Review: Destiny (PS4)

Action FPS MMO
8.6

Great

Shakespeare tells us that “It’s not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves” and it’s this thought that Destiny made its promises to us. A promise of a game that would last a lifetime, that would be gloriously different for everyone and a game in which we would find ‘ourselves’. It’s a lot of promise, or rather hope from gamers, to expect fulfilment by a single game, but living up to that isn’t always the easiest task.

With that in mind I bring you to the review of Destiny, and for ease of reference I thought I would break this up into clear categories to see just where the game stands. Just for some background, Destiny is considered a mix between open world shooter, MMO and a standard first-person shooter. Some elements are more refined than others though.

Classes and Characters

Destiny 2

At the start of Destiny you get to pick a class between Hunter, Titan and Warlock. Each has a unique set of strengths and abilities, and of course weaknesses. Thankfully all feel well balanced, meaning no matter which class you choose you will enjoy it. Each class comes equipped with different weapons, gear and special powers which are worth exploring. You can also customise your character in terms of appearance and genetic makeup. Choosing from three types of races (human, awoken and exo) and your gender makes up the basics of your ideal character, although the options are rather limited. Once you have picked a class and style you can move ahead with the story.

Story

Destiny 3

The story, to say the least, is a letdown. You are introduced at the start to a Ghost, voiced by Peter Dinklage, who locates you on what was once considered Earth. He explains to you the situation and gets you up to date with how to use weapons and other abilities as you attempt to escape the enemy, called the Fallen. The intro and tutorial form as one, and you soon find out that the world has mostly been destroyed and the few who are left are Guardians trying to protect the rest and ensure that they can take back their planets.

The story is a mess, it’s a hollow outline of plot points which mostly function as a means to an end, of going through motions to set up reasons for you to shoot things. It’s very little more than that. In fact, after many hours with the game I still don’t really know what is happening in the story and at no point does it escalate to match the rest of the epic that is Destiny.

It’s a shame really. Sure the game is technically an MMO and stories don’t tend to fit into these kinds of games, but at the same time Bungie had an opportunity to make Destiny the most complete game ever, sadly this is a section that is incredibly off when compared to the rest of the game.

Destiny 4

There is another aspect to the story in terms of the lore of the world that Destiny occurs in. The lore is more meat to what could be considered the story but really fits in as background information. The thing is, it isn’t actually in the game, but rather collected via Grimoire cards. These cards are attained through completing in-game missions, upgrading weapons and taking out enemies (amongst other things). The cards are then linked to the companion app or site where you can go read up more about it.

For me, this is perfect. I prefer not to have my in-game momentum affected by reading long passages and other information. It meant that when I went to bed I could spend another 30 minutes or so in the Destiny world on my phone reading about everything that I discovered during that day. For others, it might feel very disjointed and something that should be part of the game rather than a separate entity almost.

Graphics

Destiny 6

If the story leaves a lot (and I mean A LOT) to be desired, the visuals are the complete opposite of the spectrum. Destiny, from start to end looks incredible. It’s almost inconceivable just how detailed and beautiful the entire world looks. It’s something that stands out above just about anything else in the game, and if anything the eye candy prevalent on any of the worlds is just astounding.

Whether you are on the Moon, Earth, Venus, Mars or even the tower there are just so many photo opportunities that you will feel like a tourist in a game which is not a feeling I personally have ever felt before. It’s worth exploring for the different views you can find, and adds to the atmosphere of the game itself. The graphics are easily some of the best I have ever seen, and I love exploring such a beautiful world.

Sound

Destiny 5

Sound is another part of the game that feels like it got wonderful attention. Apart from the odd inclusion of a Paul McCartney pop track at the end, the score is almost perfectly crafted throughout the missions and the music is only complimented by the brilliantly done sound effects. It feels like a masterpiece in sound and those goosebump moments are amplified by the music and effects.

Modes – Single Player / Co-op

Destiny 7

Destiny has plenty of content in terms of its modes. You can play just about all of it as a solo player, but co-op is really encouraged. Playing solo does raise the challenge quite a bit, but nothing beats the fun of having a few buddies playing with you.

The main story missions can be played from 1 to 3 players in your fireteam. These missions are based on level and as mentioned drive what should be a story forward. Many of the missions follow a very similar pattern whereby your ghost takes you somewhere, downloads information and has you defend yourself against waves of attacks. Yes, it changes occasionally, but for the most part this is what you will be going through in the story missions.

You also have strike missions. For these you can also play from 1 to 3 players and has you going through a set of events before attempting a main boss battle. The strike missions are quite a challenge and are absolutely great when you want to join a couple of friends online for a battle. Be prepared though, they can be brutally difficult, but there is a real sense of achievement when you complete them.

