In the modern age of mainstream gaming, few franchises boast that household name-status of Halo. But the team responsible for starting the story of Master Chief have moved on, setting their sights on a brand new franchise: Destiny. The game has been hard to define, but now that Bungie's latest epic is out in the wild, the first reviews are beginning to arrive. And from early on, it seems the overwhelming hype and expectations may have been a blessing and a curse.
The developers and publisher have been consistent in their claim that Destiny is not a standard MMO, but still requires plenty of time among other players to get a real sense of its strengths. Because of that, we've already given our initial impressions of the game's best (and worst) features. Unsurprisingly, it seems that plenty of other reviewers agree with our firsthand experience.
Bad reviews won't do any damage now that Destiny has had its record-breaking sales recoup all of the game's budget, but if you've yet to plunge into the game, then these reviews may give you a better sense of what to expect - and what to prepare yourself for:
OXM UK (Edwin Evans-Thirlwell):
"Not quite the epic journey into the unknown we were hoping for, mostly thanks to poor writing and a reliance on XP farming, but a treasure trove of single and multiplayer adventures nonetheless."
Gamespot (Kevin VanOrd):
"Once the final, hackneyed closing scene finishes, fireteam members are awarded the same weapon, regardless of class, and a handful of currency. This reminder of how wholly unspecial you are is the big finale of a lavishly produced but troubled game that excels in the basics but lacks creativity and heart. It is role-playing grind in shooter form--an empty house built on a firm foundation."
Polygon (Arthur Gies/Philip Kollar):
"As just another game, Destiny is a confusing combination of often at-odds elements — it presents itself as ambitious, almost boastful, while seeming strangely safe and reserved. It wants to eat its cake as a shooter, and have the longevity of an MMO — but it lacks the combat sophistication of the former, and the deep well of content native to the latter."
EGM (Josh Harmon):
"With a lifeless world, a hazily plotted, repetitive campaign, and an endgame that quickly resorts to a slow grind for marginally better loot, Destiny fails to deliver on the promise of its concept and the enormous potential of its gameplay systems."
GameTrailers (Brandon Jones):
"We’ve had enough wow moments to justify the time and effort to unlock them, and the possibilities of what Bungie could do next in this newly minted galaxy is intriguing based on what we’ve played so far. Destiny has not achieved greatness, yet. It is however, extremely fun to play."
PlayStation Lifestyle (Chandler Wood):
"Destiny is a great prologue, but it is still just a prologue. It’s like telling somebody all about Middle Earth; the races, the lands, the set up for the story, but not telling them of Bilbo’s adventures in The Hobbit or the fellowship’s journey in The Lord of the Rings. While it is not the story, there is a certain pull to Destiny that keeps me coming back for more."
Escapist (Jim Sterling):
"At its core, Destiny is an MMO, in a derivative science fiction universe. That said, it did keep its hooks into me for hours upon hours at a time, so it's certainly doing something right."
Wired (Matt Kamen):
"As shooters go, it's hard to fault, and its world and lore does beg to be explored further. Let's just hope that involves a touch more creativity and experimentation than is on display here. Destiny doesn't quite live up to the hype, but that it's as enjoyable as it is in spite of those impossible expectations speaks to its overall quality."
Yahoo! Tech (Ben Silverman):
"Destiny is gorgeous, slick, and finely tuned, a technical knockout and a calling card for what big video game money can do. But it’s also strangely repetitive, occasionally empty, and saddled with a story only its author could love."
What do you make of the reviews? Will you be adding this to your next-gen collection without hesitation, or do the criticisms give you pause? Sound off in the comments.
Destiny is available now for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. A PC release is expected in the future.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.