If you’re positively bewildered by what madness you’re spotting here, links to the prior parts can be found at the bottom.
Upon starting up Destiny, ready to tear into the new content I paid for, I heard a series of odd plinks in rapid succession. At first I couldn’t comprehend it. I thought my PS4 had glitched so hard it was awarding me trophies as an apology for the misunderstanding that led to buying an expansion pack twice. Then my brain rebooted and I realised it was kindly back-dating all the achievements I got during the trial. So, that was nice.
Last time we found out that New Russia is inspired by Old Russia’s religious leaders in terms of naming, and had a really nice cyber security device. It was then I was off to go react to more reports. This time of a group called Dead Orbit who were playing with their new-found codes near the local Skywatch. So I was to swoop in, steal the codes from their bodies and try to set up a communication network with other colonies. I admit I was dubious, considering I thought I was told over and over I was in the last human settlement, but maybe there were a few 1,000+ groups of people we just overlooked?
Upon arrival, I found a use for the Rasputin “Warmind”. Apparently there was defence constructs across the galaxy we forgot about, and maybe Rasputin could activate them to help in the fight. Sadly, Rasputin isn’t too good at short-term defence and I had to fight off waves of ships with my rooty tooty point-n-shooty. Fortunately, they shrugged and gave up after a brief struggle. I admit, I am relieved at the apathy of Top Cow Productions comic book series The Darkness. Otherwise I’d probably be killed and have to respawn.
Although I shouldn’t tempt fate.
So, what better place to go than The Moon? Especially since we apparently gave it away thinking a group named after a “swarming or teeming multitude” would be satisfied and stop there. Needless to say, people were surprised when The Hive wanted more.
Apparently someone was trying to break into The Hive Fortress long ago, and then went silent, so my employer wanted me to finish the hunt off. Prone to distraction, I begun hearing more and more about a “Temple of Crota”. Despite my Dinkle-bot saying “Sounds like a death trap”, you bet I signed myself up for it.
So I hunted it down and opened it up, letting loose its contents onto the world. At this point, I find myself thinking the line between “hero out to save the world” and “opportunistic plunderer” is blurring heavily. Although considering I found out the horde I opened the doors to was preparing to invade Earth (the one already invaded) anyway, it wasn’t all troublesome carelessness.
I then reported my findings to The Speaker through the medium of dance.
At this point, I thought I could do with a break from walking on the moon. So I took part in a New-Russian Strike with two other random individuals, something that was as enjoyable as diving into an empty pool. This brings smoothly to talking about the Strike system in Destiny.
A Strike will usually function by first dropping you off at a point on the general map and getting you to walk to the actual start of it. Upon arrival, you usually are expected to travel deeper, defend for a while/kill boss, travel even deeper, do more defence/boss-killing, repeat. It is inspired distinctly by Borderlands/MMORPGs. Where it differs is two ways.
The first is as long as one person is alive, the group can keep respawning and dying as much as they please. Since roles in Destiny are a lot more vague than “Warrior/Rogue/Cleric”, you don’t have the “Tank/DPS/Healer” system going on. One person can hold out as well as the next, putting aside skill and equipment. It allows for an element of forgiveness that is, actually, very much enjoyable. This is especially as, at the end of the day, you are playing with random individuals whose skills can vary greatly.
Which considering it took 10+ resurrections and 15-20 minutes of shooting at a robot to kill a mini-boss, my skill is likely rather low.
This brings to the second difference: Group team-work. For whatever reason, Destiny does not reward nor punish group performance. You will get XP/gear depending on random chance instead. As well as this, there is no function to remove people. This has the positive to avoid people being kicked at the end of Strikes to deny that individual of loot/XP (something seen semi-often in Payday 2).
However, it does mean you can get abusive party members. In the Strike The Devil’s Lair, one person hid the entire time. Perhaps doing something more engaging like maybe reading a book or playing a handheld game instead. Later on at the final boss, upon my death, the individual ran out and spent more time teabagging my lifeless corpse than would take to resurrect.
Due to how Destiny works, the person could not be kicked. Like someone finding out the fruits of their labour has been fermented into booze and been drunk by someone else, I was furious. The person was reported, but I would have preferred an active third team-mate in the first place.
