Destiny (Video Game Review)

Destiny is easily one of the most anticipated games to release in 2014 by many gamer's eyes. The new release comes from Bungie--a studio that is most well known for releasing the Halo franchise on the original Xbox and bringing about the evolution of first-person shooters on home consoles. Destiny marks a first for the company in many ways including the first game Bungie has released with its new publishing partner in Activision, and Destiny will also be the first Bungie title available on PlayStation consoles. Destiny is a fantastic new game that opens up new possibilities for all of the gaming industry, and only a few issues hold the game back from being as truly revolutionary as the series Bungie released before it.

The storyline of Destiny takes players to a futuristic world where a powerful and mysterious entity known as the Traveler protects Earth from outside threats. Beings known as Guardians harness the power of the Traveler and must use their skills to fight back against an approaching Darkness. The Guardians will travel all across the universe looking for a way to stop the new threat, and players will uncover plenty of secrets about Earth, the Traveler and the galaxy along the way. The storyline featured in Destiny is the most ambitious Bungie has produced yet, and it seems it will ultimately be one of the best narratives the developer has produced to date.

Players begin Destiny by creating their own Guardian character in true MMO fashion. Players can choose from one of three classes that includes the Titan Hunter and Warlock as well as one of three races in humans, Awoken and Exo. Characters also come with many different looks and styles that spawn from the chosen class and race. The three classes each offer different skills and abilities in combat, while the race differences are purely cosmetic. Most players will have already have some idea of the character they want to create after enjoying any of the beta periods of Destiny, but it's nice to see a bevy of new options added for players in the full release.

The open world of Destiny opens up as soon as players complete the game's tutorial and make it to their ship. Players can access different planets and moons in the solar system to begin participating in missions with unique objectives and rewards. Players can choose whether or not to team up with others online, but each Guardian receives their own Ghost companion, so players never go into battles alone. Missions come in two primary types with players battling against AI controlled enemies in the missions accessed from the game's central hub, or players can battle each other for some of the best loot in the game in the Crucible. Players can also rest between missions, find other players to team with, upgrade weapons and more at the Tower.

Players will gain experience points and levels for completing missions and landing kills online. Players can augment and otherwise change and empower their Guardian specific abilities while leveling, and the RPG elements are definitely welcome in a game that requires so much grinding and replaying levels to make the most powerful character possible. Once players reach level 20, a whole new type of armor and missions are unlocked. Players can enter the Crucible after reaching this requirement to access special Vanguard missions that rewards players with powerful pieces of armor that requires a player to be a certain Light rating to utilize. We'd like to see the game open up even more and in different ways down the road, but the Vanguard missions are a nice change of pace after players have already spent many hours with a single Guardian in online play.

Destiny has a pretty good selection of missions available for players from the get go. Once players have spent enough time in the game however, missions can tend to repeat in primary objectives. Players looking to grind out the best gear available from the Crucible will find the repetitiveness particularly worrisome. Given that any game features a level of repetitiveness, the similarly styled missions don't break the gameplay experience in Destiny, but players can't realistically expect each mission to feel completely fresh and new after spending many hours with the game.

Destiny is an impressive looking shooter. The game shines on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and manages to stay impressive on last generation consoles as well. The game has good character models and plenty of variants to make players feel their Guardian is truly their own, while the different worlds in the galaxy are even more astounding. The game manages to feel futuristic and very science fiction heavy without feeling cheesy overall. The soundtrack featured in Destiny is strong as well, though the themes in the game are far from the best the developer has ever produced. User interface is top notch in the game, and progressing from one mission to another is simplistic even if not terribly time efficient when traveling from one location to a different one.

Future content releases will ultimately decide the lasting appeal of Destiny, but as it stands, Destiny leaves a tremendous impact on the gaming industry and is one of the best massively multiplayer online games we have ever played. Destiny truly captures elements of the first-person shooter and MMORPG genres to create a unique experience that will have gamers enthralled for hundreds of hours. The title can get a bit repetitive at times, but it's an overall rewarding experience that fans of Bungie and the shooter genre will greatly enjoy. Suit up Guardians; Destiny is out now for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Destiny is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One & Xbox 360 and can be purchased for the MSRP of $59.99. Destiny is rated T by the ESRB for Animated Blood & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Destiny website.

Game Features:
  • Massively Multiplayer Online
  • Three Playable Classes and Races
  • Level and Unlock Advanced Weapons and Armor
  • DLC Support and Expansion Pass
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One (reviewed) & Xbox 360
Release Date: September 9, 2014

Score: 9.5 out of 10

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