So far its not amazing but not awful either lol.
AI's finicky but it doesnt seem as dumb as people made out to be. I came in thinking I could run and gun story mode pretty easily due to the reviews but that's kind of not the case so far. Its not break through AI but its no where near as bad as I've read about.
Ill report back when I approach level cap/endgame content but so far I havent regretted the 60$ used.
Okay so I played it at a friends on a Sunday, about the first handful of hours. At least, enough to make an initial impression on the mechanics and storytelling.
It's a shame. It had (and still has) every indication that it could have easily matched the hype if they had put just a little more effort into it.
The systems are there. It's a really solid shooter. Plays much faster than Halo when we're talking PvP, and I believe this is something that Bungie were carrying over from their work on Halo: Reach. Reach played much, much faster than Halo 3 in various aspects and it was (mostly) better for it. Shields don't nearly last as long in Destiny but recharging them isn't a slogfest either. I enjoy how even though it is essentially regenerating health it's not an obscure metric.
But what bugs me is that they kept the extremely floaty jumping, and the hang time is inexcusably long. I suppose it limits the tactical use of bunny hopping, but it just feels out of place.
Guns handle really well, especially when we're talking in comparison to Bungie's previous work. There's observable recoil in most every gun but it's controllable with the right knowledge of how to handle them - the perfect balance of game feel. However, shotguns (particularly earlier-level ones) are utter dogshit and need a balance pass. Completely ineffective at basically every range except melee - and at that range... might as well melee.
Enemy AI is good and there's a nice degree of variety but coming in from Halo's (which even from the first game was astounding in complexity for its time and has held up to this day) it doesn't feel like Bungie have really flexed their enemy behavior know-how. The very first boss fight was straight-up awful, a text-book example of really artificial difficulty (walks around with super-inflated health and a super shotgun while throwing waves of minions to replenish player ammo), but the second boss fight I encountered had a really fun mix-up of behaviours and actual gimmicks so I'm not going to write the game off on that department yet.
They're all well-designed and have roles to play, though. And, like the guns, the actual feedback on how much damage the player is doing is really fantastic. Visual feedback on headshots are immediate and health bars are almost always present, which I approve of.
Whoever in general worked on the overall visual design of the game need medals, all of them. The aesthetic is absolutely godlike. There are some silly UI choices that I think they made, and some button prompts are nothing short of aggravating, but those are much more minor problems.
The world feels lived-in, there's a level of decay and atmosphere that really makes the Destiny universe look alive. The opening levels with the Cosmodrome, even leading into the other hubs, really do a fantastic job of representing lore without spelling it out for players. Propaganda posters, rusted cars on a highway, there's so much imagery that's so potent.
And what's most disappointing of all in the game is that they don't seem to be doing anything with it. Story-wise it feels like a classic spacefaring adventure, which it should - it's the right way to go with the general subject material. The initial call to action is a great start, and the tutorial mission is mostly unobtrusive and really establishes that sense of mystery and atmosphere. Like, I want to go up into the stars and explore worlds, battle this great, nebulous "darkness" that the prologue refers to.
Unfortunately the feelings that followed was this jarring disconnect between gameplay and story, dumping me as a player onto the Tower without too much rhyme or reason. Peter Dinklage makes up some excuse that the ship needs to be repaired, and pretty much Zoidbergs off while I walk through a vendor tutorial. And I like the place! Except there was absolutely zero effort made to even try and mask the fact that the Tower is simply just a vendor hub. The NPCs say a few lines here and there about me being the new guy, but apart from that there's nothing. No actual substantial dialogue establishing any sort of working relationship, just computer dudes and dudettes here to hand you your daily quests and loots, etcetera.
And there are occasional flashes of brilliance! A live lobby system is a small but such a great feature that transitions the game but also involves the players and makes the start-up to games feel more organic. The ships orbiting the planet or jumping in is a great replacement for static, bullshit loading screens. But these aren't enough, and for most of it I wanted more.
For what it's worth I don't think the voice acting (what little I encountered) is bad. The opening mission I thought was actually a really great hook. Dinklage gives off a slight sense of urgency in his tone, and he's not completely flat. Methinks his performance hasn't so much been phoned in as it was intentional in some way. Maybe I'm an optimist. If anything, the Speaker is kinda worse. He's supposed to be dramatic in an understated way but it comes off as a little hammy.
So overall my impressions of the game are positive, but I think Bungie didn't really do a great job of reconciling the MMO aspect of the game with their "story shooter" part. Knowing the standards at which Bungie can create games (ie. at that "Halo" level of quality), Destiny is a little disappointing. The content is just a little too unrefined for me to consider it a proper system seller.
Oh, and give whoever worked on the music medals as well. Them's some solid tunes.
