Well, after leaving the game for close to a year (the last time I played was I think in December, when they had the Sparrow racing event), as the time was coming for the release of this expansion, I decided to re-install the game. Feeling rusty, I went ahead and created a new character, and found myself having a blast playing through the original storyline and expansions. With Rise of Iron, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing this too (with my trusty Hunter), although I think I put in a bit too much time, and burned myself out (after getting to a light level of around 340). I think I’ll get back to it once I have the chance to play with friends more (so far, I’ve done all of the Rise of Iron stuff solo).
There’s no denying that Destiny has played a huge role in my gaming life this year – it also has the distinction of being the game I’ve played the most, ever (total hours). Sometime in late October I did finally burn out on it – partly in frustration that I wasn’t managing to level up my gear at a good pace, and also that the people I had been mostly playing with where dropping out too – and so hadn’t played at all until last week, to check out the new “Sparrow Racing League” event. The first time I played Destiny, during the alpha test in 2014, the first thought I had was that I so wanted to race Sparrows. Well, that’s exactly what we got, and wow, is it ever fun. I’m unfortunately not completely sold on it yet. There are only 2 tracks, and I’ve already tired of racing on them. And I can’t seem to get better than a 3rd place finish, which I’m finding frustrating, in part because I’m not sure if I’m just not good at the racing part, or if it’s because I need a better Sparrow. And so far, I have not been getting good drops after the races. Verdict? I won’t say that I’ve already given up on it, but I definitely am not playing it as much as I thought I would. Also, so far, the pull of racing has still not made me want to get back into playing regular missions or the Crucible.
I don’t usually revisit a game here, especially one that I’ve owned for about a year, but a strange thing happened with Destiny. I had given up on it fairly early on, despite getting really excited for it after I played the Alpha release in the summer of 2014. I loved many aspects of the game – the aesthetics, the sci-fi world it presented, the moment-to-moment gameplay, the feel of the guns, even the vehicles – but the fact that it barely had a story campaign really bummed me out, and when it got to a point where I felt like I needed to start grinding or get some help, I didn’t really want to play anymore. Fast forward close to a year, and for some reason I decided to give it another go – I think it was when I started seeing what was coming with the Taken King expansion, around the time of E3 – and it just clicked this time. Once I was over level 20, I started understanding the fun and satisfaction you get from logging in every day and doing the daily missions, weeklies, hunting down bounties, playing some Crucible, etc. It also helped that I found a few friends who were playing regularly that I could team up with on most nights, which yes, is where the fun of Destiny truly lies. Now, I’m at a point where I’ve played this game more than any other game I’ve played – and I’m just not the kind of player who tends to spend a lot of time on one game, as I’m constantly excited to play new ones – and I so can’t wait for the release of Taken King, and all of the exciting changes, and new environments, it will bring.
I’ve gone through some mixed feelings on this game, since I’ve been playing (for 2 days now). At first I was disappointed that it didn’t really end up having more story that what we experienced in the Alpha and Beta tests – and it also made me regret playing those 2 releases, since I was now replaying those same beginning missions for a third time, in settings that are now becoming too familiar. But yes, the action itself is incredibly fun, I absolutely love the art direction and the worlds I’m playing in (I just hit Venus), and when you’re playing with friends, it’s truly a blast. I was feeling a bit frustrated at first while trying to play through the story missions alone – since pretty much all my friends are level 20+ now – and was finding it quite challenging during the final battles, but I have managed to get through quite a few of them, and then capped that off with some fun play sessions last night and today with friends. And hey, I finally saw a long cutscene that hinted at something really interesting. I’m playing this a hell of a lot more than I normally do when I get a new game, and that alone should be a sign of how much enjoyment I’m getting out of it.
This is so the shooter for me. As I’ve said many times, I’m not that into shooters anymore, but Destiny that has really sucked me in. It starts with the aesthetics of the world and tech, which I really love, but then continues with the fun gameplay and feel of the weapons – people keep saying it’s just like Halo, but I disagree – and the fact that it’s setup as an almost-MMO. I had a blast playing along with a friend yesterday afternoon, going from mission to mission, and I imagine I’ll be spending an incredible amount of time playing this when the full game comes out. And man, those speeder bikes, I’m so in love. Bungie, please make a speeder racing game spinoff.
I had a chance to play the alpha release last weekend, and man, am I looking forward to more of this. As I’ve said many times, I’m admittedly not that big into FPSes, and never really got into Halo – the Xbox is the only modern console I didn’t own, and so I missed the first two, and then just played Halo 3 and ODST. What interested me about Destiny was the idea of being in a big world in which I can team up with friends for some co-op action, and that’s what it looks like I’ll be getting. But more than that, what I love is the look of the game, and the design of the world – the screenshot I shared that you see in this post gives you an idea of the beautiful sci-fiesque imagery you encounter. I also loved riding around on the hover bikes, and the shooting itself was decent, with guns that felt better to me than the ones in Halo. I’m now sold on this game, and I imagine I’ll be getting it day one when it comes out in September. I’m not even that interested in playing the beta that is set to come out next month, since I already know that I want to dig into the full game.