Learning to never trust in random individuals, I went back to stumbling around in the atmosphere. This time I was told to go to, the appealing named, The World’s Grave. Although if I wanted to subject myself to a place as foreboding as that, I would first have to kill the knight who is guarding the keys to the fortress. So I tracked down the Knight, sprayed him with a LMG for half of a second and left for The World’s Grave.
NOT HELPING CLAPTRAP 2.0
One rocket fired at a sacred site later, I downloaded everything at The World’s Grave and left confused. “Who was naming these places?” I pondered “Are The Hive, The Fallen and American professional wrestler The Darkness capable of speech? Do we have scientists intentionally trying to scare guardians with foreboding names?” Needless to say, answers were not going to be granted to an unworthy guardian like me.
Instead, off I was sent to The Hellmouth to go steal a sword called the Sword of Crota. Apparently there is arguments of if the sentient moon-rock called The Traveller can help us, and the non-destroyed nature of the Sword of Crota would… Prove this somehow?
STILL NOT HELPING
Upon stumbling upon the sword, I was to kill the aptly named Swarm Lords. Considering this was meant to be a sword of great evil, and I’ve played both Soul Blade/Calibur and Warcraft 3, I was surprised my character decided to wield it. It was pretty cool running around in the third person, swinging madly while never blocking like a barbarian, just surprising they decided to use that as opposed to just shooting them in the face.
After the Swarm-Lords were slain, my blade melted as though Destiny remembered it was a FPS game. Maybe I’ll get to melee again later, but probably wouldn’t. Then again, there is the hanging thread of “Fist of Crota”. So maybe I can later get into a fisty-cuffs with a sci-fi demi-god?
As I was sent back to Hellmouth, I started to get the distinct feeling Destiny was suffering from back-and-forth. I’m unable to do two or three missions in an area while I’m there, like Borderlands. Instead, I go there, do a mission, get sent home, go back to a similar zone, do something else, etc. This does come with the overtly negative side that it does feel like padding.
To me though, it isn’t that simple. As I’m not being sent to the exact same place and each mission is its own zone with no clear escape route, it feels like it could create pacing problems to do multiple quests in an area before going home. A mission in Destiny isn’t like Borderlands where it feels like food-shopping. Destiny’s missions are more akin to scenes, with their own narrative they’re trying to portray. If this is better or worse depends on how much you enjoy the narrative, as it definitely put it more to the front than Borderlands did.
Say one thing about Borderlands, say it narrative made sense.
Meanwhile, back in the game, I arrived at the front of the Temple Of Crota. Where upon which I was toyed with by an individual unknown and unseen. Told if I wanted to fight the real threat, to find her once I was done fighting the threat below my feet. Although in an odd moment of forgetfulness, she never told me where she would be. Fortunately, Dinkle-bot was there for me and told me I’d be heading to the lush planet of Venus next. At least if I saw the light of the sun ever again.
So I stumbled deep into the temple, trying to discover whatever the strange ritual was being performed that could drain The Traveller of its unspoken/unknown powers. As I got to the heart of the foul magical performance, I discovered the strange conduit of their siphoning. Apparently, someone stole a significant chunk of The Traveller and no one noticed. I can only assume people aren’t as attached to The Traveller than originally thought. Fortunately, space-magic meant it disappeared to, hopefully, reattach itself to The Traveller.
As I returned to The Tower to reflect upon that big ball of space-rock called The Traveler, I could only think on how many more pieces are likely missing. Maybe it is hollow within? Maybe we’re just worshipping a house and the original savour which rested within is long-gone? Maybe I’m putting more thought into it than necessary? As long as I’m being paid, I could be gunning down orphanages in the name of The Traveller, The Speaker and The Tower. At this point, I’m not sure if anyone would notice the difference considering I’ve seen no sign of a civilian population.
Wait a second…I can still see massive holes missing! Has no one thought to collect the missing fragments considering what The Hive was doing? Anyone at all?
…Anyway, thanks for reading! Return next week as we finish off any other acts of lunacy before heading to the third planet to gun down the natives there. Bye.
[Part 1: Unfunny Little Robot]