Destiny – Single-Player Review

After some delay we finally got around to our single-player review of Destiny. Like other games we have reviewed we will be doing a multiplayer focused one in the near future. As usual read on for our video review as well as some extra thoughts below.

Plus – The Good

  • Great controls and feel.
  • Multiple locations with interesting and varied scenery.
  • Grimoire cards add some much needed story.

Minus – The Bad

  • Story is extremely short and nearly non-existent.
  • No sense of progression or depth in characters and story.
  • The game would have been better without this “story”.

 Score 4 Large – The Verdict

It goes without saying that Destiny has been a massive disappointment in the story and single-player context. While it may seem like these shattered expectations have encouraged a low score I have to say the game is objectively quite poor in many regards.

On the positives the game plays and looks great. The controls are very responsive and your character feels like he has weight while remaining quite agile. The various areas of each world are all nicely detailed with their own unique look and feel. On the UI side we have some interesting design choices, like the cursor in the menus as an example, which is generally positive as well. While the soundtrack was enjoyable, the sound effects come off as fairly bland but acceptable. Unfortunately this is as good as the game gets, it has a solid core with nothing to accompany it with.

The biggest issue is the lack of interesting story and progression in the game. You have 20 missions to play through with a defined order, however you could play them in any random order and never notice that something is amiss other than slightly higher level enemies. During the playthrough I met a few characters with their name being the extent of what I know about them. I never felt like any of these characters had any importance or impact to the overall story, in fact you could remove all of them save for the ghost and the story wouldn’t be much different than it is now.

The story isn’t the only problem either, every mission in the game feels pretty much the same until the very end where you defeat some sort of boss character. There are next to no cinematic or dialogue to contextualize why you are traveling to certain areas, you are simply given the objective and some vague reason as to why this would be helpful. Once you complete the mission you don’t get a continuation of information or story, instead you are thrown back to the selection screen where you can choose where to go next.

Overall the campaign is an absolutely bizarre experience of complete failure. What I played felt like a story cobbled together in the last month before release to simply check that box, however the previews and grimoire cards hint at a much bigger story this game was originally intended to have. Either way Bungie has not offered any explanations for this washout story.

Full disclosure

  • Play time: Well over 15 hours.

  • Completion: Completed all story story missions.

  • Last played:  October 26th, 2014 – Review date.

  • Version: v1.0.2.2

  • Platform: PlayStation 4.

  • Acquisition: Via PlayStation 4 Destiny bundle.