Destiny has come a long way since its initial release. Since Destiny 2 has been officially announced and a leaked image of a poster has surfaced, stating that it's due for release this September, we think it's a good time to dive into what made Destiny so good and how it ultimately failed as well. No game is perfect and Destiny is definitely far from that, but Bungie without a doubt did a lot right with it. Destiny had an alarming amount of pre-orders, largely due to the amount of anticipation for it. People saw it as a completely revolutionary first-person shooter coming from the legendary Bungie, not knowing that most of the Bungie team associated with Halo was long gone. A lot of controversy sparked following the release of the game and it was a love or hate relationship for most of the community. People either loved it or absolutely hated it and went on to bash it. It turned out to be a very "grind" heavy game and didn't live up to the expectations that story-focused players had.
While Bungie definitely made a lot of shady decisions and ultimately let a huge portion of the community down, they also made a game with a lot of amazing qualities. It's a pretty complicated game, but coming from a person who has sunk hundreds of hours into it, I think I've come up with a pretty good breakdown of the games pros and cons with this list.
15 Best: Gunplay
Destiny is without a doubt one of the most well made first person shooters on the market right now. This came as no surprise, since Bungie is well known for Halo and Destiny feels very similar at first. Regardless of any of the games problems, nobody can say that it doesn't have amazing gameplay. The combat just feels so natural coming from an experienced Halo player and the gunplay feels smooth, balanced and extremely fun. The movement mechanics, when mixed with the gunplay and the overall atmosphere of the game, make for an incredibly unique gameplay experience. As much as I like to critique the game for its many downfalls, this is something they got 100% right. Bungie knows how to make a great shooter, that is a fact, and Destiny is an example of this.
14 Worst: Storytelling
The hype leading up to Destiny's official release was absolutely breathtaking. People thought that Destiny was going to be the best first person shooter ever made and since it was being developed by the legendary Bungie, people just assumed that it was a guaranteed Game of the Year candidate. While Bungie did well to create an outstanding core gameplay experience, Destiny lacked a proper story and it felt like content was completely removed from the game. Besides the lack of content, the story missions really felt like a repetitive "kill stuff and don't ask questions" type of formula that many MMORPGs adopt. Since Bungie is well known for creating one of the best story franchises ever (Halo), people were really disappointed with Destiny's lack of storytelling.
13 Best: Raids
Destiny definitely took a lot of inspiration from MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and, though it definitely is not an MMORPG, it takes a lot of concepts from that genre. Raids are some of the most fun content in MMORPGs and they tend to be very late/end game content. Destiny managed to take Raids to a completely different level, in both structure, story, gameplay and strategy. Some of my favorite gaming moments of all time have been in raids. Destiny raids are definitely on my list of some of the most challenging, fun and rewarding gaming experiences ever. Destiny's raids focus on teamwork, strategy, patience and skill. While the game doesn't reward players with loot based on performance, raids definitely let players shine in their groups and show people their skill.
12 Worst: Character Personalization
For a game that takes a lot of inspiration from MMORPGs, Destiny's character personalization is absolutely embarrassing. When I first loaded up the game and picked my class, I was beyond excited to create my own, unique bad-ass character that I'd spend hours and hours with. Along with the community in general, I was very surprised by the complete lack of customization options. You can pick a few hair colors, races which don't affect your character whatsoever and hair types. It just seemed lazy and I couldn't think of any reason why Bungie decided to release the game with such a terrible personalization system. It's a good thing most players wear helmets or everyone would look like clones.
11 Best: Matchmaking
Even though the singleplayer experience in Destiny is lacking in story, originality and just content in general, the matchmaking/PVP experience is stellar. Playing player vs player in Destiny is without a doubt where the game shines the most. Destiny may be lacking in many departments, but quality gunplay is not one of them. With a wide variety of weapons and abilities between the three classes and subclasses, Destiny provides a truly unique, fast-paced and exhilarating matchmaking experience. Other than raids, I spent most of my time playing PVP and besting other players with my favorite loadout. Many players that were disappointed with the single player experience often turned to the matchmaking to restore their faith in the game. While it might not be enough for some people, it definitely was for some.
10 Worst: DLC/Cut Content
When Destiny initially released, people quickly found out that it had an alarming lack of content. The "story" missions took a disappointing seven hours to complete and the amount of actual storytelling during this experience was absolutely lackluster. It felt like the game was just a skeleton of what it was supposed to be. Well, it turns out that it was. It has been confirmed over and over that Bungie has without a doubt cut content from the initial version of the game and packed it into DLC to be sold to us down the road. Players have continuously glitched into areas of the game that were cut and it's been speculated that three raids were supposed to be included in the base version of the game. This is not only a bad business practice, but it's shady and it insults the gaming community as a whole. No company should be able to get away with this type of business, yet people still buy the DLC that they were originally supposed to receive in the first place.
9 Best: Weapons
Something that gives Destiny a lot of replayability, and gives players incentive to actually put in hours and grind, is the amazing weapons you can use. Not only are all the weapons visually stunning, but the vast amount of interesting weapons available to players is definitely impressive. Every weapon is unique looking (for the most part) and the legendary weapons feel truly special and powerful in their own way. Don't even get me started on exotic weapons. The rare weapons definitely make you feel like a badass when you use them and you definitely can brag about them to your friends. Between the creativity that went into the design and the smoothness of the animations, Destiny hit it out of the park with weapon creation.
