First Impressions: So How’s ‘Destiny’ Doing At Fulfilling Its Destiny?

Gaming / PC / PlayStation / Xbox

So here we are a couple days after the launch of Bungie’s Destiny and signs are pointing to this game being a massive hit. It’s already hitting big numbers ($500 million on Day One according to Activision) so it’s about time for the reviews to start rolling in and we here at MOARGeek are also getting some play time with the new adventure and want to share our thoughts (mainly because we can only talk about it amongst ourselves for so long right?) and give our first impressions of the next big thing in video games. We’re going to call SPOILERS now just to get it out of the way because it’s hard to say “the gameplay is good and the gunplay is solid” over and over without giving away much. Destiny‘s real appeal (in our opinion) is the more RPG/MMO aspects of it which means to give the game justice in our thoughts of it.

That being said, the game is just kicking off so a full review is coming later on after we get into some of the newer things that we haven’t seen before. But here are some of the impressions from the guys and girls here at MOARGeek:

J.P.’s Thoughts and some Tips

If you liked the Beta, you’ll love the game ….cause you’re gonna get to do it all over again.

Old Russian Cosmodrome (img via Bungie.net)

Old Russian Cosmodrome (img via Bungie.net)

Get ready to grind out those Fallen and Hive in that old Russian Cosmodrome again. The biggest chunk of the Beta test in July was spent on Earth where you dive into ruins and caves fighting various bad guys in the ever going search for more loot. The only big change I noticed from Beta so far is that “Explore” has been replaced with Patrol. Patrols are great at level 4 for starting work on your bounties and for public events to get big rewards in. Don’t be scared to get in there and shoot something if you see a team taking on a walker or a horde of Hive, Destiny is all about teamwork improving survival in the wild. If this is your first time out, a good tip is to hit the small rectangle button next to start on your controller (it’s a rectangle on Playstation) for guidance through the tunnels. That will keep you on objective until you can patrol/explore the ruins solo to get your bearing.

Get to know your equipment

Like any other RPG game, your gear makes your soldier. With Destiny, your prey levels up with you and if aren’t constantly striving for the best equipment you can find you are in for a rude awakening as the game progresses.  Both armor and weapons being the strongest available is crucial to success. Destiny handles this well without it being clunky with tons of stats (like in WoW). The big number just needs to be higher than the one you’re using. Make sure to know where to find upgrades when at the Tower (Gunsmith, Vanguard Leaders, Cryptarch) . Also, another good tip is to get familiar with the Vaults at the Tower. You only have so much room on you and if you find a chest or get a drop in the wild and your slots are full, you are losing out on gear and money. If it’s obsolete armor, best to recycle it for glimmer. For weapons, put them in the vault and your other characters on your account will have access to them. In other words, don’t just burn that obsolete sniper rifle your Titan just found, pass it down to your Hunter character through the vaults. If you pre-ordered and now have access to the Vanguard Armory, just visit the quartermaster for the Vanguards in the tower where you get your ship and at level 5 and for 250 Glimmer each, you can access some decent weapons and an uncommon class helmet.

Finding a good gun is essential (img via IGN.com)

Finding a good gun is essential (img via IGN.com)

Destiny is all about teamwork and leveling up together and finding more loot. The internet is a great resource for finding other tips and tricks along the way. Reddit has started a thread for various things like achievement hunting tips, theorycrafting, and some other little tidbits that will help a lot as the game goes on. My favorite tip so far has been the fact that you only need one character at level 15 to unlock a secondary class choice for ALL of your characters. That means you can level your PvE face melting hunter to 15 relatively quickly and that will allow your Titan’s tank spec to be unlocked as well. That comes thanks to the hardcore guys who leveled to 20 in the first day. Community is a good thing.

Crystal’s Impressions

As someone who has switched to PC gaming almost exclusively, playing on a console again is a whole new beast to get used to. Beyond that, the feel of Destiny – setting up your character, getting through the starter area, etc. took me right back into the original Halo days. Granted, there are far more customization choices you can make with Destiny, but the space concepts, the music, everything just brought back that epic feeling from the first time I loaded up Halo.

I’ve actually stayed away from most of the reviews, beta data-mining, and spoilers in general and I’m kind of glad I did – I’m seeing everything with fresh eyes and slightly less biased expectations. I love, love, love the Awoken models. The customizations are excellent and despite the fact that I probably won’t ever see my character’s face underneath her helmet, she looks phenomenal.

