Thursday, September 11, 2014

Best Destiny - PlayStation 4

Best Destiny - PlayStation 4




Let me start this review off by saying that I am not one of the Bungie fans that was inexplicably stoked for this game on unrealistic levels. I originally was not going to purchase the game, but someone on the Activision marketing team was a smart cookie, and they got their hooks in. I turned from "meh" to "hmm, that game looks interesting. I'll give it a whirl". I played about 6 hours last night, so this is in no way a full review of the whole game. Just more of a first impressions. I'll be reviewing in a traditional pros and cons list, then going over some features that I would like to see implemented, and just some final notes. Off we go!


- You can sell all of your gear from the menu. That is amazing, and super convenient.

- Comparing gear is really easy. For example, if you're comparing sniper rifles, while you're in the store looking at one you simply need to hit R2, and it will bring up a little box that has all of the stats of your current weapon, and will highlight the differences. Stats that would be increased on the new weapon are highlighted in green, and stats that would be decreased are highlighted in red. You can also compare this way within your inventory, which is just super convenient.

- In a similar vein of the last point, the menus are very well done. They are very clean, very easy to read, and very fluid. There is no lag in while switching to different menus, and your inventory can be brought up at any point in the game, no matter what you're doing. (Minus cutscenes, of course)

- When you hover over attributes, or skills, it will bring up a small summary of what it actually does. This right here is fantastic. There have been so many games where you get a chest piece that gives you "+X amount to this skill!" and you're like "Well that's great and all, but what does it actually do...?". So this tells you what each of your skills and attributes do, and how they benefit you.

- In talking about attributes though, this next point is sort of a pro and a con. There are three main ones: Strength, intellect, and discipline. Higher strength gives your special melee an increased cooldown, intellect gives your super an increased cooldown, and discipline gives your grenades increased cooldowns. I don't like the attributes because they don't give you any specific bonuses, such as increased armor, increased damage, more health, etc. But, no matter which attribute you get, they will all help your character, no matter what character class you choose. So it hinders your customization a little bit, but they all assist you, so it kind of evens out.

- Darkness zones are awesome. They're portions of the map where once you walk in, if you die, you have to start over at the beginning of the zone and kill all of the enemies again. It adds some challenge to the game, and I think it was a great idea.

- The game has Bill Nighy and Peter Dinklage! Need I say more??

- The soundtrack to the game is extremely well done. The main theme is very catchy to hum while you're playing, and all of the fights that you get into, the music fits the mood perfectly. I don't remember if it was the same guy that scored Halo, or if he got fired before doing this game.. but whoever did it deserves praise.

- You'll get certain items throughout the game that have to be "unlocked" by someone at the tower, and when you're on the map deciding where to fly your ship, if you have one of these items, it will put a notification by the tower. I just think it's a small convenience to let you know in case you forgot that you picked up the item, or didn't know that you got it.

- There are 3 weapon "types" in the game. There is your primary weapon, special weapon, and heavy weapon. Primary weapons consist of your rifles, snipers, and handguns. Special weapons can also be sniper rifles, but is also fusion rifles, shotguns, etc. Heavy weapons are things like rocket launchers and heavy machine guns. I really like this system, because you don't have to worry about picking up ammo for a rocket launcher, and a heavy machine gun. They both use "heavy ammo", and share the ammo. So if you use all of your ammunition on your machine gun, and then equip your rocket launcher, you won't have any ammunition left until you pick it up. Same for primary and specials. I think this is a great way to do things, and just keeps it simple.

- I do have to say, Bungie knows their way around the multiplayer scene. The multiplayer in this game is awesome, and I love it. Aside from loading taking a bit, the actual gameplay is intense, fast, and awesome. One thing that I do like about it is with the ammo types, you only start out with primary ammo. As the match goes on, special ammo will be "inbound", and will land on the map for you to pick up. Same with heavy ammo. You keep all of your ammo when you die, except for heavy ammunition. I think this is a good way to kind of counter using heavy weapons, so that you can't go on a killing spree with the OP weapons in the game. It's an awesome system.

I have a lot of good things to say about the game. But, as with any games, I also have some gripes. The following is my list of thing that I do not like. You may like them, but please, no one degrade me for having my own play style and wishing things were a different way.


- When you finish a mission, or want to get out of matchmaking, you have to hold triangle to do so. But I swear you have to hold it for like at least 4 seconds. What? I understand putting some time on there so that you don't accidentally get out, but it is wayyyyyy too long. 2 seconds max is plenty of time to start holding the button, then stop if you realized that you've forgotten to do something.

- The load screens are pretty atrocious. Sometimes almost up to a minute for me, which I think is a bit ridiculous. I get that you're loading a pretty big world, but even the matchmaking loading times are pretty bad. Hopefully that's something that will get better with time.

- Instead of having a certain number of grenades, you have one. Once you use it, the grenade has to "recharge" before you can use it again. I hate this. I would much prefer being able to hold 2 or 3 grenades, and then pick up more ammo for them as you kill enemies. You can decrease the time it takes to recharge, but I still don't like this.

