to have the finely tuned interplay between weapons and enemies that made Halo so compelling. Therefore Destiny feels different, and not always in a good way.

Destiny will never, for example, have that amazing interplay between Grunts and Elites. It'll never have that "I'll use my Plasma Pistol to remove the Elite's shields and then head shot him with a pistol" level of strategy. I think this is because -- as a game so obsessed with loot and upgrades -- Destiny isn't playing with a fixed set of pieces. There are too many weapons to think about, to many different combinations. In a way the core suffers, but at the same time it opens up a whole new matrix of possibilities.

Some people simply aren't enjoying it, or feel like Destiny over-promised and under delivered. I for one am just revelling in it. I think it might be because, as a busy Father of a demanding toddler and a hectic schedule, I really appreciate that Destiny is tailored to that 'I have one hour so this better be good' style of play. It's giddily fun on a moment-to-moment basis and that is the kind of gaming experience I tend to treasure. It enables me to overlook flaws, of which Destiny has many.

I'm keen to see where Bungie takes this. I suspect that Destiny will be the kind of game we'll complain about and grumble about for years to come -- but we'll still be playing it. It'll become a Diablo, or a Halo. The kind of game that we criticise, but will always find essential.

What are your thoughts?


Comments

    The arguments of not enough to do are baffling to me, sure if I was paying a monthly subscription for the game I could understand it, end game is a little bare if i was expected to put down $10-15 per month, but at its current level of content it is as long if not longer than most non-mmo-like fps shooters.

    Personally I am really enjoying it, and while I was starting to share the concerns over how "easy" the strikes got at end game they sure well and truly dispelled when I did the level 22 heroic strike last night, that was a challenge to be sure and it has me excited for the raid content.

    I also disagree about the interplay as you mention. The strategies between if you should go all out melee on the shanks (who die in one hit) or play safe and take them out from a distance, or try and group them up for a grenade, all while you have vandals, captains, dregs and whatever else swarming around definitely requires some thought outside of weapon specifics. It's there but doesnt really present itself until that high tier content

    Last edited 15/09/14 11:08 am

      I'm lvl23 and am actually a bit daunted by the challenge of how much Crucible and Strike stuff there is to do. In a good way, though. Lot of stuff still to do for me.

      Some people did the same with GTA V, which always seemed a bit silly to me. I guess it's just dissapointment because it didn't match their expectations

      sure if I was paying a monthly subscription for the game I could understand it, end game is a little bare if i was expected to put down $10-15 per month, but at its current level of content it is as long if not longer than most non-mmo-like fps shooters.

      I'm curious as to how would people would compare the level/amount of content (forget graphics) to something like Defiance which is an MMO-FPS and is also currently free-to-play. Does Destiny have vote sustainability to maintain itself on its level of content or will it be dead when the "next big thing" comes along?

      Last edited 15/09/14 12:16 pm

        Defiance is only now f2p, it wasn't originally, but I can't really compare as I have never played it. Destiny doesn't feel like an MMO, in a good way, so I think it can maintain even if it's just on its PvP which is pretty solid.

        Bungie also aren't going for an MMO cycle for Destiny as they have already stated there will be sequels, so I'm guessing they want it to last like 2 years, which wouldn't be too hard to pull off if the xpacs are meaty enough.

          Actually, Defiance was B2P - buy to play. No sub. Just like Destiny.

          Really hoping those xpacs are meatier than the main game, because if you don't enjoy PVP, there's not much left in Destiny for you. Just repeating the same half-dozen instances with incrementally harder difficulty. Kinda like Borderlands with about a tenth of the content.

          I kid you not, the random 22 strike playlist has come up with Dust Palace five damn times in a row for me since last night and now I never want to see that map again. (Of course, when I finally got insanely frustrated and started quitting out every time it came out until it would change to a different map... next up was Devil's Lair. Which was done to death in beta.)

            Eh doesn't bother me, I did hansom heroics in WoW it's no different, it's an MMO thing, if you can't be content trying to incrementally improving your performance by playing the same content over an over you probably shouldn't be playing an MMO lol

              Which would be fair if it had anywhere near the content of your average MMO. Even in MMOs, raiding for the gear-grind treadmill alone is only done by 10-15% of the population. I think everyone else who went in expecting an MMO then didn't get the GOOD parts of an MMO, only the grind, is probably puzzled. Especially when people reply to various complaints with alternately, "It's not an MMO, they said it's not!" and later, "It's an MMO, that's par for the course!" You should see the official forums, people using it to justify that there's only two days worth of story/solo content. The idiots actually compare it to WoW, which had several months of content before hitting max or finishing all the numerous zones and quests and side-quests... If you had to pick things to steal from MMOs without actually being one, 'repeating dungeons for incremental gear upgrades' is an odd thing to choose.

      This guy. I am actually really enjoying it and once you get past the initial plot and get into just doing strikes it is really fun, assuming you like the whole alien-killing loot-collecting thing. I think alot of people were expecting something that this game is not.

