EDITOR’S NOTE: This article wasn’t written by Tasty Whale proper, but by a friend who has an extreme history with the Bungie series Halo. So, maybe biased but his own opinion 🙂 I’ve heard some of his explanations for the lack of writing I have written about, and they leave me with hope for the Destiny universe! Also, I might add pictures to this later.
Destiny or fate is a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the cosmos.
Traditional usage defines fate as a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events. Fate defines events as ordered or “inevitable” and unavoidable.
Destiny is used with regard to the finality of events as they have worked themselves out; and to that same sense of “destination”, projected into the future to become the flow of events as they will work themselves out.
Let me start off with a little bit of explanation to how this will read out, and what my goal is for you to walk away with from reading this as well.
I like to write with my voice and thoughts, very little pre planned here, kind of a one time through and double check my spelling as I go then call it good. So due to this, bear with me when my topics are out of order, or jump back and forth referencing something I’ve said earlier or saying will soon follow.
As for what I want you to receive from this, is nothing more than to enjoy the ride, oh and maybe have a different outlook towards the gaming industry and the media. So if at any time you can see where this ride is going, and knows the point I’m going to express. Skip to the end and go play the game.
Let’s start off with the name of the game; Destiny. This is a curious and bold name for a game (give me a second) as the previous game released by Bungie had a more direct name for their games, that being Halo, and the universe of Halo matches well with the name, however Halo in the game was a thing remember, GIANT fucking things you played on, and had story with. It was tangible and made sense for the game named the same. However this time we have us a more descriptive and open to interpretation title. Why am I putting this much thought into the Title of a game? (Better question, why haven’t you?) Because I believe this is foreshadowing to the greatest extent. It’s been about a second now no? To choose Destiny as their title is basically saying the fate of you (the player) is in their hands.
Before you go ‘well no shit Sherlock, they made the game.’ Let’s look at it in a different way. Why not call it Fate instead of Destiny? Since I just said your fate is in their hands. Take a step back, and let’s put it out on a timeline. Fate you could plot a course with X event will happen at Y time and so on and so forth. This is your fate, it is unavoidable. However, if you were to plot your Destiny, you would only be able to plot one thing, the end. Ahh now the plot thickens… With the title being what it is, goes beyond just saying they have a course of action for you and how it will all end. It to me also says that this is just the beginning.
Hold on while I unload at random. Destiny is being called a cornucopia of things, from MMO, RPG, FPS, to Dungeon Crawler. Now as such, there are fans of each, even of multiples. The Diablo and WoW players, the Halo, CoD, BF, Half Life crowd, the Neverwinter, Borderlands, Baldur’s Gate, fan boys. Destiny with its melting pot of play style is drawing a huge crowd. And as such, a massive amount of skepticism and conclusion jumping. I’m going to take a second and break down Destiny so we can better label this.
The aspects of an MMO can be seen, not on the same “massive” scale where you will see thousands of players in the same instance in a town, or have 100+ players on the same map. However, what you will see is random groups of fire teams and lone wolves running about doing their own quests and interacting with the world at the same time you are. And you can easily jump in and help them clear a mob out, or ignore em and focus on your own progression. Another portion that leads back to the MMO label, is the option to do raids. Again, not on the same scale, however the same idea, where a unit of players attempt a boss run that has multiple stages and strategies composed in the level that requires large amounts of teamwork, player skill, and player gear.
The FPS portion is a given, you shoot your gun from the first person.
In terms of an RPG, you are given the choice of a character class to play as, and each class has their own unique style. From here it delves further letting you customize your characters class by altering specific abilities and player stats. These stat changes and player abilities are enough to make some large changes in the role you will play, however, the depth that they take place are not as much. It is kind of like changing between fighting styles, as a support or damage dealer or tank. However you don’t get to level up your choices as you would a standard RPG. You basically get to check yes I want this skill over these other options, and this perk instead of those.
To continue with the RPG aspect is the itemization and loot drops. Gear can be found in many ways, quest rewards, unlocks from reaching certain milestones with vendors, rewards from finishing a match of PvP, loot drops from killing monsters in PvE, or simply purchased one of the many vendors in game. With the gear options available, and the limited stats that are able to be altered, the actual aspect of gearing you character is not as grand as you would see in other RPGs and Dungeon Crawlers. Where one item in those games can create an entirely new build. What you have in Destiny is a simplified version where you (putting it simply) look for the gear with the larger number (I’ll explain later in another paper).
Lastly, to call this a Dungeon Crawler to me is the most accurate. You get in these motions of grinding for gear, to get higher gear levels, to let you fight higher level monsters to drop higher leveled items allowing you to fight higher leveled monsters to continue the cycle. With the goal in mind to max your players level and allow you to take on the hardest of raids or compete at the top of PvP with as much of an edge you can achieve even if it is getting a gun with an extra 5 rounds in its magazine over the next guy.
