I started playing this game a couple of weeks ago. I got so hooked up to the game; and I was able to finish the story in less than 7 hours (cumulative hours). What’s good about this game are its end-game goodies and multiplayer features. What is this game anyway? It’s primarily an FPS with heavy MMORPG elements. You play as a guardian, who is set or “destined” to save the earth from the “Darkness”. The story of Destiny is a bit shady, but replay-ability and MMORPG elements have been doing great so far.
Character organic level stops at 20, but you can level beyond this provided that you are able to “level up” your stuff. Loot is king in this game, and the more you play the game, the more chances of you getting more loots.
Watch how my Warlock progresses from zero to hero!
We’ve Woken the Hive!
I finished the initial story of Destiny in less than 7 hours – that’s from Level 1 to Level 19 on the character-leveling perspective. My journey from resurrection initiated by my Ghost – voiced by The Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage – to the perilous task of battling Fallens, Hives, Vexes and Cabals, was nothing short of the ordinary. The premise is simple and quite straight-forward: save Earth as one of the Guardians by helping the Traveler. Destiny, however, being an unfinished game, has something more to offer.
Don’t get me wrong though – I enjoyed the dynamism of the story and I like the fact that there are times that you can easily ignore points of interest on the map to continue with game’s story by patrolling and joining strikes. Another “dynamism” I love about the story is the possibility of finishing the game’s story alone or with some friends (Fireteam members). I finished the story mostly without joining any Fireteams. I even fought the last boss in the Black Garden alone, and got to play it again when I helped my friend finish the game. Yeah, it was even way easier the second time around.
It’s Not Your Ordinary FPS. FPSMMO? FPSRPG?
It’s primarily an FPS and sub-categorized as MMORPG. There is a lot of truth to it, and I’m particularly happy with how Bungie implemented the latter. While playing the story, I had so many random encounters with people I didn’t even know and ended up doing to the same mission or story together. But the MMORPG implementation on Destiny doesn’t end with “random encounters” as the game has markets, bounties, “town”, item “identifier” (Cyrptarch) and mail system.
To give you an idea of how things work in Destiny, think of this game as the confluence of Halo, COD, Diablo 3 and Borderlands. The view switches from first-person to third-person when in town or when you make gestures and performs Supers outside the Tower. Third-person view in town gives you an interactive perspective of how your character “flourishes” from being a Level 1-bygone to an extraordinaire Level 30. When in missions or anytime outside the Tower, the third-person view shifts the experience to even great heights and slightly increases the difficulty for RPG PvE players like me. During the beta, I honestly had a hard time adjusting from playing FPS from PC to console with a gamepad; not to mention the adjustment I had to go through since I’m used to playing RPG games in third-person and isometric views.
Leveling up is essential in most, if not all, RPG games. Destiny is not spared from this, and fantastically executed. Bungie initially capped the organic leveling to 20. This means that your character levels up as your finish and progress through the story. To get past this, you need to score some armors with Light attribute. This is the reason why the hunt for the best loot, legendary or exotic weapons and armors, and leveling up your items are keys to essentially win and enjoy the game. I actually got my first legendary item at level 23 while helping my friend finish the story.
Things can get really awry when playing at Crucible, a mode where all Guardians can fight one another. It’s all PvE outside the Crucible. This reminds me of Guild Wars too where the PvP is detached from the PvP. BUT – there goes the big ‘but’ (single ‘t’) – I still find the gameplay on Crucible too unbalanced. The Hunter class seems too overpowered, and those with awesome weapons got the better chances to survive each match.
Oh such Graphics!
Destiny is utterly the best-looking FPS and MMORPG at the moment (while waiting for the next Final Fantasy). Bungie indeed pushed for better presentation and put the Playstation 4 to its capacity.
Check out the video below while I was trying to look the now defunct loot cave at Cosmodrome, and tell me how beautiful this game is.
Verdict, Bungie is channeling Blizzard
While I find this game excellent in many facets, Destiny is a work in progress. I’m excited too see how it slowly unfolds to finality. Bear in mind that Bungie plans to support and develop new grounds for this game for the next 10 years. In the next months, I’ll probably see free and paid DLCs on Playstation Store, and I wouldn’t mind downloading and buying each one of it.
So yeah – in my opinion, this is like Bungie channeling the best practices of Blizzard on the World of Warcraft series. It worked for Blizzard; and with the combination of Bungie’s expertise in creating story, world and immersive gameplay experience, it might probably work for them as well.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.