What Is Destiny?


What is Destiny?  This is a question that I think that the developer Bungie should have asked themselves more.  Because this game lacks a clear focus.  Before I get too far in to this, I would like to say that I do actually like this game it just has several odd oversights that hold it back from being truly special.  If you had told me Bungie was going to merge Halo and Borderlands, and then add in a little Guild Wars I would have been ecstatic, but the problem is that they don’t do any one of those games enough.

The game starts like any good MMO does with character creation, and this is one of the best character creators in recent memory.  You can create your character fast, and they look great, but then it doesn’t matter since you will have a helmet and power armor on that will make you look like everyone else.  So everyone plays as androgynous power armor person.

The helmet comes off in “The Tower” which they call the “social area”, so you would think that you would then be able to socialize with people, but you would be wrong.  You can dance and wave at people, but you can’t do anything else.  So if you want to chat with someone you need to quick remember their name go in to the menu and try and invite them to your Fire Team.  This will then make them reload the same zone, and then you can talk with them, but by the time you have done all the menu navigation they will have left.  So pretty much The Tower is were you complete quests, buy stuff, and get items identified.

Speaking of items, this game wants you to think it is like Borderlands with tons of cool loot, but it is not.  Sure you do get new items, but they are all pretty much upgrades of the stuff you had before, some have skill upgrades, but they really aren’t super cool.  It is just better than your old stuff.  Which is nice, but there is rarely that “Awesome Thing!” moment.

Similarly while you do level up and gain skills, there is no tree.  You don’t get to make a lot of choices.  Something like the grenade skill you get to choose which grenade you want active, but there is not a lot more to it than that.  Every player of the same type will have the exact same skill set as you.  It is a shame because that is half the fun of leveling up.

Then there is the story.  Man it is lame.  Dark versus light, The Fallen, I think they thought that being super in your face with the names of stuff would be cool, but instead it is just boring, and all the actors seem to think the same thing.  They are all phoning it in.  For such a large scale game it is pretty amazing they didn’t get someone with some real skill to write this game.

Like other MMOs this game has the ability to let you out and explore and do random quests, but the problem is that there is nothing to really explore.  You go through everything in the story mode, so you can pretty much just wander around in the same places again, but this time with crappy fetch quests.  Huzzah!

The PVP feels like a watered down Halo.  It kind of controls the same, but since you bring in your weapons and skills it lacks that needed to rush to get the cool weapon, and then the more leveled up characters will have a major advantage since they have access to all their skills.  Sure they do make all the guns do around the same amount damage, but if you have a cool gun that has a five round burst instead of three, the gun doesn’t loose that ability.  You just get that advantage.

I like this game, and it is fun to play, but it just fell short in so many areas.  I was hoping for the next best thing, but instead what I got was a well polished generic shooter.  I am pretty sure that generic shooter wasn’t what Bungie was going for when they asked themselves “What is Destiny?”

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