Destiny: Review in progress- To the Moon, Alice!

After mopping up the story missions in Old Russia on Earth, I moved on to the next world in line: the Moon. The first story mission was available in the beta. Called The Dark Beyond, the mission puts you on the trail of a Guardian who has gone missing. You find the Guardian’s body at the doors of the Temple of Crona. Needless to say, once these doors open, nothing good is likely to pour out.

The story is still unfolding at a slow pace. The little tidbits you get from Ghost (plus wondering about that Guardian shadowing you) is just enough to keep you interested in pressing forward. And while the gameplay is still fairly fun, especially when leveling up both yourself and your weapons, it still doesn’t vary much. Each mission seems to be a matter of go here, shoot enemies, go somewhere else, get a little exposition from Ghost, defend Ghost as he downloads data against waves of baddies. Even the side missions when you get to explore the Moon at your own pace are copies of those found in Old Russia on Earth- kill a certain amount of enemies, scout a location, etc. Only the environment has changed. And while a change of scenery is nice, it’s my hope that Bungie has more varied missions in store as players get deeper into the story.

Enemies continue to be tough only because they’ve become bigger bullet sponges. They do employ occasional tactics, but even the Fallen Captains and Hive Knights move in a pattern, as do the Hive Wizards. They soak up plenty of bullets, rebuild their shields which you then have to whittle down again, all while worrying about Vandals, Dregs, Acolytes, and charging Thralls. So far I’ve been tackling the story missions solo, and at times they get more frustrating than fun. Not a good thing. Grinding helps, and once you get past the beta cap (I’m currently at level 9) your weapons start to level with you nicely (my Gozen-3 sniper rifle comes in handy as it’s been leveling up with a more powerful scope and higher impact power). The higher you go, the more options to outfit your Guardian in more interesting ways open up, meaning most Guardians retain a very individual look to them. It’s nice that everyone’s Guardian doesn’t end up a clone of all the others.

destiny-moon

It remains to be seen if gameplay will vary once I get to Venus or Mars. I’m hoping it will, otherwise repetition won’t do Bungie’s ambitious shooter any favors. At this point, even a vehicle based mission would be a welcome change. Destiny feels like it could have been so much more. Another, though probably minor quibble- why do the enemies all roar and growl like mindless, savage beasts even though they’re clearly an advanced species technologically? It seems more could have been done in this regard to make them more interesting. As it is, they’re just a different build per type that’s so far mirrored across the two Races I’ve encountered so far, with only some slight variations. Again, while they make fine bullet fodder, it feels like so much more could have been done.

Stay tuned for more of my review in progress for Destiny as I move farther into the story with an occasional side journey into one of the different modes.

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery.

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