Well, I decided to buy into the hype and try it out. Basically, everything Gabe said.
It's not awful, but not amazing. Actually slightly better than the average FPS if we're being honest (i.e. "Call of Duty: Ghost World at Modern War"), but it's not the successor to "Halo" Bungie wants it to be, and it sure as shit ain't "Gears of War."
The AI is pretty fucking stupid, not gonna lie (my gf was doing fine in this, and she's never played an FPS before), but you won't just mow the enemy down either.
This is a rental or something to be bought at GameStop in a year and a half, but not bad.
EDIT: Looks like Satsu and I were posting at the same time. I really should have given mad props to whoever did the music and visuals.
I got to try out the PVP before I went to bed yesterday.
When I read about the PVP i was really let down because I had been craving a Halo-ish experience for what felt like the last 8 years. Having only had the original Xbox I only got to play Halo:CE and 2.
Everyone said it was floaty like Halo but with CoD Time To Kills (TTK) on the guns. Which if your into FPS games and there metas you would know this sounds incredibly awful since CoD TTK's on the best weapons are sub 1 second , essentially instant kills. This coupled with the floaty mechanics of Halo and the general movement system... is really really bad news bears.
Halo always had higher TTK's and rewarded accurate sustained/burst fire over the course of a few seconds. Generally guns were in the range ofr 5-7 bullet kills, where CoD is about in the range of 3-5 with guns being able to dish out like 6 bullets in sub 1s.
Destiny's pvp so far at least in normalized pvp (everyone else was level 20+) in regards to the guns does not have CoD TTK's. It still highly values and rewards accurate fire on the rifles and the shields help buffer this as well. I went in with a green auto rifle and a green sniper rifle as my secondary. I think I may have nailed a 1hk with the sniper but im not sure. I landed a body shot on a jumping target which didn't break the shield leaving over half of it left. The next shot was a heads hot and it scored the kill. So im not to sure just how potent the SR/DMR's are in this game but they could be pretty instagibby.. which they should be
Now what I think a lot of people mistook for weapon instakills early on when making those early posts on reddit was actually abilities and supers. When playing control going down to cap flags is pretty much a bloodbath for me due to being lower level and the higher level players having some ludicrously cool looking abilities. If I play at range and force them into the gun game though its any ones game. Which is cool.
Going back to AI. Its still not dumb but it isnt as smart as I initially thought.
The ones that spawn naturally in the world definitely have lines of scrimmage they can and cant pass, forcing them to come close to them pretty much resets there agro on you. So this is definitely exploitable and kinda lame to see in action in this day and age.
If you make a mental note to try and not walk out of those lines of scrimmage and fight with in their "arena" then its not so bad. It just kills the immersion when you unknowingly walk out of the designated area and they derp it up.
Also I wouldnt call their cover tactics smart. They default to just getting in the nearest cover at the slightest hint of your presence. I dont know how to describe it, its just annoying how they do it and how often they do it lol.
Story - I came in knowing full well it sucked and doesnt do anything to pull you in.
So I tried. I really really tried to pay attention to it and catch the characters names.
Idk wtf's going atm i keep distracting myself from watching the few cut scenes so far and for some reason I cant remember a damn thing Ghost tells me between missions.
Idk even know what the main dude in the towers name is. I just call him the Talker =/
Sidenote : When I was level 4ish in the cosmodrome patrol I guess I stumbled upon a rare spawn of sorts there were a bunch of high level players fighting it off. It was pretty awesome to be honest. I got to "tag" it with my gun a few times and got the reward lol
All of the lesser minions were agro'ing to me during the fight, they were about level 7 to my level 4 so it was actually a blast trying to survive lol.
I think what your expecting from the game and your attitude going in affect this game a lot...
I came in expecting to be upset I just dropped 60$ on this game and it pleasantly surprised me so far.
The jury is still out but so far I think the price tag was a fair shake. I know with other cheaper games (coughCoDGhostscough) I was pretty much over it an hour or two into it. I really want to crack into end game and start doing the loot grind to make my final judgement.
All things considered though as it is I will definitely hold onto this game for the PVP. Its pretty damn fun.
I feel like its a moderator on a forum. When its doing a job no one notices but when it fucks up it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Im playing the hunter class and I have some pretty neat grenades that track enemies in there range and target them, I also have a skill shot throwing knife thing.
The things I have seen the AI do to dodge these 2 things is mind boggling. At first I thought I just sucked and was missing but then I noticed one enemy full on dodge my knife toss like half a second before I actually threw it. I swear these asshats are reading packets lol.
