BY KYLE VAN DEN HEUVEL
After no longer being a first party company under Microsoft, Bungie has released their first game since the departure with much fanfare. This game has been touted to be a game series that Bungie is hoping to be their next big franchise after handing off “Halo” to 343 Industries. The game is called “Destiny” and much like “Halo,” it is a console-focused, first-person shooter (FPS). That’s all for the similarities though. Rather than being a linear shooter with a set campaign, “Destiny” aims to be more like an role playing game (RPG) than “Halo” as loot-collection, stat-juggling and leveling up are a core part of the game. The game does have a campaign that is actually very linear on close inspection, but the levels can occasionally be played in different orders.
The story for the game is that you are a “Guardian” that is trying to bring light to this creation called “The Traveler” that protects Earth from alien forces. In terms of depth, there really isn’t any real set piece or character that is really well developed, so it feels like set dressing for the shooting action. You are, however, accompanied by a robot called the “Ghost” who works with the computers you find while you shoot things. The Ghost is voiced by Peter Dinklage, who does a decent job, but nothing spectacular.
The gameplay itself is solid and plays somewhat similarly to any modern FPS game. The guns feel and sound good and the enemies are varied enough that you don’t feel like certain enemies are just copy and pasted versions of other enemies. There are three main archetypes of characters you can play and each of those has two subclasses so you should be able to find something you like. This game allows you to play the main story with two other people and it is actually a preferred way to do so. Leveling your character up is not a problem as you should hit the level cap when you finish the story (at least I did on my play through). Once you hit the level cap, there are actually more levels that you need to find special equipment in order to achieve so there is a decent amount of endgame content.
This game has actually been receiving some negativity. While the game is good on its own, it somewhat falls short of what Bungie has been hyping the game up to be. Rather than being this RPG/FPS hybrid that Bungie claimed it was, it sort of feels like “Borderlands” with a “Halo” campaign. However, if you come in with the mindset that this is not a massive multiplayer online game, but a FPS with RPG elements, it actually is pretty good. It is not a fantastic game, but it certainly is not a bad one either. It reminds me a lot of a FPS version of the Dreamcast game “Phantasy Star Online.” The story might not be good and there are only four main worlds where everything takes place, but the gameplay is phenomenal and if you do not mind a little bit of grinding for gear, it’s really fun to play. With the way “Halo” was supported by Bungie in terms of post-game content tied with the fact that this is an Activision-published game, there is no doubt that “Destiny” will be supported with more content.
“Destiny” is available for $59.99 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStations 3 and 4.