Saturday, September 20, 2014

GAMER GIRL WEEKEND: DESTINY WEEK TWO

It’s been almost two weeks since Destiny’s release. As many of you may know E and I played the Beta (insert link there) quite heavily when it was available earlier in the summer, but we have been very excited to finally tackle the full game. I liked the Beta, so do I still like the game now that I have played it through the entire story mode? Keep in mind there are some decent DLC plans headed our way as well. I have noticed that the reviews aren’t what I thought they would be. I am not going to repeat a lot of what I said in my earlier review but expand a bit more.

THE GOOD
The one thing that comes to mind when I think of Destiny is how frakking gorgeous it is. My favorite planet is Venus with its Yellowstone like starkness on one side, and lush tropical environments on the other. I love just looking up at the sky and admiring the stars above. I love the fireflies when you are down fighting Thralls on the Moon, such a small touch but a gorgeous one that I noticed. I like the dunes of Mars, the ruined wastelands of a city, the small touches of expiration dates, rusted out cars, and Aurora Borealis at night. I want to explore it more just as I wanted to do so in Titanfall (another gorgeous game). I want more worlds. I want more pretties basically.

I am only level 22 right now, but I have managed to unlock the shaders finally which allow you to customize, to some extent, your armor. Because let’s face it you may love your high defense armor, but then it is yellow and also your bracers don’t match. Now my warlock can be my Mass Effect colors of magenta and teal just like I like it though I would be very happy with some purple or straight black or maybe some black and red.

THE MEH
The infamous loot cave which is now no more
The loot system is broken. Oh so broken. Which is why we have the Murdercave/Lootcave on Earth. Now I know there are some people who say that doing the daily strikes, etc are the way to go. But last night when E and I played (we only recently discovered said cave) I went from level 22 to level 24 in half an hour because of the loot generated. And the best part of loot crate isn’t the farming potentially good engrams, it’s when the entire map decides to mass against you. Oh so much fun. But to be brutally honest for someone who is decent at shooters, but who could get a lot better, the murder cave is great target practice for me. Can I get my grenade just perfect? How many headshots can I get? Am I worth a damn with my new legendary gun? Can I hold the cave alone while E messes with his inventory or reloads?

But back to the loot system. I am not really a PVP person as I have had too many bad experiences. Recently in the past year COD was decent but that is also because I had E and our friends Bryan, Anuk, and Cal to play with. We had strategies. It was fun. But thus far Bungie has not enticed me with its Crucible even if you may get decent gear (though E really hasn’t). Missions prove to be largely disappointing when it comes to gear. And one of the most frustrating things is to find an elusive purple engram only to have it turn into blue gear. Or materials. Which might be fine if I have all sorts of Legendary and Exotic gear, but I don’t. I am still rocking the Rares.

My character happily sitting in a tree at the Tower
The Tower is still not a social lobby for players. Sorry Bungie. If you wanted a social aspect, you have yet to give it to me. Sure we can have a tree party dance off (as you can see the tree is my new favorite place to chill as I go through my inventory or wait for E to finish before we’re off planet hopping) or kick around the soccer ball. I can even wave hello which is bowing for me, but there is still no real way to say ‘hey, want to go on a raid?’ “Ooh like your armor/moniker.” “Hey back up you’re ruining the spawn.” “nice shot” “thanks for reviving me” “About to go super on these guys please don’t take my kills as I am trying to finish this bounty”, etc.

Now as I mentioned before in my earlier review, I understand that Bungie wanted to make it friendly for everyone and as a girl with a girly moniker and who likes to wear purple or pink armor, I certainly got my share of asshats when I used to play Halo. Let there be an ignore button then. While E and I may have our raid party of 6 when we get to level 26, what about those who don’t? (Though as I write this he could go do it, but I don’t think our friends are quite there yet.) How are they supposed to find other peeps to play with if there isn’t a social aspect? Just skip it? How about joining a guild?

It’s a short game mission/story wise. Which is a shame. The story was formulaic, but it did a good job of leaving me wanting more. Perhaps too much though. I feel like I shouldn’t have to learn the lore of the land by reading my grimoire cards. And you must admit it is fairly abrupt. Now of course the world may expand just like any MMO and the reveal of us (link to baddie speculation) being the baddies (link to Mitchell and Web youtube video) may occur (I am kind of hoping for it actually…what a nice change).

Now in the past few days the Queen’s emissary has shown up with his own set of bounties/missions to win back her favor, but really we just replayed the last mission again on a certain difficulty so the story reveals nothing more. I did get an awesome chest piece last night, though I really want the shaders that the emissary is selling. There is also DLC expected this winter that may include new planets to explore and perhaps more storylines (like hmm, how long was my character dead and how exactly did I come back? Am I a necromorph?).

Now I am okay with stories being short. To be honest I wasn’t expecting Mass Effect style storytelling. And yet I was hoping it might be on par with say…Borderlands. However, it is not. I guess all of the hype and such led me to believe that there might be more substance. It isn’t really there for me. I also would like some different bounties. Make it varied. Say so many shots using a certain gun. Maybe grenade kills, etc but I have not seen them as of yet if they have been options. If you are going to do a short story with a lot of grinding, at least introduce new and fresh things as often as you can. And don’t make us pay for all of it. They are doing their best with the new Queen stuff and the daily heroic mission, strike, nightfall, etc. I just want more as I don’t really see myself continuing with Destiny once Borderlands, Shadows of Modor or Dragon Age inquisition come out. But perhaps that is the nature of gaming though I will say that Mass Effect 3 had me every weekend for a year and E can second me on that. I have no doubt that Dragon Age Inquisition multi will have me doing the same thing.

THE BAD
Oh dear god the dialogue and voice acting is not good. When E plays PVP I want to laugh at the absurd voiceover, but nothing compares to Dinklage’s reading of some horrible lines (trust me I really like Dinklage…GoT, Death at a Funeral, Station Agent, etc). There is even a drinking game that you drink whenever it is clear that he has no idea the context or what the words mean. It is a very easy way to get drunk and a running joke between E and I. Of course there are some of the voice actors who know how to handle okay dialogue (looking at you Nathan, Gina, and Claudia…take me with you) and are a pleasure to hear.

I love that there is matchmaking in the strikes, but for the daily strikes, nightfall, heroic missions, and of course the raid there is no matchmaking. So you hope you have five other friends who are on the same system as you are (not all of our friends have moved over to the One yet) and can play at the same time. So how do you get a group of peeps together if there really isn’t a social aspect to your MMO? While I have been smart enough not to get involved with PC MMOs (as I have no willpower and know that I would be hooked the moment I started one) they are far more social and accessible for single players than Destiny thus far. But maybe that will change.

OVERALL
The story is incomplete, but if you are going MMO style on a console you tease and hope that people stay put long enough for you to expand the story and the universe. While I know there is a bigger picture and bigger plans, I cannot help but be a little frustrated and I know that I am not the only one. There have been hints that other places on Earth will be available such as Chicago, Mumbai, etc and more planets in the future hold promise, but am I willing to shell out the money for each?

Nitpick: Hilarious when we meet the Queen of the Awoken and her brother. The story definitely treats you as if you are human instead of the other races you can choose to be. I was awoken so the quest to find out who and what they were was kind of funny. Um…hello. Female Awoken with awesome purple hair right here. I might have been dead at one time, but you think my ghost would have known the difference.

3 out of 4 controllers.

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