What follows are the parts of the game that have made me play it so much and what has made it my most played game of all time. I will be discussing the game as it is NOW. I never played vanilla Destiny. Some of the points below have been a part of the game since its release and others have been introduced with expansions such as The Taken King and Rise of Iron.
So what is it about this game for why myself, and millions of others, have stuck with it and continued to play? Lets dive in…
This is perhaps the most important part of Destiny that Bungie simply nailed. If you’re going to create a first person shooter, the gameplay of actually shooting those weapons at the enemies needs to feel good and be fun. The shooting mechanics in this game are easily some of the best I have ever used and is definitely some of the best today. It is a real credit to Bungie and their team how they could get so many different types of weapons, and all the different weapons within those types, to all feel great to fire whilst each having their own character.
The amount of weapons in the game (even though many are similar) all have one thing in common – they are fun to use. Each of the weapons have a great weight to them and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether shooting at range with a Sniper or Scout Rifle, up close with a Shotgun or in the mid range with a Hand Cannon, they all feel very differently. I have my favourites but, again, they are all fun to use and is the main reason why I’ve put so many hours into the game.
World and Lore
Having great gunplay and gameplay is critical to me wanting to keep playing the game. When this is merged with a world that is interesting and varied it makes the whole experience even better. Earth, Mars, Venus, the Moon and the Dreadnaught are all very different in how they look and Bungie did an amazing job in making these places somewhere I wanted to be whilst playing. The detail as you go from large outdoor, brightly lit areas into dark, wet and small corridors kept me interested without constantly having to the same place for extended periods of time.
Although not implemented in the game itself, the lore that surrounds the world and characters of Destiny is genuinely interesting and a universe I want to know more about. The combination of a science fiction setting crossed with fantasy has allowed Bungie to basically include anything they wish. This is also part of the reason why the world is so great to play in. Simply playing and looking around made me ask questions about the game.
For example, take a look at the above screenshot. This is part of an area called The Black Garden. For those who have seen the Venus in the game, you would assume that this area is on that planet. But it isn’t. It’s on Mars. Why does it look so different to the rest of the planet and why so much like Venus.
There’s many questions like these from visual clues, audio given throughout the game through to the lore that surrounds so many of the weapons and armour.
Graphics & Sound
Destiny has always been a great looking and sounding game. From the incredible detail on the weapons and armour to the gorgeous sky boxes and small details you se everywhere. Seeing the Earth slowly rotate when you’re on the moon, the shimmering orange puddles on Venus, the particles effects when you disintegrate an enemy with a Fusion Rifles to the flame effects when a Sunbreaker Titan pops their Super. Everything from the technical side to art design looks fantastic. With so many different areas, it’s great to see Bungie put so much time into how they wanted their game to look.
The designs of the weapons themselves all look so great and you want to use them. Seeing the different designs that adorn the weapons and armour give them another level of class. From The Distant Star, Bad Juju or The Hawkmoon, each has had alot of care when creating them and for that reason alone is why they are so memorable.
Not many games have such memorable sounds like Destiny either. With the sheer amount of weapons in the game, it’s amazing to hear how each of them sound. For so many of the weapons you can easily hear which weapon is being used without seeing it. The sound of the Icebreaker, the MIDA Multitool or Thorn all sound completely different to each other and to others in the same weapon archetype. Even hearing a Luck in the Chamber perk proc on a Hand Cannon can give you an idea of which weapon is being used.
Multiplayer & Coop
Destiny is a game meant to be played with others. Whether in a fireteam with friends or using matchmaking to team up, Destiny is at its best when played with other people. The fun of tackling a Raid or difficult Strike together, teaming up in the Iron Banner or doing some story missions is when Destiny is at its best. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a long day or really prove yourself in the Trials of Osiris, the game has something for any mood I’m in.
This part of the game really shines when you team up with others and you use abilities and weapons that complement each other. Playing a game of Control? Put down a Defender Titan bubble over the control point and buff your allies with extra help whilst inside it. Hunter Nightstalker? Tether multiple opponents and wipe them out quickly.
The amount of teamwork and communication needed when playing Raids really hammers home the coop and social aspects of what makes up a large portion of the Destiny experience. The sense of accomplishment when beating a Raid, Nightfall or finally getting to the Lighthouse in Trials of Osiris is a great feeling. Even helping out other players that are at lower levels is something that happens often within the Destiny community. The discussion surrounding the weapons and lore also fosters even more communication amongst players.
The Loot Grind & Events
When playing Destiny I always feel like I am working towards something. I could be acquiring new weapons, new armour and progressing in the story and side missions. My character is continually levelling up and becoming more powerful. Even when you may have had enough of one character you can choose from another two classes, each equipped with a three further subclasses. Playing with different Supers and abilities.
Constantly being rewarded with loot makes you keep playing and gives us the gameplay loop of why so many players are still playing this game almost three years after release. Collecting weapons or armour you may not have or chasing that ‘god roll’ Eyasluna or Clever Dragon to be the envy of other players.
With timed events happening often within the game such as Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner, Sparrow Racing or even Halloween events, it keeps the game still feeling somewhat fresh, well after I’ve played the content multiple times.
Beyond the gameplay loop it is simply what I refer to as ‘The Destiny Loop’. The gunplay, great weapons and loot in a beautifully detailed multiplayer world is why I’ve kept playing the game.
With many hundreds of hours put into the game Bungie got the main thing right…the game is fun.
Join me soon for the second part of the article – “For The Hate Of Destiny”.