This past week, Destiny gave us a reason to brush away the blanket of dust that had been collecting on our consoles all summer. We looked forward to putting our new boxes through their paces with a sparkly fresh IP with a brand new story, new characters, and new weapons; the possibilities seemed endless. As the Alpha and Beta tests were met with mixed-to-positive remarks all around, more and more people clambered aboard the infamous hype train, no longer quite so wary that Destiny would be your ordinary shooter.
When September 9th rolled around, however, and the initial launch day excitement started to unwind, it became pretty clear that Destiny, beneath its star studded, gorgeously textured facade, was just that – an ordinary shooter. It’s very good at letting you shoot things, at least. Yet the story hobbles along for a few minutes before falling flat on its face. The characters sound like they’d rather be anywhere but in this silly video game, the enemies aren’t very smart, and the battles are just plain unimaginative. Thus far, Destiny isn’t really living up to our expectations. It’s not a complete disaster. Like I said, the shooty bits are quite good. But Bungie’s latest effort could have been so much more.
Destiny‘s launch comes at an interesting time. After the even chillier release of Watch Dogs, people were wondering what they had to look forward to in the coming year. If Watch Dogs failed, how could we put our faith in other big upcoming releases? Would we continue to settle for the same old? E3, too, raised the same questions.
Most people were nonplussed after the Microsoft and Sony press conferences. More cookie cutter bro fest shooters? Yawn. Nintendo was the star of the show, giving people a taste of innovation mixed with old fashioned Nintendo magic. I don’t think it’s hyperbole when I say if it hadn’t been for Nintendo, the mood at E3 2014 might have been a little gloomier.
After Watch Dogs and E3, Destiny is the most recent, and perhaps largest, disappointment in a spate of failures (I should specify – critical disappointment, not commercial) this past year. It’s becoming clearer that maybe video game enthusiasts aren’t going to be as easily satisfied by the same mission styles, the same fetch quests, the same hackneyed storylines and bland heroes masquerading in different colors to lure un-savvy gamers onto the hype train. Now that Destiny is here, numerous discussions about the state of video games over the past year, and what we have to look forward to in the future, have begun to circulate with increased intensity.