If you’re positively bewildered by what madness you’re spotting here and would like additional context, a link to the part one can be found at the end of the article.
Upon starting up Destiny and all 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 that it was awarding me trophies as an apology for the misunderstanding that led to me buying an expansion pack twice. Then my brain rebooted and I realized that it was kindly back-dating all the achievements I got during the trial so that was nice.
In part one of this series, we found out that New Russia was inspired by Old Russia’s religious leaders in terms of naming, and had a really nice cyber security device. Afterwards I was tasked with reacting to more reports. This time the reports were regarding Dead Orbit, who were playing with their newly discovered codes near the local Skywatch. So I just needed to swoop in, steal the codes from their bodies and then try to set up a communication network with the other colonies. I admit I was dubious, considering I thought I had repeatedly been told I was in the last human settlement, but maybe there were a few 1,000+ groups of people we just overlooked somehow.
Upon arrival, I found a use for the Rasputin “Warmind”. Apparently there were defence constructs across the galaxy we forgot about and I was hoping that Rasputin could activate them to help in the fight. Sadly, Rasputin isn’t very good at short-range defence and so I had to fight off waves of ships with my rooty tooty point-n-shooty. Fortunately, they shrugged and gave up after a brief but intense struggle. I admit, I am relieved at the apathy of the Top Cow Productions produced comic book series The Darkness- otherwise I probably would have been killed and would have needed to respawn.
Although I shouldn’t tempt fate.
So, what better place to go than The Moon? Especially since we apparently gave it away while 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 before going silent, so my employer wanted me to finish the hunt off. Prone to distraction, I began hearing more and more about a “Temple of Crota”. Despite my Dinkle-bot saying “Sounds like a death trap”, you can bet I signed myself up for it.
So I hunted it down and opened it up, unleashing 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 brought us to some discussion regarding the Strike system in Destiny.
A Strike will usually function by first dropping you off at a point on the general map and have you walk to the actual starting point. Upon arrival, you’re usually expected to travel deeper, defend for a while, potentially kill a boss, travel deeper, defend against more enemies, potentially kill another boss, and it’s rinse and repeat from here. It draws inspiration distinctly from Borderlands and MMORPGs but it differs in two major ways.
The first way being that as long as one person is alive, the group can keep dying and respawning 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 regardless of skill and equipment. It allows for an element of forgiveness that’s very much enjoyable. This is especially true 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 us to the second major difference: Group teamwork. For whatever reason, Destiny neither rewards nor punishes group performance. You will get XP and gear based on random chance rather than skill or performance. In addition to this, there is no function to remove people. This has the positive effect of preventing people from being kicked at the end of Strikes, denying that individual of loot and XP (sometimes occurring in Payday 2).
However this does mean you can get stuck with some abusive party members. In the Strike The Devil’s Lair, one person just hid the entire time. Perhaps doing something more engaging like maybe reading a book or playing a handheld game instead. Later at the final boss, upon my death, the individual ran out and spent more time tea bagging my lifeless corpse than it would have taken to just resurrect me.
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 teammate 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 appealingly 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 and sprayed him with an LMG for half of a second before heading to 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. I was left pondering things like “Who was naming these places?” and “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 I was sent to The Hellmouth to go steal a sword called the Sword of Crota. Apparently there are arguments on whether the sentient moon-rock called The Traveller could help us and that the non-destroyed nature of the Sword of Crota would somehow … prove this?
STILL NOT HELPING
After stumbling upon the sword, I was tasked with killing the aptly named Swarm Lords. Considering this was meant to be a sword of great evil, I was surprised my character decided to wield it. This especially came as a surprise having played games like Soul Blade/Calibur and Warcraft 3. Still, it was pretty cool just running around in third person view and swinging madly while never blocking, like a barbarian. It just surprising that they decided to use a sword, as opposed to just shooting them in the face.
After the Swarm-Lords were slain, my blade melted as though Destiny had just remembered it was a FPS game. Perhaps we will get to engage in melee combat again but I probably wouldn’t. Then again, there is the hanging thread that is Fist of Crota. So who knows, maybe I can later get into some more 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 of coming across as padding.
I don’t personally see it as being that simple though. It feels deeper than how the back-and-forth can feel in Borderlands. Since 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 returning home. A mission in Destiny isn’t like Borderlands, where it can feel like food-shopping. Destiny’s missions are more akin to scenes, with each having their own narrative that they’re working so hard to portray. Whether this is for better or worse will depend on how much you enjoy the narrative, as it’s definitely more focused and at the front than with Borderlands.
Say one thing about Borderlands, say it narrative made sense.
Meanwhile, back in the game, I had just arrived at the front of the Temple Of Crota. I was immediately toyed with by an individual not only unknown but also unseen. I was informed that if I wanted to fight the real threat that I would need to find her once I was finished fighting the threat currently below my feet. Although, in an odd moment of forgetfulness, she had neglected to tell 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 – or at least I would be if I ever saw the light of the sun again.
So I stumbled deep into the temple and attempted to discover whatever the strange ritual was that was being performed that could drain The Traveller of its unspoken and unknown powers. As I got to the heart of the foul and 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 as I 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 of how many more pieces are likely missing. Maybe it is really is hollow within? Maybe we’re just worshiping a house and the original savior 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. Though, at this point, I’m not sure if anyone would even see a 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! Be sure to return next week as we finish off any other acts of lunacy before heading off to the third planet to gun down the natives there. Bye!
[Part 1: Unfunny Little Robot]