There’s no denying that Destiny has gotten a ton of attention during the last few weeks. It was the most pre-ordered new IP in history and sales for the game have been incredibly high across consoles. From loot cave discoveries to dance videos, the first-person shooter MMO is the first runaway success of the fall gaming season (which is missing a few key players this year). That said, despite the generally positive reception the game has received, there aren’t good things being said about Destiny’s plot.
A new YouTube video created by Marszie attempts to bring the game’s story into the spotlight with a short video recapping the narrative events that take place in between mob killing, loot finding, and gear upgrading. Marszie set out to make a video just a few minutes long, but ended up needing close to 15 minutes to fit in the full story. Once the objectives and experience points are stripped out, we’re able to get to the root of just what the hell is going on.
The story of Destiny (and its delivery) seems to be full of mystery. We know the narrative went through some big changes before launch, but even with the revisions, the plot still feels like background noise at best. Destiny’s story only features a handful of important characters, but during the first play-through it’s pretty difficult to keep track of just what is going on. This is a frequent problem with MMOs, which WoW has attempted to correct with phased events and Star Wars: The Old Republic tried to overcome with well-produced voiceovers and frequent (arguably too frequent) cut scenes.
Unfortunately, even in its condensed form, the story of Destiny simply isn’t engrossing. There are plenty of sci-fi tropes and cliches and not enough character work to get players emotional invested in the high-stakes war that we are supposed to be at the center of. Unlike in Halo, the guardian and his or her Ghost are less likely to become staples of pop culture the way that Master Chief and Cortana did. It’s possible that the character development is more difficult to pull off with a nameless protagonist, but the fact that Destiny is off-rails and gives players a lot more freedom also detracts from the emotional investment that is more easily established in a structured narrative.
Whether they cared about the plot or not, plenty of gamers have become addicted to Destiny in the last few weeks. With new events arriving weekly, even if there’s no new content, the community seems to be thriving. It’s worth considering that the plot actually is not very important to the majority of the Destiny community. One of the frequent complaints about the game’s story missions is the inability to skip cut scenes on repeat play throughs. Perhaps in future DLCs, expansions, or sequels; the plot will take even more of a backseat to the action. Could you imagine?
What did you think of Destiny’s plot? Did you follow it as you played through or were you too distracted by leveling? Let us know in the comments.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.