I’ve been playing Destiny basically nonstop since its release last month, and if you follow video games at all or have the misfortune of dating/best-friending a gamer, you’ve probably heard mixed things about it.
Quick rundown for noobs: Destiny is a space-themed shooter made by Bungie, the creators of Halo and Marathon and narrated by Tyrion Lannister. As you can imagine, with the notoriety of Bungie combined with Activision (the publisher of Call of Duty) and the unheard of $500 million budget, the expectations were higher than high.
No one can deny that Destiny is a challenging game, from exotic weapon bounties to the infamous Vault of Glass raid that originally took six people 10 hours to beat to how the game requires you to acquire rare armor in order to level up. (And search various planets + complete missions for materials to upgrade said armor.)
For some, its annoyance, for others it’s a bonus. It just depends on how much you enjoy the celebratory feeling of completing something that wasn’t even remotely easy vs. how much you don’t enjoy wanting to rip your teeth out with rusty pliers when your entire fireteam dies moments before bringing a boss’s health all the way down.
While Bungie only included a few maps and gametypes in their online vs. mode (known as “Crucible”) and eventually had to tweak the range and damage of certain weapons, matchmaking in Destiny is fun and very promising.
Supercharging enemies is the best, especially if you’re a hunter!
3. Social integration
This game was made to be played with friends, two if you’re doing missions, strikes or patrols and up to five in matchmaking and raids, and let me tellll you, there’s something oddly sweet about the way players interact at The Tower (climbing trees, chasing each other, playing soccer etc.) and comic relief in the form of “skanks” and constant dancing. Oh, the dancing.
1. Leveling up
Finding the materials necessary to move past level 20 is a a huge pain in the ass. Forget the tedious search for helium filaments, spirit bloom and relic iron, it’s the f*cking ascendant shards that will kill you dead. Deader than devil walkers. Deader than dead ghosts.
And you need ascendant material unless you feel okay about wielding and wearing un-upgraded legendary weapons and armor, which you don’t.
2. The need for a constant internet connection
My biggest complaint about Destiny isn’t that you can’t play without an internet connection, it’s that you can’t play without a really good internet connection.
Bungie claimed in a statement that its connection issues were mostly only problematic for those trying to play using internet that was “filtering from institutions like universities,” which I can tell you is absolute b.s. since I’ve witnessed multiple non college-attending friends get completely lagged out of games and into the main menu repeatedly at times when I know other games (like Call of Duty and Halo 4) wouldn’t do any such thing.
This is the most extreme, and most extremely irritating thing of all time for a focused gamer.
I actually had to move my Xbox and television closer to the router to play because the connection I had in my bedroom – the one I play every other online game on with little-to-no trouble – wouldn’t even allow me to load my character.
There is actually an ongoing war going on between my roommate and I due to the fact that he wants to watch Parenthood with his girlfriend in the living room while I want to loudly kill robots [that kind of resemble two-legged triceratops] with mine.
3. Exotic and legendary weapons
…Are really hard to get. We’ve been over this, but after level 20 certain weapons and armor are useless, yet for some reason these useless items constantly end up in your inventory and the ones you actually want barely ever do. It feels like too much of a challenge, if you ask me (or virtually anyone else).
Not to mention the weird guy who sells awesome things but only shows up on weekends...
4. Too many currencies and ranks
Motes of light, strange coins, glimmer, vanguard marks, crucible marks, vanguard rank, crucible rank, Dead Orbit, New Monarchy, Future War Cult, Queen’s Wrath…
These are the various currencies and ranking systems of Destiny. It’s a bit much.
5. Lack of creativity
While the gameplay, graphics and attention to cosmetic detail are a plus, playing the same missions over and over and over to rank up is not. The bosses are all basically the same, and you can’t skip the cut scenes.
Out of all the things “wrong” with the game, this is the most unforgivable.
Maybe in a few months it’ll be about half as epic as Mass Effect, and therefore super playable.