Reviews// Destiny

Posted 18 Sep 2014 15:47 by
While reading various forums and twitter feeds, one comment that seems to crop up a lot when talking about Destiny is ďIs this it?Ē

Iíve seen it all over the place. The three words summing up peopleís underwhelmed reaction to Bungieís long-awaited return to first-person shooting. And, every time Iíve seen those words Iíve had to stop myself from doing a Phil Fish.

I canít relate to that reaction. What Iím playing is leaving me gob-smacked and I simply canít get enough of it.

Most first-person shooters try to focus on the spectacle or the plot. We have games that have wonderful set pieces with bridges blowing up as you scramble to stay on solid land, and those that wrap you up in a twisting story making you want to push through to see what happens next. Destinyís focal point, though, is its combat.

Every time you see an enemy across a map you have to stop and think, and the thought process doesnít stop until the gunfire does and you finally get to inhale. Enemies rush, flank and duck for cover. Some have more bottle than others and run at you while youíre on your last legs. Others will head for the hills and hide until all of their friends are dead, quivering behind their gun while they contemplate their fate as you administer your fatal blow.

It makes for some intense battles, most that left me with my hands aching after turning the game off due to intensely gripping my pad. As you would expect, the fights become significantly easier when you have more players on your side. Sometimes that can cause its own problems, though, with the chaos of battle making you lose focus for a moment while a foe finds himself behind you and takes you down.

The combat is the reason why I have no problem jumping into earlier missions again and again with friends who are a lower level than me. Although Iím technically repeating content over and over, it always feels fresh. You can still be blindsided and left asking to be revived by the inexperienced.

The further into the game you go, the more varied the enemies are and the more your toes will ache from being kept on them. Some are designed to shoot at a distance, others rush and explode while some come at you with a devastating melee weapon, but all are there to completely screw up any plan you have.

Adapting is the key. Resting on one playing style is a fatal mistake and this is why Destinyís combat stands out as its star. Not the plot, nor the spectacle, its the organic, flowing fire fights.

Thatís not to say that the main story campaign couldn't do with a little more variety. Youíre mainly heading towards something, unleashing Dinklage and fighting off hordes of enemies. When you turn up mob-handed the battles can be a little underwhelming when playing on normal.

Itís the environments that, alongside the combat, help you through the repetitive mission objectives. There are plenty of wow moments when a cavern opens up to reveal stunning sights and although itís not enough to make up for the horde mode mentality, it makes your journey worth it. Iím hoping that there is more variety to come in the future, because while Iím not tired of rinsing and repeating, it may hold me off purchasing expansions.

Thankfully though the Strike missions are where Destiny's heart is. Challenging and with surprises around every corner, theyíll offer those that have seen the gameís plot through to the end more than enough to make them carry on for hours after the credits.

The shooting isnít the only thing that makes Destiny shine. Firstly, I really must gush about the music. Itís some of the best Iíve heard in any game. The thunderous orchestra builds where itís supposed to and holds back when it needs to. It creates a sense of place and had hairs popping out of the back of my neck. It does more than just imprint its notes into your brain - it helps create a universe.

And the universe it helps creates is made rock solid with the gorgeous visuals and attention to detail. Some concerns were raised when it was revealed that Earth was one of only 5 locations in Destiny, including The Tower - The gameís central hub. Thereís nothing to worry about.

The planets are huge. Vast open areas offer the opportunity to snipe from miles away, while deep caves and tunnels force up-close combat. They feel like chapters rather than levels, but they're connected without the need for a loading screen or dip in detail. Youíll fall in love on The Moon but lose yourself completely by the time you make the incredible Venus.
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Games: Destiny

Comments

AlexH1232 19 Sep 2014 11:19
1/4
Great review I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. I think the problem nowadays is people generate thier own expectations for games that the developer never intended, it's no thier fault you expected X and Y when they only ever promised A and B. Plus now they have released what sounds like an epic raid a lot of the critisism levied at destiny is moot. Hope they enjoy the taste of their hats.

TL:DR; It's an MMO people in 6months time it will be a much more rounded beast entirely.
Jake 3 Oct 2014 16:11
2/4
@AlexH1232 the game review is very good and I was really enjoying the game but if you play it as a single player it can be at times ridiculously though. With no one to help me on the 'no re-spawn' parts I found it quite tough on an early moon mission. Last night I was attempting an earth level 5 mission called 'The last array' on the normal setting and It appears to be impossible vast hordes of enemies cascading down on top of me, just when you think you have finished them all off. I have finished most Halo games on the legendary setting but this gives you no chance or strategy to achieve a win and as I stated, this was only the normal difficulty level setting.

I haven't even unlocked the multiplayer game yet and I may never if I don't finish this mission. So from going from a very well polished/enjoyable game to something that can't recognise that I have no help of other people helping me, is a very big flaw that appears to show that it was never play tested. I would hate to see what the hardest setting would result in. My guess is that it might have the silhouette of a PS4 controller embedded in a large flat screen tv. I am off to give it another go but it it appears that bungie may at times be a tad sardonic.
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Jake 3 Oct 2014 17:31
3/4
@Jake Just an update, I finished this level by trying to kill as much as possible before they they enter the room. Fourth time lucky but it should not be this hard on normal. I have now unlocked the multiplayer, but I now wish I hadn't. The review says that it's unbalanced with players doing stomp attacks etc. but it is much worse than this. I achieved one kill by accident they must have nearly been finished off by the time I got to them. I am playing with full health, picked up some special ammo started shooting at someone firing my one shot rifle (similar to Halo's DMR) several shots hit over a few seconds them with little damage. They then turned around and obliterate me. this is not just unbalanced, it's completely unplayable.

They need to have a matchmaking option where you can play against mere mortals, instead of been pitted against the gods. Back to BF4 until this is fixed (if ever), and to gingerly play the main campaign in small doses to keep frustrating levels at bay.
AlexH1232 14 Oct 2014 10:25
4/4
@Jake Fair point about the difficulty and balancing, I found crucible tricky to get into in the early stages but when it clicks it feels pretty damn good. Matchmaking would fix this, any reason you are going it alone? If you want add me up on PS4 (PSN is the same as above) I don't get to play as often as I'd like but I could definitely do with someone to play bf4 with my friends don't have the patience to get into it online :)
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