There are an enormous number of game reviews for Bungie’s Destiny game written by professional journalists who get paid for writing game reviews, so I will try to give a personal approach to my review.
When Destiny was first released, I remember it being touted as the newest game from the people that brought us Halo. So, when I bought my brother-in-law a new game for his birthday last June, I picked Destiny, because he has played all of the Halo games and really enjoys them. At the time, I did not have an XBox one, and I wasn’t really playing games that much, so I didn’t get the XBox 360 version.
About a month ago, I got an XBox One and started playing more games. I decided to borrow Destiny from my brother-in-law because he was not playing it. After I played through the first few missions, I was hooked. It’s like an addictive drug – “the first one’s free”. That’s how I felt when the first White engram dropped from a slain enemy.
You see, in Destiny, like in many MMORPGs, you can sometimes get what’s called a “drop”. It’s special loot that you get from killing enemies. In Destiny, the loot comes in a few different forms. Either you get an actual piece of armor, a weapon, or other special item that you can use. The special items drop as what are called “engrams”, special items that must be “decoded” by a Cryptarch. The Cryptarch is a person at one of the social areas that decodes and sells engrams. There are different color engrams. The ones that I’m aware of are (in order of availability): White (plain and ordinary), Green (uncommon), Blue (rare), Purple (legendary), Gold (exotic).
For more info, see Engram on Destinypedia
As you gain experience, you gain character levels. As you gain character levels, you get access to higher powered gear and armor, keeping you equal with the harder enemies that you encounter at higher level missions. At level 20, you gain access to what’s called an “armor shader“, which lets you buy color schemes to ensure that all of your armor pieces match. Without a shader, you might look a little disheveled. At level 18, you can upgrade your Ghost’s shell by buying a new one from the Speaker.
One of the main things I like about Destiny over other MMOs is the fact that when you die, your gear doesn’t get “damaged” and require repair. And, you don’t have to choose between 30 or so special actions and the various ways they interact to fight an enemy. It’s a first person shooter at heart, so you just have to engage your enemies with standard weapons, special weapons, heavy weapons, grenades, and a few melee and special attacks bound to the bumper buttons. It’s so much simpler to play than games like World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic. I thought that Elder Scrolls Online was also easier, but Destiny is so much more fun.
Besides following the very expansive story modes to advance in the game, there is also the option of “patrols” on each of the planets that you can travel to. Patrols allow you to engage groups of enemies in an open play area and gain experience without moving the story forward. You can get what’s called “bounties“, which are special little missions that you can carry out in the course of your gameplay. An example of a bounty would be to kill 30 enemies of a particular type (there are multiple alien races that you have to fight in Destiny). When you complete a bounty, you gain experience.
Also, there are strikes and raids. Strikes are mini missions that you run with a few other players that last about 30-45 minutes. Raids, however, can last hours. Raids also have very complicated mechanics that must be executed in a particular order and very hard enemies to fight. Here’s the latest major boss fights from The Taken King expansion:
There are so many more little things that you can do. Here is a list of some of the little things:
- “Ghost hunting” – looking for dead ghosts scattered about the land and reviving them (here is a list of the Ghosts that I’ve found so far)
- Hunting Golden chests
- Hunting regular chests
- Getting as many precision kills as I can – (I just love watching their heads explode!)
- Exploring the open world as much as possible
Also, as with most modern games, there is a player versus player option. While most of the story takes place in public areas where you will encounter (and even assist) other players, there are game modes that are specially designed to pit you (and possibly a team of two or five other players) against other players. It’s called The Crucible. I am terrible at this mode. I am constantly getting killed. However, I have managed to make a few kills here and there, so I’m not a complete loser.
Overall, this is a fun game that I have trouble turning off at bedtime. In fact, bedtime has been extended a few hours to allow me more time to play…
My XBox Live Gamertag is “cerkit”. Add me and we can create a fireteam and knock out some Strikes or just wander around getting bounties and killing aliens (I’m not sure I’m ready for Raid mechanics).