Destiny: A MMO Shooter Done Right

Disclaimer: (first thing first) I am not a hardcore fan of futuristic-themed games, be it FPS, RPG, anything, except for Star Wars Universe (the one and only exception).

However, I had (because I didn’t play it anymore at the moment) a pleasant experience with public beta session of Bungie’s new IP, Destiny. The game is somehow kinda mix of MMO + FPS + RPG. Ah, maybe that’s not a quite good explanation. Destiny feels like first person shooter of Monster Hunter. How does it compare with Monster Hunter series?

Destiny Boxart Monster Hunter
MMO MMO
Multiplayer Hub – The Tower Multiplayer Hub – Village/City
Quest-based Quest-based
16 players per session 4 players per session
Equipment Crafting Equipment Crafting
Level Progression Rank Progression
Story-driven No story at all
3 distinct roles:
Warlock, Titan, Hunter
4 distinct roles:
Blademaster, Lancer, Ranger, Support
PvP
Skill tree + subclass system
Factions
Faction-exclusive equipments
Players’ Guild

That’s how I see the Destiny. I do not compare this to such kind of Call of Duty, Titanfall, or Battlefield because the identity of the game itself is co-op, not competitive. Monster Hunter emphasizes on co-op play to achieve goals and Destiny does too (although it also includes PvP). One thing that hit me is this game works. Battlefield has such history that it didn’t work at first (server down, login failure, prematurely-ended match).

Gameplay

Unlike those games which emphasize multiplayer competitive match, Destiny wants you to play the storyline. Really, there is storyline. And they want you to finish the quest together. In Destiny, you’re automatically enter matchmaking in the hub (The Tower, the last city on Earth). But, you’re not forced to make groups (unlike Monster Hunter). You can opt to play by yourself and head directly toward the quest objective alone.

I landed in a deserted place, alone. I fought toward my current objective. When I was overwhelmed by enemies, several players out-of-nowhere suddenly helped me. I started the quest alone, only to find there are also some players out there, and they want to finish the quest too.  You are not bound to follow and teaming up with them, but playing solo will get you nowhere especially during high level boss fight. During boss fight, if you dead, you restart. Simple. But in group, as long as there are some players alive, you can respawn or revived then continue the fight. The group here I mean is not like party play, but just a bunch of complete stranger meet in the battlefield, playing together.

This is where the bond forged.

PvP-wise, I am not a fan of PvP games, so I personally dislike the PvP. Higher level players always have better equipment, thus making them harder to kill. But, so far it’s okay.

Equipment and Player Progression

It doesn’t follow the progression of BF or CoD, unlock weapons as you gain point. In Destiny, you level up, unlock new skill set, gain ability to equip higher level armor/weapon. And yes, equipment has minimum level requirement. What makes Destiny feels like Monster Hunter is crafting. Erm, not crafting but like resource gathering. Faction-specific equipments needs several items to be collected in order to unlock. Some can be gathered through Bounty Hunter, PvE, or Crucible PvP. Equipment really personalizes your character, just like in Monster Hunter. Quite contrast to Titanfall, CS, CoD, BF where your character will always look the same, depend on the sides you’re playing.

Weapons is customizable (according to E3 2013 demo). In Beta, I’ve never encountered a way to upgrade specific weapon parts. (From E3 2013) Different weapon parts contribute different attribute upgrade to the respective weapon. Customizable weapon here feels like customizing gun in Monster Hunter/GTA V.

Destiny Weapon Upgrade Path

Destiny Weapon Upgrade Path

Skills appear in the form of skill tree. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but the more you use some skills, the faster their progression toward next upgrade.

Quite important: any class can wield any weapon. No such thing like Sniper can only wield sniper rifle, or Soldier can only wield assault rifle or SMG. There’s nothing that dictate that Hunter must use Sniper Rifle and Hand Cannon, or Warlock wield Pulse Rifle and Shotgun. I played as Warlock, and I use Sniper Rifle. Problem? No. Anyone can be anything. So, different class will result in different play style due the different skill set and different armor value rating, not because the weapon they wield.

User Interface

I think Destiny’s biggest flaw is the UI. This is a console game (I played on PS4) but the UI looks better if I use mouse rather than the gamepad (but I didn’t use mouse). It uses a floating pointer rather than cursor, and it feels really weird. Really awkward. I found it hard to navigate inventory in hurry, especially because Destiny has no pause game at all.

The Verdict (Current Beta Build)

As a gamer who enjoy co-op PvE game, Destiny is fun to play. I guess Destiny lies in different league from Titanfall, so Destiny hardly any competitor for Titanfall and alike. The way I communicate with other players through dancing and waving each other is kinda fun. Destiny makes a good combination of MMORPG + FPS and it works. This game is easily recommended. And I hope this getting better and better.

However, like I stated before, I am no fan of futuristic-themed games, so I guess I won’t buy it, LOL. Below you can find the ultimate collector edition of Destiny, Destiny Ghost Edition. Included the floating robotic companion called “The Ghost” voiced by Peter Dinklage. Pre-order at whooping $150.

Destiny Ghost Edition

Destiny Ghost Edition

This review judgement is based on Public Beta Build. Player needs PS Plus service to run it in PS4, or Xbox Live Gold in Xbox One/360. Online required.

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