GAME REVIEW: DESTINY / DEVELOPER: BUNGIE / PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION / PLATFORM: PLAYSTATION 3, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX 360, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Love them or hate them, few can deny the impact Bungie has had on the modern gaming scene over the past three generations with the Halo franchise. Having contributed to the success of the Xbox repeatedly, understandably, Destiny was hyped for the new generation. The result is a solid combination of Action-RPG and first-person shooter ideas, but don’t buy too much into the hype.
The story is certainly nothing to write home about. Some dark nebulous force almost drove humanity to extinction years ago, there’s a giant alien orb in the sky, and you’re one of a few heroes who can hunt down aliens. Peter Dinklage voices both a floating robot companion and the narrator.
The real meat of the title comes down to the mechanics. While the various classes offer little in terms of real diversity; the arsenal of weapons and items you can find are excellently balanced, and make every approach viable. Getting up close and personal with sub-machineguns is just as viable as the often all-powerful sniper rifle, with certain classes appealing more to one approach and another. If this sounds remarkably like Borderlands, you’re not far off from the truth, and it plays like a cross between Gearbox’s hit and a perfected Hellgate: London.
Better yet, is the occasional surprise that Destiny can throw your way, with certain environments suddenly mixing up combat or featuring a dramatic new gimmick. The Sword of Crota in particular is noteworthy for shifting gears and briefly turning Destiny into a competent Warframe clone.
The environments are stunning from beginning to end, and they do tap into that old feeling of first stepping into an MMO. Between the aesthetic, sprawling locations and enemy types, there is a real sense of exploration despite how much the title owes to tried and true methods. It’s just a shame that this is marred by a low frame rate which makes shooting seem infuriatingly sluggish; it’s a problem which has plagued this new generation and is inexcusable in this day and age.
A further aggravation stems from the combat’s repetitious nature, which can easily become bland and boring during long stretches. Even Bungie themselves have openly admitted it doesn’t truly get going until twenty hours in. This results in grinding out stats and trudging through the drawn-out middle of the campaign after the magic of entering a new world has worn off.
Destiny will not single-handedly change all of gaming in one fell swoop, but it does offer a standout experience. There’s plenty here to like and with Bungie still working to add new features, this is one which is well worth a look.