Destiny Review

Daniel Bischoff
Destiny Info


  • FPS


  • 1 - 12


  • Activision
  • Activision Blizzard


  • Bungie

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PS3
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox360


And two tangoed pairs landed on the red surface.

I hate the name. Destiny implies that your glory and conquest lay inside, clutching a controller, hopelessly glued to a television where shooting at faceless, oddly named enemies brings about a weird sensation. Let's consider the gamut of shooters out there and think about Destiny's real compensation to the medium before looking at the score. I'll play the game for the rest of the day if it means you can hold off from the bottom of this page long enough to get through what is likely to be a long review based on all the worlds you'll visit in Bungie's big new blockbuster video game.

With the company having sold Halo and everything it had to pursue this incredible new IP, I think it's important to note that hundreds of people work on games like this. Never can a project as large and elaborately scalable as Destiny get done in a single day, let alone a single year, and the same can be said of a player's experience with this game. It wants to be an MMO so badly that it'll try everything to let people know these elements exist within a genre that doesn't actually need it. Go dance in the tower if you think I'm joking, but Destiny will be a big deal for a long time to come.

Business rests somewhere in between the knowledge that your consumer will hate everything you do and the knowledge that some people will love you for it. Instead of reaching and reaching (and reaching), I think it's important to note that Destiny is better played when you take your time and believe in what you're doing. Narratively, this may prove difficult as things have been relatively threadbare for so long. Only in dreams might we actually walk Venus, The Reef, or Mars, and the Moon is certainly a desirable location to visit as well. Destiny lets you go there, though what you find depends on whom you travel with, Guardian.

Hey, you're a Guardian now. [Of The Galaxy! ~Ed. Nick Tan] You're from Earth, the last city. So get it together, maggot! Actor Peter Dinklage provides narrative teases through much of the game's first hours and you'll find yourself hitting multiple hot spots throughout this small corner of the galaxy. In fact, I haven't even hit level 20 yet, which is to prove the gate at which much of Destiny's freedom opens. There's a lot of choice to be made in how exactly you spend your time on these hollowed grounds so keep your shit together out there.

Dress the part with helms, space-weaved breastplates, fancy boots, and possibly a few class-specific items that make you stand out from the crowd. Hidden loot comes with names based on strange stuff, though that won't keep you from seeking out the large gems which sparkle after you defeat huge enemies. Sometimes people don't want to fight for the loot, so Destiny smartly lets you choose what you'd like to take with you.

You might want to "Dwight Schrute" your way through this one as revenue and relative player activity seem to be stalling. Collecting a bunch of garbage won't actually contribute to your overall enjoyment of time spent in Destiny's forgotten bases and exposed surfaces, foreign and teeming with various races to blast away. Shooting remains the core and far too many gamers will find that it doesn't satisfy without the interaction of another player.

The truth is that many video games are better played with friends, and while none of that means jumping into the air with a jetpack, Destiny does allow for some insane mobility to compliment the impressive powersets, classes, and heavy weaponry you'll find. Rocket launchers follow you into battle and drop away from the player with explosive force, even if I typically defaulted to waiting for powers to charge before going all out with a mob.

You might think a lot of features have gone missing in the transition between Halo 2, which I just had the pleasure of playing at a Microsoft event in the Master Chief Collection (preview inbound), and several years of development and a new office later. The truth is that isn't the case. There's always help from folks in the Tower, in the peace of quietly sitting at a map screen, and firing on all cylinders to finish a fight in the Crucible.

In all honesty, I haven't played enough Destiny to get the point. I know I like the game because I've had a lot of fun taking on large groups of varied enemies in deep story missions. I've also really enjoyed the way it carries enough from the studio's past work without getting into issues like whether or not I'm still supposed to reload the ammunition on my way-too-big machine gun with the square button. Yes, I reviewed the game on PlayStation 4 and it's everything you'd want from a huge experience for the Fall, though you might want to invest in a next-gen platform like PS4 or Xbox One before playing.

The investment in that hardware alone will require quite a bit from consumers and doing so early means you could nab a lot of accessories and more over the holidays. Destiny actually works more towards someone with a working schedule than a particularly grind-y experience-point-driven quest-fest. I don't really like MMOs and I'd assume this is what Borderlands played like if I hadn't already enjoyed a lot of that series (or at least enough to know what I'm talking about). There's plenty of great acting and engaging characters to chase on Pandora, though many of our hopes and dreams can be fulfilled by connecting with loved ones online this holiday season. At least that's what I hope to do.

It'd be much more fulfilling to explore red sands lit by a red sun on Mars or a dank Venus cave that just won't stop spawning the mech-like Goblins that seem so expected in the right shade of exploding-into-nothing-but-fusion-energy. Of course, those Hobgoblins will get you with a few rifle rounds if you're not lucky enough to hit them, so ignore them after they activate their shields and then return when they're vulnerable again.

Admittedly, Destiny needs more enemies like that and they may wait after one of the horrible boss encounters I already talked to you about. It was a travesty to waste hours of gameplay even with three living compatriots ready to help the Guardian's cause. Or I guess… my Guardian's cause. Destiny won't go far without a team and it'll be a while before I venture back into free-for-all multiplayer given its chaotic and seemingly carefree outcome.

Don't look to this game for comfort in the dead of winter when multiplayer gives way to a more important endeavor in a story-based game that doesn't hide itself under so many layers of space garbage. In fact, with all the opportunities to spec my character out, waiting for a blast-off to an abandoned Moon base, and the chances I had to trade weapons from my full arsenal throughout gameplay, I'd say the franchise's desire to be exactly that is the only thing holding it back at such an early stage.

A lot of people will say that you can't really understand the game until you've sunk 10 hours into each of the three classes evenly and I'd say that's true, except you'll undoubtedly fall in line with a specific character and tailor your aggressive tactics to it. Thankfully, competitive multiplayer has plenty of lines of defense. If you can make a particularly compelling play, you'll save your team from both harm and steal some glory. Keeping that in mind makes the ability to switch between tactics, thanks to an ever-present power weapon, standard rifle, and explosive, even without powers incisively fluid.

Give Destiny a try if you like the idea of cooperation blended evenly with competition. The truth remains in its satisfyingly responsive mechanics, relatively forgiving checkpoint systems, competitive multiplayer, and the opportunity to blast away a million and one guys if that's what your story really needs to framed around. If not, there's always a beautiful sunset behind the Traveler in the tower.


Copy provided by publisher. Reviewed the Limited Edition PS4 copy that arrived first. Also received an Xbox One copy. Publisher also recently paid for some event attendance amenities and travel, though that was not for this particular game. Also available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.


Box art - Destiny
Tons of missions
Armor, weaponry, loot galore
Just don't expect all of it to be compelling
A few odd twists on old gameplay mechanics
Competitive multiplayer can feel unbalanced
Some bosses are absolutely ridiculous
Plenty of room for updates
Incredible soundtrack in the right moments