Developers Bungie, having been confined to the Xbox platform for so long, have broken free with Destiny, their first ever multi console release.
And it’s a good opener. As well as embracing a range of consoles, Destiny incorporates a host of genres into its vast husk – though, first and foremost, it is a straight up shooter. Walking in the footsteps of the likes of Borderlands, RPG elements have been introduced; a clever move, as there’re very few things as compelling as watching a bar fill up as you shoot people, it turns out. You’re never too far from a weapon/ability/armour upgrade, and what harm could an extra half hour of play cause?
Shit. It’s four in the morning.
Another neat touch is the almost MMORPG aspect of it all. It’s true that there are online folk around you, sharing the gamespace. And, yes, it’s also true that you can communicate, team up, and—naturally—do a little dance with these folk. But it never seems overwhelmingly online. There are rarely more than two or three people up in your shit as you play through the missions, and interaction with them is purely at your discretion, as is much of the rest of the game.
Should you choose to go all out social, that option is there—be it a brief team up for a mission or two, or a full blown six hour raid—but it’s just as viable to go it alone, ignoring the action whilst you go about your business. What is most striking is the seamless nature of any of these options happening – you can barely stick your head in from a distance, popping off a few sniper shots before changing your mind and doing something else. It feels good to not have to commit, and despite Destiny’s appearance on older consoles, there’s a real sense of ‘next-gen’ about the design process.
Were we to poke holes in Destiny, we might point out that some might find the relentless shooting shooting shooting a touch tiresome. We might also highlight the lengthy load times between areas, even though it’s sat there occupying a meaty 40gb on the hard drive.
To poke these holes, though, would be churlish, and sidelines the achievement presented before us. We’ve not had this much fun online in a good while, and it’s bound to shut us up until Evolve comes out.
Words: Hal Walker