The biggest game of 2014 landed in stores yesterday. Yes, Destiny awaits millions of gamers the world over, but due to its unique massively-multiplayer structure, all the big media houses reviewing the game have held back on delivering a verdict until they’ve had a chance to play alongside the public.
Early impressions, however, have been surprisingly mixed.
“Destiny went live at 1:01pm yesterday. By 5:30 that same afternoon, having played quite a few missions and levelled my character up to 6, I was starting to think: is this it?
That may be slightly unfair, but it’s true. Destiny’s production values are incredible: touching down on the moon for the first time and seeing Earth is a superb moment, and it’s a beautiful game both technically and artistically. Its gunplay is satisfying, too, lending it a compulsive element that can’t be denied. But by only the fourth hour mission fatigue had set in: there just didn’t seem to be that many unique quests to take on, and the loop started to become all too obvious.”
Kevin VanOrd, writing for GameSpot:
“I am both in awe of these environs and left cold by them. Much of the time, I suspect that Destiny is emotionally frigid by design, its mysteries not so much lurking in corners as they are dispersed in a thematic fog. Even when I travel to Destiny’s lushest areas, I shiver at how simultaneously green and lifeless they are. It is then that I can almost understand recent theories that suggest our own universe behaves like a hologram projected from its edges. Playing Destiny is to move and shoot through spaces that don’t feel entirely real. They are both tremendously gorgeous and eerily synthetic, much like the face of the pale, tattooed Warlock I am guiding through Destiny’s missions.”
Vince Ingenito (IGN)
“I was surprised by the potential of the loot game in Destiny. It doesn’t seem like it will have the kaleidoscopic variety of a Borderlands, but the various mods and upgrades that can be unlocked and purchased over time lead to some surprisingly interesting gear decisions to make. One chestplate might reduce your grenade cooldowns, while another might award you with bonus ammo capacity for a particular class of guns. Hopefully those possibilities continue to widen well into Destiny’s late-game.”
From the looks of it, the critics haven’t been wowed by Destiny as a single-player experience, but expect perceptions to become massively more positive once the game is enjoyed as the multiplayer shooter it was designed to be.