      I like the game as well, but I wanted to like it a lot more than I do. There's so many baffling decisions (like the barely-there social element) and so much wasted potential.

      I guess I actually wanted it to be an MMO, but it's not. It's stuck in some kind of weird purgatory where it's not an MMO but it's not a normal FPS either.

        I like it exactly for that reason, I've become so tired of the WoW-factory that MMOs have become that someone going "hey we aren't going to do that, we are going to refine the experience down to a core and mix it with what we know about video games" is super refreshing.

          I mentioned this just now on Twitter, but I think the core of my problem is that I'm really pining for a new Mass Effect and Destiny looks and feels so close to that but at the same time it's miles away from it. :( That's probably what I want and if that's what I wanted, Destiny was never going to deliver it.

          But really I just want the game to make it less difficult to communicate and get together with friends / clan members and do stuff.

          They did a similar with with Diablo 3 earned a great deal of internet hate.
          I guess it comes down to "each to their own".
          More and more people play games these days... developers need to realise they can no longer please everyone.

            D3 had its own bunch of issues and a lot of the hate was people nostalgia butthurt. But yeah you're right, gaming is much bigger now and developers are going to have to start making more and more niche choices to gain market share

          Its great to see non WoW MMOs, BUT MMO suggest massive multiplayer. if they count 2-3 people on one map, and 6v6 deathmatch as an mmo, any co-op / fps is an mmo's.
          Borderlands has drop in drop out open world, and an arena, borderlands is now a mmo.
          Call of duty has co op missions and 6v6+ matches. Cod is now a mmo.
          both these games are far from mmos, destiny is not an mmo, its a plain fps, with server controlled loot, and the occasional player drop in drop out.

          Even after that, I had 2 random people doing the same mission as me we followed each other for 20mins, as soon as I reached a "boss", both the other players phased out from me, it was back to single player. Again not MMO.

    While I understand some of the criticisms, and others I disagree with completely - I can't stop playing it and I'm having a ball.

    I don't get sucked in and mainline a new game very often these days. If anything, I keep buying AAA games, playing them for 30 mins then never touch them again. Used to get grabbed by new shiny games a lot easier when I was younger, so when one does now - to me it's a good sign.

    I think there's a lot of weird stigma with new super hyped games, (Bioshock Infinite, GTA V, Watch_Dogs, etc) and often the internet seems to follow a fairly predictable pattern. PRE RELEASE NEW GAME SUPER HYPE PANTS SHITTING EXCITEMENT. NEW GAME FINALLY COMES OUT THIS IS AWESOME. Two to three days pass after release, suddenly some people seem obligated to jump off the excitement train and be overly critical of negative. Then super duper loud about how unimpressed they are while everyone else is still giddy with excitement. Feels a bit of a hipster wank at times. Just be that one cool guy who's not down with being excited or happy about something.

    Not saying that all critique of the game is baseless trend following - read some genuinely well put together critique - but I wonder how much of it actually is just people trying to be cool by hating.

      I don't think anyone is trying to hate the game. I just think that it has a lot of flaws and as a result if you're not entirely swept away by the game you can talk for days about things it's done badly. I could write something the size of Mark's article up there on mistakes and short comings made in The Tower alone. Thankfully I'm enjoying the game too much to get hung up on all that stuff.

        Nothing wrong with honest critique at all. I can think of a great many shortcomings myself, my issue is more with the people that seem to just hate on stuff because everyone else is enjoying it.
        (Again, not saying anyone who dislikes the game is a bandwagon-hater)

        I think the mixed nature of the game (is it a FPS? is it an MMO?) is probably the biggest cause of confusion though. Understandable in a lot of ways.

          For sure. I think that confusion will get worse for a while when raids roll out. Right now it doesn't matter that much that Destiny end-game content isn't conforming 100% to standard MMO end-game, but raids mean a very specific thing to a lot of people. I think there's going to be some backlash to begin with, although ultimately I'm hoping they've gone about it in a way that reduces it's importance while also leaving it a bit more open to a wider audience.
          I also think a lot of hardcore raiders are going to take a hit to the ego if you can't just min-max your stats to reduce skill requirements. Even hardcore MMORPG raids tend to let you ignore 70% of what's going on. It's all sort of a controlled, predictable environment. With Destiny there's a good chance simple things like a pack of adds spawning will be chaotic.
          Probably not unpredictable/chaotic in a broken way like how DC Universe Online will throw out attacks with contradictory responses (many a time I've wiped from being asked to stack and spread at the same time). Just in a 'well, the guys come down the hill and if you don't herd them properly they'll push you out into a position where you're exposed to either them or the boss'.
          MMORPG raids and Destiny raids should require a different skill set and that's going to be a big pill to swallow for some raiders.

      Pretty much agree with this, who cares what other people think, it's a fun game... every game that is released doesn't have to be the best game ever made, why is that even a thing?

