Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Destiny, Day 1.5 - Impressions  


So, Destiny is out. I picked up my copy and got a fair bit of time in on the first day and a little more this afternoon. Not sure if I’ll be doing a full review, but I figured I’d throw some impressions up in no particular order…


>Great graphics (duh) tight controls, and getting your own speederbike is pretty rad.


>Double-jumping is always awesome.


>As a story-centric player, I'm craving a lot more than what Destiny offers. I don't need 15,000 books of lore or a cutscene every three minutes, but I’m just not getting any good mental hooks for me here… For example, your character is revived from the dead after a long, long time, so… What's up with that? Nobody even blinks at it – including your own character!

And seriously, Light and Darkness? Give me a break, it couldn’t possibly be any more cliché.

There seem to be plenty of ideas here, but Bungie just does not deliver on any of them. In another instance, it seems like there are PVP factions with in-game leaders – a perfect time to introduce a salty character or two, but they’re just flat questgiver types.

It’s almost like Bungie are intentionally keeping everything as bland, broad and inoffensive as possible in order to grab as many players as possible, but it has the opposite effect for me. I want some memorable faces, I want some crazy dialogue.. some personality!

(Side note: the in-game lore is that actually exists is apparently only readable on Bungie's website? WTF?)


Need to get to sleep? I'm here to help.
>I really, really don't like Peter Dinklage’s voice here. Even though he’s supposed to be a robot of sorts, he sounds so totally flat and uninteresting. I don't feel any attachment to him at all, and I wish I could customize the voice into something peppier. He’s a major drag.


>It seems like a lot of people are going Warlock, but I went Titan thinking that it might be a little easier for solo play, I’ve been happy with it so far. Punching enemies feels massively satisfying, and it wasn't long before I got some health and stamina increases. Unfortunately, it seems like the devs are expecting me to be using different kinds of weapons that I am – the buffs installed in some of my fancier armor are for gun types I never use.  Hopefully that will change later.


>Although I occasionally come across groups of people in the "farming" zones, I’ve been surprisingly alone during most of the story missions. Some of the story missions can be quite a challenge without backup (especially in the no-respawn darkness zones) and I expected a lot more people coming by, but it hasn’t happened. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky, but the game been feeling very empty when not grouped up in a fireteam of friends.


>The farming missions are boring. All you do is basically kill people, pick up X things, or make your way to a certain location and scan something. I quickly abandoned them in favor of the story missions, but those haven’t exactly lit my world on fire, either.

Shooting stuff is fun and Destiny feels great in that sense – the moment-to-moment gunplay is fab for sure. That said, I’m not sure how long pure shooting is going to carry me if the story doesn’t pick up. The armor and weapon drops haven’t exactly been awe-inspiring, either… A lot of standard weapon types and incremental upgrades, but nothing really wild or impressive yet.


As someone who played and completed the campaign in Defiance, I’ve already seen a game that does what Destiny is trying to do. My full review is here, and it’s actually free-to-play on every platform last time I checked – PS3/360/PC.

Defiance on 360
Of course, Bungie has technical prowess that Defiance’s devs could only dream of… No question there. 

On the other hand, Defiance’s world was always humming, it had plenty of interesting modes and varied quests, exploring the open world offered its own interesting rewards and there was enough story to keep me going until the end of its beefy campaign.

With a $500M investment behind it, I’m sure that Destiny is going to keep growing and evolving (and hey, I’m not even done with the campaign yet, so this isn't a final judgment) but my first impressions are of a slick presentation on top of an empty core, and I admit I'm wondering what lies in store for its future...


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2 comments: to “ Destiny, Day 1.5 - Impressions


    It is indeed a bit odd that 99% of the lore is only up on Perhaps they thought in a co-op game getting time to stop and read things would be just too much of an issue. For instance I know Linda never reads such stuff when playing, so in some ways I like I can go and read that somewhere when not playing, but still it does leave the in game world feeling rather flat and unexplained.
    As for the lack of people, I think they've, for once, overloaded on the servers required. The big down time never seemed to happen as feared, especially on PlayStation, so maybe everyone is just too spread out right now and as the inevitable removal of servers occurs things might begin to feel a little more full over time.
    Still, I'm enjoying the game immensely. Admittedly I'm always in at least a two person fireteam with Linda, so that will go a long way to keep things interesting.
    I'm thinking all they've done so far is created a platform in which they can later bring depth and story via DLC content. Question is how many of us will still be playing at that point.


    Hey Steven!

    My apologies, I overlooked your comment until just now (ten days later!) My bad!!

    Ironically, my full review just went up at GC, so there's that.

    I usually co-op with my wife, but we've yet to get her a PS4, so doing solo is dull and there are plenty of issues with the game overall.

    I bet it'll be cracking in a year, if it's not totally abandoned by that time...