Lastly, there are Patrol missions. These are definitely the easiest missions to play alone, but are definitely more fun with friends as usual. Patrol missions take place on any of the planets and are just random missions used to level up. These missions have you doing tasks such as taking out a particular enemy, collecting data or killing a number of enemies in an area. They are relatively mindless, but a great way to level up and improve your character.

Modes – PvP Multiplayer

Destiny Crucible

Built into the Destiny world are multiplayer PvP maps with a number of different modes, many of which are not exactly new, but work wonderfully, especially for those who played and loved the Halo multiplayer. These modes all require 6 players per team, but finding a match is really simple and I never waited more than a minute or two to find a game (if I didn’t have my own fireteam already).

Modes include ‘Clash’ which has each team competing for the most kills. ‘Control’ is like capture the flag, where your team needs to capture certain key points and hold on for as long as possible. The team with the most points from kills and captures will win. ‘Rumble’ has you playing for yourself as you battle against other opponents for the most kills, it’s the free-for-all type mode. Salvage has you in teams again where you need to use your Ghost to salvage ruins before the opposition does so.

More modes will open up in the future, but for for now that is what exists. I must say, every map I played on felt different and well balanced. There are some well-thought-out areas that provide some excellent opportunities for some manic combat, and of course some serious team work.

Collectibles / Levelling up / Loot

Destiyn weapon

Collectibles are a big part of the game and for the sake of it I have included the levelling up section of the game as a collectible. Collectibles exist in themselves in terms of finding items which can be used to get the in-game currency called Glimmer. This comes in use when you want to upgrade and there are tons of upgrades to be had in terms of armour, weapons, character items, ships and more.

Arguably the most enjoyable part of Destiny is the levelling up and loot finds. There are so many different weapons to try out that it’s so hard to settle on one or two weapons, all are pretty cool and have different benefits depending on the situation and your character. Even some of the weapons have upgrades which make you want to use it more and more.

Levelling up your character is obviously a major part of the game. For now it is capped at level 30, but in that space there is plenty to experiment with. Your character starts with a subclass which has a bunch of upgrades. These upgrades range from double jumps to different grenades and other special abilities (each character has different things to upgrade). It’s this levelling up of a character and the weapons that really make the game so addictive. You will just want the strongest possible character with the coolest gear you can find to show off and assist in-game of course.

Gameplay

Destiny 8

Everything above adds to the gameplay of course. The levelling up and collecting loot and getting cool weapons only increases the gameplay elements and makes you want to discover and collect more. Heading to the tower to get bounties and rewards makes every level worth playing over and over.

It’s the gameplay that truly makes up for the awful story found in the game. Everything is just insanely solid. As one dimensional as the actual missions are, the gunplay is brilliantly executed. Weapons have real weight to them and getting into a gun battle just has that same feeling of awesome every single time. It also adds to the enjoyment that you can jump in and out of games with your friends and on certain areas you will find your world populated with random people making the social aspect of the game much more enjoyable.

The AI is not the smartest but they do get difficult to beat and strategy is needed, but the action never gets dull or boring and it’s what truly keeps me going back for more. Add to that the different character abilities and you have something special in Destiny. Putting those abilities together with team mates never gets old and the sense of camaraderie felt throughout missions on co-op is something I have rarely felt in a game before.

Conclusion

Destiny 9

When it comes down to it, the story being so weak and misplaced is almost difficult to look past, but then you get this amazing gameplay, graphics and addictiveness that shines though from all the levelling up, abilities and different weapons and you can only smile while playing the game.

Oddly, I have always been a ‘story first’ kind of gamer, but I wanted Destiny for the sheer fun of it and nothing more, and that is exactly what I have got out of it. I didn’t expect a great story (though it would have been nice), but I did expect a game that would keep me busy and keep me entertained for a long time, and I feel I have that in Destiny.

Throw in all the special events that arrive when you least expect them, throw in raids that are coming soon and other timed events, expansions and more that is only going to add to the existing world and you can understand the hype surrounding the game. It’s Bungie’s devotion to adding fresh content to the world that will make it stand out, if it hasn’t already.

I have read a lot of criticism over the game, from critics. From those playing it I have mostly found nothing but enjoyment at what Destiny has to offer. If you are expecting an amazing RPG, adventure and story then you are yourself misplaced and should rather not get Destiny. If you want an addictive game that you can play with friends seamlessly, stunning visuals and musical score and tons of things to keep you busy with, do yourself a favour and ignore the naysayers. Destiny is wonderful and it is only going to get better.

buy-now

Good

  • Graphics l Amount of content l Grimoire Lore l It's Pure Fun l Levelling Up l Loot l Co-op l SHALL I GO ON?

Bad

  • Story is absolute garbage l Mission structure is repetitive

Summary

Destiny is defined by what you are prepared to make of it. Simple as that.
8.6

Great

Gameplay - 8.5
Visuals - 9
Audio - 8
Gratification - 8.5
Value for money - 9
  • Mr. Sexycalifragilistic

    Jarred, I thank you for not kissing ass. I thank you.

