Last night I spent about an hour, maybe more (who the fuck cares?), climbing the damn summit found in Destiny’s newest social space. As I repeatedly fell to my death, I began to realize this felt oddly familiar. Once I finally reached the top, and collected something that looked and reminded me a great deal of a Calcified Fragment, I realized what I had just experienced: A condensed version of two years spent playing Destiny.
On September 8th, 2014, I debated whether I was going to place a last minute order for Destiny. I am a massive Halo fan (both Bungie and 343’s versions), and so at the time, like many other gamers, I was very much anticipating Bungie’s new IP. But whispers through the internet told some dark tales—that Destiny might have some serious issues. As a result I waited and eventually rented the game.
My experience was not too different from what other gamers got out of Destiny: Certainly ambitious, ultimately too short on story, and just doesn’t have the loot system down. Oh, and that horrid first attempt at Light Leveling. I finished the campaign and sent the disc back to GameFly (if you know me personally…you might be familiar with a slightly different version of this story.)
I paid attention when expansions I and II came out and was completely unconvinced to get back into the game. It wasn’t until The Taken King that I felt Bungie had done enough work to really convince me to pick it up again. And since I hadn’t actually purchased the game before, spending $60 on a game that included The Dark Below, House of Wolves, The Taken King, and the core Destiny game seemed reasonable.
I have since spent more than two hundred and thirteen hours playing Destiny (wastedondestiny.com), grinding the same Daily Heroics, Strike playlists, a couple of raids and of course the Nightfall. Eight times out of ten, I’ve received some lame loot. Nothing interesting enough to infuse, wear or do anything other than dismantle. But I kept coming back.
Despite a terrible loot system (which many other games easily outpace), a narrative that keeps disappointing and a PVP mode that’s horribly unbalanced, I keep coming back. Destiny remains a great game to play with friends and family, and, in all honesty, it plays really well. It’s a great shooter that genuinely makes you feel like a badass. Right in the beginning of the Rise of Iron storyline, when facing off against Sepiks Perfected, I engaged my Super: With a satisfyingly thick clank, my Titan summoned a flaming hammer and, engulfed in flames, rained punishing damage on the SIVA-infected corpse of a machine I slew years ago.
Yeah, it was fucking awesome.
But as the story content for Rise of Iron ran dry, I proceeded to do what everyone else is currently doing in the new social space: Climb that goddamn mountain. As I tried to grapple with Destiny’s super wonky physics, bumping into the side of the mountain only to be sent flying several feet back—and ultimately to my death (because gravity and friction??)—it began to feel like the hours spent grinding for loot and trying to get more out of this game. It was an endless uphill battle (pun intended), and when I reached the top, I got to look down on the new social space, collect some stupid item and mostly shrug; only I don’t have the emote for shrugging, so my Lady Guardian took a seat near the fire and pondered her mostly meaningless existence. I didn’t even take a screenshot.
And really, is that not what Destiny has always been? The promise of something really great, provided we push through some poorly developed elements only to reach the end…and not be that impressed anyway.
This mountain could’ve been a great opportunity for Destiny. It could’ve been a moment similar to the part in Skyrim where you ascend the mountain to meet with those druid motherfuckers. The top of Felwinter Peak could’ve rewarded us with a cutscene telling us more of the Iron Lords. Maybe it could’ve even had a ghost of one of the Iron Lords in full-on old Jedi Master style. Shit, I would’ve even settled for a Halo easter egg or something. Instead it was a whole lot of work for pretty much nothing.
Then again, pretty much everything in Destiny is pretty much a missed opportunity…yet I’m still playing it. Just like for some damn reason I kept climbing that fucking mountain.
Onward and upward, Guardians.
BTW: I’ll need people to go on the new raid with, hit me up on PSN: Wolf_VII
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