Opinion Pieces destiny1

Published on September 12th, 2014 | by Ithika

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My first hour with Destiny

I came to Destiny the way I most like to come to games: knowing very little about it – other than the brief idea of a shooter fused with an MMO – and that it was made by the folks at Bungie. I like to come to things with an open mind, unburdened by expectation, and hey, I’m a sucker for collector’s edition consoles.  So it was with much excitement and little expectation that I rolled up to my local game vendor and laid down my hard-earned coins on Tuesday morning.

After my first hour of playing Destiny – level three Warlock, thank you for asking – I have to say that I am thoroughly  intrigued. I’ve never been much of a shooter girl, which is why I was so pleasantly surprised when my first hour of Destiny played like a dream.

Old Russia Destiny

The controls are intuitive, immediately familiar.  The PS4’s touch pad (whoa there Sony, don’t get too crazy with your naming) provides access to a sort of navigational mode, keeping you up to date on your quests and allowing you to do a few things, but this is the only departure from the usual run/jump/shoot/aim/special set up, and that’s fine by me.  Additional abilities unfold slowly for you as you progress through the game, a well paced building in complexity that adds layers to how you play with pleasing grace.

Destiny Mars Dunes

Peter Dinklage’s presence in the game is a lovely surprise if you aren’t expecting it, as I wasn’t – it takes a little while to hear his familiar urbane voice through the mechanisations applied to transform him into the Ghost, but it is still all there, and the distortion is not overpowering or too heavy handed.

My biggest criticism of the game so far is that it may be too easy for hardcore FPS fans, and it may be too familiar for those looking for something different.  Difficulty-wise, I’ve found it comfortable so far, never frustrating, and I put this down to smooth controls and AI with somewhat limited intelligence. Aiming is smooth and fluid enough that getting head shots in the heat of battle – enemies’ heads explode in a satisfying and pretty flash of white light-smoke when you land a precision kill – is something worth trying for, something attainable. As I have only played an hour at the time of writing this, I can’t really critique the play style or storytelling, but while I expect it will be thoroughly enjoyable and well told, I don’t think it’s going to challenge what one might expect of this sort of game.

Once you salvage your ship and head to the Tower of the Last City for the first time, the game stopped being reminiscent to me of Halo and Borderlands and hit me full on with a wave of WoW nostalgia.  (This may or may not contribute to my current fondness for the game.) The Tower wasn’t over-full and bustling on this first day, but it was busy enough that the sudden shift from first to third person perspective, the presence of people kicking around a soccer ball and a post office of all things, all combined to remind me strongly of my first visits to Orgrimmar and Ironforge. Or maybe it was the dancing.

It was probably the dancing.

Anyway, I expect you will be hearing more about Destiny from me and my comrades in the future. At first glance it is a highly polished and intriguing experience, at once new and familiar. I’m looking forward to discovering all that this beautiful new world has to offer, and hey, maybe I’ll catch you at the Tower sometime.

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About the Author

Ithika

Ithika is full of enthusiasm about, frankly, a lot of things. She started gaming at the tender age of 6 on a secondhand Atari Lynx, and it was pretty much all over from there. A Nintendo girl at heart but a Playstation girl in reality, Ithika has a strong preference for adventure and swashbuckling over just about anything else. Amazingly, she managed to stay focused for long enough to finish two degrees, and now she's (almost) an architect. Don't mess with her - she keeps a Charizard in her pocket.



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