Destiny defended

Previously on Giga Game Breaker (read in the voice of the <em>Dragonball Z </em>narrator), I voiced the many flaws of <em>Destiny.</em>

Why, then, have I been unable to stop playing, getting up to level 27 and being entertained for much of it?

<em>Destiny</em> is imperfect. But it&rsquo;s fun and a decent first entry that has really gotten me addicted.

I mentioned previously that the core shooting experience of <em>Destiny</em> was solid, and it truly is. True, you are simply shooting aliens in the head over and over grinding for loot, but <em>Destiny</em> is very good at that. While filled with grind and repetition, that mixture of MMO grind and shooting is addictive as hell and has kept me playing and, if perfected, this could become a devilishly hard-to-quit experience.

This is a beautiful game in some ways, not in a trite &ldquo;good graphics&rdquo; way, but in the general aesthetics <em>Destiny</em> has. The game has a style that&rsquo;s pretty enticing; the <em>Mass Effect</em>-esque cleanness of the environments mixed with some hints of<em> Halo </em>sensibilities, the unique user interface, and the grand soundtrack, provide a better sense of style than the military flavour of many previous first-person shooters.

A major complaint has been the basic structure of the story gameplay and the frankly non-existent story. It feels like something was rushed, that they couldn&rsquo;t get the game finished because they ran out of time, or Activision forced it out the door.

The lore of <em>Destiny</em> has not been given much room to breathe by the brief and unsubstantial story, and even the supplementary &ldquo;Grimore Cards&rdquo; provide little insight into the world. It&rsquo;s a shame; this world with aliens that fire moons at other planets, and the possibility of actual dragons flying around, deserves better.

I had the opportunity to take part in the game&rsquo;s raid &ldquo;The Vault of Glass&rdquo; and was surprised to see some impressive design: bosses introducing mechanics that resurface later, building on our experiences, a tense stealth section through a rocky labyrinth, even a <em>Mega Man</em>-style disappearing platform section. Where was all this during the single-player experience?

Apparently Bungie still has the chops to make a good mission. We can only hope future updates and releases will be like this.

I get the feeling there was a bit of hubris on Bungie&rsquo;s part, trying to enter the MMO-style space with their prior experience with <em>Halo</em>, and not quite taking into account the lessons that previous games have learned. The result is this relatively solid game with some misguided aspects.

I&rsquo;m reminded of the first <em>Assassins&rsquo; Creed</em>. They share similarities in their circumstances: a big new franchise coming early in the wake of the new consoles with some new and interesting concepts in tow, but a poor execution in its first entry. It took until <em>Assassins&rsquo; Creed II</em> for the franchise to really take off and become as big as it is today.

<em>Destiny</em> isn&rsquo;t the only game to suffer the curse of the first entry in a franchise. Recent releases <em>Watch Dogs </em>and <em>Titanfall </em>brought varying forms of disappointment. It seems rare that a new franchise kicks off flawlessly. I actually respect the original <em>Halo</em> for being such a good exception to this rule.

Bungie at least seems relatively apologetic, stating that they recognize their faults and are moving to fix them. The pesky problems with engrams and the hallowed &ldquo;loot cave&rdquo; have already been patched. Bungie&rsquo;s community leaders are projecting a sense of ownership over their new franchise, and seem happy with the enjoyment people are gaining from it, and also eager to handle the problems that plague the game. God knows if they&rsquo;ll follow through though.

Does all of this forgive <em>Destiny</em> for its problems? Not really. But it means that a flawed game can still be fun as hell, and it means that a flawed first start can still mean a good future for a franchise. It still earns the 6.5 scores it has been receiving, but this is not an indication of a game that is pure trash.

&nbsp;<em>Destiny</em>&rsquo;s core is strong, it just deserves better than this current entry. During our raid, while we joked about the flaws of the game, we were still playing. Co-operating with each other, with the loot we&rsquo;ve gained and improved, facing a tough challenge &shy;&mdash; despite all its flaws, that experience is awesome.

Even flawed, <em>Destiny</em> has immense potential, especially for the next title in two or three years. And that&rsquo;s the best defence <em>Destiny </em>possesses.