A little ways back I wrote about my dislike of the Destiny Alpha. Recently I was given a Beta code. I thought it was an odd thing to get, but as a friend of mine over at Bungie was disappointed in my alpha review, he convinced me that the beta fixed a slew of the issues I disliked.
So, I put in the code and downloaded the much larger game and started it up.
The first thing I noticed is that it didn’t just drop you onto a map and had you move around. They finally incorporated some story. And, admittedly, the story started off alright but it leads into a massive problem for me. I’m one of those weird people that play games for the story. I know, right? That weird demographic that a lot of game studios have put on the back burner recently. And while I appreciate their effort, I’m actually more confused than ever.
The game starts off talking about how this orb called “The Traveler” came to Earth and, because of a giant ball in the sky, suddenly human kind prospered and was able to settle on all the nearby planets. How? Not really explained. I guess a giant ball in the sky is motivating? Maybe?
But then…*dun dun dun* the Traveler was followed by it’s enemies which hate the Traveler because the game needs an enemy. There’s no explanation as to why they hate the traveler. Especially considering that the enemies are on every place on the planet BUT where the Traveler is, and, as a giant orb, it’s not really like it’s hidden. Who knows.
Then the story ends and the game begins. As the terribly voiced, but now T-Pain’d with a robot voice little bot called a “ghost” (voiced by Peter Dinklage who, with this, and the movies Pixels and The Legend of Badassdom seems to have a weird vendetta against the nerd culture) flying around Russia scanning corpses in rusted cars. Eventually he sees a body that makes him excited, he scans it, and suddenly that corpse is you. He says something along the lines of, “You’ve been dead a long time, so there’s going to be somethings you don’t understand.”
Hold the phone. Not only are you not going to explain how you just brought my ass back from the dead, but you’re not going to explain how I died? Also, is this going to be the excuse for the lazy writing? After a few hours of playing I realized, yup, this is going to be the excuse.
In fact, the first time you hit up the main hub world and talk to the people who appear to be in charge, there’s really no dialogue. One of them hands you a piece of armor, a “good job slugger” and sends you on your way. If it wasn’t for text on your screen literally telling you where to walk, I’d have no idea what I was doing there.
On the plus side, the game is gorgeous. From small details like hair, to giant details like massive ships blasting into the atmosphere from the horizon, this game has some genuine awe inspiring beauty.
But is that enough? Probably. For some. But I need an actual story. Maybe you don’t. Who knows. But I’ve been on blind dates like Destiny. Absolutely gorgeous, but uninteresting and at the end of the date I still don’t know jack shit about her.
Destiny has one more chance when the final game comes out to win me over. But…I’m really starting to see where this game is going, and it’s straight to the budget bin. And not only that, considering the game is a slave to online only and features 0% offline features, it will never be a classic considering as soon as they shut the servers down, this game goes with it.