    There's plenty to do, a heap to do. It's a great game and I recommend it to anyone. But I have to return it today for a swap. :(

    My internet for some reason hates Destiny. I've got a NAT 2 type which SHOULD be fine. In theory. I've forwarded all appropriate ports, I've done everything recommended and still everything drops out. I've got a 16mb connection going. Yet I can't play a single game where I don't drop out at least half a dozen times, it's infuriating. Not one other PS4 game does this to me, not one. Just Destiny. I played BF4 the other week for six hours straight and not one dropout at all. Diablo 3, I guess we're about to get acquainted on console.

    It's a pity too, because it truly is a fantastic game. There's a heap to do and there's more to come in terms of raids released weekly, events released fortnightly, expansions out every few months, they have TONS planned for it. It's definitely worth the purchase. Like @piat said, if it was charging 10 - 15 a month access? THEN I might be pissed. But for the 67 I paid at target? It was totally worth it. It's just a pity I can't play it properly otherwise I would keep it :(

    Maybe when I move from here and get with iiNet again... fuck you Telstra for having a monopoly on this side of Forest Lake :(

    The only true criticism I can level at it, is the classes don't truly feel 'seperate'. There's one or two things I guess to 'seperate' them, but everyone can use all guns equally, everyone has similair powers etc. Maybe this will change later, but for now, they do seem rather similair.

    Last edited 15/09/14 11:13 am

      Have you forwarded the Destiny specific ports? If you check out Bungie's support there is some stuff on there about issues like this. Apparently error code centipede is the biggest issue at the moment and they are working on a fix

        Yep, done all of that. Apparently the telstra modem is a giant pile of shit :( I may keep it, I dunno, it was a cheap game to buy, I still have til wednesday to decide. Telstras modems just hate online gaming lol.

          Damn that sucks, I'd keep it if I was you, there is a lot of network issues with the game even if it's not as widespread as some other games so it may not be you in the end.

      I'm having the same problems. Tried every recommendation and still can't finish a mission before dropping out. Oddly the first couple of days I had no problems at all. They only started a few days ago and haven't stopped.

        One of the biggest issues I'm finding, is the fact there seems to be zero tolerance for latency in it. It's either 'PERFECT SYNC OR GTFO'. No lag is great but the moment you hit any, they boot you from the game instead of trying to resync you... which is irritating :\

      Maybe it's an MTU issue?
      I'm assume you're using an ADSL connection? What sort of modem and router do you have?
      A lot of routers issue firmware updates do address issues with games, you would [or probably wouldn't...] be surprised how crappy some router firmwares are.

      Last edited 15/09/14 11:25 am

        Telstra TG797n modem/wireless router, I've got the ps4 hooked up by a cable though and set to a static IP of 10.0.0.30 (usual gateway is 10.0.0.138)

          Have you tried putting the PS4 on the DMZ inside the router (usually not recommended but shouldn't be too much of an issue)? And buy a new router for the PS4? I ended up replacing my router with a TPLINK because them Telstra routers are shocking. As long as it supports PPPoA, yr all set to go.

          Just did a quick look up of that unit.... no surprise details are fairly scarce like any rebranded telstra product. Most telstra firmwares are inferior to the native firmwares of products [they do it in their phones, too] as they add all of their own crap in their.
          Apparently this unit has firmware updates provided remotely by telstra. Perhaps contact them and ask for an update?

          At the very least, I'd suggest perhaps getting another modem/router? Perhaps a high quality netgear/dlink/billion unit which you have more control over. I would put good money that these issues are router related, and are likely to appear again in other games.

            Yeah, I'm really thinking of getting a DLink router-modem. Should only be just over a hundred for a good quality one to be honest. Probably have a stronger wifi signal too than this piece of shit lol.

              It might be worth it to potentially eliminate future issues as well. I am with Optus Cable (no fixed line to our property for ADSL) and the whole Titanfall debacle was infuriating and I had no option because the modems are all controlled by them. I ended up with their new modems which are horrible... and kept having endless issues after they fixed the network wide stuff. Managed to get back on my old modem with no more issues. So the potential for a crappy ISP modem to be causing the issue is pretty high. Spending a $100 if you have the option to is well worth it.

                Yeah the more I google about the tg797n the more I'm not liking what I read about it or other Telstra modems, they're cheap, nasty pieces of shit with an inability to get open NAT types despite the fact most DLink and TPLink ones seem to be able to easily and also have inbuilt gaming profiles to allow this.

                Also if I have my own modem, no need to buy one from the company next time huh? lol

      Yesterday I kept getting a Moderate connection error when trying to join a friends game, but under xbox one network settings it clearly says 'open' and I'm on a 130mpbs cable connection.

