Friday, September 19, 2014

Almost a review of Destiny...

This post was originally going to be my review, but then I hit this tangent and I wanted to get it out of the way before getting into the meat of the game. (Not to mention that I'm writing that review now and it's going to be pretty big, so I'll probably break it up into two or more posts.)  I only hint at the overall feeling I have toward the game, but that's what the proper review is for. Anywho, tangent!

I’ve never played a game quite like Destiny.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve played FPSs and MMORPGs before, and Destiny borrows liberally from both of those to make something new. What I mean is that Destiny is inherently conflicted in a way that I’ve never seen in a product THIS BIG. Activision, one of the largest (and most hated, but let’s not get into that now) game publishing companies in the world, teamed up with Bungie, creator of one of the most iconic video game franchises ever made. (If you don’t know which one, why the hell are you reading a blog post about a video game in the first place? Go play some games and come back later.) The hype machine was in full swing for this one; pretty much the only time you see ads for video games on TV is when the heavy hitters come out with something new they want everyone to see.

There were preorders, more than any other game this year.  There were preorder bonuses, like the ability to dye your little robot buddy and speeder bike red. (Presumably because Gamestop -with its clean-cut red-white-black color scheme- was involved.) And of course there were the usual cries of corruption, with the release tied to the activation of servers in such a way that the game would not run until the day of its launch, making it impossible to give a full review before millions of players threw down $60 or more on it. It reminds me of a movie that a producer knows isn’t any good not getting a press screening so the reviews don’t scare discerning moviegoers away.

If it were any other game, by any other developer (My low opinion of Activision notwithstanding) I’d be crying foul like anyone else. But here’s the thing: Destiny doesn’t need “protection” from the free press. If anything, I wish more people knew this thing existed, and was on the previous generation of consoles (which is where I, an impoverished peasant, am probably playing it as you read this.) so they could play WITH me. It’s a game with a lot of content and a lot of intermeshed systems, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re better experienced with friends. My next post is going to be something of a holistic review of the game as I’ve experienced it; I aim not to tell you whether it’s a good game and fun to play (spoiler: it REALLY is) but WHY it is. (I'd meant for this post to be that review, but it sort of got away from that.)

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