I’m not entirely sure you can review Destiny anymore than you could World of Warcraft or Everquest in their launch week.
I should not be saying this. I am not anybody to tell you how to play a video game or how to do your jobs but I was level 20 before I unlocked Mars. I realize the story is not of MMO length but I haven’t completed it yet and here’s where I sit.
Almost twenty-four hours invested and I wish I was still playing it. Twenty-four hours deep and I’m still learning things about this game. Sure, I could look things up, but the sense of discovery is still a lot of fun. For instance… This..
A lot of people either forget about or don’t realize the special orders merchant is there. I’ve just recently discovered her and only found her to sell emblems, but hey, it made me realize that quite possibly I had rushed this game a tad. I didn’t even know my way around the tower. As I made my way around the tower, I started thinking about how much I disagreed with some of the reviews I read. It is OK to disagree with reviews. But is it possible for reviews to be … wrong? I feel like some of these reviews are just wrong. I want to stop them and say… “Everything you are saying is correct because you played it wrong.” But the “You played it wrong.” defense is so weak. I hate hearing it. Nobody should tell you how to play a game when even the marketing sells it to you to play it your way. But hear me out.
“It doesn’t go far enough as an MMO.”
In Final Fantasy or most RPGs in general, if you don’t level up properly, you’ll die. If you don’t have the right equipment, you’ll die. If you don’t understand the weapon statistics and how they work, you could think you’re upgrading only to find out you were incorrect. Things may not be as simple as just equipping a higher number. If you’re at 15 and still find yourself asking “What is this for?” or “How did you get that?” too often, then you’re not really paying attention. Destiny doesn’t spoonfeed the player much info but it’s all there ready to be discovered. Sure you can look at the level requirements of each mission and think “Yeah, level 10 mission, I’m 10. I’ll beat it and move to the next.” or you can grind out a patrol for an hour or two and get up to level 12 and try the hard version of the same mission for bonus XP and vanguard marks.
But everybody has gripes… here’s mine.
It doesn’t go far enough as an MMO. The chat options are a much discussed complaint. My complaint is how it deals with death. There isn’t much of a penalty to death other than a statistic gets lowered. Inside the game you get a timeout to sip your beer, hit your bong or even make a sandwich. Life is good. Death should be the ultimate penalty. You respawn naked. You are charged with finding your corpse and either dragging it to safety or holding down a button to loot it and re-stock yourself. Why not? That’s how MMOs work.
The players need to be able to generate their own economy. This should have been pre-conceived. There should have been some sort of auction house or the ability to trade goods. There needs to be. If you’re worried about players getting rich, then put a limit on the amounts items can sell for. I don’t know, but it took me to almost level 20 to comfortably afford a new ship. That’s insane. Then again I like it.
Party sizes are crazy small. I realize this game is more fun to play on the xboxes purely because you can party chat 6 people and split up into 2 fireteams, but the fireteam limit needs to go from 3 to 4 real fast and up to 8 in patrol.
“…how did reviewers get a solid impression of this game when the game might already have changed by the time the player reads the review?”
Presumably this game will change over time because it is changing as people play it. More missions become unlocked as others may disappear. Bounties come and go, either to do them or you don’t but the window of opportunity to take them is only so wide. If you miss out, it is unknown when they cycle back into rotation.
Then there is Hoodie McSquidface. He is only there on weekends and only accepts Strange Coins which are obtained it seems at random by getting them during quests or trading in items for them. Then Squidface shows up to trade them in. Here I am with Hoodie.
So … uh… if Hoodie only shows up on weekends and more content is going to flow into this game, how did reviewers get a solid impression of this game when the game might already have changed by the time the player reads the review? I do wish there was slightly more content though. I’m sure there will be more.
This game does smell real bad of “playing it safe.” There are four full sized worlds when it feels as if there should have been something closer to five or six. Each world feels big enough to explore, but not so big that your thirst is unquenched. After a few visits, you’ll find you know every planet as well as you’ll need to traverse it. Every planet is about the size of three to four traditional FPS levels all joined together and interwoven. There is a lot going on above and below the surface on all of these planets and diving into the depths only reveal more treasure.
I have not completed the campaign yet but I’ve unlocked some end-game difficulty and additional content.
This is where the fun begins. Anybody who loves Diablo knows exactly what I’m talking about. This is where champions play now. Over the coming weeks and months, players at this level will have windows of opportunity to climb up the ranks to upgrade their armor. They will need crucible points and vanguard points but those are all time sensitive and not infinite. Reviewers seem to have ignored that they are reviewing content they haven’t seen because it takes longer than 24 hours to see it. Even more additional story content lay tucked away. I’m having too much fun grinding my character, looking for loot to help me be stronger. To be honest, even though I am having fun, I can only imagine what they will add or even what a sequel could do better.
In closing, it is difficult to review a game like this. Only after I’ve seen the world over a period of time, will I know the type of game it is, could be or will become.
The Jaded Gamer
360/Xbox One: IamFN2K