Destiny – Review
Follow Genre: FPS/MMO
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Activision
Platform: Ps3, Ps4, Xbox360, Xbox One

Destiny – Review

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8.0
Good: Graphically astounding
Bad: Leaving a raid means leaving your fireteam
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The most anticipated mmo-shooter of the year has been let loose on the players. The game had a postponed release date because the creators felt it necessary for the final product to truly shine. An effort which has not gone without merit, for shine it does.

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You are a Guardian, the name of those chosen few who get the privilege to protect what is left of the galaxy. The Traveler came to earth and used its light to protect it, however the Darkness has returned and in its final moments the Traveler assigned Ghosts to track down the guardians to aid them in their quest. The Ghosts are helpful A.I. who decode messages and track down pivotal items. They grant you passage when the road is blocked by doors, locks or mechanisms which can’t be overcome by brute force.

At the beginning of the game, when you come to, you are outside the wall and easy pickings to the Fallen. This is a race which seek to destroy the guardians and all which stands in their way. You make your way into the wall because that’s where you’ll find your ticket out of there. A ship, though it still lacks its interplanetary module, has been docked and is waiting to take you to the Tower.

The Tower is the hub of the guardians, where you’ll do most of the trading and get new items and bounties.

Graphics

Having tested both the previous gen and the current gen of the game, there are some visual differences. On both they are beautiful but there’s still that slight edge on the current generation. The ships are more detailed, textures are that much more refined and the particle effects are so much more vivid. As you are warped from your ship onto the deck of the Tower, you’ll see a swirl of glowing mist as you appear.

A slight annoyance is the amount of loading needed for the game to get going, the loading screens are everywhere… Some of them are rendered as your ship travels from planet to planet, but with this knowledge they become more and more obvious.

What can be said about the planets? They are really beautiful, and though every planet has its theme, they are all so stunning. The moon is barren and desolate, gloom clings to you equal to the dust on the soles of your shoes. Speaking of soles, even the footprints are detailed. Mars has a golden hue which is reminiscent of a desert. Venus was a metropolis which has been overrun by nature. There’s poison ivy clinging to the doors, there are pools of water frothing and bubbling as mist breaks the surface, a deep enchanting blue iridescence shining off it. Earth has seen better days. Cars are littered everywhere, wrecks of a forgotten era.

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Frame rate wise, the games are fluid on both previous gen and current gen. Even when things get hectic and there’s a lot of things going on, there’s no sudden screen jerks or drops in frame rate. The visuals are fluid and the movement animations are top notch.

Sound

What can be said about the voice in the game is that there is no difference in voice no matter what choice you make in the beginning of the game. Although you could argue that this is a lack of imagination on the developer’s part, it actually isn’t that big of a deal. They could have used a generic ‘elfen’ style voice for the Awoken and have a computerized voice for the Exo’s but that would just make it seem more generic. The voice during the pvp ‘Control’ mode most soothing strangely enough, it is calm and yet not without authority. The effect this creates is of an urge, but not of panic. This helps you keep focused during the hectic and chaotic bouts of player versus player.

There are quite some famous people that have worked on making the sounds as profound as possible. Peter Dinklage, is the voice of your Ghost. Bungie even went so far as to collaborate with Paul McCartney in writing the music.

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Gameplay

Destiny is a MMO Shooter. Five minutes into the tutorial and your fingers will grasp a gun and your job is to use your gunmanship to clear the room or space of Fallen or Hive. The story campaign takes place on several planets. You start off on planet Earth, getting your bearings on this planet before you take off for more exotic locales. When you pick a planet you’ll get a hub displaying all the missions available for that planet. Missions will have a level attachment, but you can always opt for a more difficult one which is several levels higher. The choice is reflected in the difficulty of the encounters and the loot you’ll encounter along the way. Loot can be just guns and armour or they can be encrypted. Encrypted items can be decrypted by the Cryptarch in the Tower. They are according to your level mostly, but you’ll get better armour and weapons should you wait a couple of levels before you let them be decrypted. Weapons from the uncommon tier and up can be upgraded by using them. When you’ve used a gun long enough you’ll unlock the upgrades and you’ll be able to buy them and equip the gun with them. Some of them are bought using glimmer and some of them you’ll need gun parts. You get gun parts from taking apart weapons from the uncommon tier upward. The same is true for the armour. You can upgrade armour with the resources you get from disassembling other gear. A self-contained way of upgrading making it that you can easily disassemble weapons on the fly, this can be done anywhere, and get the parts you’ll need to upgrade the other guns.