    So, I didn't think I was going to enjoy Destiny, but my brother picked it up and I put a couple hours in over the weekend. I picked the "punch you in the face" class, whichever one that is, and I'm enjoying it - I'm not particularly into the multiplayer aspect of it, but that's obviously my preference rather than a criticism. The story is hugely unengaging - I'm on the Moon and I have no idea why - but there's a simple, perfect joy in the moment that a Thrall throws themselves at you, you punch them out of the air, they die, and then another one does it.

    I'm going to stick with it. Might even try some of the multiplayer stuff.

      Also, as a designer? The mission selection map is slick. Beautiful blend of sci-fi style and old-school cartography.

        It's nice, but I'm not sure why they needed a cursor for the entire interface? Using the D Pad to select would have worked better, IMO

          Oh, yeah. That's not great, and honestly there's really nothing that's better served by the thumbstick that couldn't have worked with the d-pad. It would have been nice to have the d-pad as an option, even.

          I actually think the best interaction method with it would be a touchscreen - if I could use the map on my iPad while I was playing I'd be a happy guy. And it'd work better with the no-pause nature of the game - being able to swap out your equipment by just looking down really quickly, rather than by having no sight on anything.

        The mission map is truly gorgeous. Absolutely love it.

        I'd have to agree with you on the story not being engaging. At the moment this is probably my biggest gripe with the game. It has this amazing atmosphere and interesting world I want to explore, but there is so little in the way of story and lore details presented to the player. For the most part I'm having fun, wandering around a beautiful world full of danger. I just have no idea why.

      The story is hugely disjointed between earth and the moon, but it does get much better after the moon

    It'd be a far better game if you could accept multiple patrol missions at once. Back tracking in this game is bullshit.

    Looks very very very nice, story is a bit Meh, and sometimes combat is a bit boring, its either too easy or painfully hard.

    PVP is actually a LOT of fun, which i didn't expect, but still needs some work, in game voice comms for a start.
    Game should have been made for PC though, it feels very limited by the controller IMO

    That is the point I'm so confused with, reviews are coming in saying it's no good, but nobody else can stop talking about how much fun they are having with it. Is the story the gaming equivalent of Malcom X? Not really. Has it totally transformed the genre? Nope. Am I having a lot of fun with it? Totally, and that's all that matters to me to be honest.

      This is how I feel. I reckon it'd be a hard one to review because there are things missing and technically it under delivers, but I'm just having way too much fun with it.

        It's like Iron Man 3. I can talk for days about where it fell short and list off all the aspects of it that aren't good but it manages to be fun moment to moment. This morning I quickly ran a mission for a bounty before work. I kept the difficulty at the minimum so I could lie to myself and say I was hurrying so I wouldn't be late for work and it was still fun. Just running in there mixing headshots and melee kills.

        That's why i feel game reviews sometimes step away from what a game is meant to do. Reviews usually talk about things like graphics, story, sound and music, any glitches and finally a score to sum it up. But sometimes I just want to read if the game is fun. Destiny is a game that is so much fun. It might have little annoyances like having to move to a vendor to see your reputation, but it still maintains the fact that even though I will shoot waves of enemies over and over again, I'm having fun doing it.

        I think Bungie knew they could still deliver a fun game, while skipping out on a few things, and intentionally making things a little inconvenient for their players. If people are having fun in game, they will continually come back for me

      People seem upset about the story and or storytelling. For the most part, I can agree with them, however let me point out Exhibit A - just every other videogame ever. I really don't think Destiny is any better or worse than a whole slew of other games; Borderlands, Halo, Dark Souls, Gone Home.

      One argument that I have put forward is that a lot of the universe's lore is not explained in-universe simply because those characters grew up learning or knowing those facts. In a science fiction related example, in A New Hope Obi-Wan mentions "the Clone Wars" but doesn't have to explain it to Luke since he gorram knows about the Clone Wars. As the audience, we're left wondering (at least for 20-odd years). Perhaps a more contemporary "real-life" example is the fact that Seinfeld doesn't have to dedicate the episode about the "Soup Nazi" to describing World War 2. So in that sense, I feel that a lot of stuff is left unexplained on purpose. Dink-bot does pipe up from time to time, but otherwise a lot of it is assumed character knowledge.

      Furthermore, there's a bit presented in the mision briefings for the Strike missions, and presumably the upcoming Raid. And Bungie have lined up a bunch of events and content over the coming weeks that's not currently accessible. At the end of the month begins The Queen's Wrath, featuring the return of a character seen in the later half of the game's campaign. And lastly, Bungie have stated that there will be more and more people "moving in" to the Tower. There are a few locked off or empty sections at the moment which will likely fill up over the coming months.

        Yeah, but if your characters know the information other characters are referencing, and it's important to the plot, you really need to convey that to the player somehow.
        That's what makes the Citadel in Mass Effect so perfect. Everyone talks to you like you're a bit of an idiot for the first hour of the game, and then you get out into the universe and you know everything you need to. They don't have to tell you what a Krogan is because you either went out of your way not to care or you learned it before you set out.
        It's not something every game can do, and even Mass Effect lost a lot of people's interest due to the Citadel being a bit boring and long, but I think in sci-fi it's really important to build a universe and you can either do it via a marathon of exposition or great characters, and Destiny doesn't seem to have either of those.