- When you complete a mission, it automatically starts a timer of 30 seconds, and once it's over, you are immediately teleported back to your ship. At the very least, I wish that this was a setting that you could turn on or off, because what if I wanted to explore a little bit more? You've got 30 seconds, so you better get your butt in gear and hurry to look around. So that's kind of an annoyance.

- Your race that you pick in the beginning has no importance other than what you look like. Being an RPG of sorts, I wish that you got racial abilities, just to add a little more customization to your character. I'm not sure how it would exactly work, but I think it would have been a good idea.

- You have no control over your skill tree. You have to level up your skills and abilities in the order that they provide. This is a big no-no to me. It severely cuts down on customization, and feeling your character is truly "yours". To be fair, the abilities are ordered in a logical system, but it is still a big disappointment in my eyes.

- You start at the same place on the map every time you teleport in, in single player. So in Old Russia, for mission 1, you'll teleport in at point A, and go to point B. For mission 2, you'll teleport in at point A, and go to point C this time. Mission 3, start at A, go to D. You get the idea. It adds a sense of repetitiveness to the game that I don't care for, and I don't like fighting through the exact same enemies at the exact same points again and again.

- Everyone says that the customization of your character is "so in depth" and that there's so many things you can do, but to me? No. The selection feels extremely limited to me. I chose the robot race (sorry, I forgot what they're called xD), and you only have 6 or 7 head choices you can pick. You can add a few things on to that, there's a marking you can add to your face, and a head "feature", such as spikes coming out of your head, or something like that, but each one only has 6 or 7 selections, so it just feels limited to me. There's tons of colors though, so that's good.

- The loot system in this game feels weak to me. I love "grind for loot" games, I think they're super fun. You're excited to find chests, or kill big bosses, because you know that they're going to drop some sweet armor, or find an awesome weapon deep within a cave. This game does not give me that excitement. There are hardly any chests in the map, and killing enemies hardly drops any loot, and when they do, it's usually not very good. Of course, this is probably in conjunction with the 20 lvl cap, but it's still kind of frustrating, because I feel that this was supposed to be a big part of the game. So that's a bit of a frustration to me, personally.

- This one is more of a con, but not quite a true con. I'm about 7 missions in I think, and the story to me isn't very good. It just doesn't draw me in. There is absolutely 0 character development in this game. Which of course, upsets me, but this game was never marketed as being that way, so I can't be truly upset at the game for being something that it's not. This game is simply a loot grinding, alien blasting, leveling up mash-up. Which is great, we definitely need games like that. But I still wanted to list it, because I'm an extremely narrative guy, and I love games with excellent stories and characters that grow over the course of the game. And that's not what this is.

Features I would like to see:

- I know that this is a shared world shooter, and I enjoy playing with other people. But sometimes, you just want to play by yourself. And I wish you could set it so that you could go into a world only by yourself, so you don't have random players running through and interrupting your immersion. They can't steal loot, which is great, but sometimes you just like to play by yourself.

- This one's kind of silly, but whatever :D The long load screens consist of you watching your ship fly through the sky, steady as can be. I wish that you could at least control it on the screen, and make it move around, shoot, and do tricks, just to be able to do something while the screen was loading. It would help pass the time a little bit faster. Even with Skyrim, you could turn the model back and forth. Obviously it's still boring, but at least there's SOMETHING to do while you wait. Just a suggestion.

Overall, I am very pleased with the game. The graphics are good, not great. Anyone who calls this a "true next gen game" I will punch in the throat, because it is not. It could have easily been pulled off on last gen alone. I'm glad that it wasn't, but it could have. But the art style and overall look of the game is really well done. I had a great time, and I'm really looking forward to getting home from work to play some more. So that's something good about it. One thing I would like to mention is the frame rate. Like many others, I am a spoiled PC gamer, and used to 60 frames per second on just about every game I play. This game, being only 30, concerned me. This is not a worry at all. Especially in multiplayer, you get so caught up in the battle and so engrossed in the fighting that you don't even notice that it's not 60 frames per second. All you care about is getting back in there and winning. I really applaud Bungie with this, because some games make it really hard to be immersed in the game, and you notice things like frame rate. Would I prefer 60 frames? Of course. But it's my personal opinion that if they can't make 60, that they at least make it a completely rock solid 30 frames per second, with no frame rate drops at all. And Bungie achieved that, so I'm a happy camper. I feel like the game was extremely polished, and that Bungie achieved the goal that were shooting for. They touched on the little details, and made sure nothing was left out. Does it precisely coincide with my personal tastes? No, but what game would 100% be exactly how I wanted it? Nothing. Is the game worth $60? That's hard to say. I obviously haven't completed it yet, but I will say that it is a much more enjoyable game while playing with friends. Single player is great and all, but I think I would get bored playing this game by myself all of the time. I think I'll be playing this one for a while, so I would say it's worth the money, but loot grinding games are also my type of game. Not everyone likes those, so worst case I would say rent it at least. Play it for a few hours, and determine if it's a game you would like or not.

I would rate this a 4.5, but I can't do that on Amazon. :( 4 stars is a bit too low, but I don't feel it deserves 5 stars, because of all of the cons and changes that I personally see. So a 4 star it is. I will definitely continue to update the review if I find anything else that I particularly like/don't like. Hopefully you guys like my review, let me know with any questions you have!