The Darkness, the Ghost, and the Sparrow: A Look at Destiny

*Today my good buddy Topher pops in to give us a contributor piece that offers a look into some gaming I’m not nearly as familiar with, the world of Video Games.  Bungie’s new game Destiny has gained a lot of hype leading into its launch and Topher seems to really dig it, but let’s here him chat about it!

So, Kevin asked me to write a review of Destiny. First, Kevin thank you for letting me contribute to your site. Alright now that the mandatory kowtowing is over, let’s get to business.

Destiny is a First-Person Shooter Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Game, or in other words a FPSMMORPG, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. From the start I will tell you that I am currently playing the Xbox One version, and overall, the game is really good.

STORY AND ENEMIES

Peter Dinklage is your companion and guide, a hyper intelligent robot called Ghost that brings you back to life. That’s right, Tyrion Lannister is your Sherpa. Do I need to say more?

Mr. Dinklage I presume?

Alright, I was informed that I do need to say more, so…

Good story if you overlook the typical Human = Good; Aliens = Bad; Earth = Doomed cliché, but have I mentioned Peter Dinklage voices your companion?

Missions let you jump in quick and feel emerged in the struggle against the evil aliens known as the Darkness. The aliens are actually a solid enemy, and enemies are what make a game interesting. If the bad guys not good at their job, what’s the point? The enemy A.I. in Destiny actually utilizes, and get ready for this, LOGIC!!! If you snipe one of them, the rest actively try to get to cover. I hope this is the type of thinking more games start to employ in their enemies. I have killed too many faceless enemies because they are staring at the comrade who was just sniped.

The map is set up into story missions to work your way through, and an open environment gives you the opportunity to sand box patrol as well, kill more baddies, and farm that sweet, sweet XP. The sandbox mode is awesome. This is something that any game with a RPG element needs. Bravo for including it Bungie.

I will not give spoilers away, but the early on you see that the battles between humans and the Darkness have scarred the moon, after that I was all in for exterminating the enemy. NOBODY FRACKS WITH OUR MOON!!!

CLASSES AND RACES

Three classes so far. There are Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks. I will give you a quick breakdown of all of them so you can make an informed decision. Don’t worry though, you can make multiple characters.

Titans – The brutes. They like to take damage and dish it out. Good at getting close and melee enemies

Hunters – Short for bounty hunter. These are the nimble gunslingers.

Warlocks – Kind of like someone with force powers that also uses guns.

There are also 3 races to choose from when making a character. They are nothing but cosmetic, so just pick the one that you think look coolest.

Humans – Well, they are human….

Awoken – Humans that got lost in space and their skin lost all pigment

Exo – Robots, you know, like Bender Bending Rodriguez

VISUALS

The visuals are stunning. Bungie has their in house engine for Destiny and so far it looks great. I am yet to see a major bug. I don’t need to say any more, because instead look at this picture of me pretending I am Ezio Auditore da Firenze.

Destiny

CONTROLS

The controls are a throwback to the Halo series, not surprising since the game was made by Bungie. So, the learning curve on the controller is actually quite quick. All the standard buttons are the same and the powers a really well mapped. This allows the player the ability to quickly remember where there buttons are mapped and to expend their skills expertly in battle. You also have a failsafe of using two buttons to unleash your big damaging dealing power. So if you don’t get that to land properly, it was your fault and not the controller’s.

Bungie has also taken some of the things that Halo was lacking and incorporated these into the controls. The right stick now allows the player to sprint to avoid enemies or to retreat and heal. This is a huge boon to the combat system. If there was one thing that Halo was missing it was sprinting. Too many times would I find myself getting shot in the back with the only option to save myself was to turn and charge my attacker or slowly lurch forward and pray that I made it to the inevitable fall to a lower level or grav portal or, if I was real luck, a large random purple crate.

The land speeders take some getting used to. In the beginning their controls are counter intuitive. Your first bike has a brake on the right and accelerator on the left, you know, the opposite of any car you’ve ever driven. The reason it is set up like this is because later on your bike can get a gun, then right trigger is a gun and all is right with the world.

Side note: The menu’s controls are awesome. They control like you have a curser and a mouse. It gives you the feel of being closer to a PC game. A small thing, but the emersion value is huge.

MULTIPLAYER

First, Xbox One, fix your multiplayer and party options. They are AWFUL!!!

Alright, now that I got that out of my system, cooperative multiplayer is amazing. You can form a three man fireteam to take down story missions or explore in the sandbox. Since everyone is on their own counsel, you can go where ever you want and scatter the wind. I always find this appealing. It allows you to attack from multiple directions at once. This multiplayer is one of the strongest parts of Destiny.

Now, competitive multiplayer has some problems. This first being that some people you play online will be much higher level than yourself. This means they have unlocked more powers, gotten better weapons, and can take more damage. I do not know if they scale the powers back or up to compensate and make the playing field easy for those people that have, what do you call those things, oh right, jobs and can’t sit around a dorm room playing video games all day. (Sigh….I miss college so much…) You can still be competitive in multiplayer mode, but be prepared to take a beating every now and again.

VERDICT

Great game overall. I have enjoyed the hours I have already put into it and will definitely be playing this game for months to come.

OVERALL SCORE: 9/10

This game is a can’t miss. Go buy it right now. And I will see you online.

-Topher

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