Everyone says that Destiny only truly opens up at level 20, but what about for those late to the party?
So I was on vacation when Destiny launched. After six years of marriage, we finally went on our honeymoon. Yes, it was a pretty epic vacation (thanks for asking) and coincidentally, I also managed to quit my job around the same time. So suffice it to say, while Bungie’s newest opus was on my mind the whole time, there were other, more important things going on in my life. I just wasn’t destined to play the game with most of my friends.
Below is my pseudo-review of Destiny, coming from someone who wasn’t there on day one.
Two weeks after launch
After a night unpacking, and a day of work in a job I was vacating in two weeks’ time, I finally jumped into Destiny. At this point, most of my friends were already level 20 or over, and more concerned with acquiring legendary weapons.
I created my character (A hunter – because I was so enamoured with it in the beta, and I read that blade dancing was so badass) and went through the story mode, only to find that it was the exact same experience I had two months ago during beta. WTF. Maybe I’m spoiled because the Beta was awesome, and maybe it was because I solo’d Earth this time around, but I was disappointed.
I jumped into crucible with my friends a couple times, and still held my own, despite the fact that many of my opponents were rocking rare (blue) weapons and armour, while I was lucky to get the uncommon (green) drop here and there.
Missing out on the Loot Cave
As I was making my way through Earth, I read about farming in the (now haunted) loot cave. I’ve never been one to grind and grind and grind away by doing a single mundane task over and over again, so I never bothered checking it out, even though my friends would talk about it during our PS4 chats. In hindsight, I wish I had actually attempted to do it, just to say that I did it.
When the moon hits your eye
Following my stale experience on Earth, the Moon was actually a breath of fresh air thanks to new enemy types. By this point, I was on my way to unlocking the Blade Dancer subclass, which in my mind was going to kick so much ass.
Imagine my disappointment when I realized that I had to build it up from ground up. No double jumps, no grenades… looks like I was headed back to Earth to do some patrols and grind it out. Yay.
A Lannister always pays their debts
One thing just kept bothering me about this game: Peter Dinklage. Why did they hire the Imp to be the voice of the Ghost again? His delivery is stilted, and yet also comes off as too casual at the same time. I can almost imagine him reading his lines at the kitchen table, all disheveled in a bathrobe after a late night bender where he made it rain Washingtons at the local stripclub.
Three weeks after launch – Bountiful
My second week on Destiny was spent mostly grind through bounties. Thankfully, I managed to catch up to my fellow GamerVet Evilenger, and we’ve been able to power through the campaign together. The Moon was a cakewalk, and Venus gets a bit more interesting with the Vex enemies.
To be honest, it was at this point where I only started to realize the difference between Hive and Fallen enemies. The story just wasn’t doing it for me. There’s a sword? Who the fuck is Crota? What is the point of Rasputin? Why do the Awoken live on an asteroid belt called the Reef? Who cares?!
Four weeks after launch – The smell of defeat
I tasted defeat for the first time in Destiny, and it came in the form of the Weekly Heroic Strike. So Evilenger and I, both level 21ish, decided to try our hand at the strike. “How hard could it be?”, we naively ask. 30 minutes later, we were retreating like a pair of dogs who just got their asses handed to them by a fat alley cat. We even enlisted a level 26 guardian, and still got our butts whipped before we even got to the boss. Everything else in this game so far is a cakewalk though.
Five weeks after launch – Endgame… sorta
We reached the end of the story, and it was abrupt and underwhelming, to say the least. To be honest, I probably could’ve finished the story in a week, but it was just too boring to power through. Once you’ve leveled your Guardian beyond the level recommendations – which is easy to do if you play a lot of crucible, finish bounties and participate in patrols – things get pretty boring. Yes, I did increase the difficulty, but after getting owned in the Strike, we never attempted to go beyond our current levels.
To Destiny and beyond?
So I’m currently sitting at level 24, stocked with those blue rare items and currently grinding away so that I can increase my reputation with the Future War Cult faction and score a legendary or exotic item. The game is hopelessly addictive, although I’m afraid I will never actually be able to play a raid, nor will I get the raid gear necessary to progress further. Where in the past, I was interested in purchasing DLC, I don’t actually think I’ll splurge on that until it goes on sale.
The Old Guy in me Says
My time with Destiny had it’s ups and downs, but like a moth drawn to a flame, I continue to come back to it in hopes that I can score that purple or gold item that will bring my level up further, or finally gain enough reputation to purchase some better gear. This game is definitely more fun with friends, and the game became more interesting once I caught up to friends to experience the story with together.
It definitely favours those who have more time – not just to play, but also to do research. I finally completed a Strike with fellow GamerVet Rock5teady – a level 28 Warlock, but it took some exploiting on our part. Bungie definitely created an engrossing game, but a lot of the nuances are poorly explained, forcing players to head online for answers, and collaborate with others to figure things out. Again, great if you have the time, but not so great if you’ve only got an hour or two per week to play.
- It gets better as you level up
- Great co-operative elements
- Crucible is a fun diversion, in a “Halo-lite” kind of way
- Slow start – especially if you’re playing solo
- Can get very repetitive, as all the strikes and missions are just rehashes of what you played in the story
- Storyline is just way too convoluted – and not in a good way
- Peter Dinklage just mailing it in on the dialogue
- There’s no way to find out about the intricacies of the game without game guides and friends with experience
Here’s me going 23-11 in a Clash match