Soulless, goalless and ball-less: why Destiny has already failed

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Destiny has taken a lifetime to release; from its leak, announcement and subsequent drip-fed reveal, the game has had a slow and well-paced development period. And it worked. Who wasn’t intrigued by Destiny?

So the real question is, for a game that has seemingly taken a lifetime to develop, how did it end up so lifeless?

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A dinner date with Destiny – Day 3

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If variety is the spice of life, Destiny is a Korma.

I have only been playing for about five hours, so take my musings with a pinch of salt. However, I am bored of the structure already, and that is worrying for five hours of gameplay. It reminds me of the first Assassin’s Creed game; it is good looking and works well technically , but my, oh my, it is repetitive.

My girlfriend pointed out that all I was doing was the same as any other game. By this she meant that it looked like – beyond the superficial makeup of the game – COD.

And she was right. All I was doing was shooting things – attacking, attacking, attacking.Destiny_20140909210820

I haven’t bought COD since Black Ops, and with good reason too. I am bored of simply shooting wave after wave of the same enemy just to grind through some sort of rank progression.

Still, the feedback from shooting a gun in Destiny is very good and grinding has as much appeal as any other game that involves grinding.  So if you like a good grind and shooting countless same-faced enemies in the face, this is the game for you.

A dinner date with Destiny – Day 1

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So far so good. Destiny has surprised me, entirely because I did not think it would.

A general avoidance of persistent online games and FPS fatigue ensured my weariness of Bungie’s latest, but I find myself itching to get back to it ASAP.

First off, the game hits with it’s beauty. That said, I am worried about the level variety; despite their beauty, they don’t strike me as memorable. What they lack in variation they make up for by being vast enough to accommodate the three classes’ strengths.

I – uncharacteristically – picked a female human Hunter,  I mention this because it may explain why I am enjoying the game so much. My familiar lazy gaming mind told me to jump in as a male Titan, but it is a new generation of consoles, if I can’t change now when can I? So my enjoyment could stem from this solely.

So far I have fought Wizards, fought very generic enemies over and over, and listened to some nonsense about the darkness approaching.

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The story strikes me as nothing special, and yet I am enthralled with the influence of Star Wars that Bungie proudly wears on its sleeve. My most memorable moment so far has been speeding on a Sparrow – which, make no mistake about it, is a speeder – down a river surrounded by waterfalls and cliffs.

It was beautiful; not quite sublime but certainly impressive.

At work while destiny awaits (at home).

 

It took until 12.00 BST for me to realise just how much I did not want to be in work that day. I was three and a half an hours in with five and a half hours to go. I whispered to myself, ‘Destiny really is awaiting.’

To me, Destiny is an mmos, a massively multiplayer online something – which I much prefer to Bungie’s self coined ‘shared-world shooter’. It is Bungie’s first new IP since Halo graced Xbox and PC in 2001. It is essentially Borderlands meets Halo with Peter Dinklage and moon wizards. And I care for non of them.

So why am I so excited?

Maybe it is the lack of games I have for my ps4. Maybe it is because I am very unfamiliar with, and quite intimidated by, mmos and am therefore excited by this strange beast. Maybe it is because work is kind of dull.

Whatever it is, it is damn exciting. Now excuse me as I rush home, probably to find a launch-day update waiting for me. (Edit: Of course there was an update.)