8 Worst: Dinklebot
One of the most anticipated things about Destiny, especially for fans of Game of Thrones (guilty as charged) was the fact that Peter Dinklage was the voice actor for your trusted, robot companion, Ghost. Right from the first cutscene of the game, Dinkle-bot is by your side and my first reaction was sheer excitement. The more I played, the more I realized that Dinkle-bot was basically a glorified door-opener that lacked emotion. I don't know whether they told Peter to sound like a boring robot or not, but either way, he was definitely given a terrible script to work with. The result was a boring and annoying companion. The fact that Peter Dinklage turned out to be such a disappointment was pretty sad. While I don't think it was his fault, the result is still the same. He became the laughing stock of the Destiny community and soon after cut ties with the game. RIP DINKLE BOT.
7 Best: Character Customization (Gear)
Before light level 20, Destiny's armor is definitely underwhelming at best. Some players didn't really understand that the game pretty much starts once you reach light level, so the armor before then doesn't really matter. As far as the armor once you actually get to end game, it's absolutely amazing. Every player wants their character to look as badass as possible and Destiny provided players with some amazingly detailed armor to choose from. Between the three classes and the legendary/exotic gear, players could really make their character look cool and unique, even though Destiny's character personalization was lacking. Even if you don't play Destiny, you can definitely agree that it looks badass.
6 Worst: Repetition
A factor that drove a lot of players to inevitably stop playing Destiny was the amount of repetition. Between story missions, strikes and raids, the vanilla version of the game had a huge lack of content and an alarming amount of repetition. Even story missions were eerily similar to each other, with Dinkle-bot working on a door while you fought off waves of enemies. Doors open, waves are killed, and on and on it went, rarely ever actually significantly changing. Once you've completed all the content the game has to offer, it comes down to repeating the same tasks over and over in an attempt to get the loot you want via the game's random loot system. Between the lack of content and the random loot system, gameplay turned out to be incredibly repetitive.
5 Best: RNG Loot
Loot is basically the entire goal of Destiny. People don't play Destiny for the rich storytelling, the vast amount of space to explore or even the level of content. Destiny is basically a giant loot simulator. While some of the content can be really fun, the goal of completing tasks in the game is to roll the dice for loot. The game does it surprisingly well, as shiny multi-colored orbs fly out of slain enemies, giving the player a sense of reward while also keeping you interested enough to keep repeating the same missions over and over. While getting loot via the game's random system can be extremely fun when you get the rare gear you actually want, it can provide a pretty frustrating experience when you're unlucky enough to never get what you want, no matter how much you play.
4 Worst: Lack of Content
When Destiny launched, the initial reviews were pretty poor around the board, largely due to the game's complete lack of content and repetitive nature. While the game's poor reviews were definitely related to the lack of storytelling in the game and the amount of grinding involved, the bottom line was that the game lacked content. Plain and simple. While we later found out that a huge amount of content was cut from the game, the vanilla original experience felt like an empty void of a game more than anything. Players were expecting Destiny to be a revolutionary game and, while it could have been, it came down to bad business practices from Bungie ultimately dumbing down the initial gameplay experience and stunting the potential of the game.
3 Best: Level Design
There are a lot of things that Bungie really failed with in the making of Destiny, but one of the things they truly got right was the level design. The different planets in Destiny are breathtakingly beautiful,and I couldn't help but walk around and marvel at the different views while playing. You know a developer did a good job when you go sight seeing in a video game. Destiny had the potential to be an amazingly immersive and interesting world, but since it completely lacked any significant storytelling, it failed to do this. Even though the lore of the game might not be very immersive or interesting, the game still looks amazing and that's worth something in itself. Regardless of Destiny's problems, it definitely takes the cake with its design.
2 Worst: Bullet Sponges
Destiny definitely has amazing gunplay and combat mechanics, but there is one area where the gameplay is relatively disappointing. Powerful enemies in the game can feel like complete bullet sponges. Certain bosses aren't even necessarily powerful or hard to beat; they just require a whole lot of time and a whole lot of bullets. Since enemies in Destiny have health bars, you can keep track of the residual damage and it's honestly pretty frustrating sometimes. Certain bosses that require four people can still be completed with two people or even solo, as long as you continuously dish out damage. They don't require strategy or even skill; just the ability to hold down a trigger for an extended period of time and not get shot in the face. Destiny is plagued with bullet sponges, but we've kinda gotten used to it by now.
1 Best: Exotic Gear
The thing that every Destiny player dreams of and marvels after is exotic gear. Exotic gear is the rarest thing to acquire in the game and it's what everyone strives to gain via the game's random loot system. Since getting loot just requires being lucky, Exotic gear lands in the hands of both experienced players and scrubs alike. While its yellow/golden glow is enough to make any player poop their pants with excitement, the design and unique abilities are completely amazing. Probably the most renowned and coveted exotic weapon in Destiny is the Gjallarhorn. Everyone that has a Gjallarhorn brags about it and everyone who wants one sees it in their dreams. Exotic gear is basically the reason that people keep playing the repetitive content in the game.