In the present day, three astronauts land on Mars, marking the first men to ever set foot on the Red Planet. As they trek the unknown terrain, they discover something that no man had ever seen before...
This discovery led to the everlasting change in mankind. Technology advanced, knowledge as we knew it was changed, and the path to colonizing the universe was opened. The Traveler, changed everything that we ever were.
However, the Traveler wasn't the only one that came from the stars. After centuries of mankind's golden age, the Traveler's enemies, known as the Darkness, met mankind with a sword in their hands. The Vex took Venus. The Cabal claimed Mars. The Hive overran the Moon. Even Earth, the one planet that mankind had left as a home, was taken by the Fallen. Everything was gone; except for the City. The Traveler spent all of its energy to insure that the City would never be overthrown, to the point where it can never fight again.
That's where you come in.
Centuries later, a little companion being known as a Ghost finds you dead in the ruins of the Cosmodrome on Earth, and revives you to become a Guardian and fight back the forces of the Darkness.
It is your Destiny.
Destiny is a video game that's built on the concept of an MMORPG, without fully embracing every aspect of one. In the story sense, Destiny is your journey as a Guardian as you set foot on planets for the first time and defeat the servants of the Darkness. As stated above, the basic plot of the game is that you are a Guardian revived from the dead by a Ghost, who takes you to the Tower to begin your life as a Guardian for the Traveler, a dead God-like being from the stars who only holds enough strength to protect one city on Earth. Once you have fully become a Guardian, you begin a quest to destroy the Heart of the Black Garden so that the Traveler may begin to regain his strength again.
In all honesty, the plot of the game was very poor at the start. The mythos were not introduced as much as they should have been, each mission felt as though you were just doing "stuff" and not contributing to the story that much, and depth of the story altogether was as deep as a kiddy-pool... shallow. Also, the characters that you encountered were very dry, to the point that they were nothing more than merchants and bounty givers. While this was just how the game started out, it was enough to repel many gamers (which me makes wonder why I still continued at the time).
The Dark Below
Despite the weak beginning of the game (the base game that came before the DLC that is), the first expansion pack made a slight improvement on the game's story. The Dark Below, as the first expansion is called, is when a former Hunter Guardian named Eris sends you on a mission to defeat the Hive leader Crota, who is responsible for Eris’ condition and the deaths of her friends.
While the storytelling of The Dark Below was almost the exact same as the base Destiny game, there was a slight improvement in the depth of the story. Granted, it wasn't very deep, but the story began to get a little deeper than the Destiny game. For example, Eris would speak to you for practically the whole story and make comments/exclamations on what's happening in the sense that she's experienced it before.
The House of Wolves
What continued the gradual improvement of the storytelling was the release of the second expansion, The House of Wolves. In this story, a particular house known as the House of Wolves begins to pose a threat to the System, which motivates the Awoken to welcome Guardians to their territory and send them out to defeat the Wolves’ leader, Taniks.
This story arc seemed to further the improvement of the story, but not by much. While it introduced more lore and new characters (vaguely), there was still a lacking in the content of the plot. With such a lack in content, it was actually enough to send gamers elsewhere in the video game world. However, Destiny's developer, Bungie, did not give up on Destiny...
The Taken King
The Taken King was such an expansion for Destiny that it was almost its own game. The story is that with the impending threat of Oryx, the father of the dead Crota, the Vanguard sends you on a mission to defeat the King who has the ability to possess other races of the Darkness and destroy entire fleets of fighters in seconds.
This was a significant improvement of the game's story. The characters actually had "character" to them, there were more cutscenes, the cinematic had both more time and story to it, and there was a lot more dialogue between characters during your missions (or dialogue between characters at all for that matter). Not only is there more content but also The Taken King is keeping me engaged in the story of Destiny now. Even after you defeat Oryx, there are still missions to complete, which keep you anticipated for what happens next!
#2 - Gameplay
The gameplay of Destiny has evolved a little over time, yet there are many aspects that remain the same to this day. Some are beautifully crafted and compliment the game perfectly; others need to be improved on once Bungie has gotten the story 100% correct (not there, but close).
The overall design of the game is very superb! The worlds have unique tones to them, the exploration aspect of them is brilliant, and the areas are well set up. The maps are very expansive, while it would have been nice for them to have been bigger, and the detailing for each of them is breathtaking! Also, each area has a special event for it, which is complimented by the layout of the hills and rocks and such. Plus, there's the way that the environments are designed to compliment the story at hand, such as the dark story of Crota on the more "black and white" Moon, and the dark, yellowish-green colors on the Dreadnought ship. In creating the setting for Destiny, Bungie did a fantastic job!
From the very beginning, the characters of Destiny were designed almost flawlessly! To this day, the facial features and armor are superbly attended to, the armor looks awesome (most of the time), and your Ghost is given great design for his size and purpose. Throw shaders (armor color sets) into the mix and you get some of the most awesome looking MMORGP-esque characters, ever! In my book, the character design is achieved perfectly!
Also, the character customization is very well done! You can choose from three races (Human, Awoken, and Exo), and you can choose your gender, height, and weight. Also, you can change anything visible related to color, such as your skin, hair, eyes, lips, and mark (if you want one). Also, you can change your facial and head shapes, which makes your character have a more unique appearance.
