It is nearly two months after Destiny has launched and I only now feel like I’m ready to make a verdict.
I wanted Destiny to be everything I ever wanted from a game. Coming from the studio that made Halo (which ended up defining me as a gamer) I don’t know what I was expecting but I think it was going to be something that would shatter my universe. I’ve definitely had fun these two months but now that I’ve moved on to the next game in my rotation I might be asking myself when I’ll return to the Tower.
At the basic and most fundamental level Destiny is a shooter. Destiny is a great shooter with excellent mechanics and feels polished and “right”. If you are playing things more than 1 or 2 levels higher than your character then it will feel insurmountable – lower will feel easy. At your level or, like I said, 1 or 2 levels higher than your character is where this truly shines. I can’t say or not if the leveling system that Bungie chose to go with is the right one but once you find out where you are most comfortable then you don’t think about it.
The design, art direction, layout, etc. of everything that is presented in Destiny is imacculate. It is gorgeous, fun to look at, fun to explore, and overall just has an incredible sense of polish. We can argue day and night about the amount of content but what is here is perfect (or close to it).
Where we fall flat is at story. For me this mattered so much. Because of one particular cutscene (where you meet the stranger). I saw the possibility there and everything around it felt disjointed. It felt like there should of, and probably was, been so much more there. Does it matter that it can be there later? Does it matter that there is all of this lore that is written but unless you go searching for it (in the Grimore) what does it matter?
And that’s where we come to the “what should have been”. What was this game when it started off? Was time mismanaged? Money? Whose fault is it? Will we ever find out? Can the essence of this game be saved? For me there are far more questions than answers.
Like I said: I had fun with what was here. I also spent the majority of my time in the crucible. If this was a single player driven game (when in reality it is supposed to be a multiplayer driven universe) I don’t think the amount of content would have been complained about. I wouldn’t have felt that it was too little. The fact is that everything about this game seemed to promise more than it ended up being. The final product lacked the soul that other Bungie products came with.
We shall see what DLC will bring but based on the details of the first pack it just looks like more of the same.