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Review: Destiny

BY CONOR MCBRIEN | SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 5:00 AM

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The next big thing in gaming is here — and if you play games or even just know someone who does, you won’t be able to avoid it.

Destiny is another moneymaker for this year’s market, making it part of what gaming press calls the “triple-A industry” (or simply “AAA”). Games such as Destiny are equivalent to the summer blockbusters of the movie industry: risk averse, expensively produced, and heavily marketed.

There is also little to no ambition needed because usually games such as Destiny succeed, whether anyone likes it or not.

In short, Destiny is a good game. It’s a good game because it was made to be a good game. Enough money, manpower, and above all certainty went into the development of the project. While that statement may be a matter of preference, the game was built for a wide audience that will buy millions of copies of it regardless of naysayer complaints. If you play games, you will likely play Destiny or know someone who will play it (or at least tried the public beta and thought it was OK). While this game generally looks and plays smoother than other ubiquitous titles such as Battlefield, its focus on story over combat elements might turn away players seeking more thrills.

Destiny is a role-playing first-person shooter developed by Bungie (made famous for the creation of the Halo franchise) and published by Activision (of Call of Duty fame). The game is set in a distant future in which humankind has colonized other planets with the aid of the Traveler, a mysterious celestial body orbiting Earth that has somehow allowed humans to enter into a golden age, allowing them to prosper throughout the Solar System. However, an event known only as “the Collapse” dissolved humans’ off-world colonies and dealt a serious blow to the population. These colonies are now being taken over by hostile alien races.

The players enter the game as their own custom-made Guardians — players can choose three races and three classes for their characters — that explore the old colonies in search of a way to re-establish order, protect what’s left of humanity, and revive the now dormant Traveler. Along for the ride is a robot AI voiced by Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones,” X-Men: Days of Future Past).

Beyond that is a strong online component that matches up players for firefights in the story proper or for competitive multiplayer.

The latter mode of the game is primarily why most people are going to buy it. This will be, above all else, a “play to have fun” game until people move on to something else.

Destiny is available now for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One at $59.99. Rated T for Teen.


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