By Rob DolenSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
For a lot of early new-generation gaming console adopters (Xbox One and PS4), their game libraries have felt rather empty or wanting, at least until now. That changed with the multi-platform release of “Destiny,” made by the creators of “Halo” (Bungie) and the producers of “Call of Duty” (Activision), widely considered a powerhouse of coordination in the gaming industry.
“Destiny” takes place in the aftermath of the golden age of space travel for humanity, where Earth has been reduced to one final city due to the rising threat of the interplanetary alien destruction forces known cumulatively as ‘The Darkness.’ You play as a Guardian – one of the last remaining militaristic forces here to protect Earth from destruction. The story sounds promising, but in its execution “Destiny” makes the story seem like a backdrop rather than a basis for gameplay.
“Destiny” is a first-person shooter primarily, but also draws huge influences from massively multiplayer online games (MMO’s) and other sandbox games as far as the customization of your characters and exploring gameplay scenarios. Character skills, armor and weapon strength drive the ability to persevere in battle, but focuses less on player aesthetics. “Destiny” is among the first few of the next generation of games to include seamless multiplayer within the game world, meaning that any players could drop in and out of the area that you are exploring or the mission you are performing, making the world feel fleshed out and realistic.
The feeling of immersion is also exemplified by there being no true loading screens, but rather you are inside your spaceship as you travel to your next destination without any evidence of it actually being loading time.
The actual gameplay itself draws huge influence from “Halo” and “Call of Duty” from the handling of the gunfights to the actual movement, both on foot and inside vehicles. Even with these inspirations, “Destiny” still remains unique in its own style and feels more like an improvement from the previous games that have influenced it. Objectives in “Destiny” at times tend to follow the typical MMO archetype of diving into a dungeon and fighting enemies until they are all extinguished, which isn’t necessarily a con, but more of a repetitive incidence after several missions.
Though it seems repetitive, “Destiny” cleverly uses challenges and other forms of rewards to keep the player addicted and incite them to play more. Many complain about connection problems as well, even on the University Wi-Fi there were some instances, but these problems were few and far between, save for some universal multiplayer server trouble.
Despite a few nitpicky qualms, “Destiny” is a promising shooter that deserves praise for its overall originality as the first truly next-gen experience on consoles.