Destiny. No, not what is going to happen in the future on some set storyline you are playing out in your life.
I am talking about Destiny the game, specifically the PS3 version where the hype machine has worked overtime for all consoles and you would be hard pushed to not have at least heard of this game.
This is not going to be a gamers review, more “Lets cut through the hype and tell it how I see it”.
Firstly Destiny is a first person shooter. Its set in the future on an almost destroyed Earth (heard that before?) where good aliens and bad aliens have dragged mankind into their fight. I’m sure already most people have heard this before, but I didn’t let this prevent me from buying into everything about the game.
For those Warhammer fans, you would be forgiven for seeing a little of your universe in this game. Lost knowledge, a combination of old and new weaponry, the list goes on. If you were a Halo fan, you’ll see the Bungee touch on this game and certainly there’s much of it where you can see its influences.
If you think Destiny is to first person sci-fi shooters what World of Warcraft is to online RPG’s then think again. You are not going to have a Morrowind type control over every facet of your character where you will spend many months creating an extension of yourself in an online world. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d want to. The game, the visuals and even the storyline are not, in my opinion, good enough.
Moving on, lets look in more detail at what I think is wrong with Destiny.
Firstly, the visuals – I don’t think they represent 2014 at all and whilst the PS3 is being replaced by the PS4, I think (for example) Killzone 3 is far superior in its graphics. Destiny has some nasty low resolution textures that make an appearance from time to time and I can’t see why. The game shouldn’t challenge the CPU more than any other modern shooter yet it looks more fitting for a PS3 launch title than a game on a mature system. The frame rate dropped noticeably in the game too, sometimes at points where there is much going on, but I also noticed drops in frame rate at seemingly peaceful moments where I was inside a building (stairs seem to factor in many of the frame drops I’ve observed)
I would add at this point that even when this game is “frantic” with activity, its not as frantic as some other older games on the PS3 market, who seem to have got around the problems of frame drop that I noticed whilst playing Destiny.
Secondly, if you get the download from the store, you are going to have to do your research. The initial training levels only give you the basics and even now I’m left slightly confused by how the equipment and skills work. What does dismantle do? Or more specifically, can you achieve anything by doing it?
The home base for your character (or lobby if you will) is reminiscent of the Playstation Home world…..and its about as interesting. You can “talk” with characters involved in the storyline, run about a bit and make your character perform a silly dance or sit down. After paying so much money for something that was supposed to be great, I don’t really feel like dancing, be it on the console or in real life.
Multiplayer games are fun to a point, however on the PS3 version at least there feels something very wrong with it. I can’t quite put my finger on what that is, but the multi-player experience reminded me of the free game Alien Arena, where its fun, but just lacks that little extra something. I’ve played Killzone 2/3, 1942, Space Marine and a few others finding the online play fun. Destiny just seems to lack the fun for me.
The single player story (which can also be co-op) is not particularly exciting. It puts me in mind of a Halo/Crysis hybrid – and not a particular interesting one either. Follow the way-point markers, kill some aliens, activate some machinery, kill some more aliens (with a few bosses thrown in) and then kill another boss before going back to your spacecraft to do it all again.
I don’t play many games and I certainly play very few shooters, however every one I’ve played I’ve really enjoyed and gone back to again (Killzone 3 springs to mind). I can’t say the same for Destiny. The weapons are uninspired (so far), I’m at level 8 and really have no enthusiasm to see more of the same.
I would say to anyone thinking of jumping into Destiny to have a play with it for about an hour first before you part with any money. I wish I’d taken my own advice over the years and remembered to “not believe the hype”.