Saturday, 5 December 2015

First Impressions: Destiny

Destiny is an MMOFPS by name, but to be honest it's an entirely new genre. It's a PvE MMO, but has a PvP mode, but it's not really an MMO as the servers are kinda small.... it's hard to define. That doesn't stop it from being fun though.

I pre-ordered Destiny with the Taken King expansion and since then have levelled my main character - an Hunter/Light - to 40+1, as well as my secondary Titan/Void to 25 and a for-fun Warlock/Light to 17 (for the record I didn't boost any of them :D). The three classes initially feel very similar - I assumed they would have different weapon types or prefer using different weapons but really the gunplay feels pretty much the same for all of them. The only differences are the passive and activateable abilities - most of which are a grenade on LB and a melee on RB, as well as a Special Ability on LB+RB and a class-specific jumping style (double/glide/boost), which on top of different health is enough to force you to adjust your playstyle slightly for all of them. One thing that annoyed me about character creation, though, was that the choice of race really didn't change anything - how people act around you, how cutscenes play out, not even a couple of small passives - it was only for aesthetic purposes.

Speaking of cutscenes, I skipped the majority of them because I wanted to shoot things. From what I could tell of the story it was a bit mediocre - like it was going for the Dark Souls "we're not gonna tell you anything" thing but did that... by telling you stuff? I understood what was going on but it felt a bit generic, personally. Nothing to write home about, anyway.

The way you get new weapons was kind of annoying for me - they randomly drop, or you can buy them from the gunsmith. The gunsmith is cheap, but most of the time you're better of transmuting your engrams (unusable weapons you have to 'identify' at a hub world), especially as a higher attack number is always better. This was annoying when I wanted to play with the hand-cannon 24/7 but I didn't get any dropped for ages and had to make do with pulse rifles and autos

A lot of people say they felt levelling to be really grindy later on - I didn't get this, mainly because when I hit 25 I could jump straight onto the new Taken King campaign which, along with sidequests and bounties, carried me to 40 with no problems. I've only really played offline, but I do intend to do some fireteam raids in the near future, and I hope that I can get to '41' from them quickly (the level cap is 40, but there are additional levels above it).

One thing that my Dad commented on as I was playing was that the game looks ridiculously pretty - which is true. The landscapes are stunning, and the character models are fleshed-out and move well. I find it pretty easy to crit (headshot/lightbox-shot depending on the enemy) after a few hours of practice.

The auto-aim is pretty annoying at first - coming from CSGO the whole concept felt alien, and I couldn't cope with it at all. However, after 2-3 hours I'd learnt to work with it, and about 5 hours in I was critting the world and its mother. This is especially fun with the hand-cannon where one-deags are very much a thing and incredibly satisfying to hand out a clip of.

I've only experienced a couple of glitches, and they didn't ruin my experience at all (maybe an extra death that was probably my fault for flying into the crater anyway but there we are). It's really not a problem at all.

Overall, Destiny is a truly great game. I'll write a full review once I play online, but even as a single player campaign it's well worth the money.

Thanks for reading!

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