Final verdict: D-
Final playtime: No timer. Too many hours though.
Every time. EVERY damn time they sucker punch me. Okay so holy shit I have some hot fire to spit at this game.
Bungie made a new Halo. It’s called Destiny, and it’s an MMO. Everything I just said is entirely true and will probably piss off a lot of people who I am absolutely fine with pissing off because their opinions do not matter.
Alright, so Destiny plays and looks exactly like Halo. This isn’t surprising because Halo is the only thing Bungie ever really did that people gave a shit about, and they did it so much that now it’s all they know how to do. Bungie is kind of a one-trick pony. They were desperate to break away from Halo, so they… made Halo again. Whatever, that’s a job for Freud. Probably something about an Oedipus complex and a cigar that is just a cigar but then that second cigar is a penis.
Next up, yes, it’s an MMO despite Bungie’s insistence to the contrary. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has a labyrinthine vagina like a duck, and shits all over the floor, then guess what the fuck it is? Imagine if Halo had a meagre four or five hours of campaign mode, a drastically limited version of its competitive multiplayer with only a couple of modes, and a small handful of variations on the campaign levels that re-use the same content, and those tiny handful of levels are designed to be played and replayed over and over for the small chance of loot and materials that you don’t even need. It is exactly an MMO. There is nothing about it which isn’t one. Every single element of this game is a grind for grinding’s sake and it is terrible. It saddens me that the human race is so easily addicted to such trivial, pointless wastes of its precious and limited time.
That being said, the actual mechanics of the overall gameplay, and the amount of polish on the game, do make it feel satisfying to play. I genuinely do enjoy the PvP, despite the lack of maps and gametypes, because it’s satisfying. Way more satisfying than Halo ever was. In Halo, none of the guns felt good – it was like firing water pistols at tanks or something. They didn’t feel powerful in the slightest. That’s something Destiny got very right, possibly even more right than any other FPS I’ve played. The guns feel really fucking good. The movement feels nice, too. Smooth, but heavy, like there’s real weight to your character. That’s something almost every other FPS has gotten wrong, and only the occasional one gets right. The little details got a lot of attention in Destiny – when firing a revolver for instance, if you squeeze the trigger button slowly you can watch the hammer gradually start to cock back, and the chamber steadily revolve to line up the next bullet. Then when it fires, the recoil looks and feels right, and gives a sense of force to the shot you just fired, and when the bullet hits someone, their health bar disappears with a satisfying thud sound. That kind of detailed feedback makes it all feel that much more real.
It’s just baffling to me how the developers and designers could care so much about these tiny details and get them so very right, and then shit all over the playerbase with the shockingly sparse content, and poor quality of what little content there is. If you’re going to put in such effort for the little things, you’d think they could have cared more about the stuff that really matters.
And this is fucking BUNGIE, for christ’s sake. They’re capable of immersive, gripping campaigns. Halo’s campaigns were really good. Not incredible or groundbreaking perhaps, but they were good. They did a nice job of making you feel like you were playing through something important. So Bungie is clearly capable of doing that, and they just… didn’t. The few story missions that exist all consist of one thing: Run to a designated point on the map. Kill X waves of the same enemies. Press the action button. MISSION COMPLETE. Now sit through a several-minute long loading screen, and then do the same damn thing again.
And people PLAY IT! MILLIONS of people play it ALL. DAY. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The same few story missions over and over, the same raid over and over, the same few daily bounties over and over. And bounties are the ultimate grind. It’s all like “Kill 100 enemies with headshots for some arbitrary currency.” Oh and the damn currency and reputation. There’s a few factions in the game. Vanguard (story), Crucible (PvP), and then some pointless other ones that are just alternatives to the story faction. When you do stuff for a faction, you get points in that faction. You can then spend those points at that faction’s merchants for equipment. But you need to attain certain levels of reputation before you can be eligible. Usually it takes weeks of grinding over and over to build up enough rep to buy that one thing that you sort of want because it’s slightly less shit than the alternatives. Oh and you can really only grind one faction at a time, so if you grind one up to the rank you require, but still want something from the other ones? Welp, gotta grind those too now! Start from the beginning! And you can only get a certain amount of currency per week because it’s capped. So you know how the ONE thing you can do in this game is grind, grind and grind again? Well, after a certain amount of grinding, it becomes pointless to grind because you won’t even get any currency out of it. Gotta just wait ’til next week now! Turn off your console and stop playing because the ONE thing this game wants you to do, it is preventing you from doing.
The whole system is set up to be a grind, and worse than that, a grind with self-imposed, arbitrary limitations. It’s utterly, utterly terrible. Worse than most MMOs. At least most MMOs will do something to make the grind feel worthwhile, or mask the fact that it’s a grind. This is just shameless. It’s like Bungie broke an MMO down into its basic recipe, and then Frankensteined those parts together, but what it created wasn’t something more than the sum of its parts. It’s literally just the parts, cobbled together with scotch tape and not even remotely alive. At least with most MMOs, you get a sense of community. Maybe make some friends and get into a routine of playing the game with them a couple times a week or something. I wouldn’t know a few of my best and most important friends if it weren’t for Final Fantasy 11, for instance. But Destiny doesn’t even let you COMMUNICATE with other players! You’re all just trapped together in this awful seventh-level of Hell, all living out the same cursed existence in sad silence, watching each other suffer the same boring, endless fate. And then it’s even sadder when you realize most everyone else is somehow enjoying it.
