Destiny First Impressions – The Awoken (PS4)

September 8, 2014Written by Chandler Wood

 Destiny First impressions

This is not a review. At this point I have played 11 hours of Destiny, from the moment the servers opened up, until my power sadly went out and I was forced to stop playing. In those 11 hours, I have brought my Titan to level 13, played a number of matches in the Crucible, made it to Venus in the story, and even wielded a badass sword on the moon. Yeah, you heard that right, there is a mission that involves swordplay in Destiny, and I want more of it. My review will be written later in the week when I have gotten more time with the endgame content. These are just my initial impressions after my first day with the game.

In terms of content, there seems to be plenty of it so far. I have only been soloing each mission, and only played about six Crucible rounds, yet after 11 hours I am only at level 13 and haven’t even reached Mars. I haven’t replayed anything, let alone tried out the strikes yet, so in my eyes, there is more than enough to keep busy and the much talked about level 20 cap isn’t as quick and simple to reach as many thought it would be.

In kicking around the tower, I’ve found many things locked to the under 20 crowd. Most of these appear to be the factions that haven’t played a role yet. How much these features add to the game remains to be seen, but from what I can see on the surface, getting to level 20 is merely the prologue into something bigger, but I’ll report further as my guardian reaches that point.

I have noticed a repetition in some of the missions that seems to be much more noticeable when playing solo. Destiny really feels like it was designed for social playing, and I can’t wait to hop into a game with friends when it officially launches tomorrow. If you don’t have people to play with, or have an aversion to teaming up with strangers, Destiny might not be the game for you. Repetition continues with enemies remaining largely the same few types until you reach Venus, when a new species is added. I suspect that Mars may add more, but I could be wrong about that. I’m undecided on if the approach to have fewer enemy types was a good move or not.

If you’ve played the beta, that was effectively a limited demo. I discovered that I outpaced the beta content when I was just a few hours into the game, with missions on the moon and Venus opening up and expanding my reach. These areas are huge, yet they can sometimes feel a tad boring and redundant, especially when different missions have you crossing areas where you have been before. Perhaps I just need to spend a little more time roaming each level to get a good feel for the nuances, especially given how much I got out of just Old Russia in the beta.

The thousands of copies that are out right now may not compare to the millions that are soon to be on the market, but the servers have been rock solid for me the entire time that I have been playing. The server load will increase quite a bit when the game officially launches, but for the time being, the online infrastructure feels like it will be able to hold up to the inevitable weight that will come crashing down upon it for the rest of this week. We’ll see if this continues to be the case.

Oh, and there was a sword. A mission on the moon puts you in momentary possession of a powerful ancient sword that is ridiculously fun to wield, though it’s over as soon as it is really getting fun, and left me wanting more of that gameplay. I haven’t found anything else quite like that sword mission yet, but I’m hoping for more of those little surprises. And, yes, in case you are wondering, the load times are still a bit lengthy.

With both positives and negatives, I am still eager to hop back in the game and discover more, especially now that my power just came back on. I suppose the fact that I am not dreading going back to playing it bodes well for just how fun Destiny really is, and isn’t that what games are really all about?

If you have any questions about my time with the game, feel free to ask me in the comments below and I will try to answer what I can. Stay tuned to PlayStation LifeStyle as we bring you more Destiny live streams, and eventually our full review later this week.