        Destiny feels like it wants me to care about the story and the universe more but at the same time it feels like the lore doesn't have any depth to it.

          I can definitely agree with that sentiment.

          I think a lot of what hurts Destiny is the fact that the Grimoire cards cannot be accessed through the game interface. There's a lot of information there about the universe, much like the information on each planet, system, race, etc in Mass Effect (my favourite being that Pluto's frozen moon Charon was actually the Sol system's Mass Relay. Pluto is small because it is just large enough to serve as a gravitational tether for the Mass Relay. Thus it had it's status as a planet reinstated.)

          I also feel that part of the lack of knowledge is partly due to the "new Dark age" that Earth and the galaxy is currently going through. Meeting the Traveler spurred us into a Golden Age of space travel, and the Darkness stopped that thoroughly. Now humanity exists as a mere shadow of its former glory. Additionally, the "dark age" concept ties in with the rest of the "medieval in space" theme that the game has going (guardians are knights, rogues and mages, flags/banner everywhere, lots of sword and shield motifs, etc). However I feel that it also falls short in that sense. A few references to "we used to know how to do that, but the secrets are now lost to us" would help to suggest that maybe nobody, even important people like Vanguard and Crucible bigwigs and the Speaker, don't really know what's going on and are just winging it.

            Oh man. Don't even get me started on the lack of the ability to track/read Grimoire cards in game (and the browser version just sucks). I really want to collect them all but I've got no idea where I am progress wise.

            I didn't feel like they really presented the whole new dark age thing that well. I really didn't feel like I was the first person on these planets in forever (even if there weren't people bouncing around all over the place the characters seemed pretty comfortable/unimpressed by being there). Maybe it's just me but I sort of take my Ghost out and he starts scanning, but it feels like the objective is just to kill the enemies rather than obtain lost information.
            Even on Venus it didn't feel like I was standing in the ruins of a once mighty civilisation. I think part of that is the Tower sort of subconciously implies that if humans wanted to make a city like that they still could. Maybe that's it. The Tower doesn't feel like it's under seige or all that remains of humanities great empire. It just feels like just another city in a greater empire. It feels completely removed from any war and everyone who lives there seems 100% comfortable in it (like how later on in Stargate Atlantis it doesn't feel like they're living in a city they don't understand). Maybe if it were bigger and had forces attacking it 24/7, with more of a refugee feel to the population.

              Hell, the patrol missions even deliberately tell you that you don't need to know those secrets. "We have a pressing need for this information on... well. Don't you worry about it, you let your ghost handle the details, you just be a good guardian and pump that trigger. Who's a good killer? You are! Yes you are!"

                Heh. It did sort of bug me that they'd be like 'your ghost has the details' but you don't have a quest journal or anything to look up the details in. By 'has the details' it means the location and whether you should kill things or activate things.
                Granted those aren't meant to be full main story missions and I do enjoy them. It just seemed a little weird that they wouldn't even have a card with the text version of what you're doing on it.

            Those cards need to be in-game, and probably even thrown in to give us something to do other than dick around with our inventory and skills while we wait for those interminable loading screens.

            Also, one of the real problems I have with the story lies in the fact that they're too scared to name a protagonist.

            I mean... what. Humanity was down. But now we're up? In any other game, that would be attributable to the actions of a brave protagonist. Hooray. But Destiny won't actually attribute any of that to you specifically, out of some desperate fear that they might somehow break someone's self-insertion with some kind of assumptions by actually giving the player character some... y'know... character.

            Which leaves me wondering: Sooo... what. Humanity finally just decided to start getting our shit together because... I dunno, we felt like it today, no special reason or catalyst? Ho-hum, guess I'll go end world hunger today. WHAT, YOU CAN DO THAT? WHY DIDN'T YOU DO THAT ALREADY? So it goes with fighting back the darkness. We suddenly made all these incredibly gains because we finally found a death-god guardian? Oh, but don't ever acknowledge them, they might start thinking they're special.

              It does seem strange that you're a guardian and that's special, but you/your actions aren't really considered special amongst guardians. I mean everyone should be losing their minds at what you're accomplishing but instead they're just like 'oh, hey, good work, get started on your next quest'.
              At the end of one of the really early missions your Ghost tells you that killing the guy you just killed could seriously cripple the Fallen, but even as he says it's the game treats your accomplishment like you've just killed four Wolves in the starter area.

        Wait... you're referencing Borderlands, Halo, Dark Souls, and Gone Home as storytelling on par with Destiny? Did we even play the same games?

      I had the same thing with games like watch_dogs and diablo.
      Neither were perfect (at release), both got huge amounts of hate (usually due to extremely high expectations) and I enjoyed the hell out of both of them.

