It makes no sense, it’s infuriating, it takes ages to do anything, and yet…it’s still fucking brilliant.
I’ve sat here quite a while now trying to figure out why I like Destiny so much. It is an objectively shit game in many ways, without question.
This is about the 5th attempt at writing this next paragraph, I just keep writing out lists of all the things that piss me off about it. It’s not shit in the same way Dynasty Warriors is. Dynasty Warriors is supposed to be like that, and it does being like that brilliantly. Destiny was basically someone at Bungie skim reading a wikipedia page on philosophy and then wanking furiously until someone drew a gun from Halo again.
They maintain that it is this monumental and life changing event in gaming, that it has re-written the rulebook on games, and deeply effected the philosophy of games design. If Tecmo-Kowei did that you’d laugh right in Lu Bu’s face and hit him in the shin with a broom for being such an arse. Destiny almost feels unfinished, almost as if nobody actually played it for more than about 10 minutes in testing, and most of that was cutscene while Bill Nighy said things he will never understand. And frankly neither do I.
But as infuriating and unrelentingly pernicious and lazy both Destiny and Bungie continue to be, I love it. I love it dearly, it is my favourite game. Forgetting the various remakes (Last of Us, GTA V, Tomb Raider) it is my favourite current gen game by a considerable distance.
Alien Isolation I hear you say? Evil Within I also hear some wrong people saying. Alien Isolation is like a William Burroughs book, the idea is far more enjoyable than the actuality. Reading The Ticket That Exploded is an infuriating and almost nauseating experience, but the articles about it and the discussion of its creation and influence are fascinating, and it is quite rightly an incredibly important literary work.
That is Alien Isolation. I will never play it again, but I will maintain it should be considered an incredibly important work, it’s basically an art installation on my game shelf.
The Evil Within can just fuck off.
Destiny on the other hand, I play it almost everyday, maybe just half an hour worth, jump on, do a strike or a couple crucible rounds, scrap some needless trousers for some currency I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing with and feel all the better for the experience.
The key is that I play it with my housemate. We both have a copy on PS4 and we sit side by side and play it. It’s incredibly sad, homoerotic, but also incredibly enjoyable.
Co-operatively it is a fuck load of fun, prizes to be won, fuck house (My yet to be commissioned adult reimagining of the kids game show).
There is only two of us though, and neither of us like being told what to do by 12-year-olds in Aberdeen who seem to have no desire to actually play the game, instead speed running to a safe corner and not doing anything, so we have only done one raid the entire time. We just do the stuff that match makes and work towards certain weapons and armour we want.
We recently turned our attention to the crucible a lot more and it was great fun, but now House of Wolves is out and it is fantastic.
The new gear looks great and has genuinely useful perks, the upgrade system makes much more sense, and apart from Bungie’s frankly ridiculous idyll of everyone in the universe only playing Destiny and therefore matchmaking is just for level 28 twats, there is still loads to do and loads of ways to get sweet helmets that look like hawks.
The new game modes are also excellent additions.
Trials of Osiris is essentially a tweak on the 3 v 3 skirmish mode in the crucible that makes for fast, tactical and competitive matches.
Prison of Elders is basically a horde mode and on the higher levels can quite likely unlock some of the best gear in the game.
What Bungie is slowly doing, is pinching elements of RPG’s and over time figuring out how best to make them work in a broadly appealing FPS. Do I appreciate paying to take part in a 5 year beta test? Not really, but then again a game that I already liked is getting better and better every time they expand it, that’s pretty cool regardless.
All the while you are playing the most fun shooter there is. It’s better than COD, it’s better than Battlefield, it just is and I can’t be swayed. COD is too fast and played entirely by sociopaths, Battlefield looks amazing but it’s really fucking boring now.
Actually I’ve just thought Titanfall is really fun on multiplayer. Yeah fuck it, Titanfall probably is a better shooter, but it doesn’t have capes and Transformers don’t impress me anymore so I’ll probably stick with Destiny.