[REVISITED] Why Play Destiny?

With the “Age of Triumph” nearly upon us, the time has come for the greater Destiny community to make their return to the game, perhaps for the last time before the release of Destiny 2. With that in mind, now seems like the perfect time to revisit at least some of the reasons why so many of us have stuck with the game for nearly three years now.

Fallout 4 is finally out and we finally have the chance to fulfill our dreams of roaming around the Commonwealth Wasteland! It’s a release that many of us were (perhaps a bit more than) eagerly awaiting, and one of those games that I thought I would immediately get lost in once started. Heck, I was so excited for this game that I even broke my pre-order rule in order to snag one those awesome Pip-Boy editions! Yet, even though I was immediately charmed and filled with excitement as I took my first steps into the post-nuclear Commonwealth, it wasn’t long until I was drawn right back into a game that I should by all rights be completely tired of by now. That game, of course, is the perpetual work-in-progress known as Destiny.  We’ve had over a year of Destiny at this point, which is plenty of time for gamers to decide if they want to give it a shot or not. However, I wanted to shed light on what it is about the game that many of us have been enjoying for this past year. For those who want to know if Destiny is a game you’d like, I can boil down its appeal into three factors: time, guardians, and cooperation.

I won’t say that Destiny isn’t a time sink, because it very much is. However, I will qualify that by saying that it’s only as much of a time sink as any other game out there. We only get out what we put into them after all. The difference with Destiny is that most of that time will be spent doing battle against the random loot tables rather than taking on sidequests and the like. If that sounds frustrating to you, then it’s probably because it is. To be completely honest, unsatisfying loot is fairly common for an end-game player, but (and this is going to sound a little odd) that makes the good drops all the more exciting. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, just a part of the game that needs to be acknowledged. Aside from the rush of a good drop, one of the best aspects of Destiny’s PvE end-game is the small time commitment. As a player with only a handful of hours to play each week, I’ve really appreciated only having to commit a couple of hours a week in order to keep pace with friends who are able to play more than I do. Not only to I get to keep my status among the Destiny “elite”, but I also get to continue to have fun and share the game with my friends even though our schedules are very different. It’s all the fun of an MMO, but without having to worry about falling behind if you leave it alone.

Of course, even a short time spent with the game wouldn’t be worth it if being a Guardian of Light wasn’t fun. Whether you’re taking out the hordes of the Darkness or going toe-to-toe with other Guardians in the Crucible, you always have the feeling of being a being a deadly and powerful warrior. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mech-suited Titan or that cross between a space-cowboy and space-ninja that is the Hunter, you’re going to have a great time zipping and shoulder-charging around the solar system. Warlocks are probably fun too, but honestly I can’t say I understand them. I always wind up zoning out once they start going off about their void bombs and Golden Age relics. Guardian classes aside, it’s the guns that are the real star of the base Destiny gameplay. The game offers a wide variety from which to choose, they all have a satisfying sense of weight and power when fired, and the “Exotic” variants all put some twist on the standard archetypes that keeps the shooting feeling fresh. Getting tired of mowing your enemies down with auto-rifles? Then why not try a hand cannon? It’ll have everything feeling new and different in no time! Simply put, being a Guardian is a blast (Right now it’s at the top of my fantasy job list, with Dovahkiin pulling a close second)! That said even all the fun there is to have as a Guardian would wear down quickly if you had to do it solo.

To put it bluntly, if you’re not a fan of coop multiplayer then Destiny won’t last long for you. Gallivanting around the inner solar system is fun, but you will quickly lose interest without others to laugh and cooperate with.  Now if you do have friends and/or don’t mind befriending other players, then you’ll feel right at home in Destiny. For me personally, this has always been the best part of the game; that is the part where I either work together with my good friends like a well-oiled death machine or laugh it up with several strangers as we puzzle our way through working together. The Destiny community has its undesirable or overly intense players, just like any online community really, but most of us are just looking for some fun people to hang out with as we work towards our next loot drop. If that sounds like a good time, then we’ve got a place for you!

Destiny isn’t the sort of game that is going to be able to compete with the likes of Fallout 4 or Metal Gear Solid V in the struggle to be your primary game. However, I really don’t think it has to. It’s a game meant to stay in your rotation for a long time, but in practice it’s a game meant to be played in short bursts over the course of the week. It’s a game built around over-the-top avatars, the thrill of earning better loot, tooling around the solar system with your friends, and the moment-to-moment experiences to be had when you combine the three. There’s plenty of fun to be had here for those who enjoy that kind of experience, which is why so many of us have stuck around for over a year now. If this all sounds fun to you, then you’d do well to jump into Destiny. If you do jump in though, just do so with the mind that this game is better experienced as a side dish rather than a main course. If you do that, then your Destiny experience should go quite smoothly!

If you’re a Destiny fan, will you be returning for the Age of Triumph? If not, think you’ll be looking into Destiny 2 once it’s out?

Lede image created by Hatm0nster