Destiny is not a Halo MMO
My not so ambivalent review, summing up my thoughts on the game so far and comparing it to Halo 2.
When I picked up Destiny, I was thinking “Bungie = Halo”. Not so. I have heard people describe it as a cross between Halo and Borderlands. That is grossly inaccurate.
Background: What made Halo fabulous?
Weapon Combinations & Mastery
Back when I was regularly playing console games in High School, I was more than a little addicted to Halo. Why? It was the strategies behind them. It wasn’t just grab the best gun and shoot — no, it was grab the best combination to the map. Remember the Noob combo? Knowing the locations of these were key in any map. Holding these positions — extremely important.
The weapon decisions themselves weren’t obviously “this is better than that”. Maybe, if you were pro. For us regular mortals, we each played better with different sets of weapons. Some of my friends where unstoppable given a sniper, where others would master the shotgun or some other combo. It also really depended on the type of map. I personally loved the needler and plasma pistol. Give a really good player a sniper, and he will likely do well — sure. But not unstoppable.
Creativity — it’s a game!
I remember the days where a huge group would simply meet and create ridiculous games. Or spend hours attempting to exploit bugs in the game, mastering them, and using them as an edge in match-making (ranked) games. I didn’t feel I was limited in anything.
A social butterfly
You wanted to group with the people close to your skill level, because otherwise it was impossible to advance in team slayer. Clans where built on this principle (in my experience), and made it really easy to find a fun group of people to play with at any time. Additionally, here is where the fun custom games would likely start.
Let’s talk Destiny…
It misses ALL of the above points that made Halo 2 fabulous. Sure, I’m having fun playing Destiny. But I have a hard time recommend it. A co-worker asked me today what I think of it so far, and the first thing that came to my head was “meh”. Below is a small clip of me playing PvP in Destiny.
Hey — it’s a MMO.
Destiny is a MMO. Guns and gear are stat based, of course. People will disagree with me, but I have found that the gun with the best stats is always better. I typically don’t think about it at all. If it’s more “rare”, the better. I don’t feel the need to find a specific type of weapon — I just wait until one with better stats drop. This gets boring and feels very grind-like.
A MMO with a crappy cell phone plan
Social aspect is completely missing. If I didn’t already have friends playing it, I would never have been able to communicate with anyone in the game. If you group with someone, you can’t actually talk to them unless you party up through Xbox. No one does this — way too much work. ☺
I’d like a Hamburger without any toppings…
The game is very plain. There is no real thinking required, you attack randomly and with enough time, you kill them all. Unlike Halo 2, when you saw an elite and plan ahead a few moves, here a quick Leroy Jenkis followed by your “special move” is all too common.
I think the biggest drawback is that it’s just not very intense. Grab better gear, follow a mediocre story, and look at pretty planets. Don’t get be wrong, I am having fun. But to summarize it up, Halo (2) was better because it was simply intuitive to play, one had to strategizing weapon choices, knowing the map mattered, and it had a great community. It was a thinking game at times, and a silly game at others. I do hope I will start seeing more of these elements as I continue to level. Oh, and making the loading times (especially for PvP) much shorter would be awesome.
Of course, my review would be so much nicer if it wasn’t Bungie. Expectations.