But that’s a double-edged sword. I for one like that nobody can communicate with me, because I don’t have any interest in interacting with any of them. There’s also no matchmaking for the game’s one and only raid, which means you actually have to either a) have five friends who are equally well-equipped and prepared, or b) go out and seek new, unreliable, probably unprepared and inexperienced friends just to take part in the game’s one and only big thing. And I can understand it to an extent – it’s supposed to be difficult, and you shouldn’t just be able to get through a difficult thing without some solid teamwork between communicative, solid players. Getting matchmade with a bunch of chumps (which is what would happen every damn time because 99% of people are useless chumps) would be infuriating and a giant waste of time. As much as it prevents the game from having any semblance of life or community, the lack of communication is the better of two shitty options.
Speaking of the raid though, I can tell you with certainty that it is nowhere near good enough to make up for ANY of the game’s extreme shortcomings. The raid is absolutely the best PvE that Destiny has to offer, but it really doesn’t do anything special. It includes one very simplistic platforming section (nowhere in the rest of the game is there any such platforming), and two bosses that have gimmicks involving one person carrying an item in order to make it possible to damage said bosses. While the raid is definitely more challenging than anything else, if you have even one person with leadership capabilities and four or five people who can point and shoot, you will be done in a couple of hours. But the gameplay mechanics available in the raid, while nothing special, would be SO VERY WELCOMED in the entire rest of the game. Bungie, sprinkle that shit throughout your story missions and strikes, and you would have a significantly more satisfying and rewarding PvE experience. But they saved it all for one short and underwhelming raid. Which you can only do once per week, by the way. If you do it again you’ll get no loot. Because fuck you for wanting to actually play this game. Weekly limits on all currencies and the most difficult PvE content because how dare you try to play this game too much. Grinding is all you are allowed to do, but you will be prevented from even doing that.
Also, Bungie is drawing a lot of fire from the game’s community for handling all the criticisms by… not doing anything. Every weekly update is simply “Thanks for telling us your concerns. You’re wrong and we’re ignoring you and doing nothing about it, but keep giving us your feedback.” It’s unbelievably disappointing. All they’ve done so far is nerf or remove the few things that people were actually enjoying. For instance, some people found a way to farm a lot of enemies very quickly, thus getting lots of drops and increasing their odds of getting worthwhile loot. Bungie took it out immediately. Now, I personally think sitting in one spot and shooting into a cave for hours on end is a pitiful way to spend your time and I feel bad for you and I won’t letchu finish, but given that it was the only reliable way to actually achieve anything in the game it was a dick move for Bungie to take it away.
Honestly, why did Bungie have to make Destiny this way? People have been saying it’s like a combination of Halo and Borderlands, but there’s nowhere near enough of either in here. It’s like they took a severely watered-down Halo, and a severely watered-down Borderlands, and then combined that with big heaping helpings of more water. Borderlands, though a loot piñata which generally I despise for their repetitive gameplay and constant MMO-like grind, I appreciated. It had so much content. That game lasted a really long damn time and thanks to very, VERY good writing and voice acting, and varied quests and missions, was surprisingly a joy to play. Yes, the gameplay was still a little repetitive but it took longer for it to get boring because at least it made an effort to mix things up and distract you with fantastic humor. Destiny starts with nothing and then throws on top of that some awful storytelling, and even worse voice acting. Peter Dinklage is an exceptional actor but he did an awful job with this, though I suspect some of the world’s worst writing and directing are to blame for that.
There is, of course, DLC planned for the game. Real soon. DLC that’s all already in-game, of course. Re-using assets, et cetera et cetera. It’s disgusting that gamers have come to expect that kind of treatment – paying a second time to unlock content that’s already on the disc you bought. It’s also a shockingly small amount of content, too. Something like one raid and two strikes and some more equipment or something. Whatever, who gives a fuck. It’s the same shit again and won’t break any ground or impress people. The only people impressed will be the type of person who is easily addicted to MMOs anyway, and those people are sub-human so who even listens to their opinions. Of course Bungie says the DLC isn’t already on-disc and is totally insane and will make your PS4 suck your dick, and they’re still totally working on it. By which they mean, maybe, there’s a small chance that they might slightly edit one setting to make fewer or more enemies spawn in a place in a part of the DLC. Go eat a dick, I know your game.
Oh, also: A less important but still incredibly annoying aspect of the game is the random number generator for drops. Most activities in the game will have a chance to reward you with loot, but your personal performance, or the performance of your group, bears no relevance to this chance. It’s entirely random. This means you can dominate a PvP match and utterly destroy the other team, obtaining a crushingly high kill:death ratio, and receive absolutely nothing, while the guy on the other team who got one kill and died seventeen times gets rewarded with an exotic weapon that you’ve been trying to get since the game launched. And this happens with alarming regularity, to the point where I actually wouldn’t be surprised if there was an algorithm behind the scenes that actually rewards bad players to give them a reason to keep playing.
So yeah, that’s really all I can say about it. Excellent physical mechanics for movement and shooting result in a solid PvP which is sadly lacking in maps and game types. The game has nothing else worth mentioning in a positive light. Literally everything about the PvE is deplorable. Wait for Destiny 2 – I’m sure it’s only a year or two away. After all, Bungie has money to make and consumers to fuck.
Oh, and as a side note, don’t even fucking get me started on the fanbase for this game. I hate them so much. Remember how I said I hate the Dark Souls 2 fanbase? Destiny is even worse. It makes the Dark Souls 2 guys look like normal human beings. Just look at this shit:
I’m beginning to think the problem is at least in part Reddit being some kind of colossal shit-magnet. But then I read this post, and this comment in particular, and found a sliver of hope for the <1% of humanity that I still have a tiny bit of faith in.
Final playtime: Who knows, no timer. I’m only still playing it because my friends are. That’s how MMOs get you. They’re fuckin’ sneaky.
Final verdict: D-