Nov. 29th, 2015

terabient: by <user name=xfreischutz site=tumblr.com> (Default)
Played some more Destiny today. I only have a vague idea of how everything works, but it hasn't been too hard to grasp the basics of character progression and how to advance the game. When Destiny was first released, people described it as Phantasy Star Online with Halo mechanics, a comparison that my sister agreed with and that seems apt from what I've played so far. There's the 3 races/3 classes setup, the Guardians are functionally the same as the Hunter's Guild in PSO, The Last City is Pioneer 2 and plot of both games is basically 'discover what destroyed the civilization here, uh oh wait looks like our activity has awakened something DARK and TERRIBLE.' Destiny's Hive even has the same 'sentient infection' vibe that PSO's Dark Force had. The way the social hubs and actual gameplay areas work seem identical to the way PSO2 is set up as well...I wonder if Destiny will add in 'My Room' personal spaces and player shops in the future? Haha, I wouldn't mind if they did.

The gameplay has been pretty enjoyable so far. Controlling your character is intuitive and tight--going from walk -> run -> jump -> double jump -> run -> slide is remarkably fluid and natural, and it's easy to traverse the landscape and position yourself in firefights. Enemies haven't been challenging but it's not like the beginning of the game is supposed to be tough anyway; I'm just glad the enemy AI isn't as limited as Borderlands, where it became painfully easy to predict what each enemy type would do because they had like...2 behaviors total. The weaponry, is already quite varied and easy to use with quality feedback--I can feel the difference between a successful shotgun blast and when I've missed the mark, not just discern it from the damage numbers that pop up on screen. I suppose its a bit strange to praise the basics of game mechanics like this, but it's something that Destiny does really well; it's hard to describe how comfortable it feels to play.

The environments (all two that I've seen) are gorgeous. The skies are particularly beautiful. I've spent a fair amount of time just watching the day/night progress so I can enjoy the different lighting effects and scenery.

As far as things that annoy me, WELL. As one might think from a game titled 'Destiny' the story and worldbuilding is not exactly brimming with originality. From what I've experienced in game: in the distant past, humanity traveled through space and inadvertently awoke some awful thing that tried to destroy everything; it didn't succeed but it wasn't exactly defeated, either, and now 'The Guardians' are protecting what's left of humanity/keeping the evil at bay. The plot has Guardians utilizing light energy for weaponry so when NPCs talking about 'driving back the darkness with your light!' they are talking metaphorically and literally which makes me laugh and laugh and laugh with how over the top it is. I also had to suffer through a cutscene in which an NPC who was clearly in the know about all of Destiny's backstory blathered on about how he could tell me all about the history everyone keeps alluding to vaguely...but then he didn't because of course those times are coming again so I will get to experience them first hand! I mean, why even bother including a 'story' cutscene like that, Bungie. It is a literal waste of time.

The other thing is that while the world is beautiful you mostly just look at it. It's a problem that plagues a lot of open-world games as of late; the game has meticulously rendered and detailed environments but you don't interact with them in any meaningful way. There are quests which send you here and there across the landscape, but you don't explore as much as you follow markers on your radar until you see a glowy thing and press a button to get a checkmark next to some meaningless task. It's pretty telling that about 5 hours into this game, I was being 'led' to new areas but instead of gawking at them my eyes were focused on the radar in the corner so I could finish a side quest. Oh well.

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