Destiny takes the gaming universe by storm

By: Saul Berrios-Thomas | Layout Editor

All the hype surrounding Destiny made it inevitable that this could change the gaming world but did it’s Sept. 9 release fulfill the media’s prophecy?

Bungie, the makers of Halo, built a world set 700 years in the future and used a complex mix of things familiar to today’s world along with futuristic ideas that have never been seen before to create an atmosphere that is foreign and unique, while not daunting. Luckily, technology has developed to the point where space travel is easy and inhabiting other planets has become a viable option. The players travel to different planets tackling many different species of evil all while trying to protect the Last City on Earth.

What makes Destiny so unique is the many different styles of gameplay that are seamlessly woven into the core of the game. Players can complete campaign missions stocked with cut-scenes, and narrative. The narrator is a story-telling robot companion, voiced by Peter Dinklage, that travels with the players and offers advice, direction and backstory. Players can also traverse the open world looking for any of the two different races of enemies, The Hive and The Vex, to fight, helping other players complete missions or collecting loot to modify and upgrade weapons.

Then there’s the Crucible. This is the home to the competitive multi-player experience. The diverse game modes like free-for-all, team death match and control are familiar and yet state of the art. When the player needs some time to unwind or new weapons, they can go to the Tower, the stronghold of the Last City. This is a safe place for players to go with no combat. The game indicates this is a safe place by transitioning to a third person camera and holstering the player’s weapon.

The world is made up of several different types of characters. The robots are extremely powerful and intelligent. There are three races that the player’s character can be: Awoken, a species with dark blue skin, Human, the most common race and Exo, a machine-like race that is known for being powerful and ruthless. The player also chooses a class for their character. The three classes are Hunter, Titan and Warlock. Hunters are strategic and use powerful weapons. They specialize in kills with long-range weapons. Titans are on the frontline. They use powerful melee attacks to subdue their enemies. Warlocks are agile and use magical powers to win combat.

Each class has its strengths and weaknesses, but since weapons are not class exclusive they are all very competitive and no class has a clear advantage. Each class has a specific super move that can be used when a meter is filled. The meter fills on its own as time passes, but it is boosted by kills and achievements. The Hunter special is a flaming gun with three ultra-powerful shots. This is likely the best weapon in the game, but it must be used quickly or the gun disappears. The Titan super is a powerful ground punch that takes out any enemy in the immediate area. The Warlock super is a blast of magic that the player can throw at a group of enemies, taking most of them out with one hit.

There are several different types of weapons. There are fully- and semi-automatic assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers and futuristic laser guns that charge before each shot. The guns are very similar to Halo. The competitive multiplayer is like Titanfall. The open-world exploration is somewhat similar to Mass Effect, although not quite as in-depth. The game is available for PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, which gives it the capability to reach a larger audience.

The main screen is an image of the player’s spaceship, which is customizable, just like the character. From there the player can select to pursue missions on different planets, go to the tower or jump into the Crucible to battle with other players. The game can be played solo, but it is more fun, and easier when played with a group of friends. The game includes a feature called a Fireteam. This is a group of three friends who are put into the game together for a mission, competitive multi-player or just exploring the solar system together.

Destiny is a beautiful game that presents amazing structures and scenic views unparalleled in the gaming universe. The score is well-done and invokes memories of everyone’s favorite sci-fi film, Star Wars. The mechanics of combat are smooth and easy for even a beginner to master. Over the course of the game the player picks up a personal vehicle called a Sparrow. This light weight motorcycle shaped hovercraft makes exploring the giant spaces in the game easy and efficient.

One major issue with the game is the connectivity. Because every facet of the game is online it can become shaky at times when players have weak internet connections. This can lead to in-game lagging, which is terrible in competitive multi-player. It can also lead to disconnections, which is even more alarming. Imagine spending 20 minutes working towards the end of a mission just to get disconnected before the final boss.

The auto-save checkpoints ensure players will not lose their progress, but it can still be a huge buzz-kill. These are minor issues that will be improved as updates become available.

Destiny is the first game of its kind and yet any player feels comfortable playing it for the first time. It is familiar and yet new. Because of that and all the other positive things about the game, Destiny has the potential to become the next mega-franchise of the gaming industry (think Call of Duty). The next big thing is here.

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