Destiny is controversial. Destiny is divisive. But I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t want to be all like, Destiny has its problems but…
I want to talk about why I am currently enjoying Destiny more than any other major game release this year.
That’s it. That is literally all this article is. A list of things I like. It isn’t an attempt to tell people they are wrong for not liking Destiny. It isn’t an attempt to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be enjoying about the game. It is merely a list of things that I personally like about Destiny, because I am enjoying it. A lot.
1. Destiny is beautiful
This might be the most obvious thing I like about Destiny – that it’s pretty. Overwhelmingly pretty. It’s aesthetically pleasing on just about every possible level I can describe. The skyboxes are glorious. You cannot interact with them but by golly you can look at them. Sometimes I feel like playing Destiny because I just want to look at the sky and what it looks like today. Sometimes that feels like as good a reason to play as any.
The environments are brilliantly designed, but still manage to feel as though they are naturally occurring. A difficult balance to strike in a shooter. A balance I appreciate.
In general, Destiny is one of the most beautiful shooters I have ever played. I want to be there. I want to hang out in that world.
2. Destiny’s core is near perfect
When the core of your game is solid, rewarding and engaging I will most likely ignore every single other flaw I can find. The rest, essentially, is window dressing.
I can’t emphasize enough how much fun it is in Destiny to simply shoot things. And in a game that is primarily about shooting things, this is important.
Fun is a shit word, maybe ‘engaged’ is better. Maybe it’s best to describe it as rewarding. Another way of phrasing is this: I am never bored when shooting things in Destiny despite the fact that is basically the only thing I am ever doing.
What is it specifically that works? It’s hard to pinpoint. Destiny is the endpoint of years upon years of working on shooters, tweaking small aspects of it, evolving, tossing out what doesn’t work. Bungie got it right first time with Halo: Combat Evolved, and Destiny is an evolution of that.
And the additions -- knife throwing, the upgrades – deviations from that core feel as though they’ve been given the same amount of care. On a moment to moment basis, Destiny constantly provides options for the player to creatively use a great range of mechanics to solve combat related problems.
3. Moving around in Destiny is 'fun'
It is isn’t it? Summoning a futuristic anti-gravity speed bike from thin air before hopping on it for boost-filled adventures across alien lands is a glorious idea and it works brilliantly in practice. It’s the sci-fi equivalent of whistling for your horse in Red Dead Redemption and it’s seamlessly woven into the game’s fiction.
It’s quick, accessible and looks slick in action. The boost feels weighty and it provides a great distraction from trundling across environments.
But even in general – manoeuvring in Destiny feels slick. The pace of movement is great, the environments feel worthy of exploration and the game has triple jumps.
Guys, Destiny has triple jumps. Triple jumps.
4. Destiny has triple jumps
I’m pretty much honour bound to love any first person game that has a double jump. Exhibit A: Metroid Prime.
But a triple jump? Sweet mother of God… that’s just fan service.
5. Destiny has that ‘one more go’ thing going for it
Alright, we’re moving into vague territory here. I don’t know why it’s so hard to stop playing Destiny. It just is. It’s more than the spinning reels of loot gathering. It’s the combination of it all: the loot, the levelling, the world, the core shooting, the traversal. The 1s and 0s, the fundamentals of Destiny, are so sound that it’s easy to just continue on and on and on…
6. The UI. Sweet lord the UI
Mostly, this is just about the general experience of Destiny. The world and its applications. The seamless way you can leap from levels to multiplayer without feeling like you’re playing a different game. The manner in which juggling menu systems is a pleasure as opposed to be a chore.
How did Bungie manage this? Seriously. I don’t even like fixing my gear up in Dark Souls, my favourite game of the last five years. That in itself feels like a huge achievement.
Ah the positivity. The glorious positivity. I’m not even going to mention the terrible exposition, dreadful voice acting, or the limited amount of content. Nosiree bob. I won’t mention it at all.