Destiny - Review

Destiny, it is a word that carries a lot of weight. It is used mostly when someone believes that a fate is inevitable and usually important. It was Luke's destiny to become a Jedi. It was Billy Batson's destiny to wield the power of Shazam and become Captain Marvel. And it was Bungie's destiny to come out with a new sci-fi shooter. But not all destinies are good ones. Is Destiny worthy of the name it represents?

The Traveler

Destiny is about two things, at least story wise. The first is the Traveler, a being from unknown portions of space that humanity found while visiting Mars for the first time. The Traveler helped humanity unlock secrets and advanced them to a golden age. We had expanded to all of the planets in our system and disease was unheard of. We were ready to move forward to other solar systems and colonize the galaxy.

The second is the Darkness, the Traveler's ancient enemy. The Darkness followed the Traveler to us and caused the downfall. In the downfall humanity lost all it had gained and more. We lost all the planets and moons we colonized plus most of Earth. We lost a good portion of the knowledge and technology that had been created in the Golden Age. And we lost the Traveler while it tried to save us. Now there is only one city left on Earth, and the Traveler sits still and silent over it.

Meet Your Ghost, Guardian

Destiny opens up in an old cosmodrone facility in Russia. A lone robot known as a Ghost is scanning corpses one by one until he finds a special one. Until he finds the single body capable of using what is left of the Traveler's light. Once found he reanimates this corpse back to life creating a new Guardian. Thus enters the player. Now of course you could not have been reanimated somewhere safe, and you don't have a ship to leave the area, so your first few moments are spent fighting a group of aliens called the Fallen. Good thing the ghost was able to apparently implant you with the knowledge of how to adeptly use any firearm that you come across, because shooting randomly found weapons his second nature to you. He also had the forethought to bring along armor for your fresh body. Don't want to die again too soon.

And thus begins a long partnership with Guardian and Ghost going head first into the most dangerous situations imaginable. Sometimes it is jut the two of you, other times you are with other Guardians. But always you are going up against what most people may considered unimaginable odds. They won't know what hit them.

Tools of the Trade

To fight back the Darkness you need tools. And in this case the tools take the form of primary weapons, secondary weapons, and heavy weapons. As expected each weapon has its own stats and expectations for how it should work. Primary weapons include auto rifles (automatic, medium range), pulse rifles (3 shot burst, medium range), scout rifles (1 shot, medium to long range) and my favorite thus far, the hand cannon (one shot, short to medium range, lots of stopping power). Special weapons include shotguns, sniper rifles and fusion (energy) rifles. Finally heavy weapons are where you find machine guns and rocket launchers. Both options are good for the massive damage role. Something nice about most guns, or at least green quality and higher, is that once you use the weapon enough you understand the inner workings enough to upgrade it along a predetermined path. This could increase damage or reduce kickback. Usually they are welcomed upgrades and worth the glimmer (currency) it takes to upgrade. Higher level items may require other resources found in the world or from disassembling old weapons.

Each Guardian also comes to the fight with their own special abilities. Special grenades and a super charge ability that come in different flavors depending on your class. Titans get flash bangs early on and ground pound where they emit a sphere of arc-light from where they hit that vaporizes enemies. Warlocks get a grenade that causes more damage when the enemies stay in the blast zone and they throw their arc-light at the enemy for their super charge. I didn't play a hunter at all so I am not sure what they get. Overall though, there is not much of a difference between them though. Sure the Titan can take a bit more damage and the Warlock deals a bit more damage, but the primary mechanic is the guns. And a gun is gun regardless of class. 

Story Time

Contrary to popular belief Destiny does  have a story that will lead you through most your levels. It is just not a super engaging one. It starts out simple enough with a mix of getting what you need to travel through less then 1/2 the solar system and being asked to help out here and there. It eventually moves forward to you saving the Traveler, I guess, and then moving on from there. Nothing big and ground breaking and definitely no plot twists and turns.  But what is does do well is direct you to some massive fights that, at least to me, were a nice challenge. There were several times where I barely snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, making it all the more sweet.

Destiny does also allow you to replay story missions on different difficulty levels. This is especially important since you will spend a fair amount of time grinding for gear. You can also grind for gear in strikes (dungeons) or by doing the Vault of Glass raid (although you may need the gear just to do the instance).

Now you may be the type pf player that hates playing PVE. Well you are going to be stuck with it for a bit. But eventually you will be invited to the Crucible where you can test yourself against other guardians. There are several different modes of which I have only played one. I honestly don't care for PVP, but it looks like a decent amount of time was put into this.

The biggest problem with Destiny is probably that it feels small. We have a solar system with nine planets (yes, I am counting Pluto) but we only explore three planets and our moon. And the areas we visit feel closed of at times. I mean on Earth you only get a relatively small portion of Russia. We get a reference to Mercury but everything past the asteroid belt is a mystery. It may as well not exist.  You have a space ship that can traverse the space between planets, but you don't go beyond the reef. It seems like such a waste.

3 / 5 Joysticks