Review: Destiny

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From the Creators of Halo and the company that brought you Call of Duty. In Destiny you are a Guardian of the last city on Earth, able to wield incredible power. Explore the ancient ruins of our solar system, from the red dunes of Mars to the lush jungles of Venus. Defeat Earth’s enemies. Reclaim all that we have lost. Become legend.

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Pros:

  • Graphics, There is no doubting the high caliber graphics on offer here. The level of detail is insane. From your head moving as you look around to amazing detail on the guns. The lighting in particular is so well done with dynamic shadows and crazy lighting effects. One of the best looking PS4 games this year.
  • Sound matches the graphics in terms of its high performance values. The sound changes depending on where you are. Out in the open its all clear whilst going into a cave/room will affect the quality effect. The soundtrack is really well done with some memorable tracks thrown in. Music kicks in as you begin a huge fight and goes all mellow as you potter around.
  • The game world is huge with a handful of planets available to fly too and explore. Each planet has unique enemies and events.
  • Controls are done so that any FPS fan will know the layout straight away. The DS4 touch pad is used to bring up your ghost menu, Use this menu to see where your objective is, Mission details and abandon missions. Will mostly be used for spawning your speeder though.
  • Huge open worlds, Luckily you have a speeder. Basically a souped up hover bike from Star Wars, You can spawn this vehicle whenever you are out in the open. Use it to fly across the lands and get the job done so much quicker.
  • The Tower, This is your hub world and centre of the game. Here you get to speak to the many vendors on offer. Buy new gear, Decrypt engrams, Take part in bounties and speak with your elders. More options open up here as you progress through the story.
  • Online only game in which you can do missions in a 3 man/woman fireteam. In the Tower and free roam you can have up to 16 players rolling around independently. Online PVP has varying modes and player numbers.
  • Seller stock changes every 12 hours, Worth noting that bounties change as well so keep an eye on them.
  • Bounties are optional side quests and are split into offline and online classes. Your rewards will vary but it is usually Vanguard rep,Glimmer and or crucible rep. You may occasionly unlock rare bounties that give much better rewards.
  • Glimmer is the currency used in game and is earned from killing enemies, opening chests and doing bounties.
  • Random loot chests which respawn randomly in the area at set times. I say they are randomly placed but its all spawned in set places. Its just a case of checking those places.
  • Earn exp by killing enemies,bounties,story missions,strikes and so much more. You unlock new abilities as you level up. Your level cap for exp is Level 20 but you can level up higher via the Light system.
  • Light system is the mechanic used once you hit level 20, You start collecting Blue and above gear with Light points on it. Fill your light bar and rank up. So in other words its exp till level 20 then all about the loot to go higher. The level cap is 30.
  • Three character types to choose from: Warlock, Titan and Hunter. Each one is unique and offers a completely different playing experience. Hunter is more a long range assassin type where the Titan is your tank class. Warlock brings the magic to the table.
  • Characters have sub classes, This is a new set of abilities to unlock and offer new and different ways to play the game. In essence you start again with unlocking abilities but they are much stronger and effective than the standard class.
  • Classic FPS with MMO looting gameplay.
  • Campaign is co op enabled with up to 2 other players able to join you.
  • Voice chat is solid and only avaible to fireteams you created. So if you and a mate went online, You would only hear each other and no one else.
  • Loot is placed in coloured categories:
    • Green:Common gear.
    • Blue: Rare and always brings the buffs. Also the minimum loot to give out Light ratings.
    • Purple: Legendary which if you have ever played Diablo is the best gear. Offers loads of buffs.
    • Yellow/Gold:Exotic, Top of the line loot bringing crazy buffs and loads of Light rating. This is the stuff you need and want more than anything else.
  • Free roam missions, Known as Patrols this mission allows you to just free roam the planet. You can trigger mission markers to earn some exp and rep for your faction. In this mode you also have a chance of public events happening. These allow all players to jump in and fight together against the enemy, You do not even need to be in a fireteam to do this.
  • Day and night cycle in all planets and this also takes effect in multiplayer games.
  • Easy GUI system where you can see whos online, Join/invite friends easily. All inventory is handled on one tab and is sorted by areas like gloves,trousers,gun,secondary etc. Really easy to navigate and easy on the eyes whilst keeping it all clutter free.
  • Story spans over 18 odd levels. Telling the story of something happening in space and you help somebody out and trust them 100% despite not knowing who it is or anything. You assume robots are bad yet they are fighting hostile aliens. You have a talking ghost which is a little hi tech Rubiks cube with a voice of the guy from Game Of Thrones. Bill Nighey voices a big old bloke who tells you the worlds fate rests in your hands yet all he does is sit in a library and stare out a big window. You meet a traveler who claims to be fighting the good fight yet for the most part is talking to herself under the clever disguise that she is using a mic headset. You trust her, You follow here and at the end she well um just buggers off.
