Bungie’s first-person shooter RPG always-online multiplayer loot-driven uphill grindfest is without a doubt the weirdest game I played this year. And I’m still playing it.

I’m at level 23 and got my eye on a sweet hand-cannon that Xur is selling. But in order to buy it, I’ll need to get a lot more Strange Coins and a ton of glimmer. Then I need to buy an Exotic weapon and destroy it so I can retrieve an Exotic shard so I can…wait. Even if I work my fingers to the bone to earn this gun, what I’m going to do with it? Shoot more enemies? I must have killed thousands of them by now. Anyway, I need to do this raid and see the new story content because there might something cool in there. Not to mention I need to complete those bounties and then finally join the Dead Orbit faction. They seem cool. I could put on one of their cloaks and then spend more time in the Crucible to earn more Crucible marks so I can rank up in the hopes of getting that cool helmet they have for my Hunter. But do I want to limit myself to Dead Orbit? I can’t earn Vanguard reputation while I’m wearing their stuff so I’m not sure. But maybe I should do more daily strikes. That way, I can get more Light and level up more so I can do more raids without banging my head against a virtual wall. This fusion rifle could do with an upgrade. When I shoot Cabal Centurions in the head with it, it does a hell of a lot of damage but the recoil is frustrating. Need to fix that. Need more Light but it takes so long. I should just stick to the strikes because I could get sweet drops from it. Nah, to hell with that. I’ll go back to the Moon and hopefully jump into one of those public events where you need to shoot a thing a billion times before it reaches its destination. Shooting a thing is more fun than defending a thing. I sure wish the Reef had patrol missions. I have a feeling that area would be pretty crazy. That emissary of the Queen better return because I think I have almost enough Queen’s reputation to buy that pink hand cannon she was selling. Oh right, Xur had one. That’s right, I forgot. Christ almighty, look at that sky. So pretty. My friends are online. But I’m enjoying looking around Venus. Everytime I join a fireteam everyone just wants to run around at full speed. I want to admire the architecture. Well, I did until I went through this area for the fifth or sixth time. Now I just want to shoot a thing hundreds of times until a valuable thing drops out. And if it doesn’t, did I waste my time? Same thing in the Crucible. What’s the deal with me not getting awesome rewards at the end of a round? Every other player gets something but I get screwed. But whatever, I’m using a Legendary shotgun in multiplayer now and its blasting people in the face on a regular basis. Should I have worn my Future War Cult cloak? Ah who cares. I don’t want to buy their junk anyway. Let’s go back to the world map. What was I doing again?

This is basically my thought process whenever I play Destiny. At first, I was okay with very little story and Bungie putting ALL information about backstory, locations, characters and enemies into the Grimoire cards that are only available to view on the website or app. But after levelling past 20, these design choices seem a bit nuts. I like loot-driven games but I don’t remember the last one that had a story I was completely enthralled by. Destiny started that way but then kind of fizzled out. Borderlands and Diablo were the same. What is with these games? Is an interesting story so hard to achieve? Destiny’s story seems like its just beneath the surface and it sounds really fascinating. But I can only hear James Remar or Nathan Fillion say the same stuff so many times.


But the combat. Oh my word. That’s where this game leaps into the air and high-fives you. It’s so much fun to play. The precise aiming, the double-jumps, the special attacks, the reload animations. All world class. If this gameplay wasn’t incredible, Destiny wouldn’t be Destiny. The same goes for the environments and art direction. It’s a beautiful game and shines like gold on the new generation consoles. The worlds are so sublime, they make you want to explore every area, cave and stronghold.

So I guess what I’m saying is Destiny is on this list because of everything I played before reaching level 20. After that, all I’m basically doing is grinding to buy better weapons to do the same stuff I’ve already done while I wait for more content that I’m pretty sure won’t change anything. That’s a pretty damning description but it’s warranted. And I feel weird that I didn’t realise any of this until now.

However before I got to level 20, Destiny was a colossal explosion of fresh air for shooter games. I remember taking my time to search through every cave and read about every enemy. And what the hell is The Traveller exactly? I’m amazed that this hasn’t been established. What if there’s an enemy in there? Like a giant Fallen or something more sinister? What else could be waiting? Wait a minute, this rocket launcher needs some more helium to upgrade. Plenty of that on the moon. I can knock over those bounties while I’m there. Those Hive Knights can be bastards but these new grenades will put anything down. I should go back to the Black Gate again to kill more Vex. I’ve got another bounty for them too. It will take a long time but hopefully it will be worth it because once I get hold of that hand-cannon then…then…wait…what was I doing again?

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