Time for another game review, it's time for Destiny.
For those who don't know Destiny is the latest game made by Bungie, the creators of Halo. There was a lot of hype over the game and being a fan of Bungie's work myself I needed to play Destiny.
But the game is as good as they tried to convince us. Well given that the game is a mix up between a MMO and a first person shooter, it took me some time to play enough to see what is good and what is bad of the game.
Let's begin with what's good about the game.
As you start the game you can chose between three races and three classes. The races are merely cosmetic but the classes determine what abilities you will have. For now each class has two "subclasses" each with is own set of abilities that mainly consist of three types of grenades, one short range melee power and a special super ability being this the strongest and the one that take more time to charge.
The first thing where the game excels is the gameplay the game is played like any good person shooter. You have several weapons at your disposal, vehicles and the powers of your class. The game is extremely fun, luckily I received some free days of PSplus so I could play online and I must say that both the cooperative and competitive modes are really fun to play (even when I die so easily in PVP). Also there are several difficulty modes so the game can be as easy or as difficult as you want.
One of the things at first I thought Bungie could get wrong in the game was the RPG elements they said they were going to add. But in reality I think they did a very good work.
First of all the game takes places in huge maps that are shared by around ten to twelve players. Note that I'm just supposing this number based in the density of players I usually see in the game. Now as you play you could be playing a side mission or a story one, etc. But in general there are a lot of areas that are shared by all players independently of what they are doing in that moment.
I must admit that it feels nice to just randomly find someone join forces momentarily and then part ways. Probably what makes use of this feature the most are "public events". This are events that happen in the shared areas of the game, usually it involves defeating a stronger than usual enemy, killing a spider-like tank or defending an area among other possible things. All the people near the area can participate and you are rated depending in how well you completed the event and you receive a prize accordingly.
Other RPG element that is handled nicely is that you gain experience this is used for leveling up and for upgrading your abilities, weapons and armor. Is worth mentioning that your level and abilities advance independently, being your level mostly so the game can handle better the difficulty.
The maximum level right now is 20 but you can get bonus levels by having rare and powerful equipment. But even after reaching level 20 you still can get some prizes by keeping playing and earning experience points. This works well because low level enemies are easier but not so much that they become boring and leveling up past level 20 is mostly so you can have access and play some of the most difficult missions and modes of the game.
All this systems are very well thought and designed so the game can be easily expanded by future expansions, DLC, etc.
But here is where we face with one of the big problems of the game and is that the game still doesn't have really that much of variety or at least not as much as they promised. And just in two weeks I have finished most of what the game has to offer. This can be because they promoted so much the game and promised so much that maybe they will never be able to meet the expectations they created.
But for me, the worst part of the game, where they really, really failed is in the single player experience. The story is almost nonexistent and really short. The sad thing is that the space/fantasy universe that Bungie created has some potential. I mean it has aliens, starships, space magic and a subtle post-apocalyptic feel, there is some potential there. The good narrative used in Halo is still there, and the few characters that appears in the story are actually interesting but they have minimum impact in the story and you barely interact with them.
As an example, in one point you meet a mysterious robot that seems to know much more about the world that she says and make a lot of interesting hints for more development. And then you won't see her again until the end where she basically says "congratulations I see you in the sequel".
Other example is the queen of some people living in the asteroid belt. She is really cool and is described as a ruthless an despotic ruler. And as a bonus for some unknown reason she has some of the villains working for her. At the beginning she look very promising as a character, but again you interaction with her is limited to:
"I need to find this"
"Do this for me"
"Ok is done"
"Ok what you are looking is here, bye"
And you never see her again.
So now you can get a picture of the problem of the game. It's a shame given that is clear that Bungie put a lot of effort in making this game. The universe, the soundtrack, the design of the weapons, armor and landscapes. All tells that they tried to create a really good game and speaking in general, they did. Even if the story and single player mode feels a bit unfinished.
But, at the end it is a a good game or a bad game? certainly is not perfect but I think there is more good things than the bad ones. Also it greatly depends of what you want from the game. If you want some kind of online shooter and you just want to shoot things, have fun and don't care about story or characters, the game is for you. If you want a more solid single player experience with some cool online features built around that, the game could be disappointing.
The good news is Bungie already promised at least two expansions and more things to do in the game. This certainly could improve the game and by how the game is designed it looks that it was built that way so Bungie could add as much content as needed.
As some extra notes while I'm writing this I've playing some of the high level, high difficulty missions. And some issues have become quite evident that can be overlooked in the first twenty or so hours of game. But is clear that some missions need to be fixed, the probability of getting some items is not working well, and in some easier missions than can be played alone you are forced into matchmaking, but for those so difficult that you need a team this option doesn't exist. But they are some minor but annoying things I'm sure Bungie will fix.
It's clear that the game is just so entertaining and has so much potential I feel the need to recommend it. But probably is better to wait until the game has been polished more and maybe one or two of the expansions have been released so there is really a lot of material to play.