  • Full Platinum trophy.
  • Strikes, Unlock these later in the game and these offer great game types. They are like little hard as nails missions and show you different parts of the planet. They always end with one or more huge bosses with so many health bars its nuts. The rewards earnt usually make up for all the effort.
  • You can revive other players regardless if they are in your fireteam.
  • You can adjust the difficulty settings which add modifiers like additional enemies,enemies immune to grenades etc. Think Halo with Skulls and you are there, Minus Skull selection. If you have not played Halo then the first sentence has you covered.
  • Loot on screen is only seen by you so its all yours! Never feel guilty for taking everything!
  • On each planet will be a unique resource, On Earth its Spinmetal, Venus Spirit Blooms for example. Collect 50 of these and you can exchange then for rep and Glimmer. After level 20 you use these for upgrading weapons and armour.
  • You can upgrade armour for extra buffs and depending on loot colour deems if its just Glimmer needed or materials. Guns that are upgrade-able add things like better range,ammo,reload speed and sights. Better coloured loot gives more buffs like extra damage,chest finding metal detector thing etc.
  • You can break unwanted items down for Glimmer and material parts used for upgrading.
  • Story missions have markers but are set within the open world so you have no real boundaries. Feel free to take your time, Make your own route or anything else.
  • You can go back to orbit whenever you like. Orbit is the name assigned to the planet selection screen.
  • Earn marks for buying legendary gear. You earn Vanguard marks by doing bounties,Strikes and missions in patrl. Crucible marks are earned online and you get 2 for losing a game and 3 for a win. In short Marks are currency and rep is for levelling up that faction/section.
  • You can set your fireteam to: Public,Friends only, Invite only and locked.
  • So much going on in the game that you will constantly be learning new things.
  • Weekly and daily events unlock later in game offering bonus exp/loot.
  • Raid events where only one is available at the moment is where the hardcore go to play! Take on crazy hard enemies,Huge boss fights and puzzles chucked in. Only the suicidal need take part. That or evel 26 and abouve. Here is where you will earn the best loot and have the most fun. Teamwork is paramount and you can go in as a team of 6.
  • A seller that only appears on Fridays and Saturdays will show up somewhere in the Tower, He will sell legendary and exotic items in exchange for Motes of Light and Strange coins. Again these two form of currency are yet more items you need to keep an eye out for. Showing up in random rare instances, Its worth saving these for the seller.
  • The actual gun play and general game play is of such high standards that only Bungie can deliver.
  • The game is designed in a way that shooting fans can get stuck in and still progress whilst looters can still have as much fun with the huge planet systems.
  • No ingame text chat or anything so you have 4 actions to communicate with other players. Wave,Point,Sit and dance. Much to say its no sign language simulator but it does create hilarious social interactions.
  • Grimoire cards are cards you unlock for playing the game and killing enemies. Story Grimoire cards will give more back story and give more in depth explanations on what is going on. Other Grimoire cards you unlock are more aimed at killing things. It will be like kill 250 fallen enemies for rank one then you go to rank two. One quite unknown thing these cards do is they unlock permanent passive buffs. Killing Vex to rank 3 for example will grant you extra exp for killing them. Thats just one example of many. You can make it so you get 2 lots of resource on every pick up, More glimmer from chests etc
  • Excellent companion app. Here you can check your stats, Look at your character, Use the map for navigating the Tower. It also shows you a timer until the vendors refresh their stock. Main point of the app is to read the Grimoire cards. You can alos check on the progression of other cards and look st what you have done. You can interact with your friends list and all stats. This is available on Android and iOS.
  • Vault: Here is where you stash items and best thing is this is accessible to all future characters so you can store items there not applicable to your current character type.
  • Solid servers for the most part. Has successfully halted a DDOS attack so it must be doing something right!
  • Has a game mail system that is used for giving you bonus bounties,Loot. The best thing it does though is if you leave any loot ranked Blue or higher, It will send them to your mail man!
  • AI is very clever, If you are really strong then weaker enemies will run away, Whilst stronger enemies will flank you, Gang up and generally get up in yer face!
  • You share exp with your fireteam and even with other random players in the same area in most cases.
  • Additional factions to sign with. Aside form the standard Vanguard, You can align yourself with other factions who offer different legendary items and have different purchase restrictions.
  • The game is very much like an MMo in the way that you can have all these players running around and will all be doing different things. Of course you can have it where you are both on the same mission but that’s part of the game.
  • Multiplayer PVP is balanced by taking out the level differences and making everyone equal. You go in with your load out from single player.
  • At the end of PVP matches you enter the dreaded loot lottery, For any player(s)can get loot and a lot of the time its good top tier stuff. The lottery part is there purely as anyone can get the loot. Its good in the way that crap players can still have a shot at getting good loot.
  • So many hundreds of hours in the game.

