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Destiny Xbox One: The Hype Train Strikes Again

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The word “hype” gets thrown around a lot these days, especially in gaming. With advertising and marketing broadening to near ridiculous levels, it’s almost a bad thing if people aren’t swearing that a new title will be the best game ever made before it’s even been released. As if to say that a game isn’t worth releasing if you haven’t already been nominated for GOTY before the beta goes live. The problem with this is that when something is promised, or at least gives the impression of a promise, and then doesn’t deliver exactly what the hype has lead to, people will be disappointed with the end result. That is almost definitely the case with Bungie’s new epic, Destiny.

I still remember seeing the ads and hearing about the game. I was given the impression that the entire universe would be at my fingertips and that I would sculpt a legendary character from nothing and become the ultimate warrior. What followed was the ‘choo choo!’ of the old hype train coming to ruin my dreams. Months passed where all these little tidbits of information were slowly leaked. We could explore The Moon, Earth, Mars, Venus and it would take forever to reach every corner of the galaxy. It had an awesome art style, new weapons, enemies, vehicles and the best bits from an MMO. The story was intrinsic and unique, surely Bungie who made Halo could make an EVEN better tale of hopelessness and heroism for me to be immersed in. While all this hype was being generated, everyone was getting excited and extrapolating on small bits of information which looking back on, all the assumptions I made about the game were just exactly that. Assumptions.

Kudos to Bungie though, they really did give a certain impression about this game without actually saying anything specific, so they can’t be blamed at all. It’s just another case of a game being over-hyped and gamers having ridiculous expectations and over-imaginative imaginations. Let’s call it “Hype-itis”. This game suffered tremendously from Hype-itis. We were all thinking that surely $500,000,000 worth of a video game would be the holy grail of gaming. The setting from Mass Effect, the open world from Skyrim, the shooting from Halo, the story from Bungie and the MMO elements from errr…an MMO game? (I don’t play many MMO’s haha). This all sounded like the winning combination that we had been waiting for since the launch of The Xbox One and PS4.

What we actually got was an extremely good looking game with strong combat and RPG elements that blend nicely with the limited MMO features. What we didn’t get was large scale exploration (in comparison to say Skyrim or GTA V) or a good story that is engaging and consistent. I have to say that this game is very good. Extremely good even, but nothing like what I expected at all. I expected to be exploring the farthest corners of the galaxy with a buddy by my side and an immersive story guiding me through with witty banter from my Dinklebot.

This game is very similar to Borderlands in a lot of ways, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. There is loads of guns, all with different stats and perks/upgrades. There are a tonne of enemies ranging from easy to kill with a swift head shot, to almost impossible, spend an hour emptying all your ammo into, then rage quit before going back and trying again but are still impossible to kill.  For better or worse you will spend most of your time grinding through wave after wave of enemy just trying to level up to get that one rare piece of armor or upgrade or weapon. I won’t bother going into more detail about the game because I’m sure you have seen the playthroughs and reviews by now. What I will do is give a quick summary of the game, followed by a closing paragraph and you can decide for yourself.

Buy the game if:
You liked Borderlands, Mass Effect, Halo, or Skyrim.
You enjoy shooters.
You enjoy spending hours grinding to get upgrades and rewards.
You like online/co-op games.
You don’t mind dying a lot while taking on beastly enemies with or without friends.
You like Peter Dinklage.
You have a spare $100 and want to try something new.
You like games that kind of have a story, but also kind of don’t, similar to Titanfall I guess.
You like the lines between solo and multiplayer to be very blurred.
You didn’t experience the hype and therefore have no pre-opinions/expectations as to what this game should be.
Your friends all have it and you don’t want to be the only one without it.

Don’t buy the game if:
You can’t stand revisiting the same area in a game world multiple times.
You get bored quickly.
You have no patience.
You hate grinding.
You dislike shooters.
You dislike Peter Dinklage.
You have high expectations for story lines.
You don’t like space travel.
You prefer to have the lines between solo and multiplayer clear and distinct.
You like head shots to work on all enemies, bosses included.
You prefer to have one gun.
You boarded the hype train way too early and have stupidly high expectations as to what this game should be.

In my opinion the game is very good and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Bungie does with the franchise. Although I am left feeling a little bit ripped off after spending $130 on the limited edition, I would have happily payed $70 for the stand alone game. I only wish they hadn’t made it out to be the open-world game that they did, which is the biggest disappointment to me of all. The game is quite linear and after only a few hours I had pretty much explored the entirety of The Moon and Earth. That said there is a lot of content here for people who want to play with their friends and also for people who don’t mind going to the same places over and over. The story had such an amazing premise but really did not deliver at all in my opinion. Halo is such an amazing game with an amazing story so I naturally thought that Destiny would be on par, if not better. I will keep playing this game for sure but I can’t see myself jumping to pick it up again after The Master Chief Collection/Halo 5 drops. Unless Bungie does some pretty amazing stuff (wouldn’t put it past them but not getting my hopes up) with the DLC and added content that is. If there was some new worlds to explore, some more competitive multiplayer modes (Capture The Flag for example) and overall just more variety in missions and story then this game could really turn around and become the game we all expected.

I don’t believe that this game deserves to be hated on as much as it has been, but I also don’t think it deserves the title of best game ever. I think it’s just a new title that was over hyped and is now struggling to find it’s footing between games like Titanfall, Halo, COD and all those other shooters. It’s not quite big enough or varied enough to compete with the likes of Fallout or Skyrim either. Nor does it have the zest and charm that Borderlands has, so it’s somewhere smack dab in the middle of all of them but not strong enough to compete with any of them directly. In that respect I guess it’s got it’s own little spot all to itself, which is pretty cool.

In any case this is all just my opinion, I’d love to know what you all thought of the game so leave a comment below or tweet me @pikalew with your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

– L

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