Missions are divided in a couple of categories. There are the story missions which progress the main campaign. Patrol missions are slightly different as you’ll be dropped off on the planet’s surface and will have to make your way across it in your own manner. Your Sparrow –flying vehicle- will get you to your destination faster. As you summon the ghost to aid you you’ll see markers appear, these are transmitters. Activating one of them will start a mission and completing these will give you vanguard reputation, which –when accumulated enough of- will give you ranks. These vanguard points can be used to purchase armour and upgrades.

Strike missions are always done in groups of three, should you not have any friends online, the grouping system will have its way and put you in a team of three. Though the system isn’t failsafe and sometimes you’ll be put in a team of 2, making the level that much more difficult.

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Leveling is done extremely fast, that is at least until level 20. Though killing enemies doesn’t always net you the best experience, once you hit level 4 you can opt for bounties, which, when completed, give you a hefty experience reward and a either Crucible points added to your Crucible rank or Vanguard points which up your Vanguard level.

Once you hit level 20 you’ll need new armour with ‘light’ added to it. Armour with higher light will progress the bar.You can upgrade these armours and gain light points that way. So it’s not entirely necessary for you to constantly change gear to gain levels. The only armour with the light option are from purple onward, so anything below that will not be worth it anymore once you hit level 20. The game has a bank which is shared across characters, so it’s entirely possible to get armour which is not suited for your character, you can drop it in the bank vault and pick it up with another type of guardian.

When you start the game, you can choose a class. The three different classes or “guardians” are: Warlock, Titan and Hunter. When you reach level 15 you’ll unlock a subclass. As you level up with your character you’ll gain experience and learn more powerful or different skills. These can completely alter your way of playing. Want to make your grenades pop into smaller grenades damaging more enemies as they scatter? Or maybe you want your grenade to pulse and do gradual damage. You choose.

Apart from the skill tree, weapon handling is the same on each guardian, so picking your class is all about the way you want to play, it doesn’t lock you into using any type of gun. This gives you a lot of freedom as you can pick up a hand cannon with all classes or a pulse rifle and play the character you like to the best ability.

Pvp is done in the Crucible, here you’ll gain points to upgrade your Crucible marks and Crucible rank. These can be used to upgrade your arsenal.

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There are 5 kinds of Crucible matches. It must be said that even though on all Crucible modes level advantages are disabled, there’s a distinct difference in battle prowess between a level 4 and a level 20 who’s nearly maxed his class.

  • Control is Capture the flag. You’ll have to capture key points on the map and keep the enemy at bay.
  • Clash will have you and five other people fight another team consisting of six guardians. Thus this is a team deathmatch.
  • Rumble is a free for all mode, here you’ll duke it out among three players. Shoot everything that moves.
  • Skirmish is like Clash, only the teams are limited to three people on each team. Cooperation is key to success here. A well-oiled war machine will pick apart a team that doesn’t heed teamwork. Due to the lack of communication members of the losing team will often drop out, leaving the last person the game to either give up and hand the others the victory or forfeit the game and waste his or her own time. Not every player has a headset, so communication is limited, but communication is a necessity when playing this mode.
  • Combined arms is a 6v6. A random set up is chosen out of the previous four but all on greater maps, this way you’ll need your Sparrows to cross the battlefield. The battlefield is also littered with vehicles which have mounted guns. This way you can cross the battlefield and pull your weight should an adversary appear.

Conclusion

A mmo shooter that had many eyes on it from way before release. The delay in release has made it possible for the game to shine like it does. The upgrade system is solid and the leveling system gets a little getting used to once you hit level 20, but it’s well thought out. A little gear customization would have been nice, apart from the colors, choosing the look of your attire would have been a great feature. But the game is probably not a stagnant one and from what Bungie has made clear, they aren’t celebrating the release just yet. So gear up and come save the galaxy!

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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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