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Destiny (PS3/PS4/XB1/360) Review

Written by Jazzking2001 - Owner on . Posted in Video Games

Considering that Destiny is Bungie's first nonexclusive title, I expect two questions to arise. The first being: was Bungie able to handle working on a mutli-platform title such as Destiny? Or did they bite off more than they could with such an ambiguous game?

The video below explains the story of Destiny.

Both the graphics and sound are top notch and anyone can tell that fact is true. Everything I have seen thus far is beautiful and I simply can't wait to see more of this game. I wonder how much time they spent creating the world of Destiny. Each of the destinations have a distinctive look and feel to them. The Moon feels like a barren wasteland. Mars looks like it used to be populated eons ago.

Finally, the Earth seems to have been long past its prime. Additionally, the current state of Earth provides a museum-like reminder of how far humanity has fallen in a few short centuries. I must not forget to mention that you can also go to Venus, Europa - Jupiter's Moon and a few other locations. I also like the various sounds from the gameplay; everything from speeding across the map to the sounds of fire fights.

The attention to detail paid to the graphics is even shown in the loading screens. While waiting to get matched up or select your destination, the view of your ship with any of the mentioned planets is simply amazing. The same could be said with all of the loading screens you see. Somehow, they made the loading screen an event in itself. The different characters and enemy classes look great and are unique. The various environments you are in encourage you to explore them to see just how vast and beautiful they look. With the graphics looking this good, sometimes I feel that the developers have actually physically been and seen the Moon, Mars, and the rest of the environments in Destiny.

There are three different ways to can fight. The most obvious is simply to fire your weapon, more info about weapons below. The second one is the melee attack for close combat. You also have grenades at your disposal, just like any other shooter. Finally, the mechanic that separates Destiny from other shooters is the ability to use special attacks known as "Supers," which will be explained further below.

Unlike your traditional FPS, you are able to customize both your characters race and what class they belong to. The three races are Awoken, Exo, and Human. To be fair, I personally find that it makes no real difference on which class you select, other than their cosmetic appearance. The other step is to choose your class; Warlock, Titan, and Hunter. Each of the 3 classes has their own "Supers," which are shown in the video above. Another area which sets each class apart is their maneuverability. Of course, all three have the same walking and running abilities.

    Warlock – Think of them as the "Jedi's" of Destiny. The Warlocks are able to use "Space Magic." They use magic spells to cause damage to large areas in a relatively short amount of time. They use the "Glide" ability for movement. One of the downsides is that they have little armor and should keep their distance from higher-level enemies.

    Titan – Think of the Titan as the "Tank" class and are the ones with the most armor. They are the ones who get up close and personal with the enemy. They use a "Jet pack" for movement. I personally did not like the "Jet pack" and it’s one of the main reasons I do not like using this class.

    Hunter – This is my favorite class and are the "Scouts" of Destiny. They combine the Titans strength with the Warlocks speed. They use the double jump to get around and I like using it. It also does not hurt that you can throw a knife at enemies.

The game has 3 weapon categories; them being the primary weapon, special weapon, and heavy weapon. Primary weapons are hand cannons, pulse rifle, and auto rifle. Special weapons are sniper rifle, fusion rifle, and shotgun. Finally comes the heavy weapons; machine guns and the rocket launcher. With a push of a button, you can access all 3 weapons. A quick press switches to the special weapon, while holding the button down a few seconds switches to the heavy weapon. This is a simple but effective way to switch between weapons and I have no issues using it.

Additionally, each weapon category has its own ammo drop. This means that it’s easier to get ammo for primary weapons, clear or white in color, than special weapon ammo, which is green. The rarest ammo drop is for your heavy weapon, which is purple. I like that you need to use your special and heavy weapons carefully because you don't know when they will drop. I also like the fact that you can switch your weapons at any time. If you just picked up a new weapon, you can switch to it quickly through an easily navigable menu. If you like your new weapon, stay with it. If not, remove it and put another weapon. I do it all the time and like that I don't need to wait to switch weapons.

Weapons can also be tiered by both their rarity and power:

    Basic Weapon (White Colored)

    Common Weapon (Green Colored)

    Superior Weapon (Purple Colored)

    Exotic Weapon (Gold Colored)

I like the weapons that are at your disposal. I like the fact that you can upgrade both your weapons and armor through their usage. For example, my Gozen-C sniper rifle has a upgrade known as "Shoot to Loot." This upgrade is awesome because you can shoot the ammo that drops to the ground from whatever distance and reload. This upgrade DOES NOT convert the ammo you shot into sniper ammo, all it does is pick up ammo from a distance. This upgrade allows you to kill and reload from a safe distance.

Another example is with my Sahara-AR3 auto rifle, which has an upgrade known as "Spray and Play." This upgrade allows you to increase the reload speed of the weapon when its magazine is empty. Don't forget that you can also upgrade your armor. For example, the Komarou 3.1.2 armor increases the ammo for pulse rifles.

The ability to upgrade also applies to your character. Even if you reach the character level cap of 20, you are not done leveling your character. You may have heard that the level cap is level 20. This may sound weird but it’s both true and false at the same time. You can still continue leveling your character by fighting and using the experience gained to earn something called "Motes of Light." You use these "Motes" to get new abilities, weapons, and armor which in turn will allow your rank to increase.