Now that we have broken it down to its core, we have a Dungeon Crawling, Quest Hunting, Team Oriented, Role Playing, Item Gathering, Player Verses, First Person, Boss Raiding, Loot Dropping game of a game! Pay attention now, with a game with this many aspects to it, what can it claim to be? Can it call itself one of these and neglect the rest? Well it seems like the reviewing community has. I often see backlash against Destiny where the reviewer is comparing one small aspect of Destiny to the largest or most famous game of that category and points out all the flaws or things missing. Please remember that from here on out, Destiny is more than just one game, it is many games rolled up into one. Because of this, we have to change our outlook on what Destiny is. No more should you take any review or words from another player or critic seriously, until you know they are treating the game for what it is, and not what they want it to be.
I believe many critics and players fail to see this, and do not give Destiny the justice it deserves.
Now that you see we would be wrong to judge Destiny on one or two categories at a time is selling it short for the game as a whole. Now that I have given you this Point of view, please take into consideration how I will continue this paper.
Ohh how I would love to just end right here. But explanation is required! I need to convince you that my opinion of this game is just, and that you need reassurance you have made a great choice in playing alongside us to our destiny.
From the beginning of the game, to the end and outside its main progression. There are very few instructions on what this is and what that does and how did he do that and how do I get this. To me, this is great. I hate tutorials, I hate when games are catered for people who aren’t curious, who are afraid or too lazy to explore the game for themselves. However, this is not to say you don’t understand a certain portion, or you would like to further your knowledge of something. I love watching professionals play games and learn from their mechanics and listen to their insight on why they made their decisions. What I’m getting at is that there are many ways to learn about a game, from playing it and experiencing it first hand, to looking up a guide or faq, asking a friend or fellow player how they did something or what will happen if I do this, to watching someone more experienced play and learn from them. With so many different ways to learn about the game, having a step by step tutorial in game should not be one. We are capable of problem solving; we do not need to go through a text screen for every dam thing that happens explaining what the fuck just happened or what will happen if you do this. And because Destiny isn’t catered to 12 year olds playing a game for the first time, but is catered to the crowd of Dungeon Crawling, Quest Hunting, Team Oriented, Role Playing, Item Gathering, Player Verses, First Person, Boss Raiding, Loot Dropping experienced players, it makes sense that they don’t explain much as there is enough of a community to help one another out and enough resources to access to figure it out.
The gameplay is huge for me, having a mixture of so many things I enjoy, from leveling my character and watching his power grow, to a smooth as silk shooting engine, to a community hub where you can interact with the players and be involved with the world. Since I get to enjoy so many different things all in one game it is hard to knock on any one thing without taking into account that something else more than makes up for it. I can’t take away anything by comparing it to something else. Since Destiny is the first of its kind where it mixes so much together putting it side by side with any one thing else won’t do. In addition to the gameplay we have superb visuals, amazing scenery, great character design, level design, and many other aspects that go great with one another.
The controversial part: Story, Acting, and Characters.
Right off the bat, there are a lot of things I am upset with regarding the characters and character development. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut before I judge the game further, I want to put this in every one’s mind. Is the game complete? Will there be more to come? The answer may be yes may be no, it is all up to Bungie. However, I am basing my judgment on the idea that there is much more to come and no the story is not complete. Because I believe there is much more planned for us, I have so much fun theory crafting my destiny. But I will admit the parts of flaw I see now, and what would change it if the game develops more. Ghost as a character and the interactions with the Guardian are pathetic to say the least. You would think there would be more emotion between the two and all their hardships and accomplishments along the story. The other characters in the Tower also have little back story behind them.
What will eradicate this problem and place Destiny back on par with their previous games where they are known for delivering a great story and complex characters? HISTORY! Think about all the information that is not fully explained, and who exactly are the main people giving you (the guardian) information about your history once you are revived. There is much story open to interpretation and so many directions Bungie can take us. Given their history with Reach, ODST, and Halo I have great faith that they have something up their sleeves that will blow our minds. It just may be a long and tedious process before all the dots line up.
Take from Destiny what you put into it, let yourself become immersed into the universe, get to know the enemies, what they are fighting for. Dig into the story behind each planet, what went on there, build the game up for yourself as much as you can. You will be surprised at how you see the game after, and how impressed you are with what you have experienced and what you get to look forward to. Take little from naysayers and the ignorance of others who are trying to dissuade you from having a clear view of the game, and focus more on what you can enjoy. That being the game itself. Now go play!