Billed as a game to truly usher in Next-Gen gaming, the run up to Destiny’s launch was full of anticipation. After all, it does mark the first post-Halo game Bungie has done.
More than a month after it’s initial release, and it seems as though it hasn’t quite reached the stars it was shooting for. The biggest problem many people came across was the lack of content available. Sure, there are four major planets, each with their own set of missions, but once you’ve completed all them, you have replay everything multiple times just to grind up levels.
I’m no stranger to level grinding. The fact that I’m a fan of Borderlands probably says a lot, but compared to Borderlands, all of Destiny’s content has been planned out in advance, being tapered across months after its launch and beyond. This posed a dilemma; how do I review a game with content being given to you in chunks and not all at once? I’m glad I waited a month, since quite a lot has changed since day one, and I think it’s a fairer review of Bungie’s effort.
While plenty of patches and countless missions have been updated, it’s been an interesting process progressing to the soft level cap of 20 and beyond. As expected, given Bungie’s repertoire, the gameplay mechanics are spot-on and provide fun, accessible action from the start. Before starting you’re tasked with choosing one of three character classes: Hunter, Warlock or Titan. I stuck to the Hunter class for the entirety of my time, focusing more on stealth-based combat and tactical gunplay. If you decide, however, to go for either Titan or Warlock, expect a more powerful set of moves at your disposal. With such a large amount of equipment to discover via Engrams or completing Strikes (set boss-centric missions), you can be sure there’s an item for everyone to find their rhythm with during battles.
Engrams serve as the packages for new items and can either be looted from chests, won in missions or multiplayer matches, or even collected from enemies. Ranging from Uncommon, Rare, Legendary or Exotic, repeating missions or certain areas is key to upping your chance of receiving better quality gear. Once you past level 20, Light is needed in order to proceed and you can only obtain this in Rare, Legendary or Exotic gear. I lost countless hours trying to farm engrams, but unfortunately this was before an update that made every engram contain an item of their class. The amount of items I got from Legendary engrams that were Rare was infuriating.
Though there is a loose story throughout the game, it’s hardly as engaging as I thought It would be. Again, this solely comes down to all the content being tapered. This is by no means similar to any Mass Effect title, wherein story takes precedent. Perhaps a year from now we’ll have a lot more substance, but that doesn’t help players in the now. When you’ve finished the campaign and become familiar to cooperative tactics with your friends or strangers, be sure to head online and give in to the Crucible. Whether you fancy taking part in games of domination or death matches, the Crucible comes in key to progressing through levels, especially in order to acquire gear or grind up through ranks. Apparently the Vault of Glass raid is the best part of the game, but unfortunately due to not having enough friends at the correct level, I’ve yet to taste the quality, and doubt I will anytime soon.
Throughout my entire fifty-two plus hours with the game, I’ve played one hundred and seventy two games and killed over fourteen thousand enemies. Most of which saw their demise through my expertise in farming. No matter how many times I replayed levels or grinded for engrams, I was addicted to the world and the gameplay. I couldn’t put it down. But after all the hours I’ve put in, I’ve given up. I don’t have enough time to invest in order to proceed, particularly when I’ve fought many bosses clocking in at over an hour long. Unfortunately, I believe endurance will be the problem with most people picking it up.
*Destiny was provided to Start Replay by Activision for PS4 and Microsoft for Xbox One.
- + Gameplay is spot-on
- + Beautiful character design and level layout
- + Addictive engram system
- - Level grinding can take a while
- - Content being tapered feels restrictive