Bungie faced high expectations for its first departure from the “Halo” series: “Destiny.” The first-person shooter’s $500 million budget makes it the most expensive game ever made, and its mash-up of genres makes the game far more of a gamble than tried-and-true video game formulas.
From the start, the fruits of “Destiny’s” immense development costs are immediately evident in its visuals. The game spans four planets in the solar system, allowing players to explore a desolated Earth, a tropical Venus and more. The Moon area stands out in particular as hauntingly beautiful, foreign and beckoning.
“Destiny’s” audio is on par with its video. The sound is top notch, with realistic gun and enemy effects and an absolutely stunning orchestral score.
The FPS’s innovative and seamless incorporation of roleplaying and online elements a la “World of Warcraft” puts “Destiny” in a category of its own.
With the blend of gaming elements, the gameplay is excellent. Characters can utilize a full arsenal of futuristic weaponry and abilities to blow away endless hordes of alien enemies.
Unfortunately, the innovative mixture carries with it the drawbacks of the constituent genres. From online roleplaying games, “Destiny” inherited an unfortunately weak plot. Most game missions deliver only bits and pieces of storyline via the player character’s robotic companion, who fails to immerse the player in a narrative. Additionally, the narrative structure is far too formulaic, mostly consisting of moving from A to B, shooting enemies and walking up to some point of interest.
Yet, “Destiny” is an absolute joy to play. Its online gameplay shines brightest, both in match-made games and freely exploring the world. Competitive modes will keep players occupied for months to come, ensuring the game’s long-term success.
Overall, “Destiny” succeeds far more as entertainment than it does as literature. Fans of the company’s “Halo” series will enjoy the game for its fantastic gameplay and unique online features, but should also expect a comparatively empty plot.
Rating: 4/5 torches
Review by BEN MANN, Guest Author