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Cons:

  • No pause button.
  • Cannot skip cut scenes.
  • The game will always reset your fireteam preference and put it back to the default friends only.
  • The story is really short and can be done in just a few hours easily.
  • Lots of dead open space with nothing going on at all.
  • Every level or mission is the same formula through out. Go here, scan some things, go somewhere else and kill x amount of bad guys…Level end. Or it will just go for the kill loads of bad guys,scan something kill more bad guys the a boss then level end.
  • Always online so you will always have that part where a random will ruin your farming or mission you are on.
  • Co op doesn’t get any type of balancing. So if my level 8 mate joins my level 22 character, He will do nothing but die over and over.
  • Cannot drop/sell or trade items.
  • No splitscreen, Local offline play.
  • After level 20 its all done to luck and grinding.
  • Farming is so easy to set up and use that it makes all the other strikes and modes redundant.
  • Aside from farming the PVP is the fastest and better way to get gear. Not everyone wants to play PVP and at times it feels like the game does do a bit towards forcing it upon you. PVE players defiantly have the harder route to level 30.
  • No actual social aspects in terms of meeting new people. The chat is locked off to fireteams with messages taking too long to send. Weekly events for example do not have matchmaking and forces you to use your friend lists.
  • Still so much of the game locked away, We only just recently got a raid and even that was buggy. We are still waiting for our first Iron Banner events in which PVP games do use the level and armour ratings.
  • The grinding after level 20 is incredible unless you are really lucky and it makes you feel like the game is forcing you to farm especially if your time is limited.
  • Cannot take decent selfies, No idea why I wrote that but deal with it.
  • Learning the difference between all the marks,reps and levels is rather confusing.

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In Summary, The game is a solid shooter with some really good ideas. You feel like its more a open world shooter than an MMO game, I don’t know many MMO games with such a low player count in every mode. MAG on PS3 could do 256 players in one game so the tech is out there and the game would certainly benefit from it. There are parts where you are just amazed at its brilliance and delivery, Then there are parts where you cannot believe they added it. Bungie did amazing things with Halo and using that as a sort of comparison, This game is still a bit behind it. For a start you could do 4 player campaigns!

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Bungie were the masters at playlists and game modes yet what we get here is not even a dozen different types. But we shouldn’t get swept in the whole “It isn’t Halo” argument as yes it is Bungie but for the most part its not the Halo team behind it. Do not buy this in the hopes of Halolz for PS4 as it just isn’t that type of game. Its got more in common with Star Wars than Halo in a lot of ways. I do enjoy the game and yes I will moan about crap loot drops constantly but I am fully addicted. One way in which it keeps me going is the fact that you know that any point a legendary could drop and it could be a complete game changer! That and strikes are a lot of fun. I have a daily ritual of going on and doing my daily event, Clear bounties and upgrade a few items. Then I leave it till all my mates are on and we hit the strikes and PVP.

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In short the game is not for everyone and the game to many people will end at level 20, Where as other players will say that the game starts at level 20. I am in the it begins at level 20 camp, The story just served as a big tutorial to me. I just hope Bungie see all the feedback and act upon it and really build on what they have here, The world of Destiny is an intriguing one but it just needs more content and mission variation. Bungie please don’t leave the game like a next gen FPS farming simulator, Or if you do then at least put some tractors on earth for us! Destiny Level 20, The start or the end? You decide.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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