    I’ve said I’m not THAT excited for Destiny because let’s face it, every game has a limited window before it fades away, but others boarded the hype train and got dat hype brain going with, “It’s the Messiah of all games!” But like your review points out, it’s fun, but not all that in a bag of potato chips… From what I’ve gathered.

    That’s not to say I don’t want it — lord knows I do — but I’m glad I didn’t bet all my hopes and dreams on it.

  • Michelle

    I’m not sure how Destiny will compete with COD advanced warfare.There will be a battle between the two titles.
    Destiny is exploration/shooter.COD is straight up FPS,which is more competitive.

    • Small Charlie

      People like the competitive thing. That’s why CoD has been king for the past few years, and will probably stay there for the next few to come.

      • Umar

        Can’t compare the two really. one is an ‘MMO’ other is just a normal FPS (Used competitively). Either way Activision is rolling in the dough

        • Ain’t that the truth. Who cares what the game is or is not – they’re making a crap load of $$$ and laughing all the way to the bank.

          • Umar

            Yup, Activision has CoD and Destiny now…I mean…Like wtf are they gonna do with all that money?….Maybe another Tony Hawk Pro Skater game perhaps (A man can dream)

          • Mr. Sexycalifragilistic

            American Wasteland Reboot!

          • Umar

            F YES! Need me some of that unrealistic skateboarding!

          • Mr. Sexycalifragilistic

            Hey, there’s no such thing as “realistic” skateboarding.

          • I think Tony Hawk days are dead. We really do need another skateboard game right? Skateboarding and WWII shooters = dead.

          • Jarred

            I am hoping for a new MUA game o_O

        • Small Charlie

          Not comparing them at all, I realise they’re both very different type of games.

    • Mr. Sexycalifragilistic

      You can’t… really compare the two. Sure there are some similarities, but I mean… Potato, tomato.

    • Jarred

      As stated below, very different games in terms of offering and gameplay, though I guess both are FPS games, but I wouldn’t put them in the same box at all.

  • HookX87

    Great to see a review mentioning all the great and fun aspects of the game instead of just hammering on the negatives. Really enjoying Destiny..

    • Jarred

      Thanks for the kind words. Glad you are enjoying the game 🙂

  • Small Charlie

    Somehow, I also got that feeling that Destiny will be a bit like Borderlands, which was ok to play solo, but so much better with friends. Not sure if my assumption is correct.

    • Jarred

      Destiny is 100% better playing with friends. I mean, it is built for that clearly and while it is fun playing solo, and at times far more challenging, it just isn’t as good.

      Oddly though, I just could never get into Borderlands. The visual design annoyed me and I found it to be very lame at times. Yet I find myself totally addicted to Destiny.

  • Umar

    Good review sir

    • Jarred

      Many thanks Kind Umar.

  • According to the Destiny app, I have spent “1d 0h 44min 49s” playing the story, strike missions, crucible and patrol, and I’m enjoying it as much now (if not slightly more), as I did when I first started playing.

    If I don’t have the time to do any missions, then I make sure I pop in at the Tower, just to check if the there are better bounties available, or whether my Vanguard has new stock of armour with higher “Light” stats.

    Sometimes the public events come when least expected, but it’s pretty cool seeing names in the distance all heading in the same direction as me, as soon as the public event’s waypoint appears.

    Jarred, your review strikes Destiny’s nail right on its head, and I thank you for delivering a review which speaks to what Destiny offers and pretty much leaves it up to the prospective Destiny player whether or not to join in on the fun.

    • Jarred

      Thanks for the great feedback, and I am glad you read and enjoyed it. I really did want to spell it all out for people to decide for themselves.

      That’s some insane time you have put into the game so far and it’s awesome to hear you are still loving it so much. It’s also great to know that it’s an investment with all the extra content that will still be added.

      • Absolutely!

        I’m eagerly awaiting the first expansion to drop, although I haven’t even finished the campaign, yet o_O

        Despite what the naysayers are, um, saying; Destiny really let’s you decide your own level of enjoyment, with what the game has on offer.

        • Jarred

          Also can’t wait for the expansion, and especially the Raid missions. So much goodness coming still 🙂

          • It’s just a pity I’m not at the required level to access the Raid, yet. In fact, none of my clan mates are either…although, we’re 3 levels shy of 26, so we’re nearly there 😀

            Oh well; to the Bungie forums, so I can at least read what people’s impressions of the Vault of Glass are 🙁

          • Jarred

            Same boat as me sadly, but I am nearing the level. Can’t wait to take part in some Raids 🙂

  • HookX87

    I know the game has just been released, but has there been any info on the first expansion? Release window, length of additional mission quest? Will the expansions add new planets? New stories?

