Having just completed my review of Diablo III, this task is even more difficult than I originally planned. I’ve already tried several humorous opening sentences and deleted them all. They weren’t that good, felt forced, and my heart wasn’t in them. And that is the perfect description of Destiny. Bungie, the creators of Halo (the game that introduced me in spectacular fashion to the FPS genre), brought Destiny to the next generation of consoles in a tidal wave of hype, the likes of which I had never seen before. This game would change our understanding of the very fabric of gaming itself. I allowed myself to be caught up in the expectations. I pre-bought the game.
I don’t want to be so harsh as to accuse the creators of making a game based only on hype in order to earn as much money as possible with as little effort as possible. I believe Bungie cared about Destiny. I believe they care about the gamers. But I also believe they didn’t fully understand what they were doing. Their hearts may have been in this game, but it doesn’t feel that way. Instead, it feels like a paper I once wrote in nursing school. Destiny is trying so hard to dazzle us, but there isn’t a solid outline upon which to do that. Instead, like my paper, it has become an incomprehensible mud of good ideas and intentions.
My paper overwhelmed me every time I tried to work on it. Every change and edit I made seemed to make it worse. It was like fighting against quicksand, and I imagine that’s what Destiny felt like to Bungie.
Destiny looks and sounds great. Unfortunately, it also feels empty, like a compliment from someone who doesn’t mean it. I’m not observant enough to know what exactly gives me that impression, but I know it is how I feel when I play the game. I don’t care about anyone I meet, I don’t care about my own character, I don’t even understand what is happening or why I’m fighting in the first place. There’s really not much else to say, honestly. It’s a beautiful, static world that feels uninhabited.
Okay, so the story may not be the best, but that’s not always doom for video games, right? Just look at my review of Diablo III. While that is true, Destiny also fails to achieve two things that keep me coming back for more in Diablo III. One is online community, which I’ll speak about later. The other is the feeling of accomplishment and progression. In Diablo III, I know that if I sit down and play a couple of hours, I will typically find something of use or interest. Destiny is just a waste of time for me. I can grind and grind and grind…and there is nothing to show for it. It feels like there’s no reason to keep going.
Bungie knows that once you have the gear, there’s no reason to keep searching and playing, especially since all you are doing is repeating the same small selection of missions/free-roams over and over. To entice you to keep coming back, they made decent drops so rare that it’s pointless for someone like me to even touch this game. Sure, if you’re a hardcore gamer that can pour an ungodly amount of hours into this game, maybe you’ll get something nice.
Maybe you’ll even be able to enjoy it before another update makes all your upgrades obsolete, forcing you to return to the grind just to get back to where you were.
The point is there is no point to grinding this game. I found good loot so infrequently that it gave me time between to question, as I played a mission for the 1,000th time, ‘why am I wasting my life?’ Diablo III didn’t give me that opportunity. The lack of missions, standard gun-play, and near deathbed pace of progression strangles Destiny.
So yes, I replayed this game many times trying to get items that would progress my character to higher levels. Was it worth it? No. I have hardly anything of great value to show for it. I never came close to level 30 (I believe 27 was when I was introduced to Diablo III, and I never looked back). However, for hardcore gamers, I can understand the desire to return. Bungie did at least try to create some reason for players to repeat missions, but it’s just not rewarding enough to entice someone with less time to spare. I will probably revisit Destiny again at some point to see how the updates have effected the game. I usually end up choosing Diablo III when I am tempted, so it may be a while before I do. Why waste my time when I can actually find items in a different game?
Online is only a little better than any other FPS I’ve played. It tries to incorporate MMO style zones where everyone can interact, however, it lacks the vibrancy of other MMOs such as Guild Wars. Most of this is due to a lack of player-to-player interaction except the ability to dance, wave, salute, and sit, which gets lame really fast. Online didn’t feel any more connected than other PS4 games where I joined my party and played the game. It is not terrible by any means. I never had issues going on missions with my friends or joining their fire team. However, I can’t trade with them or share the items that I have found. I can’t share the awesome Warlock item that dropped with my friend and he can’t send me his amazing Hunter armor that he found after a long grind. Instead the game forces you to be in it for yourself, using others to try and find the items you need instead of sharing and building community.
There’s also no great way to meet other people to play with. Once in a while some other fool comes running by but all I can do is dance at him/her…which would be great if this was Step Up 2: The Game…
I regret that I did so much comparison with Diablo III, but it was the only way I knew how to explain what I dislike about Destiny. I understand they are different styles of games. Bungie hasn’t given up on Destiny, and it is possible that they will continue to patch, update, and improve it enough that it grows into a better game. But for now…