I decided to play as a Hunter as the class looks the coolest out of the 3 available, sporting that sweet cloak and brandishing a BA hand cannon for a special ability. Also, there's the double jump which I like far more than the gradual rocket pack-like jump of the other classes. And to top it all off, Nathan Fillion voices your class vendor, which is awesome (Firefly and Castle all the way!). I am currently level 22 and working on grinding to get the higher gear to keep going. The game's max level is actually only 20, but you can "gain" levels by equipping stuff that gives you "light", which can raise your level above the max. Why would you want to do this, well because Bungie has claimed that the game doesn't really even start until you hit lvl 20.
Destiny is a FPS (first person shooter) with some RPG (role playing game) elements. It is not really a MMORPG like what a lot of people originally thought. The reason I want to highlight this is because if you go into it thinking it is one thing over another, you may be disappointed. Although there are RPG elements, and although you can play online with various folks, if you are no good or don't like the FPS portion of the game, this is not for you. The various RPG elements just make it easier to play the game or make you look cooler. The vast majority of the game is running around and gunning enemies down, attempting to jump around, and not get shot. There's no just standing there waiting for your spells to cool down as you attempt to monitor your DPS (damage per second). It's fast, it's frantic, and it's a lot of fun.
When I say there is lots to do I really do mean there's lots to do, but it may not be what you're looking for. I have only played the single player portion of the game (if you were looking for a multiplayer review then I'm sorry, but stick around, you've made it this far!). I beat the single player campaign in around 8-10 hours. I had a lot of fun with it but it was nothing amazing. The story wasn't particularly gripping, there were no twists or turns, there weren't epic battles like those in the Halo series, and one could say the gameplay is fairly repetitive. In basically every mission you run around shooting things, as your AI ghost (voiced by Peter Dinklage!), tells you where to go.
You inevitably will have to try and survive waves of enemies as your AI scans something, and then at the end of the mission you will have to fight some named bad guy. At the end of it all you are rewarded with experience (experience for you and your equipped gear), reputation for various groups in the world, glimmer (currency), and the chance for various cool loot.
That's basically it. The grab is the feeling of leveling up, grabbing new gear, and making yourself just that much better against the forces of darkness. You can also unlock cool things to make yourself look BA and brag to your friends. It's a pretty simple mechanic but one that I've had a lot of fun with.
There's still a lot more to do though even though it seems kind of bland. Each planet has an explore mode where you can do just that: Explore. You can run around and look at every nook and cranny, find golden chests that unlock special rewards, find various items that can be used to craft weapons and armor, do little side missions, and just admire the beautiful landscape that Bungie has created. There are also public events that pop up from time to time that you and the people in the area can join up and combat. They are usually a target that needs to be taken down, or a site that needs to be defended. You can get some decent rewards doing these but I really like the sense of camaraderie that accompanies winning them with complete strangers, forever creating a bond and a story with them.
There are also Strikes. These have been my favorite part of the game so far. You team up with 2 other guardians and go on a dungeon-like journey, where you fight a very hard boss at the end. They are extremely challenging, you really have to coordinate with your teammates, you get to fight some really fun huge bosses, and you get awesome loot for your inevitable troubles. Think of them like tiny raids. There are a total of 5 different Strikes currently, with more on the way. These really create a fun story with random people (or friends).
There will also be a raid but Bungie hasn't released it yet. Those will be done with 6 people that have to be on your friends list, and will most likely be the hardest thing ever done and I can't wait to give it a try. Until then here is the best we got:
There is also the whole aspect of PVP (player vs player), or multiplayer, that I haven't even tried. I played a little of it during the beta and it reminded me a lot of Halo multiplayer. It's a lot of fun, but just not my cup of tea at the moment. You can unlock tons of cool armor and weapons and looks for you same as the PVE (player vs environment).
There is a social hub of a city where you can buy various items, upgrade and unlock others, and basically show off with other people in the game. Although in my opinion this is a waste of good button use, the D-pad on the controller acts as your social interaction tool, allowing you to point, wave, sit, and dance with other players in the area. It's a cute little mechanic, but there could have been other probably better uses of the D-pad.
The game looks beautiful with actual days for the various planets. You can start during the day and pretty soon the sun has set and you are playing at dusk. The colors are very vivid and again remind me of Halo. The soundtrack is decent but hasn't struck me like the Halo series did.
The graphics have been very smooth so far and only occasionally will you stall for a second as the game loads the next section (there's no waiting screen or anything, you just sometimes pause if you are going fast on your speeder bike for a second).
I would say this game has the look and gameplay of the Halo games, with the model of Borderlands. What I mean is that you have a character and you can unlock various pieces of gear like you can in Borderlands, which also includes raid bosses and an open world. There are not nearly as many guns in this game as there are in Borderlands but that's mainly because there aren't as many different combinations. Borderlands could have many combinations because of the various types of guns and the various modifiers to all the stats as well as different elemental types. In Destiny I think it is very comparable, just not quite with the weapons yet. There are hand cannons, assault rifles, and scout rifles for your main weapons. There are shotguns, fusion guns, and sniper rifles for your secondary weapons. And then there are heavy machine guns and rocket launchers as your heavy weapons. In Borderlands, the various guns could be of the same type, but behave very differently with various mechanics contributing. In Destiny, the guns all basically feel the same. Sure, you can have different stats, but they all shoot the same way and look very similar.
What Destiny does have that Borderlands didn't are various armor types that you can upgrade. They are all modifiers of basic stats, although some will give you some abilities. But they also can look different and you can get armor dyes to make yourself look as cool as you can imagine.
Is Destiny the best game to ever come out? Sadly, no. Does it live up to the ridiculous hype? Again, sadly no.... not yet. This game could have been so much bigger and have so many more things in it. Perhaps it will but we will have to wait until they add more content with free updates and DLCs. I am still having a lot of fun though and it has already been worth the $60 price tag. It is worth noting that Bungie always talked about their 10 year timeline. So if you think about this as the first chapter it's quite a lot. I'm sure with future content we'll flesh out the world more and see more stuff. I am looking forward to seeing what they can come up with. I have really enjoyed my time and can't wait to go back in. Thanks for reading this and I hope it was helpful (nobody is ever going to read this Brad, look how ridiculously long it was). Maybe the pictures helped. I know the dancing video of Peter Dinklage helped.