    Only thing I don't like so far is that being a PC gamer, I'm finding it hard to get used to the controller. So many times (especially in crucible matches) I just wish I could get out the ol' Keyboard/Mouse :(

    Last edited 15/09/14 11:27 am

      Pretty sure you can get keyboard and mouse going on most consoles these days?

      Um .. plug a USB KB and Mouse into your PS4.. Instant Play - no controller required.

    I'm having fun playing it but ultimately I'm feeling it's a bit hollow. Closest thing I've ever played to a MMO before so it's probably normal for them. It just never feels like I'm ever achieving anything in the world as it's completely static and it's throwing me a bit.

      It's not normal. The world feels quite empty and hollow, and a lot of that is because you can't actually communicate with the other players.

      Most MMOs spend a lot more time doing proper world building. Flesh out the areas with lore-based sidequests and stuff. The same way you would with a full RPG.

        You can see the social aspects there just desperately trying to get out. Guardians having impromptu dance parties blocking each other in some weird attempt to communicate without words. Gesticulating wildly with pointing and waving in some vain attempt to communicate... something without having to go OUTSIDE THE FUCKING GAME (seriously, anything that takes the player outside of the game is bad design, no excuses) into the PSN/XBL systems to send/accept/ignore friend requests to be able to send messages on that fucking godawful text-entry-with-a-gamepad.

        It's like they expect you to only communicate with friends you've brought with you to the game instead of finding new ones through casual, non-committed interactions that you both then decide you want to extend. Y'know. Like any other normal human relationship.

    "Destiny will never, for example, have that amazing interplay between Grunts and Elites. It’ll never have that “I’ll use my Plasma Pistol to remove the Elite’s shields and then head shot him with a pistol” level of strategy. I think this is because — as a game so obsessed with loot and upgrades — Destiny isn’t playing with a fixed set of pieces. There are too many weapons to think about, to many different combinations. In a way the core suffers, but at the same time it opens up a whole new matrix of possibilities."

    It seems that if (hopefully) Destiny has learnt-from/implemented the reasons why Diablo 3 has lasted so long in terms of playability/replayability, then it will be a success. Strategic use of weapons is what kept me interested in halo and why there are so many different 'builds' to consider in diablo3 . merging those two would be the best of both games.

    My initial thoughts of Destinty (not the beta), were 'meh', followed by "seems to have more depth, and getting me hooked as things are unlocking".

    However, I'm not sure if the strategic use of weapons does exist in destiny: the difference between an pulse rifle and scout rifle, taking into account magazine size, seem to be minor (I'm a warlock) etc. and so its just about how to pump more bullets into an enemy and dodging their attack.
    Now that I'm level 20, it seems to have some changing game mechanics which (again, hopefully) means it doesn't get monotonous (much like diablo 3), but i'm hoping the equivalent of legendary weapons has the same impact of finding one in diablo 3-- its rarity impacts the character build and play style, rather than just 'more damage'.

    If i have to grind away for marks and exotic components etc, I want to make sure that ONE weapon that i've invested in , just doesn't get dismantelled as soon as another one with slightly higher damage drops without considering if it will complement my existing attributes/skills.

    It's fun, it's engaging, the depth of the lore promises future developments in the story. This is an evolving beast and I look forward to the future of it. It's not a great game in practice yet, but on paper I'm loving the potential. When I don't feel like doing stories I can go spend time in the crucible. There's plenty to keep us busy so while the world feels a bit hollow at times I think complaining about it is just people looking for something to complain about. Some of the best fun I've had was just grinding out kills for bounties and them bam, a public event drops on us and everyone charges into the area to stop robots suicide-bombing some important artifact or try to kill some super-charged enemy before he reaches a certain checkpoint. These public mini-events are the exactly the kind of spark that helps bring the game to life for me - I really wasn't feeling "it" until the first time I hit one of those and was getting irritated with the copy-paste mission structure.

    Dinklage's acting is on and off for me. One one hand, he's playing a robotic character so you'd expect him to be a bit flat. But at the same time they're clearly trying to inject some personality there along the lines of Guilty Spark or Cortana, and that's where we run into trouble. Not because Dinklage's delivery is poor (which I admit at times it feels like it) but because it seems like the Ghost and my character have this really great rapport built up - but I wasn't there for it. It almost feels like I missed something. My Guardian making little jabs at the Ghost, or the Ghost making wry "here we go again" kind of comments feels forced - extremely reminiscient of Obi-Wan's "I hate it when he does that" in the beginning of Episode II when he jumps out of the speeder. Like... I didn't get to see this relationship develop but that's MY player avatar standing there having this conversation, so it's worse in a way.

    It really took me out of the moment.

    Then a few minutes later I was killing stuff and having fun again and it didn't really matter anymore.

      Actually I think what bothers me about Dinklebot's dialog is that he's so immediately subservient to the Guardian. He resurrects the Guardian, he's the exposition dumper and is responsible for guiding us and giving us the information we need to live, then once you have a gun in your hands you're the boss and the Ghost is like some lackey we're dragging unwillingly on the adventure HE recruited us for.

