THE PERFECT IMAGE

If you could photograph the historical-videogame moment we are experiencing, the perfect image would be Destiny. The new Bungie title, backed by a colossal budget with an excellent media campaign, is the mirror of what we gamers have been playing on consoles in recent years.

No philosophy, no attachment to the past but the giant developed by the American software house is exactly what the videogame industry has accustomed us to in recent years, with no real revolution but magnifying what we have already seen. We don’t want to dismiss Destiny as a BIG FPS, the experience it offers is one of the best available on new and old consoles but the expectations, the dream of seeing a new groove for the future generation of videogames, stops after a few hours of play. Let’s find out why.

FPS SIMPLY PERFECT

If you could describe the First-Person Shooter genre in one word this is Destiny.

The movement and combat system is nothing short of sublime with mechanics that turn out to be among the most fluid and responsive we have had the pleasure of experiencing in recent years in a console FPS. The game literally seems take possession of the controller pasting the player in a series of moves, shots and special abilities that overshadow what is seen in that little Bungie masterpiece we all know as Halo. Destiny does not have a dynamic cover system but a perfect implementation of entering movements and actions directly into the bones of the players’ hands.

Rifles and weapons in general are extremely characterized and each type of weapon gives the player a different “feeling”, the class skills convey a wonderful feeling of “omnipotence” and allow us to further speed up the pace of battles. The real flagship are the melee attacks who have the ability to turn the tide of a battle using the obstacles of the setting as real weapons. Grenades take on a strategic role in flushing enemies out of their defensive positions while the use of the jetpack (or double jump) turns out to be of vital importance in the most agitated phases of the challenges with the largest groups of enemies.Unfortunately the ease of use of the jetpack makes the use of the slide practically useless, a move that also has an unpleasant drawback that is that of exposing the head of one’s alter-ego to a greater number of shots fired.

In all the magnificence of the system introduced by Bungie at the moment we have some doubts about short-range weapons. The typical sawn-off shotguns or futuristic fusion rifles have a devastating impact on the Crucible maps consequently forcing the player to opt for this type of weapon or take a lot of “beating”.

BETWEEN SINGLE AND MULTIPLAYER

The story of Destiny, despite the fact that Bungie itself has repeatedly stressed the depth of the latter, is definitely fragmentary and contradictory.
The open nature of the activities to be carried out passing seamlessly from the Crucible to the Tower and from the latter to the old terrestrial colonies scattered throughout the solar system gives a strong sense of repetition and almost a lack of logical connection between one mission and another . The total absence of narrative expedients capable of stirring the consciences of fans with unexpected twists and sudden changes make Destiny quickly sink into a series of trivia and banalities already in the first hours of the game. The story of the Guardian and the Traveler and the usual struggle of humanity against the forces of darkness are of little use, everything tends to getting lost in an almost disconcerting sea of ​​predictability and poverty. The narrative sector of Destiny manages to give its best in the detailed items of the Grimoire available only and exclusively on browsers away from the action; We just have to fervently hope that the Bungie programmers will integrate the Grimoire and the statistics of their Guardian into the game interface as soon as possible.

The repetitiveness of the actions to be performed is nothing short of disarming with a series of missions that tire in the long run given the total lack of originality and above all variety. Surely the combat phases partially mitigate this deficit but we really expected more from a game of this magnitude in light of a level cap of only 20 levels. At the moment Destiny is a sci-fi world being defined practically split into two games: in the first, from level 0 to 20, a classic FPS with spectacular combat mechanics, while in the second, therefore from level 20 onwards, the progression of the character leaves room for the MMO component, giving way to thousands of plot inconsistencies and a decidedly fragile and ballerina structure. Perhaps the intention of the developers was to prepare the users up to the twentieth level and then let them get into the action just as it works in the most classic MMOs but for this we will have to wait for future patches and expansions that will be introduced in the coming months since at when the endgame is just “end” close the game and move on to something else.

The various game modes such as missions Patrol or the challenges Assault they should be oriented towards the online cooperative but, paradoxically, it seems to do everything to discourage it. There tower it does not appear as a meeting place and events but a simple one filling station. The much talked about random eventsthey are sporadic and repetitive that they are not even considered by connected users. Let’s add to it a chaotic and randomly managed acquisition of objects and weapons and the cooperative game is not only unattractive but definitely superfluous despite the system of diversification and customization of the character is deep and complete.

Another unconvincing aspect are the battles of the Crucible where the absence of options to limit or block the skills, weapons and items of equipment unlocked over the course of the “story” by the most experienced players ruin the experience right from the start. The possibilities of interaction with other users are extremely limited and the options available to each Guardian to undertake challenges in the company of other players on the net are just as small. The proposed communication system is decidedly minimalist and unconventional, on the one hand it is excellent for not having too many voices on the screen but on the other it cannot and must not justify the lack of fundamental tools such as those of voice chat or search modules. and clan management. The absence of options for customizing the “rules of engagement”Of the Crucible challenges give the coup de grace to a game that was supposed to be devoted to social media but which is fundamentally not. Despite these youth problems we can say that the MMO and FPS mix proposed by Bungie is on track and gives the player unique momentsthat no other game at the moment can give.

TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT – ACTION!

The technical sector it is one of the most impressive aspects of the game. Destiny strikes the user not only because it is supported by a new and performing engine but also for the artistic and sound direction worthy of a true cinematic Kolossal. The game’s settings are nothing short of amazing and deeply detailed despite some questionable elements in a post apocalyptic scenario.

Animations of enemies and Guardians they are fluid and dynamic stunned the player for such a profound and almost perfect implementation. The whole is surrounded by amazing particle effectsthat transform the most heated battles into a festival of pyrotechnic explosions without spoiling the game action that remains fluid even in the most excited and frenetic situations.

In the versions we tested the in-game uploads are definitely too extensive especially for the older generation consoles while we did not notice any problems with the netcode; as far as the AI ​​of the enemies is concerned, we can say that it is perfect in close-range clashes but definitely subdued in the larger areas. A real shame given the excellent potential of the game even on an “open” field. The enemies to face are not many but the good implementation and realization overshadow the absence of variety. As for the maps to be played in multiplayer, set on the different planets: the Earth, Mars, the Moon and Venus as in the story mode, we noticed very small dimensions most likely due to the need to adequately accommodate a maximum of 12 players. While never surprising for tactical design and conceptualization, the maps have all turned out to be very solid strategically and above all designed to make the most of verticalization without reaching the levels of Titanfall in this aspect.

The game ends with a soundtrack that it marks the rhythm of the action very well of play gradually increasing in intensity and volume close to the most dangerous areas. Despite the large budget available we will have a bad management of the dialogues and, as a direct consequence, of the dubbing in Italian. The problem is mainly related to the bland characterization of the characters (there is no Master Chief to be clear) due to the secondary role played by the plot in the missions to be carried out in the “single” adventure, these not only ruin the overall experience of the game, but strongly penalize the intermission scenes.

AUTHOR’S COMMENT We have been waiting for Destiny throughout 2014 and play in hand we must say that we are half convinced.
The incompleteness of the game and some questionable choices reflect an industry more aimed at advertising than at a real presence of content and innovations. The photo taken initially represents the “blockbusterization” of video games and we all know where the famous home video product distribution chain has gone.
Future updates and expansions will allow Destiny to become the reference point of the genre thanks to combat mechanics that border on perfection but at the moment the game stops a few meters away from the goal despite a screaming technical sector.
For all the hardened ones of FPS Destiny it is an obligation, for those who believed in a leap into the future it is better to wait a few months and see if we will get where the Bungie guys wanted to take us.

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