Destiny is the newest release from Bungie, the masterminds behind the Halo series. Their first venture into the unknown with out the likes of Cortana and Masterchief to back them up, does Destiny live up to the hype? Or has it been over inflated? I guess it’s time to find out.
Set seven hundred years in the future, you play as a resurrected Guardian. Dubbed the last defenders of humanity, it is the job of the Guardians to protect Earth’s last city: The Tower, and to awaken “The Traveler”, a celestial body that appeared centuries before and allowed humans to develop space travel.
Your first task is to design your Guardian. You get to choose your gender and race, of which there are three to choose from: Human, Exo and Awoken. Apart from the deference in look, each race is the same (Well, they do have different dance moves!). You are then prompted to choose a class, again, there are three to choose from: Titan, Hunter and Warlock. Each with their own vary abilities, for example, the Titan can take more hits, whereas the Hunter focuses on agility and accuracy. And lastly, my personal favourite, the Warlock, aka, a space wizard. More for support when playing in groups, especially as later on, you gain a move which allows you to revive yourself with your radiance ability.
With your character set and ready to go, you find that you are first resurrected on Earth, in Old Russia to be precise by a quirky little device known as a “Ghost” (voiced by the one and only Peter Dinklage), which acts as your companion and guide through ot the game. Giving you help with navigation, transportation and some interesting one liners. It tasks you to find a ship, so that you can get off of Earth, and return to The Tower, the last surviving city of the human race, but things go south quickly when you come upon a gang of Fallen, one of the hostile alien races trying to wipe out the humans. You quickly grab a damaged auto rifle and the battle begins.
After gunning your way through the initial tutorial levels, you find your self at The Tower. At this point, you’re live, with other real players. You’ll spend a lot of time here, The Tower acts as the hub, where you can get bounties, weapons or new armour for your character. It’s pretty small, and to alleviate lag and overloading the area, it would seem Bungie have opted to divide the game world into loads of mini game worlds, meaning you will at most only see about ten or so other people online around you, but that’s not to say they’re the only players you can connect to.
In total, there are currently four worlds for you to explore (Earth, The Moon, Venus and Mars), each one with a variety of story missions, patrols and strike missions available as well as enemies that are indigenous to the region. For example, Earth and The Moon have been overrun by a race known as the Fallen, whereas Mars has the bulky Cabel, and lastly, Venus has the Vex, a robotic race with a hive mind.
The missions are mainly “go here, shoot that” based, but Bungie mix it up a little with regular public events, which require you and a team of other Guardians to complete a mission within a time limit, as well as the multiplayer aspect called The Crucible. The Crucible offers multiplayer modes such as a capture the flag mode, team death match, and a control point style mode, all of which are great to give you a break from the campaign, with the added bonus that you can earn gear as well as experience points to level up your character.
Now, unlike most games which feature a level system, Destiny has a low level cap of level 20. Which you can achieve quite quickly. To increase past level 20, you need to equip armour with special light levels. The higher your light level value, the higher your level will go. It becomes a trade off between having defense, or a higher light level. It’s at this point that you can start taking on some of the end game missions and raids (I won’t go into detail on these, as Nick is going to cover Destiny’s Endgame in a separate review).
Graphically, Destiny is stunning. Bungie have taken some amazing ideas and made them a reality. From the dusty hues of Mars, to the vibrant, extraterrestrial plant life on Venus. Every thing looks realistic; like some thing that could truly exist, if only we had the means to walk on other planets. I find my self, more often than not, staring at the vast expanse in awe, drinking in the beauty, rivaled only by our natural world. This is in turn matched by a fantastic sound track, coupled with the visuals, Destiny really takes on a life of it’s own, it becomes a universe which you will never want to leave.
That being said, Destiny is not without it’s flaws. Like any MMO, there are some situations in which you will need to grind for the gear you want. Three times now I have been given the same chest armour as a reward for one of the harder Queens Wrath strike missions, which is a little frustrating. And I am miles away from being able to purchase any of the legendary gear. However, I appreciate why this is so hard to obtain, Bungie are clearly thinking about the life span of the game. Allowing players to get every thing in a few hours is counter intuitive, especially if they are looking to support the game for a few more years to come.
Over all I’ve spent many an hour with Bungie’s new FPS MMO shooter, and I have to say, I am impressed. Granted, the game doesn’t live up to its hype, but that’s hardly surprising, we’ve been waiting for this since it was first hinted at back in Halo: ODST in 2009. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bungie have developed a solid, futuristic shooter, which is leaps and bounds beyond Halo. The main story line is a little short, but it more than makes up for it with it’s end game content. And if you have friends to play the game with, it just gets better, especially when you defeat some of the harder bosses. I can honestly say, Destiny is one of the best games I have played for a long while, and it will be one of those that I will continue to come back to for the foreseeable future.
Our review on the Destiny Endgame is here
Read what we thought about Destiny’s The Taken King expansion here