Say goodbye to all your free time…
Xbox Destiny is the latest game released by developer Bungie, the people that brought you the Halo series. At its core it is a FPS but mixed with aspects of RPGs and MMOs. The basic story, and so far the story is VERY basic, is that an immense interstellar object named the Traveler has come and positioned itself above Earth. Although humankind has benefitted greatly from its presence an evil entity known as the Darkness (silly, I know) has followed this Traveler to our planetary neighborhood. As the player, you are one of many Guardians given the task of trekking through our solar system to eliminate this evil and the numerous alien races it brought along with it.
Admitting that this “story” is lacking depth, I am willing to give Bungie the benefit of the doubt since Destiny, as it was released, is supposed to be the beginning of a long lasting franchise. They have signed a $500 million, ten year deal with publisher Activision to develop and manage this world they have created. What comes on the disc is not meant to be a complete and final product like most games, Destiny is planned to continually grow; new additions are made weekly since its launch and two large expansions are already in the works.
As far as gameplay is concerned, the shooting elements and player mechanics are spot on. The visuals are breathtaking causing you to stop once in awhile and just marvel at the scenery. There are various game modes to delve into besides the basic story mode such as daily and weekly strike missions, bounties, public events, patrol missions, and the Crucible (Destiny’s multiplayer arena consisting of several game types itself). Unfortunately for some, Destiny requires an online connection to be able to play the game. Other players will pass in and through each other’s games on a regular basis. Many game types even require three players and even six in the case of the exclusionary raids that require all members to be part of a friends list.
Leveling up as you play is the main objective where every action you take and every event you take part of affects your growth. Up thru level 20, looking back comparatively, happens on a consistent basis and can be done just playing the story line and some side missions here and there. It’s after level 20 where the game takes shape. It’s almost as if the first 20 levels were just to let you get a feel for all the weapons and armor types and get familiar with the game itself. After level 20, you will be on a never-ending quest to upgrade to Legendary weapons and armor and then to find more elusive Exotic gear. You accomplish this by playing all the game modes as often as you can, trying to acquire the necessary items to help you achieve your goal. It can seem to be a tedious, vicious circle playing all these modes to attain items to level up so you can participate in game modes that require you to be at certain levels to obtain certain gear that can help you…you get the idea. But you can’t stop partaking in all that Destiny has to offer.
Destiny is not the new groundbreaking IP everyone was hoping for but what it does, it does very well. Even though you will be spending every available waking moment playing it, you will fun doing it. And that is what gaming is all about.