Another aspect of the game's design is the vehicles. In Destiny, you have a speeder called a Sparrow (which sort of mimics the speeders in Star Wars) and a Jumpship. There are a variety of Sparrows for you to choose from, each with different defense levels and abilities. Along with the vehicles that are at your disposal, you will sometimes come across an enemy vehicle that you can use, such as a Pike. Also, there are various ships with many different shapes and colors, some having very unique styles. The only downside to the vehicles are that the Jumpships are for show only. As you travel from planet to planet, the Jumpships make no difference in travel time; nor is there a PvP firefight game mode. While there's the glimmering hope that someday Destiny will include firefights, they are not around as of right now.
One of the biggest aspects of Destiny is the differences (and some similarities) of the different classes a player can choose from. For those who prefer to deal damage above all else (and enjoy the rogue-like feel), the Hunter is the way to go. For those who act as tanks when doing a raid and prefer the best super moves, the Titan is the class to choose. For anyone who prefers exotic abilities to vanquish one's foes, such as special energy blasts the detonate like bombs, the Warlock is the best choice. With the recent release of subclasses, players now have access to three different abilities for each separate class they choose to play. An example includes the old Gunslinger, old Bladedancer, and new Nightstalker subclasses for the Hunter. Each character has unique abilities, making variety in a fire team most helpful.
Destiny has a wide variety of weapons. Many have been modified and tweaked by Bungie to make them better or worse, yet we still have our main weapons. Every Guardian can equip three weapons at a time, with the ability to swap them out in mid-game. For primary weapons, there are four types: Auto rifles, hand cannons, pulse rifles, and scout rifles. Also, there are three types of secondary weapons: Shotguns, snipers, sidearms, and fusion rifles. These weapons normally cause more damage than the primary weapons, but they also don't receive as much ammo as a player would like. Lastly, there are two different types of heavy weapons (or "third-ary," you could say): Rocket launchers and machine guns. These weapons are the best in terms of dealing damage, but they receive the worst ammo drops in the game, even after all of the patches and updates that have occurred.
For both weapons and armor (which the armor adds defense and both produce a level system called light, which is combination of all attack and defense), there are special items called Exotics. These normally have the best perks and abilities, but they don't always have the best defense levels, which makes the good ones a sought-after prize in Destiny. These also tend to make you look the best and work with the shaders perfectly (except for those leggings I once had *ugh*).
Destiny's design gives a player a lot to choose from to spend their time. While there are regular story missions to play, there are special boss levels called Strikes, which are a big aspect of the gameplay. There is also the game mode known as Crucible which allows you to play in arena matches against other players. Despite the fact that I mainly play missions and Strikes, I find this game mode to be the most fun, mainly because (in my eyes) it is Halo combat in its perfect form (which I contribute some of the credit to Activision for that).
Another aspect of the gameplay is the free roam. The maps in Destiny may not be as big as other video game maps, but they are decently expansive nonetheless. Also, in free roam, each map has bounty trackers (that appear as beacons), which give you mini-missions to complete. These help you level up a little bit. Also, if you happen to be in the right area at the right time, you may just be able to join an Event, which is a short objective-based "event." These offer good experience and rewards.
Among Destiny's game modes, the hardest and most rewarding game mode tends to be the Raids. In spirit, these are similar to Strikes, but they are set up completely differently. Also, there are specific ways to beat raids that players must figure out; otherwise they will be beaten by the boss over and over again (I suggest getting seasoned players or looking at videos on YouTube for help). However, when you play one at the right level for your character, they can give you the best rewards, making raids very well worth the time (if you have an hour or two for one).
The combat of Destiny has been perfect from the beginning. The movement of your character is similar to Halo, while every other aspect of combat is completely unique. Your character will either double-jump or glide, depending on your class, and you will have a melee attack and a special grenade (which can be changed in your subclass). Also, you can slide, which makes dodging enemy fire much more helpful. One more good point, is that whenever you do damage to your enemies (AIs or other players), you will see how much you dealt to them with every shot you fire at them (not to mention the damage indicator is yellow when you deal critical hits). To sum it up: The combat couldn't be better, because it's at its best right now!
One of the best (and worst) parts of Destiny is that you can obtain better armor and weapons as you progress. This element of progression is great, but can be irritating sometimes when you get to a high level and you are having trouble getting better items. Also, you can change some of your weapon's abilities to your liking and they can be upgraded to a higher tier to deal better damage (at least some weapons do).
As with every video game, there are some downsides that go beyond mere improvements. For example, both the story and the critical aspect of the start of Destiny were very poor. At this point, the story in the beginning was bland (if anyone says there was one), and there were so many bugs and much needed improvements that players bashed the game as hard as they could (most of it being reasonable). The cut scenes were also rather dry at the time, which only made the story problem worse. There are other things regarding the start, but since Destiny has changed since then, all that can be said is the poor beginning that Destiny has now.
One thing that fans have been wanting since launch, and still hasn't been solved is the lack of a trading system. From the launch to now, there has been no trading system at all, which meant that the closest you could get to one was storing items in the vault for you to access as a different character later. Not a different player, but character. This is something everyone (including myself) would really like to be added to the game.
One of the things that players found outrageous about Destiny was that PlayStation 4 players received exclusives prior to the recent update, when during that time, no Xbox One players did. Not one exclusive was made available to Xbox players at all (let alone One players), which made numerous Destiny players furious! Also, I believe that Bungie had made a promise about Destiny having game-changing choice for you to make in the game; yet there are none whatsoever (unless you consider a different class a game-changer).
In conclusion, Destiny is not perfect. That much has been known for quite some time. However, some diamonds aren't as pure as others, so maybe the final result of Destiny (after its initial release and updates) is worth calling it one. Only time will tell. That and my final opinion when I complete the new Raid for the first time!