I don’t fucking know. I spent the whole year playing Destiny. You tell me.
Was it that No Man’s Sky thing I played for a week and a half this summer? Please tell me it wasn’t that thing. That thing was alright and sort of interesting in its own way, but I also got the impression it wasn’t quite finished. Sounds like a lot of people were sort of pissed about it. Pretty sure that’s the only game released in 2016 I’ve played. I guess that means it gets my vote by default.
I don’t think I’ve ever sunk more time into a video game than I’ve sunk into Destiny, which means I should be able to get at least one blog entry out of it. It’s been my non-stop console fix since the Taken King expansion dropped last September. I’m struggling to decide if this is because of Destiny’s overall quality or simply because 2016 was such a sucktastic year for console games. It’s probably a combination of the two. Looking back over a list of games released this year…I don’t appear to have missed much, although I’m sure I’ll dive into Civilization VI at some point.
Where Destiny truly shines is its gunplay. Blasting the minions of the Darkness over and over and over again is truly a joy, especially once your character’s strong enough (and you’re confident enough) to charge right in rather than pick them off from afar. The various weapon classes are well differentiated and there’s a wide variety within each class. Melee’s satisfying, grenades are fun, and unleashing a super at just the right moment to clear a mob or drop a boss or save yourself from imminent doom is a rush.
Story-wise, Destiny’s kind of a mess. Problems during the game’s development led to a complete rewrite of the original content, and it shows. Subsequent expansions have introduced tighter but still underwhelming narratives buoyed by an improved group of characters and excellent voice acting. Destiny’s writing is sort of a weird trans-media experiment. If you want the full story, you have to read the flavor text on all the weapons and armor and complete various tasks that unlock grimoire cards on Bungie.net. There’s a ton of great writing all over the place that adds up to a fascinating world, but piecing it together can be a bit of a chore. I’ve spent more time than I care to think about learning the lore on wikis and pouring through player theories on a few subreddits. Once you’re in, it’s addicting.
If I’ve got a complaint, well…sometimes the other players really fucking suck. Certain activities require a team of three or even six to complete. Some people put their controllers down and just wander away (I know everybody poops, but come on). Some rush through everything to get to the end boss, making it that much harder for the rest of us to get through and occasionally triggering a wipe if they get too far and die. I’ve dealt with ass hats berating me for not setting up my character correctly, most of whom I’ve managed to blow away in game. There are definitely some great people to play with, but man…the bad ones can make it a miserable experience.
So if you’re fed up with 2016’s underwhelming pile of games and haven’t given Destiny a try, now’s the time. It’ll take you a little while to get caught up, but it’s totally worth it once you’re there.