Ive seen them running at me full on rush, I toss out the homing grenade thing and while its mid air they dispersed to avoid being in its range once it lands, and then they take new paths to try and flank me. I know it doesnt sound impressive but it looks great in game and most other games I've seen the AI try to dodge nades after they have already landed and usually they just fumble around out in the open. These guys look for cover while the things still in the air and also make a flank.
It's pretty neat.
Now if only they would start throwing them back at me that would be pretty great
That's really the crux of the enemies issue: they're all over the place. Bungie are known for making enemy AI that's varied and reactive. I don't think their previous singleplayers would nearly be as compelling if the combat wasn't so deep. There are flashes of brilliance but other times they're not nearly on the ball with it.
I don't think the TTK in multiplayer is nearly as fast as CoD (when we're talking sub-second TTKs in Call of Duty), but it certainly feels close.
I still got to go with the AI being fucking stupid. If you have a long-range weapon, they might stand out in the open and let you repeatedly shoot them until they die simply because you haven't yet walked into their skrimmage area.
At other times, I had them stand between two sets of "cover" with a gap just wide enough for me to fire through -- and they just stood there and took each shot until they were dead.
- Im currently level 23. Not exactly "endgame" yet as that starts at around level 26 but recommended to give a go at 28+ for the raids.
At the moment I can take a crack at Heroics and Strikes which have been pretty fun the only catch is that the strikes are relatively limited at the moment with just a handful. Bungie is doing a good job so far of tossing in some events to keep us occupied (Queens Wrath Kill orders and bounties )
So anyway when I was reading complaints about Destiny from gamer and site reviews a lot of people were criticizing Destiny's grindyness. Saying it depends to much on RNG and is "repetitive".
It turns out the "RNG and Repetitive" grinding that the reviews were talking about was actually an exploit that people were taking advantage of which literally just involves shooting into one of 2 caves where monsters instantly respawn. For hours.
Each monster kill has a chance of dropping an "engram" this engram has a chance of being a certain color like green, blue , or purple. When you open said engram it has a chance at rolling a armor or weapon piece of its color or below (Purple engram can roll purple , blue or green).
So of course people who only saw this would call it crap. I've checked those 2 spots out a few times these last 2 days. Maybe Im checking at the wrong time but as far as I can tell they have been abandoned (The method still works though).
The actual method that Bungie intended people to get legendary/exotic gear (aside from RNG when just playing the game) was to use a faction system.
The game has several factions that you can do various tasks for which in turn get you points from each side, this also works for PVP where playing in pvp gets you crucible points to get Crucible gear.
In order to get enough points to buy gear you have to do quests that take you all over the universe map doing various instances and significantly higher difficulty mission re-runs. Over all grinding gear like this actually keeps the game pretty fresh so far and its a pretty awesome feeling to cash in to get some awesome gear, and return to a Strike mission that was whooping your ass early ready to exact some revenge.
At this point I think a lot of the hate Destiny got was pretty much just a circlejerk with most people parroting junk they actually hadn't experienced. Myself included. Yeah this game isnt a 10 but its a pretty solid 7.
I didnt really believe it but the game actually does change a lot after 20. You are doing some of the same missions but the added health actually adds to the enemies AI. The smart things they would do to juke your bullets, spells and grenades are way more noticeable now that they dont insta-die and having them derp out and stand around is a god send now. In fact part of me really wants to believe that Bungie designed the AI to stand out in the open on purpose for when they start getting beefy shields and hp pools.
Also I think they did something cool with certain mobs in higher difficulty stuff. It reminded me of something From Software did in Dark Souls. In DS they took a early boss the Capra Demon and turned him into a normal monster spawn later in the game. Destiny does this. And it hurts
Forgot to talk about PVP.
Spells dont instakill me anymore at this level. But they still really really hurt and force you into cover.
Positioning is pretty key to surviving and scoring multikills. More so then in any other FPS IMO because of the fact that the classes have ways of getting around corners (diving bombing, AOE's , invisibility to name a few).
Pre-firing hot corners and using proper pie techniques while cornering will keep your goose from getting cooked and due to the OP abilities camping doesnt seem to be much of a problem. The slightly higher then usual TTK's also dont give much of an edge to campers , which also gives players with slower twitch reactions more of a chance to keep up.
Not much else to say. PVP is really solid and I've read that bungie plans on adding PVP modes where gear/weapons are not normalized and the stats actually matter. Which should be pretty crazy xD
Even as a general reader (and not, like, an editor of the site ) I think it's a fair review. What's important from the review is that people understand the context in which Destiny is being made, and not just because of the hype - it's important to know where Bungie are coming from, and what we know they're capable of.
I'll hop back onto this pretty soon since I've noticed more of my friends playing it recently. I haven't touched it in almost a year (literally stopped playing before last year's EGX) since there were other games that captured my attention.