Gameplay can be broken up into several types; Story missions, Strikes, Free-roam mode and Raids. Story missions are self-explanatory, you are completing missions to continue the story. Strikes are small missions which consist of you and 2 other players. Strike missions, shown in the video above, do have a match making system which pairs you up with other players, if you do not already have a 3 man team. They are similar to story missions and generally take around 30 minutes to complete. They are a bit larger in scale than story missions are and slightly more difficult and require more cooperation.

Free roam mode is exactly like the name implies. In this mode, you can literally do whatever you want and explore anywhere. This is where you search for items, do most of your grinding, and complete small objectives. These objectives are accessed via beacons which are scattered across the various maps.

Finally, there are Raids which have no match making service and require you to have up to 5 other players. These are the longest and hardest missions you can do in Destiny. Raids may take hours to accomplish and require a high level of teamwork to complete. During any of the previously stated modes, you have the chance to come across and participate in public events. As the name suggests, they are events that randomly occur and anyone is able to enter this event.

In addition to the modes above, Destiny also offers a variety of PvP matches. The video shown below does a great job of describing the various competitive multiplayer modes. I have played all of the modes and think that they should satisfy most PvP gamers.

Another area that differentiates Destiny from conventional FPS are the vehicles. There are some vehicles which you can control, which can be broken into the combat and exploration categories. Two of the combat vehicles are the Interceptor and the Pike. Think of the Interceptor as a hover tank which has a pair of cannons that fire large explosive shells. It has a high degree of protection but has minimal speed. It does have a booster but when its booster is being used, you are unable to use its deadly cannons. You also have access to enemy Pikes. They are hover bikes that have a pair of small guns that can fire extremely fast. In order to use the Pikes, you must kill the enemy who is riding it.

As for exploration vehicles, you have both a personal spaceship and a sparrow. Sadly, you cannot control your spaceship but you use it to travel both the globe and the various planets. When you use your ship to travel, you will see it in orbit. Additionally, when you are in orbit and waiting to join a match, you will be able to see the ships of the members who are in your group. Unlike the uncontrollable personal spaceship, you are able to control your sparrow.

You use the sparrow as your very own ground exploration vehicle. The sparrow is another hover bike that is very similar to the speeder bike from Star Wars. Every time I hop onto the sparrow, I think I am actually riding a speeder bike due to its ability to be both fast and agile. It does not hurt that the sound from riding the sparrow is very similar to the sound made by its Star Wars counterpart. Unlike its counterpart, it is not equipped with any defensive weapons. The video below shows the Pike, which was previously mentioned.

There are some aspects of Destiny which do not have the same degree of polish as the rest of the game. There are two areas which I find are lacking, the first being with its social aspect. The other area is in general instructions and information. Considering that Destiny is being billed as a social shooter, then why does the game make it so hard to be social? For example, it currently does not have the ability to use quick chat like many other games. For example DC Universe, on both PS3 and PS4, does a stellar job at using quick chat. Sadly, Destiny does not offer any of that.

When I wanted to invite people to join my fire time, I would say that more than 85% of the time, they would not join. I think this is because it was not that easy to notice that someone has invited you to join their teams. Destiny does not handle invites; invites are done through PSN. If Destiny itself handled invites, I think people would notice the invites more easily.

Another issue is that there is no quick chat or microphone when you are not in a fire team. This means that you are only able to wave at other people and nothing else. The developer has explained that the reason for this is because often times there are annoying people who often bother the rest of the players. I get their reasoning but is it not easier to give all players the ability to mute some or all of the players who annoy you? When I played other FPS, I would quite often mute other players.

The other area that I find lacking is with general instructions and information. I wish there were more instructions. For example, it took me quite some time to notice that there was a cool down timer on my super ability. For a great deal of time, I would try to use my super and it would not work. Eventually, I noticed that it had a cool down period. I know there are manuals but, seriously, who reads a game manual anymore? I wish there was a simple and short tutorial to explain simple things like this.

In regards to general information, there is limited information dealing with faction and other group rank progression. Destiny has multiple NPC factions which you are able to join. Within each faction, you can increase your rank within them. However, the game does a poor job at explaining how you rank up. There is just a simple sentence which tells you that you need to do X thing to rank up.

I was not able to understand what exactly I needed to do. As such, I did not bother to join a faction. Another example of this is with Iron Banner events within Crucible. Just like it took me a while to notice my supers’ cool down time, it took me a while to notice how to increase my rank in Iron Banner. This happened to me a few other times.

Without a doubt, Destiny is the best FPS I have ever played. Yes, it has a lot in common with other FPS games but Destiny makes it so much greater. In other FPS, I would just kill others and have nothing to do afterwards. However, in Destiny I can do so much more.

The game has some MMO/RPG elements but it does not take everything from them, it’s more like a hybrid. To be precise, I would call Destiny a social FPS, which makes it awesome. Yes, it has some minor issues but I hope these issues will be resolved. This is an awesome FPS and one which will last.

8.5 /10