    • Nothing specific, other than it’ll be in December and that it’ll add story missions, PvP maps, new armour and weapons and I think new Strike missions, as well.

    • Jarred

      Yeah, as McFancy said, no exact details but we know it’s coming in December and will add quite some content. I cannot wait for it personally.

  • baasg3n3

    This review is in line with my opinion. I’m not happy about those review sites giving this a 6, it clearly plays and feels like at least an 8. People were let down by the hype and now they’re criticizing the game for their own mistakes. I’ve been playing casually every night with my best bud, but only for an hour or 2. Currently I’m level 12 and will def be playing this right through till Level 20 and beyond. Destiny 2 is going to be 9+, Bungie are made up of proper gaming fans and they will rectify what kept Destiny from becoming a high roller by listening to their community

    • Jarred

      Agreed with you, it’s a very enjoyable, addictive game that has a lot more positives than negatives. And it has more content incoming which will keep us busy for a long time yet.

  • K1FF J1MB0B (sizzle edition)

    “Game Length: Full game = Infinite”..
    There are guys reached the level 20 cap within 24 hours. I don’t see how you can make this claim, unless you think its fair to expect your average person to want to play the same content repeatedly.

    • Jarred

      Well cap level is 26 for now and will be opened further in future. The reason it is infinite is because it of the PvP stuff and that Bungie have always stated they will be adding new content to the game continuously. For example the Raid missions that will be coming soon, new events and missions also, and then expansions. So yeah, infinite.

      • K1FF J1MB0B (sizzle edition)

        I understand that in theory you could play the PvP as much as you want, but I think it’s misleading to imply that the game out of the box has endless replay-ability. Most of the reviews I’ve read seem to suggest that you will run out of stuff to do before the first bit of DLC comes in December, and you can’t really factor in extra paid-for DLC (expansions) in a review about the core game experience. Perhaps a more a informative way of doing it would be to estimate how much the average use could get out of it.

        • Jarred

          Well I certainly didn’t intend to mislead anyone, I am just not sure how one estimates the amount of time one can spend on a game that constantly generates new content with events and new missions? Granted, expansions are something different if they are paid for. My note wasn’t to suggest how long one ‘could’ spend on the game before getting bored, but rather the amount of time one would need to get everything, and if content is refreshed for me it is infinite.

          Not too different from a sport game. Take FIFA, is that infinite? Or must we say how long before a person finishes all there is to win in the game? But your point is noted, for sure.

          • K1FF J1MB0B (sizzle edition)

            Agreed, it is a tricky one to quantify. I suppose maybe if you just put “Undetermined”, or maybe take a safe guess and put for example “50 hours+”. Not trying to give you grief, just some constructive feedback.

          • Jarred

            No worries, I didn’t take it as anything but constructive feedback and it’s something I always appreciate, so thank you! Undetermined might be a good way to term it. Will see if I can get it changed.

  • Melasco

    Good review!

    I have to agree, as long as you don’t expect a Mass Effect story, this is one of the best games of the year. Something that is also being ignored is the fact that this game will have a constant stream of content added to it… I can see myself playing this for a long time… Who cares about the story, thats not why you play a “long term” game.

    • Jarred

      Thanks!

      Glad you are enjoying it, and look I love a game with a great story, I really do, but something different like Destiny offers is fantastic for a change isn’t it?

      • Melasco

        Agreed!

  • Jonah Cash

    Oi @Milni06:disqus I told you that I will come to read your review!! Thank you, this is probably the best review I have read on Destiny and probably in the best format as well!! The game has had some terrible reviews and it is refreshing to read one where you can see the bigger picture beyond the terrible story line!! I am in the same boat as you, the game is just fun as hell to play!! And that is what I will be doing for months to come!!
    Awesome read bud, well done!!

    • Jarred

      Hey man, thanks for reading it and for the kind words. Your cheque is in the post :-p

      Glad you enjoyed the review and you are enjoying the game so far. Let’s hope it continues to get great support and we can play for many years to come 🙂

  • Sageville

    Thanks for this review, it mirrors my experience of the game and isn’t the usual gaming review that aims to punish the game for being overly-hyped.

    So many reviewers are saying it’s not an MMO but then go right ahead and whine about how it fails to fit into the standard MMO template… even when Bungie said on many occasions that Destiny is not and MMO.

    I was pretty miff reading reviews that highlight a million problems with the game but then mention just how much fun the game is despite the myriad of flaws (to me that means their rating criteria have nothing to do with how fun the game is).

    Anyways, awesome review, couldn’t agree more.

    • Jarred

      Thanks dude, very kind words and much appreciated.

      And yeah, I just don’t get the negativity surrounding the game. My view is that it should be looked at for what it does offer, not what the hype made people think it ‘might’ offer.

      Enjoy it man!

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