      I've like to see more confidence, a little bit less of the simpering comic relief sidekick. Compared to the sidekicks we've seen perviously (i.e: in Halo), Ghost doesn't hold a candle to Cortana or the Arbiter. Why the 180?

        I was actually quite surprised the first time my character talked. He'd spent so long as a silent, nameless protagonist that it felt weird. If he's going to talk, why isn't there more dialogue between the player and Dinklebot? A little back and forth banter would've given the game a touch more soul, and stopped all of Dinklebot's lines coming out like nothing but dry exposition.

          It feels like they're treading a line of going as close and safe as possible to having SOME kind of non-silent-protagonist without upsetting all the self-insertionists who will claim that the depiction has utterly broken their character.

        Also, his hacking software has some sort of Darkness friend-invite system which automatically tells every enemy in the area, "Hey! Someone's hacking here, you should go shoot them!"

      I think the Ghost acting is also thrown off by the fact he's spouting gibberish half the time. It does a pretty weak job of conveying the lore to the player so it's like 'oh no, here's comes a wazzledoc! He's stealing the griffenjads'. So when it comes time for your Ghost to say something that isn't just a scatter shot of fantasy terms it feels like it came out of nowhere.

    I really wish it had a better storyline, and that the character customization meant a bit more - I'm not particularly attached to my Awoken, even though she's a babe. I just think that if the story was more engaging, more original, more anything, it would be so much more interesting. But to be fair, I don't think anyone is playing it for the storyline.

    Overall score: wiggly "ehhh" hand gesture.

    Excellent summary Mark. Exactly how I feel about the game at the moment. I've already got my monies worth out of it this weekend and looking forward to crossing level 20 tonight.

    I've read a fair few reviews and the majority of criticism is valid; except I'm having so much fun with it which is contrary to those reviews out there calling it bland. Reviews giving it 5 or 6, really? Should you play this game? Yes!

    Last edited 15/09/14 3:10 pm

    I knew from the Beta that Destiny wasn't going to be as impressive as it was trying to be so I'm not particularly disappointed. It's a game I can pick up and play with friends, or just go around mindlessly (it's actually a little too easy) killing things for a while. For the budget that was invested into the game, I am incredibly suprised how bad the story and voice acting is and keep finding myself just wanting to skip all the cut scenes.

    I have two major problems with the game, the first being that loot becomes pointless very quickly with most looted items being something you don't need because the gun and armour you have will remain useful for several levels. Most of the time, the only reason you'd want a new item is because it offers a perk you want, or the gun type is something suited to your style.

    The second problem is that the game is designed to be played at level 20, and for some unknown reason, they gate everything fun from you until you prove yourself worthy of the Gods or something by forcing you to play for ten hours or so using just the most basic gear.

    Other than that, as long as you're not expecting a genre defining or ground breaking game, it's a fun time, especially with friends.

      Yeah, a game you can pick up and play with friends, but only 2 others at a time! That's one thing about Destiny that baffles me - limiting fireteams to just 3 players. Another thing is the frequent disconnects. I've still yet to play a session of Destiny where I don't get disconnected at least once.

      It's a solid shooter and an intriguing story with competent voicework, but I must be missing something as I'm not getting the "wow factor" from it that others I game with have got from it.

      I felt like that with the voice acting as well, however I am up to the first couple of missions on Venus and I feel as if there is a little more bonding between Ghost and the player character? I could be wrong though, like the they are developing some better rapport which leads to some better acting.

      It's still early though, I may end up feeling let down by the acting lol.

    As someone who would happily repeat the same R6 terrorist hunt or Mass Effect 3 Gold MP maps for months due to the promise of better loot or unlocks I'm having an absolute blast.
    The core shooting mechanic is amazing and the supers are well balanced. Each story mission/strike etc is a separate little MP co-op match for me and I love it.

      Heh that gave me a wash of fond memories for the R6 'villa' level terrorist hunt :)

    I think the "problem" is the amount of hype surrounding it was just so great, reality could never hold up.

    For me it comes down to: am I getting my money's worth of entertainment? Totally! Having a blast.

    Is it perfect? Does it redefine gaming as we know it? Will we all be playing it to the detriment of all else in 6 months? No.
    For all Activision's hopes and promises, it's just a game.
    But right now it's a fun game, and that's enough.

    Also bears mentioning that it had almost no server issues at launch. Quite a rarity these days for an online only game.

      The lack of server issues has been surprising - the worst I've seen is some warping and a couple of random disconnects with equally random error messages. Seriously, who calls an error message "beaver" or "leopard"?

        I'm surprised more hasn't been made of how smooth it has launched, considering recent troubles in the online realms.

        I've had a couple of moments where I lost connection to the server but it didn't even drop me from the game. It just bumps out to my spaceship.

