Friday, October 23, 2015

Destiny Review (Vanilla Ver.)

So I recently purchased a PS4, mainly for the upcoming 2016 RPGs and sequels to classics that I grew up on but it didn't take long before questioning what games were available and what's currently popular on the next gen consoles. I already had the Last of Us and MGSV, but it soon came to my attention when Destiny was quite the recommended game by almost everyone. Now before I begin I'd like to mention that I bought vanilla destiny ($20) as opposed to The Taken King, simply because I was skeptical. Word was that this game was one of the best available games on new gen consoles and an MMO to pair, which made me curious as to what about it and why. When you take into account that the game has a "revamped" edition at full price, it makes you wonder whether it is the optional DLC bundle or the Capcom nightmare which is endless releases of the same god damn game, just with content that should've been day 1. Anyways, let's get straight to it.

Incredibly confusing at first and a story that is forgettable

My first impression of the game was mostly confused since the game pretty much throws you into the wild. Aside from the tutorial which does a decent job at showing you controls, there is very little explanation of where exactly you are going, who you are talking to, who does what, or what even is going on? You simply follow a blip on screen but aren't given any information on the NPCs in town and their relevance at all. There is hardly any story also considering that everything skips by incredibly fast and cut scenes made absolutely no sense by bringing in new characters by the second and skipping through introductions. Many confusing terms were used also as if you had known what they meant before beginning the game

Gameplay is the highlight and at the same time, the downfall.

If it's anything I enjoyed, it's definitely the game play. You got an FPS style RPG that makes for smooth gameplay and an enjoyable experience for what it's worth. The only problem is that the gameplay quickly declines in quality and interest as you play more and more. Take note that I don't reach the max level of 40, instead I lost all interest upon beating the story of the vanilla version which stops at the Black Garden. But before that, the ride to the end is quite enjoyable aside from a few annoying factors such as overly re-used/re-skinned enemies and the near non-existent storyline. A lot of the enemies got boring fast as you begin to realize that every "strong" enemy or boss is pretty much a minotaur or of the sort. Enemies themselves had very little variation in attacks, as it was almost always a melee knight, sniper for the 2 hits, annoying grunt that chipped armor with lock on bullets, and the minotaurs that shot explosive bullets. It was pretty much a mix up of these 3 types of enemies with variants in damage and speed. Even bosses almost all felt the same and it was at that point that I felt there was hardly any challenge as everything became linear. They couldve had so many kinds of attack patterns and types, including traps and the such but it was all wasted effort. Now maybe some might argue that you will see those in the later part of the game but for some of us, there won't be a later part of the game because of this.

The game is very short, for the price I paid which was $20, it felt like it wasn't exactly worth the price. First thing you notice when you enter the game is the amount of random NPCs that hold lots of gears for lv30-40 and it just makes you wonder, when exactly do I get to obtain these kinds of gear but the sad part is you don't, in vanilla Destiny. You simply reach a point where you've beaten the game at lv16 and have now run out of content. A lot of people were telling me that you now grind strikes, or level up via pvp but I did not pay $20 for an instance or pvp based game, I paid $20 for what I thought to be a MMORPG, and that is where Destiny falls short. In any other MMORPG, you'd be given a quest line up until the very end. I mean sure it could be the most linear of quests but at least you are given enough content to run you straight to end game but in Destiny, you are not given that kind of content. Instead, they force you to grind out all the way to the end, or find ways to grind it out to unlock more strikes. Funny enough, they do offer another quest line but guess what? It is DLC, and ranging from the price of $10-40. This is where Destiny loses all its credibility because you are asked to pay extra for another campaign? something that should've been in the game in the first place. Some might argue that "well the game is good, so it makes reasonable sense to pay to have another storyline". I mean sure that does make sense but has any other MMORPG asked you upon hitting lv20 with a max cap of 60+ with a giant "click here to buy expansion pack in order to play through the rest of the game to get to lv60? No. It would make perfect sense if the vanilla game had enough content to satisfy you up until lv40 and having additional DLC that is basically the next cap worth of content, but instead they are expecting you to buy the DLC to make up for the lack of content they had in the first place. My complaint with this is that no other game does this. Some MMORPGs charge you a one time fee to buy the game, a monthly subscription, or even both, but they will never charge you for a quarter of what the game is. That's like saying to your fans that, if you don't buy my DLC, then enjoy the so called shitty version of the game. DLC shouldn't be a factor into the actual game and its overall experience and should be more so something optional for people who enjoy the base product. 

On the flip side, most of the maps and areas are visually appealing, and the equipment, and upgrade system is very straight forward and simple but there is a lack of item value. A lot of equipment that is picked up, will be replaced in seconds. It's almost as if there is no huge factors in what is good or not other than the big number and how many shots i can take before reloading. Items are picked up and dropped immediately as almost everything decent or rare is obtain at the end of an instance or looted from a boss. There is hardly any value in gear obtained throughout the dungeon.

So is destiny worth it?

For someone new and expecting a worthwhile experience? Not at all. But maybe for someone who has a background for Bungie and likes a decent FPS/RPG? Sure, why not. I myself didn't feel like it was the worst game but the whole DLC and lack of content is what threw me off in the end to pursue what the game could really be. I'm used to playing MMORPGs where you have all the content available the minute you begin, and are caught in the endless time sink of dungeons, farming, and grinding. Destiny is more so a game where im confused as to what is next because the game leaves you with nothing else to do in the time being. I know some online MMORPGs leave you with that feeling but it's almost always near end game where at least you have x amount of other content to keep you occupied, but for Destiny, we are talking early in as in lv16 out of 40. I would not recommend new players to purchase vanilla destiny and expect much, I would much rather suggest those that are interested to cough out the extra dollars and buy the Taken King edition as it comes with all the DLC to make up for the lack of content. Honestly though, there are many free MMORPGS out there that offer way more than what destiny has to offer and at the cost of nothing. I just feel like the hype wasn't for me.

If I had to give Destiny a score, it would probably be 6/10. The game play can make up for a game, but game play can't make up for the lack of content which would allow for that game play.