The Hype is Real, but is a Mobile App Overkill?
With only a few days until the awaited Destiny beta, I was made aware that an Android and iOS app was announced and reviewed on IGN and other gaming news websites…but do we really need it?A
I want to go through and highlight some of the things that IGN’s article on the matter pointed out and give my opinion on the app. At first glance, I personally don’t need this app. Why would I? Sure it is nice seeing your progress, but that’s what the game and the harder enemies are there for isn’t it? My other initial reaction to the app was that I don’ t think there is anything in the app that you can’t do in the game itself. Sure it cuts some of the corners off of going and booting up the game and going to equip things but this is easily done in game unless you are so horribly forgetful that you get better loot and don’t equip it straight away.
In the short write-up below the video on IGN I noticed a couple of things that I wanted to comment on.
“One of the focuses of the companion app is to highlight your character and progression throughout the game, and really celebrate the growth of your Guardian.”
This sentence confused me a bit. Wouldn’t the celebration of your character really come from getting to go to new areas and explore the game, essentially all the progression in the game is a celebration. Yes, you can check out your character on the first screen of the app and spin them around to admire them in private or show them off to others, which is a cool feature in itself. However, I would much rather take screenshots of my character on top of a cliff with the sun in the distance in the game than this feature. I understand that it is a cool feature and the armor is something that changes which is great, but I don’t need an app to highlight my progression unless I want to reminisce.
“What’s even more interesting is that the changes you make to your character in the app are instantly reflected on your character in the actual game itself.”
This is what I was talking about previously with forgetting to equip something. I can see this being used by the busy gamer, someone who is at work for most of their time and want to equip something that they got last night before going to bed. Beyond this, however, I see little practical use for the rest of gamers who could just as easily go into the game and switch things up. The function is great for people on the go that want to game as soon as they get home, but again, personally I see no use for it.
“One thing to note is that during the beta, the iOS version of the app will only be available on iPhones. By launch, players will be able to use a larger iPad version of the companion. Bungie says that a Windows Phone version is not planned.”
This is the other reason why I don’t have a need for the app. Even if I wanted to have it, I couldn’t, I don’t have a device that would support it at all. I realize that many people out there have the newest iPhones with newer iOS’ other than my common 2nd gen iPod Touch, but it just isn’t something I have right now. The fact that it will not be on Windows Phones also takes more people able to use the app out of the equation, not that this hurts revenue or the sales of the game itself, but is a little disappointing to those looking forward to the app.
“Given the RPG nature of Destiny, the app is there to help you keep track of all of the statistics, progression, missions, and bounties of your characters.”
Is keeping track of things in the RPG the nature of things? Maybe I’ve been mistaken or out of the loop but I’ve played very little games that actually track, ‘You’ve killed XX amount of monsters’, etc. Perhaps this is more of a Western RPG thing?
I realize that I may come off as a bit cynical in this article, but I’m not the biggest fan of apps that expand on the game when it is easily accessible. It is a great app for people who want to be connected to the game at all times, for a variety of things, but ultimately it comes down to taste. I wanted to think critically about the app and what the functions of it would really do or accomplish. From what I can see, I can’t
The Destiny app will release alongside the beta on the 17th of July and is free for all platforms.