Destiny is a title that just about everyone will want a piece of for one reason or another. Its stunning graphics and impressive game play mechanics make it worthy of all the pre-release hype that surrounded it

Destiny Review at

Players around the world had an opportunity to sink their teeth into Destiny during the game's alpha and beta tests, both of which provided insight into what to expect from its final release. Now with the polished product in the hands millions of gamers worldwide, the time has come to pass judgment on Bungie's hugely anticipated open world first-person shooter. Is it too much like Halo, and if so, is that necessarily a bad thing? Was the game deserving of its pre-release hype, or was this just another example of masterful advertising by Activision?

The circle of life

From the moment players reach the Tower (the equivalent of a home base) and look out over the railing, it's clear that Destiny is an absolutely gorgeous game. For those on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, this means a resolution of 1080p and 30fps, but the beauty of Destiny extends far beyond the statistics printed on the back of the box.

At its launch, the game contains four major planets: Earth, the Moon, Venus and Mars, and each one has its own distinct terrain and feel. Mars has that reddish-brown sandy vibe, while Venus is green and full of plant life. The Moon and Earth, well, they look a lot like their real life counterparts. The beauty here is that the way these environments were crafted allows players to tell where they are the instant their ship drops them off at a new location. It's something all players will notice, but a detail that colour blind gamers will appreciate even more.

This distinction of design carries over from the worlds that players will explore as a Guardian to the foes they battle throughout the game. While colours often blend together in the heat of battle, the shape and feel of each enemy unit makes them easy to tell apart, an essential detail when the trick to defeating them changes from one to the next.

Overcoming the Vex

If visuals are the icing, gameplay is the cake, and Destiny has married the two quite well. Things start off as any standard game would, with players choosing whether they want to be Hunters, Titans or Warlocks, then jumping into a story and tutorial mission to help them nail down the basics. It's a necessary first step, one that Bungie makes quite painless by keeping it short and sweet.

It doesn't take long to experience Destiny's first hiccup, however. That happens the minute players hop into their ships and make their way to the Tower. Everything works as it's supposed to, but the length of the load screen is no joke, and is comparable to actually taking a trip between two planets separated by millions of miles. It's a journey that players will have to take each time they intend to move between any of the game's locations, but perhaps is made bearable by the fact that it's not one they will have to make often.

Upon reaching the Tower, players will have several non-playable characters to meet and greet, and this part of the game can be a bit overwhelming at first. Bungie does a great job of clearly marking people and items of interest, but there is no avoiding a bit of confusion when starting out with a game of this magnitude. Luckily, it's a learning curve players will conquer rather quickly, and gamers will soon find themselves heading off to take on the Fallen on planet Earth.

This is where Destiny shines. The play mechanics while exploring the planets and battling the Fallen, Hive, Vex and Cabal are incredibly satisfying and balanced. It's made even better when you're in a fire team with two of your closest friends, teaming up to take down enemies like the Devil Walker and Servitor. If there is one downside, it's that the game is far less appealing to play on your own, so lone wolves might not find as much value as those who have mates they regularly play with. This is somewhat balanced out by the game pairing you up with other single Guardians attempting the same missions, but even that isn't a perfect fix.

To dig a bit deeper into the nuts and bolts of the fighting, Destiny is a game where the right weapon is absolutely essential to taking down your foes. In this way, it's fantastic for some and overwhelming for others. For those who like grinding, unlocking and building the perfect Guardian to dominate in a Strike, this will be your favourite game of 2014. For those who don't care about such things, Destiny is still good, but you might find that it gets old when the initial honeymoon is over.

The Crucible of Combat

This is going to sound strange to say about a first-person shooter, but the Crucible, also known as the player-versus-player portion of Destiny might be the game’s forgotten step-child. That's not to say it isn't good, but it does go to show how incredible the rest of the game is.

For players looking for an online shooter that gives them that player-versus-player action like Call of Duty: Ghosts or Battlefield 4, keep searching. Destiny's multiplayer is much more in line with games like Halo that have a higher time-to-kill. Even though that difference won't appeal to everyone, it's also a fantastic alternative to the cookie cutter FPS experiences gamers have been complaining about for a few years now.

The only other knock on the Crucible circles back to gamers who don't have friends they typically play with. While it is possible to win with random players on your team, this certainly isn't the norm, and you will frequently get beaten by teams of organised shooters. You also don't want to find yourself in a match where you're outnumbered. Once again, the time-to-kill crushes any hope of dominating while outnumbered.

There are far more positives than negatives with this mode, however. For starters, a radar will let you know the location of all players at any given time. The map design is also a strong point, providing plenty of flank routes and versatility to keep each of the Crucible's five game modes interesting. For those wondering, there is a standard mix of content in that regard. Players will recognise Clash as Team Deathmatch and Control as Domination, where Combined Arms is a mix between the two.

Fulfilling a Destiny

Rarely does a video game come along that seems to appeal to just about everyone. It happened with Grand Theft Auto 5 on the previous generation consoles, and it appears the same applies to Destiny right now. While the level of enjoyment will change depending on the person playing the game and his or her interest in the genre, it's a title that just about everyone will want a piece of for one reason or another. Those who like grinding and ranking up, as mentioned earlier, will appreciate Destiny for its depth and tendency to reward players for their efforts. Gamers looking for a shooter to pass the time until Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will stick around for the balanced combat and change of pace. Needless to say, regardless of what type of experience you're looking for, there's a good chance you’ll find it in Destiny.

GAME's Verdict: 9/10

The Good

  • Stunning visuals across four planets.
  • Balanced and intense combat.
  • A unique multiplayer experience.

The Bad

  • Load screens can be tedious.
  • Can be overwhelming for new players.
  • More difficult to enjoy without friends.

SKU: Reviews-305317
Release Date: 18/09/2014