High Score Gaming: Destiny — Week 2

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First Posted: 9/30/2014

My second week in “Destiny” was as remarkable as the first, and so was my third.

I spent some more time playing “Destiny,” and I feel I’m at a point where I can wrap up the review with this second blog about the game. I plan on doing a couple of how-to guides like I’ve done in the past, and I’m sure I’ll write about “Destiny” more as downloadable content is released.

But for now, I want to pick up where I left off last week.

Character Progression

Each kill earns experience points, which in turn earns players levels. More levels mean better gear, armor and abilities.

Simple, right?

Abilities can be altered for different effects — for instance, as a Titan, I could opt for this particular training that would lower my armor, but increase other traits. It’s simplistic, sure, but there’s enough meat in the game’s mechanics to allow for some strategic thought.

I’m not exactly sure at this point if there are any abilities that differentiate the classes. I’ve watched my girlfriend play as a Hunter, and I still wonder what separates our classes.

Fireteams can consist of three players — why not make it so each team needs one of each class? As it stands right now, I don’t see why my girlfriend and I would ever need the services of a Warlock (no offense.) Granted, the game is a shooter at its core, but somehow making each class unique with either a specific weapon or range of abilities would have made it even more unique.

Each character does have a subclass. As a Titan, I can change to a Defender subclass to change my play style from an aggressive, run-and-gun one to a reserved protector style.

But I’ll be sticking to my aggressive style.

Mission briefing

There are a number of different mission styles in Destiny — Raids, Strikes and Patrols being some of them.

They each follow the same formulaic structure of kill some lesser enemies, progress from checkpoint to checkpoint until eventually reaching a boss.

“Repetitive” is one of those words that, as a gamer, I’ve grown to hate. Reviewers hate doing the same thing over and over again, but isn’t that essentially what online game modes consist of with “Call of Duty”?

“Destiny” does suffer from a repetitive formula. I was okay with it during the first week of play, and honestly, I’m okay with it now. The good thing about “Destiny” is that, while the game is repetitive, it’s a blast to play and is easily one of the best shooters I’ve played.

Downloadable content will surely fix the game’s repetitiveness in good time.

Lasting impressions

I wrote in the first blog that massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are hard to review, and “Destiny” is the first one that I’ve done. I’m sure that there’s some stuff that I missed with the game, and I’m still learning more and more about the game every time I play.

That’s the beauty of MMOs — they are living, breathing games that take on a life of their own, and they can change with the addition of downloadable content.

Despite my praise, there’s a lot to be critical of with “Destiny.” Sure, the game looks gorgeous, but I can’t help but feel the planets are largely empty. I get it, alien hordes wiped out everything in their path leading up to the game’s point, but there almost has to be more that.

Are there other planets that have escaped that grim fate? Will there eventually be combat with other human races?

The game’s clever use of lobby screens, as cool as they are to look at, are also growing to look like missed opportunities. I’m sick of floating in my Jumpship as I pick a mission to do — I want to fly to the planet myself. Better yet, I want to fight other players in Jumpship dogfights.

And that is where the issue of reviewing MMOs comes into play — “Destiny” just came out less than a month ago. There are already plans for downloadable content in December, and even more beyond that. Many of my gripes now could be moot points in a few months.

The best way I can describe “Destiny” at this point is a good start. The game plays extremely well in its current stage, and it’s a blast to play even if it’s a little repetitive. The difficulty sways from easy to incredibly tough in fluid fashion, and my best friend tells me the game only gets harder from where I am.

Is the game good in its current form and worth your time? Absolutely. Is there room for improvement? Without a doubt.