I think the symbol they came up with is kinda boring.
As you guys probably know, I don’t write video game reviews until I’ve either beaten the game or played most of it and given up on it. I’ve been playing Destiny during my free time since launch. It’s safe to assume that I probably won’t have the time to grind to the max level (Light 30 as of right now) anytime soon. Or, like, before the next expansion comes out in December.
Yet every time I’ve considered sitting down to write my thoughts on the game, I groan in annoyance. Most of the popular gaming outlets have written so much about this game already that I’m sick of reading about it, much less writing about it. Hell, if you take a glance at IGN’s facebook feed over the last couple of weeks, you’d think there were no other video games in existence right now.
Plus, there are many, many other video game reviewers who have written and spoken their opinions on Destiny much more elegantly than I ever could. I find myself agreeing with most of the negative feedback reviewers and gamers have thrown Bungie’s way. This game did not live up to the promises at all. I didn’t even jump on the hype train because I’m not big into FPS games. Or online only games, for that matter, given that I’m usually alone with a two year old during the evenings… making games without a Pause feature kinda difficult.
Anyway, I really only play it to have a game to play with my hubby and with my friends online. The vast amounts of post-“story” gameplay is a complete grindfest. I do actually like to do some mindless patrol missions and such when there aren’t enough people online to do a strike. Or when I just don’t have the time or energy to beat my head against the wall.
Here’s a few of my thoughts for Bungie & Activision:
If your game is going to be a genre-hybrid, pick the best aspects of the genres you’re borrowing from, not the worst! Seriously. This game is a little bit FPS/loot shooter, little bit MMO, little bit RPG. The loot system is so terrible that it can’t possibly be a loot shooter. But you sorta feel like it is, since progression is 100% tied to loot. The game isn’t massive enough, nor does it have appropriate chat/matchmaking features that every MMO has nowadays. And yet… you’re required to always be online and MUST be in a group to access many of the features tied to endgame progression. Personally, I find Destiny to be yet another example of a game that suffers because it does a half-assed attempt at reaching out to the pockets of different types of gamers. See: Asura’s Wrath and Resident Evil 6 as games suffering from identity crises that, in the long run, only served to hurt them instead of elevate them. Yes, there are examples of games that merge genres and do it well, but as it stands I don’t find Destiny to be in that small, elite bracket.
Just… stop…lying: All I can really say about this is, watch the Angry Joe review I’m linking at the bottom of my post if you have time. It’s a bit lengthy, and certainly NSFW, but he does a good job of demonstrating multiple examples of when the developers made great promises (with video footage and quotes) that ended up being complete lies (again, with video footage of his gameplay). Bungie and Activision could have prevented a lot of this fan backlash if they hadn’t completely misled fans who looked forward to this game.
Your corporate greed is too obvious: Milking customers for money certainly isn’t a practice isolated to Activision. In my Dead Space 3 review, I ranted and raved about the game begging me to go spend more money on DLC before I’d even had a chance to play it! Seriously, I just spent $60 of my hard-earned money… At least let me play the game for a month or so before bombarding me with DLC nonsense I don’t even need. With Destiny, you open up the package and there’s inserts for the Expansions. Which are being released only 3 months later, mind you. My major issue is that the game feels so… incomplete. Intentionally incomplete. It feels like a mere shell of what it should be… No doubt to be remedied by future DLC and expansions. Sigh. Look, I get that there’s a big plan here. That’s not my issue. My issue is that the game doesn’t feel like a complete experience. I was satisfied with the first installment of games like Xenosaga Episode 1 and Mass Effect 1. Everything that needed to be there was there. I knew there was more to come, but the experience I received with the first installments were solid. Not lacking, like Destiny. I’m seriously waiting for pop-up notifications on the main menu to use real money to purchase in-game mats that are time consuming and frustrating to acquire.
Your post-game promises were lies, too: Not entirely sure how the game “really starts” after level 20. Here’s what happens after your character hits level 20; you grind all the same areas you’ve already seen over and over again on harder difficulties. That’s. It. Ok, well there’s the recently opened Vault of Glass raid. (“Raid”… again, a word I remember hearing a lot while playing a MMO!) Not sure if I’ll ever get to see it due to the lack of in-game matchmaking. I need to have 6 other friends, all appropriate level, online at the same time to do the raid. From what I’ve heard, I don’t have enough free time to do the raid in one sitting, anyway.
Tying character progression to gear is a bad idea: Again, the developers went on about how much control you have over character customization and how much fun it’ll be to play dress up with your toon. Not after level 20 it isn’t. I think it’s strange that the game suddenly goes from leveling the old-fashioned way to requiring players to spend hours grinding for gear with the Light stat. Progression is tied entirely to equipping and leveling gear with high Light. So… you won’t be spending much time debating which helmet to wear if you want to get to the next level. I think it would’ve been cool if they came up with a way to incorporate both methods through the entire leveling progress instead of suddenly switching from one to the other.
I also can’t figure out if Destiny is trying to cater to hardcore gamers or casual gamers. I think its somewhere in between. There’s this weird situation now where hardcore gamers are starting to get bored with the game already; due to lack of content and arbitrary weekly caps on certain grindy things. Yet people who don’t have as much free time to play as myself (Nowadays having silly things like jobs and children to tend to makes you a casual gamer, FYI) feel overwhelmed. Unless I get blessed by the RNG gods sometime soon, I feel like I’ll never get to level 30 before the next expansion comes out. There’s just too much slow-paced grinding to do. I can’t sink that much time into a game right now. I’m still wearing blue legs and weapons. In order to remedy that I need to grind for more marks and rep. Not to mention, I’m desperate for ascendant shards to max my Queen’s Robe and Helmet. Wish me luck on getting those in a timely fashion.
Destiny had a lot of problems straight out of the box. Weekly patches are slowly remedying some of the game’s glaring oversights and RNG issues. Not that those can backtrack the things I find to be developmental laziness, such as forcing gamers who might care about the game’s lore (read: WTF is actually going on) to go outside of the game to Bungie’s website. Don’t tell me that doesn’t kill any sense of immersion. Honestly, with the backtracking Bungie has announced with upcoming patches, you never would’ve guessed they had Alphas AND Betas. Or QA staff for that matter.
Anyway, most of the other points I’d like to make can be found all over the internet already. If you have the time, check out Angry Joe’s review:
In my opinion, no one has any business purchasing Destiny right now unless they’re looking for a game that is nothing more than a social FPS grinder with PvP. Because that’s really all the game has to offer right now… Besides Peter Dinklage’s voice. And even he sounds bored.