      Excessive hype makes good games bad.
      Great games stand on their own

    Played about 20+ hours from thurs-friday, finished the game and ranked to Light 21, vowed not to play it again for another week cos I was so over it, was fiending for it again the very next day, quite addictive, the grind has begun for me now. Not the best game I have ever played but definately fun.

    Im loving destiny cant get enough of it. I guess some peoples issues come from the fact they approach it from a standard FPS mindset blaze through the story do the competitive multiplayer thrn most will get bored and start complaining. But everyone should approach it like diablo or borderlands the missions are the start theres plenty to do with raids strikes the crucible and even just looking at the gorgous world bungie has made so id highly reccomend it also those skyboxes are amazing

    I love it.

    Dinkbot is just the worst.

    If he was an R2 unit he'd be jettisoned from the airlock after his second failed hacking attempt.

    The chick from Jurassic Park is a better hacker.

    It clicked for me when a mate & I were doing a strike and I'd fusion rifle a Wizard's shield down and he'd headshot them with his sniper from the other side of the room.

    That Bungie magic gameplay is just -kisses tips of fingers- superb.

      It's because it wasn't Linux. He didn't know this.

      Last edited 15/09/14 12:45 pm

    I'm finding it hard to be motivated to continue the story missions, and I'm only at the moon. Maybe it is knowing from reviews and twitter that it doesn't improve from the 'fend off waves while the ghost scans things' style, but I'd rather spend time in multiplayer or doing Strikes. There I am caught in a catch 22, I am underpowered compared to the Level 20+ players in multiplayer, but need to complete content I don't have much interest in to be more competitive.

    Gameplay wise it is missing the variety of Halo, vehicle combat doesn't compare, the 'trinity' of melee/gun/grenade sacrifices grenades and buffs up melee. I spend a lot more time in 'CoD mode' in combat, hiding behind cover, stepping out to take a few shots, getting back in, before numbers are thinned enough to get into the dance that Halo did so well. At its best Destiny feels great, but those moments are few and far between.

    I also feel like you go down too quickly in multiplayer, the influence of Call of Duty is there in loadouts, a focus on aiming down sights and the lack of damage you can take. I'm still enjoying it but I guess I'm stuck in the past, I wanted an evolution of Halo rather than a Halo/CoD hybrid.

    My opinion hasn't changed in that it's fun enough with friends but there's nothing to really achieve in the game and I see no point playing solo. The story is shallow and the characters lifeless (not at all as represented on their Grimoire cards - I want those characters in the game!).

    The grindy nature of the game seems to not bother me when I'm with a friend, despite each mission just being the same quest over and over in different locations. The moving/shooting mechanics are simply great. But I find that when I've done the grinding there wasn't any significant purpose to it. It's a funny mix of emotions when while playing you have fun and want to recommend it, however you then have this sense of disappointment that there's nothing extra to look forward to which makes those efforts worth while.

      I'd be happy with having the Grimoire cards in the game... It's a very odd thing to think that they seem to have put more effort into writing things outside of the game rather than inside it. If they were to poach a few Bioware writers it might be a lot better...

      It really is a weird game, mechanically fantastic but it feels so empty in so many ways, needs more RPG & less MMO I think. I still want to tell that queen that we owe her nothing, it was an assassination and we were paid in information, nothing more. If a sequel were to add some dialogue options it'd be quite nice, hell SWTOR managed to be an MMO with dialogue and did that quite well, it'd be a good system to steal for Destiny 2: Even More Destinyer

      For that matter, another weird thing; the game is made from the ground up for 1-3 players in every single mission bar the tutorial, why is only one player ever seen in cutscenes? Did we each have a separate audience with the irritatingly supercilious queen and her shitweasel brother and each get the coordinates?

      There is one beautiful moment in-game where if you've read the grimoire cards featuring (nerd hero) Nathan Fillion's exo hunter vanguard character Cayde-6, you really feel it when you close his menu and he whispers, "Hey... take me with you."

        I've only found one of the grimoire cards featuring Cayde-6 so far, and what I have read makes me really want to find and read the rest. The incidental story-building in the cards are great, and I wish there was more of that in the actual game.

    Fps with crappy story, great coop, pvp multiplayer. Explore mode simple and boring when you need to grind it most.

    I am having so much fun. I have completed the story and now grinding crucible and vanguard levels. Never had more fun grinding.

    I'm at level 24 light, I'm a the point of the game where you spam vanguard and crucible marks now I'm starting to doubt its sustainability I'm eventually going to get bored of strikes, and raiding... I have no idea how I'm going to find 5 other people so chances are I'll quit when the next big game comes out.

    Level 20 Bladedancing Hunter and loving it. I'm constantly craving to play more. I'm focusing all energy on PvE for now, but should probably start mixing it up to get the loot/marks you can from Crucible matches.

    Turning level 20 was a great feeling to see all the extra stuff it unlocks. Looking forward to my next dose tonight!

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