There has been a lot of fuss made over Destiny, and that’s no surprise - the two arch rivals of last gen that pitted the two biggest FPS names in history deciding to shake hands, group up and make a new $500 million franchise is strange to put it mildly, some even called it madness when the deal was first announced. Well now that the game is out and it’s been fully absorbed I think it’s time to look and see if the naysayers were right. On the surface it would appear not, the business speaks for itself as Destiny swept the board, becoming the biggest selling new IP in history and the cumulative playtime has suggested that it’s been very popular amongst fans, and that’s great. But there’s one topic that pops up in every discussion about it; it’s got no soul.
Activision’s modern day strategy is littered throughout Destiny, leaving only smatterings of Bungie's old genius to come to the fore. The shooting's great, the scenery is gorgeous, and the idea is gargantuan, but that’s about it. It’s very easy to compare the fact that Kevin Spacey has been roped into the new Call of Duty just to say ‘Look, it’s Frank Underwood’ to the fact that Peter Dinklage is your companion on Destiny just so that they can say ‘Look, Tyrion is talking to you’. And that’s the problem. It feels like every creative choice that Bungie might have made has been swept under the rug in favour of a bigger headline. A much touted news-bite is the sheer amount of money pumped into this franchise, and notice how I said franchise, not game, though Activision would lead you to believe that was the case to increase their cheque.
Other problems include players finding the areas they were told would be downloadable content in the game, with Bungie responding that it was to help those with bad internet connection to have a smaller download when the content came out. Destiny is an always online game, it isn't geared towards those with a stuttering connection, so saying something like that just doesn't make much sense.
All of this is building up, meaning that each response to criticism sounds more and more like a sketch in south Park where billionaires are saying sorry for the gulf of Mexico oil spill, without ever really giving a damn. Bungie were always the ones that cared though, famously known for ploughing through the drivel of homophobic Halo players to forge a sense of community amongst their fans with their all inclusive website. That’s the Bungie I remember and I'm hoping they haven’t lost their way, but for now, Bungie's destiny seems a bit out of their hands.