It’s hard to form your own unbiased opinion these day with sites like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes telling you how to feel at every turn. I had Destiny delivered to my door on launch day (thank you, Amazon) and I’ve been struggling to pin an identity on it, myself.  By the way, I highly recommend this method of purchasing games if you work during the day or don’t mind waiting to play until the mail man arrives. The days of standing in line at some crowded GameStop while little Jimmy unleashes hell upon his mother for not buying him the latest Call of Duty schlockfest are over for me.

I’ve played enough to reach the level cap with my Warlock, and I haven’t lost interest yet. Speaking of character classes: Warlocks are the coolest. To the 95% of you that picked Hunter because you thought you were going to be a REAL BADASS SNIPER LIKE MARK WAHLBERG IN SHOOTER, I’m sorry but you’re not.* You go ahead and keep trying to line up that shot with the “Golden Gun” (SO LAME) while my NOVA BOMB hurtles toward you, eventually leaving you utterly disintegrated.

Open your mouth, dingus.

Open your mouth, dingus.

My initial excitement for the game was tempered by lukewarm reactions by popular online gaming outlets and jaded, cynical gamer types. However, I’ve come to realize that while Destiny  isn’t going to be for everyone, it certainly works for me.

I’m a creature of habit.

I can recall playing one level of the Halo 2 campaign over at least 200 times (this is not an exaggeration, just a sad and true fact). That level is called Outskirts, and it actually reminds me pretty strongly of the Strike missions in Destiny. There’s no denying that there’s heavy Halo influence here, and that’s perfectly fine with me.

It sounds strange, but I really enjoy playing in the same areas over and over. The key being that it stays challenging with more intense levels of difficulty. Destiny achieves this with Strike playlists that allow you to replay past Strikes against higher level foes. If you care about replayability, and you enjoy the core gameplay, there’s going to be a lot for you here.

I’m also one of those people that enjoys the gratuitous slaying of thousands of brain-dead enemies in your typical Dynasty Warriors game. This is key, because theres a lot of grinding necessary in Destiny. That’s not to say that it’s filled with the nitwits that populate the battlefields of Dynasty Warriors…

The AI is vastly underrated.

Many have been quick to criticize the artificial intelligence as pedestrian and bullet spongey, and while this is unfortunately true for a few of the creatures, it’s not as bad as everyone claims. It’s a lazy argument, quite frankly. There are 4 different alien races to fight against. Each environment they reside in is varied and they all feel very different. Sure there are always some similarities among each race, but that’s necessary for balance and difficulty. Rarely are you able to camp out and snipe from a safe distance for long.

Your foes usually have a couple of fast moving kamikaze-types that will charge or sneak up on you if you’re not paying attention to the movement tracker. Cover is frequently utilized to frustrating extent. There’s an element of strategy to picking your spots properly to make sure you’ve got enough firepower to take out that pesky Captain before his shield regenerates and you have to do everything over again.

Teamwork is encouraged.

Destiny does a great job of forcing you to keep moving, even if it’s just to revive a fallen teammate. Keeping your team alive during a Stike mission is of the utmost importance, and some of the most tense moments come from those rescue missions where you decide to run out into the fray like a big damn hero and bring your fellow Guardians back.

This is highly recommended by the way. For one thing, the (likely) random teammates you’re playing with will no doubt appreciate it and they’ll be more inclined to put more effort into reviving you in future situations. Also, if you’re trying to take down one of the big guys, it’s best to keep as many Guardians alive and firing as possible. This sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve had many experiences where one lone wolf decides they doesn’t need to make an effort to revive their teammates and we end up starting over.

It looks incredible.

Here’s what seems to be a touchy subject at this point in time. The consensus is that the graphics are visually stunning and filled with varying and vibrant colors. This is correct. However, Destiny has also been called sterile and lifeless. This is, unfortunately, also correct and fair criticism. The planets you travel to feel large enough, but there’s not a whole lot going on in them to make them feel real. There is absolutely nothing to be wary of outside of the frequent, predictable enemy spawns. There are no destructible environments, no neutral (but potentially dangerous) creatures inhabiting the planets, extremely limited climate effects, and no treacherous obstacles of concern. There’s only you and the bad guys. You good. They bad. Kill bad things. Make them pay.

Still, the settings are fantastic to behold. These are the best textures I’ve ever seen in any game, and the skies are gorgeous. Finally, we have a game that embraces color as well. Haven’t we had enough of the gritty doom and gloom color schemes that infect most modern shooters?

The community seems remarkably polite.

This may or may not be entirely due to the anti-griefing measures instituted by Bungie, but it’s been very refreshing. If you’re not speaking to people with a microphone, you’re limited to sitting, pointing, waving, or dancing. There are no rude gestures available and you cannot damage other Guardians. I play on Xbox One so I can’t speak for the other platforms, but I generally try to inject a little humor to a mission if I’m teamed up with someone by dancing or sitting in particularly precarious situations.

Chances are, if you start dancing someone will join in with you. There’s a stark contrast between these kinds of interactions and lack of unnecessary proximity voice support and the days of old where petulant Xbox Live children would shout every curse word they knew at you whilst simultaneously offending 3 cultures in a single breath.

I also have a weird thing with stairs. I like to chill on them. If I’m ahead of the pack, chances are I’m going to sit down on whatever set of stairs are available.This seems to confuse everyone, as nine times out of ten whoever is running by will stop in their tracks to grill me. There was even one instance where the guy sat down next to me. He was a cool dude, that one.

*I have never seen this film.

About The Author

John

John is a full-time web developer who writes and streams for multitoad.com. He started Multitoad with Luke "Yogzula" VanTrieste. John loves multiplayer gaming, his wife (known around the site as Queenie), his dog (Marble), horror movies, and sitting down with a nice craft beer. If you want to contact the author of this post, feel free to do so on the community forums.

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