Release Date: OUT NOW!
£ 59.99 | Format reviewed: PS4 Also available on: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 Publisher: Activision
redefined sci- fi shooters with the seminal Halo series, but after leaving Master Chief behind for star systems new, the inevitable question was: what next? How about the most expensive game ever made?
Reportedly costing $ 500m, few games have arrived with the burden of expectation that Destiny is saddled with. Rush through the scant main missions about a darkness consuming the galaxy and you might be baffled as to how such an astronomical sum was spent on six hours of confused and underwhelming storytelling. But the real journey begins when the story ends.
Hit level 20, the nominal level cap, and a world of possibilities opens up. Shooting militarised space aliens will take up the majority of your time, but the underlying structure is more like World Of Warcraft – an MMO where grinding for better gear and embarking on ultra- tough Raids with five friends is your ultimate goal. This can be achieved by replaying Strike missions, journeying into finely balanced multiplayer arena the Crucible or picking up Bounties, mini objectives used to fast- track your progress. If you’re prepared to put in the hours it’s an addictive and hugely rewarding endgame.
Part of the problem though is that Destiny does a terrible job of explaining itself. There are multiple, distinct vendors selling armour and weapons, none of which get more than a cursory introduction. Expect to learn a lot from discussing it with friends or by trawling forums. The same is true of Bungie’s worldbuilding. The art direction is sensational, impossible vistas ripped straight from the covers of ’ 60s sci- fi novels brought beautifully to life, but the storytelling is unforgivably bad. The majority of the world’s lore
The real journey begins when the story ends
is hidden behind unlockable cards that can only be viewed via Bungie’s website. It’s a barrier to exploration that leaves the world feeling shallow.
Bungie has a 10- year plan for Destiny though, so there’s plenty of opportunity to make amends for the narrative’s duff first chapter. And crucially, murderising in Destiny is always fun. Bungie know their way around an FPS and the shooting is Halo’s genre- defining gunplay evolved and perfected – weighty, tactical and oh- so satisfying. Thirty hours in there’s no sign of it getting old.
Go in expecting a Mass Effect- style sweeping space opera you can play on your lonesome and prepare for disappointment. Embrace its idiosyncrasies, and drag a few friends along for the ride, and Destiny is worth every penny. Jordan Farley
Battling big armoured bad guys: never gets old.