Alright, I don't know about you but I'm having loads of fun playing Destiny. It's really great, however I think we should talk about a few things that kind of suck with the game.
For those of you unaware Destiny is the next step in multiplayer games. No longer are people going to have to suffer through a terrible single player tacked on to a game that is for all intents and purposes a multiplayer experience. While Grand Theft Auto 5's GTA Online was a great step forward for single player games not having a tacked on multiplayer Destiny is the opposite.
Really the game is a fantastic leap forward in a variety of ways, but I want to talk about the steps that aren't a giant leap forward.
The mouse style controlling of the menus. PC games are great for having the ability to use a mouse to check out your gear in games like Diablo or WoW, but Destiny has avery simple system for the most part and having a mouse style control of menus is oddly clunky and leaves me feeling it would just be quicker to use some sort of other option.
While I love Dark Souls, which doesn't let players stop the action to go into their equipment menus, it also doesn't pull you totally out of the world. You can still walk around while changing equipment. Honestly I'd rather the game let us use one of the D-pad buttons to bring up a quick selection of weapons. You know, for when you absolutely need to change your gear on one of those "impossible to survive for 2 seconds standing still" strikes.
Connecting to other players
The game should have a list of options in settings to help those looking to group up with others but not having friends on at the time. Honestly this doesn't seem like something that Bungie won't put in eventually, but it is sorely missing.
The next problem is the options for doing things like pointing and dancing. They're just not that good and take up to much controller real estate. First up players should have control over different actions they can perform as well as making the process more useful. Second we should be able to add comments to the actions, like if you wanted to you could add a comment "treasure chest" to pointing or "let me snipe" to some other move.
There should be an option to check out the shops at the tower without having to load into the tower. Even something as simple as letting me see how long until shops are going to change over their merchandise would be helpful. It gets old real fast running across the Tower only to find your store/bounty/faction of choice is still carrying the same items. We already have to go back to the tower to turn in bounties and encrypted items. For a game that has streamline a lot of processes it seems really weird to have to run around the Tower to check a bunch of shop timers.
Too many waves
Just. So. Many. Waves.
So at this point missions where you have to move to a place, stay put for a while, and tackle waves of enemies are cliche. Saints Row has been making fun of it for 2 games now. Many other self aware games also do this. But Destiny attempts to pass off this sort of mission design as anything but an over-used piece of design.
Thing is, maybe if they mixed things up a bit more along the way it wouldn't be so bad, but before a player even gets off the earth they're tired of the waves. There are genuinely fun sections of the game, but the waves of enemies spawning in kind of destroy your spirit over time. When you play solo the waves are awful cause dying means you have to start over from the beginning.
Also, you really have no clues if you're near the end or not except some of these levels have a bit of music that pops up on the last wave or so. Gameplay wise you've been doing nothing but running back and forth throwing your ghost out; you're often not getting any more story or character development. At least in a Borderlands game they would have someone talking over the enemies so you kept getting information about the game and it's characters.
Not so great. The world of Destiny is really great. It just sucks the story doesn't really get colored in those sort of hues. I think that some of these were design decisions so that players wouldn't get tied down to certain things, to certain characters and such. But the game could have benefited quite a bit from a bit more story, like having a "talk" option on some of the NPCs around the Tower or maybe some merchants that only popped up on the different planets who could expand the story a bit.
What they seem to want to do is tell a prologue with Destiny. They want to just hint at a universe so that they can sell expansion after expansion without having to retcon a million different things along the way.
Still not balanced right. Really I think that this is one of the less important things to bring up because multiplayer updates are pretty well done now days. Titans seem the class most suited to PvP out of the gate, but in the coming weeks I bet the skill of everyone goes up enough that the "Titan is OP" feeling might dissipate a bit. However I still think a bit of a balance to skills in PvP might end up being useful once people really start to get a handle on how the game works. But until then we're just going to have to wait and see what pans out.
So Destiny eschews a normal single player campaign in favor of a short-ish single player journey that leads to an endgame raid and PvP design as the major drive for long-term play. Honestly this is more of a "wait and see" than the PvP. Destiny's unique loot system and "mote of light" items mean that it does become a lot about gear for long term play, but also about teaming up with other players.
Honestly it's kind of bizarre to consider this is the way the game is built. I really haven't tried to tear through any of these strike missions but this content will be the meat and potatoes of the game from here on out. No added story until expansion, just raiding and looting ad infinitum.
It's not a really bad idea. But I still wonder how this is all going to balance out in the end. This isn't a traditional RPG so raiding isn't quite as counter-intuitive, but to bring the gear controlled progression in so early might be a turn off in the long run.
Destiny has been in development long enough that the designers have probably thought about all these issues a lot more than I have in the few days it's been out. Seeing how they address concerns and problems is going to be something to watch. The game has a real chance of changing how we play and what gamers can come to expect if this sort of model works out.
But let's all remember Destiny is trying to do something different so let's cut them a bit of slack if some times while you're playing you think the game sucks. With a proposed plan lasting a decade this version of Destiny is inherently not the "final product." Whether that's good or bad will be up to others to decide.