The game play itself took a bit to get used to, again, as a PC gamer having to use a controller to aim is like writing with your non-dominant hand (or foot if you’re ambidextrous). The lazy almost-auto-aim is tricky and I haven’t really gotten a good feel for that, but I think it will compliment my swipe-snipe style when I do get the hang of it. Otherwise I’m pretty happy with the game so far. I only spent a few hours on launch night playing and haven’t really dug too deeply into the missions and content, but for not seriously playing a console game or FPS game in years, Destiny has been fantastic so far.

Jason’s (Quick) Thoughts [JustAnotherJay on XBL]

I was actually going to pass on Destiny for the Xbox One as Forza Horizon 2 is out later this month and I’m still in the middle of a couple other games. After the live action trailer and a few more videos and reading up though, I was sold – and from past gaming experiences you really can’t go wrong with a Bungie offering. Even though I installed the open beta, I never did get a chance to test it out so everything is new to me.

Leading up to launch, I hit the Destiny website and started poking around and decided on a Hunter class – although Warlock was a quick second. At any rate, I rolled a Hunter and dove in – with countless others – on launch day. My first impressions from watching the videos and reading up on the game pre-launch were pretty much reinforced – Destiny looks and feels like Mass Effect meets Halo… and that is NOT a bad thing. The control schemes were easy to pick up, the leveling and gear selection screens are easy to navigate, and there isn’t a question of what to do next as all the options are clearly laid out to you.

One of the first things I noticed once I made it past the introductory missions is how easy it is for you to do what YOU want to do. Opening the Earth map selection screen, I had four or five options including repeating previous campaign missions, continuing with the campaign, or hitting up Patrol mode. The integration between MMO and single/co-op play is well done as well. It was cool seeing other players running around in zones and then being transported into the darkness zones – essentially a single (or co-op if you’re playing with a Fireteam) mode.

I jumped into a couple Patrols as well and really enjoyed those – being able to do a bit of teamwork without necessarily being in a group was a nice touch. I usually prefer to game in groups with people I know, so it’s nice to see that Bungie has at least given consideration to those who don’t want to group up with strangers and still allow them to participate in group events. Speaking of group events, during one of these patrols I found myself tasked with my first public quest – helping to take out a Walker. From my perception, it looked like one group of two and three other solo players (including myself) picked away at the Walker. Unfortunately time ran out just before we had it downed, but it was cool to see everyone come together against what was obviously a threat. I also had a chance to team up via Xbox One matchmaking for a full Fireteam on a Strike mission and even though we were the same level as the mission and had it set on normal, it felt challenging enough without being frustrating.

As for the story and atmosphere of the game, I’m enjoying it so far. I found my heart pumping a bit more during some of the Darkness Zone areas – in one I cautiously moved forward into the blackness thinking “you really expect me to go there!?!”.

Looking forward to finishing up the campaign and seeing where the story leads, as well as the DLC that’s expected out later. I can already see the replay value in the game based on other modes, and, as I usually do with games like this, am looking forward to trying out the Warlock and Titan classes as well!

Justin’s (even quicker) thoughts [Zagrash on XBL]

I’m generally a fan of games where you’re able to shoot aliens in the face with a sniper rifle, so Destiny has treated me well so far.  I was able to dabble in the beta, so as JP already said, I haven’t really covered any new ground in the few hours that I’ve put into the retail product so far. It’s still very pretty, very atmospheric, the lighting effects are phenomenal, and the ambient music just fits. Really I can just echo what everyone else has already said.

I haven’t yet seen anything that I hadn’t already seen in the beta, but I’ve still managed to enjoy my time in the future-wastelands of Russia. Again, how can shooting aliens in the face not be fun? I’ve just gotten to where I can take some bounties, so I’ve been running a few missions and trying to stay alive in the Cosmodrome. I’m on the Destiny equivalent of “kill 50 rats” or the generic fetch quest, but the game has done a good job of not making it feel like I’m pegging rats in someone’s basement.

I’m looking forward to getting a Fireteam together and wreaking some havoc on those pesky aliens. Hit me up if you’re playing on Xbox One.

Be sure to let us know if you’re adding any of us on XBL or PSN.  A quick head’s up would be nice just so we know where these invites are coming from.

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