Destiny: First Impressions
I came to the Destiny party a little late having ignored much of the pre-release hype, and it seems that I've joined at an interesting time. Destiny's player-base is on the verge of rioting as information surfaced that the game changed dramatically within the last year of development, resulting in a lot of content either removed from release or shelved for further DLC. Nothing hurts your IP more than deceiving the target audience. You think they'd have learned from Capcom's on-disc DLC PR disaster, but it is seems that once again the powers at the top have dictated that money be the primary goal and not enjoyment. To add to the fire, the player-base has been peppered with updates to fix "loot cave" drop rates, which was exactly as popular as you'd expect. Enough of the game's current state, onto my first impressions.
The Halo series for me was enjoyable. Although I can't remember finishing 2 (someone decided to continue my save game while I was on a road trip) and I never played 4 (I should probably do that), I did enjoy the way Bungie told a story. So take that and add it to my distaste for Call of Duty's multi-player, and I wasn't expecting too much from this game. I've only clocked up 12 hours so far, and I haven't even completed the current story missions, so a lot of what is written here might change. I'll post a follow up after I've gone through more of the content.
Initially one gripe I had with the story missions was that you were returned to the same area again and again, but as I progressed I saw that each mission sent you to a previously unexplored section. I can live with the re-use of an area so it can expand with the Storyline missions. I started to anticipate exploring new sections with each mission, wondering what parts would open up for me next. Even now when I go back for Patrol Missions I find myself looking around, inevitably finding myself deep in a tunnel running into enemies much higher than my current level. Terrified, I run back up flights of stairs and out into the open, quickly turning to see if they followed me out. I really didn't expect so many exciting moments from this game.
The actual story from what I've seen so far lacks a lot. I've been teased with a few shots of a mysterious character watching me (ground breaking story mechanic there), but disappointingly the game does not provide the giant space opera themes that Halo and Mass Effect have brought us in the past. I mention Mass Effect because of recent talk suggesting the development team wanted to bring us that "big" style of game, which if done with the current engine could have knocked ME off it's pedestal. The Grimoire cards were added to fill in the blanks created by the removal of content but they fail miserably. Pro-tip Bungie: If a player wants to immerse themselves in the lore of a game, they don't want to have to leave the game to access further content. Keep game content in the game.
I left the multi-player alone until a friend mentioned that it was a faster way to level and at first I struggled with it. Although I may be decent at other FPSRPG when it comes to figuring out ways to use terrain to my advantage against the computer, I'm not that great against the random aspects of other real players. Changing weapons helped, switching to a Pulse Rifle and later a Shotgun. As did becoming more familiar with the levels and use of melee and super abilities. After figuring this out multi-player actually became fun. I'm still yet to try raids so hopefully I'll come back and comment on these at a later point.
But here's what I'm expecting... Loot whores. Lots of them. That and rage quits.