After spending a full week with the Destiny beta and loving it and thinking about it non-stop until now is something that I haven’t felt for a RPG in a long time.
The Destiny beta exploded across the world when the beta was live, and for damn good reason. Sure there were some nay-sayers who didn’t like the game because it was a Borderlands clone, or too much like Halo or just because all the hype might not live up to the game. Of course you know what I’m going to say, everyone is entitled to their opinions. However, if you love a game to the point that you don’t care if it bombs in the long run then it doesn’t matter, because you love that game. We all know that Destiny might fade after time (like all games do in a way), but we are playing it right now, and I for one am loving it.
A RPG gamer by nature, I have barely strayed from the path of JRPGs and some WRPGs, playing major titles like the Uncharted series, Bayonetta or even DMC. Picking up a first-person shooter out of my own volition is a first for me. From the first moment I saw the concept art for Destiny I knew it was going to be a great game. The atmosphere of the planets as they were unveiled alone drove me to pay more attention to the game despite it picking up speed from shows and reveals. It gained momentum for me in the same way that I would get excited about any other RPG or game coming out, but bigger in the sense that more people that I know were interested about it just as much as I was. I don’t get that sense of a huge community with the release of a RPG. Sure, there are people that I can talk to about the release and leading up to it, but there are only a select few, and not millions of others via the internet.
This is where the advertising came in. RPGs, especially JRPGs don’t give barely any money to ad campaigns due to the fact that the fans that love the franchise will buy the game and it is unlikely that new gamers or newcomers to the genre will willingly pick up the game and play it. AAA games is where it’s at now-a-days which makes for little RPGs coming across the ocean.
Was the hype real?
Maybe it was the hype that Bungie created, the beta for everyone to play, the teases of more in the beta itself. Whatever it was I was hooked from the moment I jumped in with my character. Many of my friends were playing for the entire week that the beta was live and I have really fond memories of that time, levelling up, being on relatively the same level as everyone else (max level 8) and by the end of my time with it, I was so ready to have more. Now that I have the entire game at my disposal, I’m willing to take my time with it, play it here and there when I can, but am unable to consume large amounts of it at a time due to time constraints and the initial hype of the game dying down a little.
Perhaps it is part of my inherent RPG-gamer-ness, but wanting to progress, get one more level, get the higher level armor and get through the story is what I want to do in the game. I’ve heard that the campaign is only 16 hours long, and to be honest, I’m not surprised or upset by this. Since I’m used to playing games that go on for at least 40 hours at a time, with fleshed out characters and a huge and colorful world to explore, its no wonder that Destiny’s campaign doesn’t go anywhere fast or for long. It’s a first person-shooter, what were you expecting?
Just because the game was hyped didn’t mean that the story would go on for a ridiculous amount of time leading up to something that could be finished in the coming DLC expansions. I did get the feeling that Bungie was going to provide a vast and huge world to explore, which again, might happen more in the future with the inevitable add-ons.
I digress. To conclude, the Destiny hype, for me, was real. But, like many game releases before it, after the reviews and critical analysis’ of the game comes out, people start to question their choice in buying the game in the first place. The longevity of Destiny remains to be seen but I feel that in the end it will end up like Halo, a fun-to-play-with-friends shooter (minus the spin-offs or second games). It will have a special place on my shelf as one of the only shooters that I will ever own and enjoy for years.
Do I like the game?
Of course I do. The matchmaking when going on a Strike mission is balanced. The controls, while feeling foreign to a RPG gamer are still comfortable (although I wish there was an easier way to summon your Sparrow) and while the story feels like bare bones, again I’m not sure I’m supposed to expect more from a first-person shooter. Keep in mind, I don’t play the genre so there may very well be FPS games with well fleshed out characters and stories, but the general view of the genre is not kind in the way of narrative tellings.
I enjoy the inventory management of the game and the fact that you can get upgraded armor and items throughout playing the game. It gives a nice sense of accomplishment as you complete the story and even better rewards are given if you complete Crucible matches and finish bounties. These small things guarantee that people will go and grind for the best items possible in the game and this in itself will take more than 40 hours to complete. The characters are still different enough to make an impact on Strike missions and Crucible PvP matches and getting your character to a full customization takes more than 20 levels of story. The game has flaws of course, but overall, is enjoyable, especially to me, an average RPG gamer.
Destiny is a great pick up and play with your friends game. There is no long and deep storyline like that of a flashed out RPG, but at least there is a goal. Levelling up and gaining better armor, were bonuses for the item hoarder in me and the environments are beautiful and interesting. While the worlds aren’t that huge it still has a mystical feeling and despite being a virtual world, looking up at the Earth from the Moon is a sight we’ve all dreamed of seeing. Destiny is a FPS game made more for the general public and people like me who haven’t ventured into FPS territory.