In 2014, Bungie, the creators of the popular video game franchise Halo, released a whole new game called Destiny that expanded the world of massively multiplayer online experiences even further. Destiny allows players around the world to play in “player vs environment” and “player vs player” modes during the same gaming session and compete in faction arena tournaments. While more of a “shared-world shooter” than a traditional MMO, it still manages to satisfy fans looking for a unique online experience.
Much like Halo and Gearbox’s Borderlands, Destiny takes place in a fictional futuristic world. Your objectives include finding out what happened after an event known as “the Collapse” and reviving “the Traveler” as a member of the Guardians, defenders of the last safe city on Earth.
During the game’s opening moments you’re revived by a robotic entity named
Ghost Dinklebot, voiced by fan favourite actor Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), who helps and guides you through missions. This is similar to what happens in Borderlands with a robot named Claptrap, however Dinklebot does not have the same capabilities of sarcasm and wit as Claptrap, thus missing out on the humourous aspects associated with Borderlands.
After piecing together various objects in order to retrieve information and travel to the substation hub-like sanctuary called the Tower, you’ll meet “the Speaker,” a representative of “the Traveler” voiced by Bill Nighy (Underworld). Then you get to explore it with your chosen faction class of your character in one of three types; Hunter, Warlock, and Titan.
Another goal is that of completing various missionary objectives in a bid to level up and gain reputation. Eventually you can acquire top level access to high class gear and weapons called Legendaries. Again, this is quite similar to Borderlands in character upgrading and unlocks. There is a huge variety of missions and activities, which you might never get bored of, however there are also cheap methods of advancing, such as loot farming in caves and hotspots in which you focus on the same areas for hours on end.
Another popular feature of Destiny is the Crucible where players battle each other in a variety of PvP modes in a bid to win points and legendary gear. There’s also a special event mode called “Iron Banner” that’s only available periodically, but it can reward you with exclusive items and gear. These modes and others, such as certain Patrol missions, allow you to team up with other players and the public events are a great way of meeting the community and building faction reputation.
Destiny offers three planetary open world environments that you can have fun in; Earth, Mars, and Venus. Each offers eye dropping scenery to compliment the games epic soundtrack. However, Destiny has its weaknesses as well, such as a weak character creation system and the lack of overall story narrative. The main campaign is rather short, though this has been aided somewhat through the release of downloadable content via two DLC packs: The Dark Below and House of Wolves. Both expansions also allow you to take on tougher enemy factions.
Destiny‘s main draw continues to be its loot system and they’ve done well here. The rates are low and the randomization in loot is fairly high as you battle enemies in a bid to get them to drop unlockable weapons and armor or you find occasional secret boxes. Items can also be acquired through “engrams” that you decode via the Cryptarch in the Tower or through rewards from completing tournaments and raids skillfully.
September 15th will bring many changes to Destiny with the release of its third and largest DLC yet; The Taken King. This one will introduce the game’s “Year Two” along with new missions, enemy threats, and exciting new challenges and rewards. Other new features include two new PvP modes, seven new maps, and one new subclass for each character class.
Finally, I saved the best for last. Here’s a gameplay video I recently recorded of myself playing Destiny and explaining what the game represents as I progress. Enjoy!