Thursday, 16 July 2015

Why Destiny disappoints

I was quite excited about Destiny. The trailers spoke to us of awesome graphics. The marketing patter heralded an online game that would combine adventure gaming, sandbox, first person shooter and social network. Destiny achieves all this but somehow it still ends up being lame.

In Destiny you build a character and can travel from planet to planet in your little fighter, doing one of two things. The first is running around a particular level, taking out the bad guys, and achieving missions which then unlock other levels and provide you with the ability to buy new kit. Nothing particularly new there.

The other is simply dropping into a level where you take part in a team-based skirmish with other players. Again, nothing new there. Games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Red Dead Redemption offer something markedly similar.

Sandbox-wise, again, the game really does not offer an experience that is vastly better than Oblivion or Fall Out 3. Indeed, I'd say Fall Out is a more impressive game at the end of the day, even though it is older. I could wax lyrical on the sub-culture of Fall Out here, but that's not what this post is about.

I just feel as if the computer gaming industry is running out of steam, at least on the console level of the market. There seem to be far more interesting things happening for tablets and mobile phones, in terms of creativity, imagination and sheer innovation.

I suppose you could argue I'm comparing apples with pears here. A console game, especially a high profile release like Destiny, is like a big summer blockbuster movie. A great deal of money is spent in its development, and hence a studio is simply not prepared to take any large risks that might alienate the customer base and potentially lead to a loss-making project. This does, however, stifle innovation.

What we're left with is seemingly an array of releases that retain the same old gameplay and functionality I could expect from PS2 releases like Judge Dredd and Star Wars Battlefront 2, except that these latter games are STILL more innovative than Destiny. What they lose in graphical presentation is made up for! I idled away hours of my time playing Dredd on the PS2, and still enjoy Army of Two (PS3)for its over the top macho humour (nearly finished this, by the way).

By contrast, I'm downloading new and fresh games to my iPad on an almost weekly basis, for a fraction of the cost of Destiny (which is selling for less than £10 in second hand stores in the UK, unsurprisingly).

So, we will continue to keep our eyes peeled for interesting new games on the PSN, while spending more and more time on the iPad. Because that's where the creativity seems to lie these days.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I think that for the most part you don't look to the big releases for innovation, as the bigger studios have moved to a model of frequent updates to existing franchises; that's why we get three Call of Duty titles a year.

    The most interesting stuff seems to be coming from smaller, more independent developers but the great thing is that Kickstarter has allowed for these projects to come to light. I am looking forward to three or four big releases but everything else is something that's being published by an independent group.