Last week Bungie released the first game in its newest franchise. “Destiny” is the first game since Bungie parted ways with its beloved “Halo” franchise and Microsoft Studios. It is supposed to be the future of gaming, but does it live up to the hype?
The game is a shared-world shooter, the first of its kind. It’s best described as a cross between an MMO and a first person shooter, with RPG elements added in. The main game consists of multiple story missions, raids, strike boss levels and a multiplayer element known as the Crucible.
Every single activity or mission is co-op or competitive. There is no single player and an internet connection is required to play. “Destiny” eschews the lone gamer in favor of connectivity and forging your legend with your friends.
When it was first announced, Bungie claimed it would revolutionize gaming, but that claim has gone unsupported so far. While it has only been out a week, most players have already beaten the story missions and are now basically grinding for better gear.
The endgame has always been a problem for MMO-style games, just look at “Diablo 3.” That’s fine, but the story wasn’t that great to begin with. The premise held a lot of promise.
You are a Guardian sworn to protect the remnants of humanity in place of the dormant Traveler against the Darkness. The Traveler was a giant, questionably sentient, orb discovered on Mars that ushered in a Golden Age for humanity. The Darkness came and the Traveler sacrificed itself to secure a foothold which became the last city. The Darkness returns and the Guardians must take back the Solar System.
Players can find objects that expand on the universe, but they only shed light on the past.
The biggest problem was that Bungie is known for its epic stories. The “Halo” franchise is fast expanding its lore beyond “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” in the decade it’s been around. “Destiny” gave the player an idea of what was happening but the ending was generic and abrupt.
Bungie has announced multiple expansions and brokered a deal with Activision for another three games in the series. More story content is on the way, but gamers don’t want episodic material. We pay for a complete experience then will pay more for additional content. If nothing is resolved besides a stop-gap victory, the story is not complete.
The game does play beautifully and there are many activities such as bounties, the pvp component and the promise of new equipment. The game is a solid shared-world shooter and has the potential to become the blueprint of the new console generation, but right now it is hollow.
Only the future can show what Bungie has planned. They have a lot of new content coming in the next few months, but gamers can be an impatient bunch.