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Vanilla Destiny

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    Rating: 3.5 – Good

    Vanilla Destiny

    I know this is rather dated, but I’ve had this review up for awhile on my blog and I wanted to start sharing reviews here on GameFaqs.

    For my first “review”, I am going to be taking a look at the latest game from the developers at Bungie: Destiny. Bungie has frequently stated that this is a game/franchise that they want people to be playing for the next 10+ years. This could be achieved through various add-ons and patches, of which there have already been a few since launch. Destiny plays very much like your average AAA first person shooter, but has a few RPG and even fewer MMO elements sprinkled on top. This game looks stunning on even the last gen consoles, but it really shines on current gen hardware, really taking advantage of the processing and graphical power. The exceptional lighting and shadows really make this world look believable and very immersive.

    As with Bungie’s previous work, Halo, a lot of work went into designing every aspect of this world from enemies, weapons, level design, armor and gear, and even the UI is a nice change from most games. Enemies in particular seem to have been something the teams focused on creating. Whether you are fighting the Fallen on Earth, the Hive on the Moon, the Vex on Venus, or the Cabal on Mars, each alien race looks very different from the one encountered before. On top of that, each race has their own unique enemy types that never leave you feeling like they are just re-skinned versions of various enemies and you will constantly have to think about how you approach a situation depending on which race you will be facing. Bungie also did a good job making them a ton of fun to fight. In most shooters, the obvious weak or critical spot you’ll want to aim for is the head. This is not necessarily true for the enemies you combat in Destiny. It is very engaging to have to learn each enemy’s weakness and/or strengths and then balance that with your own loadouts and skills. At lower levels, some of the high tier bosses you face can feel like bullet sponges at times, requiring a simple pattern of shooting a weakness and cutting away a small chunk of their health and then hiding in cover and popping back up and repeating. This does change as you reach the higher levels and the level cap.

    This is where Destiny’s class and subclasses come into play. When you first begin the game, you must pick one of three classes: Warlock, Titan, or Hunter. Early in the game there aren’t too many differences in how the three classes play, with each one having a super ability that, once charged, deals a ridiculous amount of damage and can also get you out of a tight spot. Once you reach level 15 you have the ability to change your characters subclass. For example, Warlocks start off with the Voidwalker subclass, able to throw massive nova bombs and cause an explosion killing a good amount of enemies. The second subclass you unlock is the Sunsinger. This considerably changes the role that a Warlock plays, especially in a group with other players. The Sunsingers super ability grants you and your fireteam some damage resistance and a massive cool down reduction on grenades and abilities. Note that when you change your subclass you will have to earn experience towards that specific subclass in order to unlock the various abilities and bonuses it has to offer. Leveling in Destiny is pretty straightforward, at least until you reach level 20, requiring experience points to make it to the next level. Experience can be earned in various ways such as completing missions and killing enemies. Once you reach level 20, the game changes drastically in terms of how you grow more powerful. Now you will be focusing on raising your “Light” level. Level 20 gear that you earn now has a certain amount of light and that contributes to your overall light level. More powerful gear means you’ll have a higher light level.

    Now let’s talk about PvP. Destiny is an always online game, but that doesn’t mean you are forced to play against other players. If you do want to test your skills against other Guardians however, you can always join the Crucible. The Crucible is Destiny’s PvP game mode that doesn’t differ too much from PvP in other FPS games of this era. There are a few game types such as Control (which has two teams fighting for control of 3 points on one map) and Clash (basically team deathmatch) to name a few. Levels and weapon/armor stats don’t mean much in this mode as they are all regulated so that a level 2 character does the same damage as a level 30. Occasionally Bungie will hold an event called the Iron Banner. This is pretty much the Crucible with level advantages enabled. Players take their same characters from the PvE portion of the game into the Crucible, meaning that anything unlocked will go towards your main progression. All in all, Destiny is a fun game to play, but it may not be for everyone. It does require a good amount of grinding and can be a major time investment, but if you are willing to spend that time reaching the higher levels and more difficult content that Destiny has to offer, I’m sure you can enjoy yourself.

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