Destiny bills itself as the next generation of the first-person shooter. Available on almost all gaming platforms, you get the chance to explore the Solar System and fight “The Darkness,” which basically means crazy aliens that can shoot electric fireballs at you. Always intrigued by a good shooter, I couldn’t wait to load up Destiny for the first time. When I did, I discovered my first epic fail: bandwidth.
Destiny requires a lot of bandwidth to play properly and you’re going to need a good modem to do it. If you’re running an N300 like I was, then forget about it if you’re trying to play over WiFi. You’re going to need dual band technology to play because otherwise you’re just going to get kicked out of every game world you enter. I quickly upgraded my router, improved my WiFi distribution by 10 mbps, and was finally ready for action.
In Destiny, you become legendary by being able to protect the last city on the Earth. There’s been a previous war and the planet is devastated. There are other colonies in the Solar System to protect as well and all of the environments are finely detailed. I became a Hunter because I’ve got some awesome sniper skills and got myself to work. If you don’t want to be a “Hunter” like me, your choices are pretty typical of every other MMO you’ve played in the past. You can choose to become a “Titan” or a “Warlock” if you prefer. Each has some unique strengths and makes the game play a little different.
You can also create multiple characters to develop in the game and change between them before the start of any given mission.
Every activity that you take on Destiny will help you develop your character. Kills, skills, and even certain interactions with other players will give you experience points that will help you to level up. Although you can’t really customize your specific skills on the character as you level up, you are given some additional features to use based on how many times you do something or are successful in using a specific piece of equipment. If you can kill a lot of baddies with a grenade, then you can get different grenades. It’s nice that your character can deal more damage as you progress, but The Darkness gets equal improvements. This means that gameplay difficulty is essentially the same throughout the levels. Having an extra 1 type of feature would provide an added degree of customization.
Once you reach a certain level, you can add a second level of skills to your character without having to start over. That’s the nicest feature of the character development design of Destiny.
The armor that you get for your character depends on the class that you’ve chosen. What Destiny does well is an elimination of specific weapons that are available to each class. You can use any weapon with any of the three classes, which means I can use a long-distance fusion rifle to explode a Dreg like mad crazy.
The missions on destiny feel like those old Medal of Honor games that came out on the PlayStation 2. You’re trapped into a rigid story line that, while entertaining, is also a bit predictable. The aliens that are trying to liquefy you are in the same locations. They all tend to behave in the same way, so you can predict when they’ll come out of hiding for a headshot. The game does adapt somewhat to your fighting style within the missions, which means you can set up a flanking maneuver pretty well, and there is the occasional surprise or two [like the invisible dudes that seem to glitch as much as Vanellope von Schweetz on Sugar Rush]. Otherwise the feeling of this shooter is like most other shooters you’ll experience.
The Tower is your home away from orbit on Destiny. It’s the place where you can interact with other players, equip yourself with armor, or get bounties that help to vary the game play. The graphics here are pretty amazing and you can often see a Level 2 player gazing over the balcony at the gameview graphics. The concept of the Tower is nice because you can collect messages, save extra armor or weapons in your vault, and get the stuff you need to create massive casualties for The Darkness. It just takes a lot of time to get through all of these tasks because you’ve got to physically visit each spot with your avatar.
When you do get through the tasks, then you’re ready for your mission. Here’s where your weapon choices become critical. I recommend the scout rifles over the pulse rifles because they are a lot more reliable. Once you reach the heavy weapons, stay away from the machine gun. The pulse guns and the machine gun are so unstable that you can end up looking at the sky when you’re trying to take down a bad guy that’s riding a hover vehicle that looks like it came from Star Wars. Go with the rocket launcher instead.
I’m actually still using my first sniper rifle, even though I carry 3 others. It has the best impact and most stability, even with an attack of just 20. The tougher bad guys, like the Captains and the Wizards, don’t get taken down as quickly with it, but otherwise it stays pretty useful. The shotgun is probably the least beneficial weapon of them all. You’ve got to aim your shot for it to be useful, even up close, and that’s bad news when two hits is going to kill you before your life force recharges.
As with any game, there are still some glitches that you can find in it. On some of the levels, you can get multiple treasure chests just by leaving the cave or shipping container on your sparrow. The chest regenerates and you can build up a ton of decent stuff quickly. The Devil’s Lair mission will drop you uncommon items when you complete it every time, so that’s a pretty simple way to keep getting better stuff than what typically gets dropped.
Overall Destiny is a pretty good game. It’s better than most other first-person shooters that you’ll play and the story line is pretty engaging. Gameplay is consistent and you can play solo or with a group and have a good time either way. There are multiplayer arenas outside of the missions that you can play to gain rewards as well, but beware – they aren’t friendly environments if you’re a player like me who lines up someone in their sights for a quick shot.
One key bit of advice: you will get hit up for rare loot in exchange for your email/password. Don’t do it! Otherwise become legendary with Destiny, have a great time, and look me up at Chance3000 if you need a sniper on your fireteam.