Why We Hate Destiny’s Story (And How It Could Have Been Way Better)

If you’re reading this as someone who is looking into buying Destiny, please wait until the end of this article before you let my opinions influence your purchase decision. If you’re reading this as someone trying to make sense of the confusing mess that is Destiny, then I hope this write-up puts your thoughts into coherent words.

The game in question is a recently released sci-fi epic available on Xbox One, PS4 and last-gen consoles. There’s been a lot of hype for this game as being one of the first “true” next-gen games to show off what’s next in gaming.

But if you’ve recently read a review for Destiny, then you’ve likely come across this exact sentiment: “It’s fun, but blah blah, story.”

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I’m doing the same thing with this post, sort of. Except I’m digging deep into the why behind Destiny’s clumsy execution. Especially when you consider how Bungie spent a whopping 5 years putting this thing together (and hundreds of millions of dollars).

Destiny is a fascinating game. What’s even more fascinating is the fact that Destiny’s flaws are just as fascinating as the things that make Destiny a fun game.

But not even all of that fun in this FPS/RPG/MMO (first person shooter/role-playing game/massive multiplayer online) can save it from one thing that no one seems to like: the story.

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This is especially sad for me, because the story of any game is just as important as the gameplay and graphics. Or at least the reason behind what you’re doing in the game.

That said, a good narrative doesn’t have to be the main reason for why I want to play a game.

Take Titanfall for example. In that game, there’s hardly a story, but I still enjoyed it.

But with Destiny? Also not much of a story, but that’s a bigger problem than with Titanfall. Why? Do I hate Bungie? Do people just hate Bungie for no reason?

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That’s an obvious “no.” The Halo franchise is one of the most celebrated sagas in gaming history.

There are a lot of reasons for why Destiny’s story doesn’t work. And those reasons contribute to why everyone is so disappointed with Bungie’s latest outing. I’ll sum it up on word:

Expectations.

One of the main things that makes a story great is surprise. If the person experiencing the story has a hard time predicting the outcome of the story, then that increases the chances of them being pleased by what does happen.

The main way to make your story “surprising” is by being creative. Originality for the sake of originality doesn’t accomplish much. But creativity for the sake of telling a good story does more for your story than clever names for your characters will ever do.

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Destiny tries very hard to create immersion. And they set your expectations very high by creating a world that you want to be immersed in. But ultimately, the writers had it backwards (I don’t know why).

Immersion doesn’t happen unless the story behind your world is compelling.

The world of Destiny, though curiously interesting, is hardly compelling. And Bungie made some rookie errors in that respect.

For example, the removal of a “codex” so that you can pester people into visiting your website is 100% a stupid decision. Specifically, the game will choose not to give you a back story into a certain event or character because you’re expected to stop playing and check it out on Bungie’s website.

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That’s so wrong, it’s Raven. Bungie is essentially asking you to step out of the immersive world they’ve created to increase traffic to their own website. It doesn’t look good for them, and it’s certainly inconvenient for you.

The other problem is that if you don’t want to visit Bungie’s site to get more info on what the heck is going on in Destiny, then good luck figuring out what the heck is going on in Destiny.

These are relatively minor problems, though. Bungie could easily fix them in Destiny 2 or even the next update (not that they will). But there’s a bigger, deeper problem with the story and world of Destiny.

Conceptually, it’s an artistic mess. Let’s break that sentence down.

Conceptually: what makes Destiny, “Destiny.”
Artistic: what makes Destiny interesting and unique.
Mess: mess.

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Destiny is a game full of good story ideas dressed up in overcomplicated flair. It has a cool structure, but to be simple: it tries too hard. It just tries way, way too hard.

The good story ideas come down to the setting and overall plot. Earth in the distant future? Fine. Takes place all over the solar system? Cool. Even the character designs and classes are somewhat new and interesting.

But when you go deeper, you find that everything else about the game is horribly generic. And when you combine generic execution with a creative foundation, you get, well, an artistic mess.

If you’ve played the game, yourself, then you know what I’m talking about.

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The only people around (pretty much at all) in this world are called Guardians. First of all, that’s boring in and of itself. You never meet or talk to anyone who isn’t a fellow darkness-attacker.

I had to ask myself too many times, “Just who am I fighting for in this game? The guy with the mask? Myself? Peter Dinklage?”

And of course, “Guardians” is one of the laziest names they could have used as a classification. What isn’t a “Guardian” anymore these days? It’s a horrendously overused and uninteresting word at this point. Same goes with Hunters. Sure, Titan and Warlock are an improvement, but not by much.

The game is littered with odd naming choices like this. The Crucible (the hub for multiplayer) was “Mass Effected” just a couple of years ago. Sure, that one instance doesn’t ruin the name, but it does for plenty of people who are sick of seeing that word all over their video games and movies (and Arthur Miller novels).

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And if you thought “Guardians” was lazy, then wait until you hear Peter Dinklage go on about “The Darkness.” You know your game’s story has a problem when it reads like a young adult novel by Stephanie Meyer.

And your robots are called “Ghosts?” Bungie (and Activision), we are sick and tired of everything being “ghosts,” especially since Call of Duty named an entire game after the concept a year ago. In Destiny, it doesn’t even make thematic sense that your robot companion is a “Ghost.”

Again, these are all simple problems that, on their own, don’t deserve much scrutiny. But all of these cringe-worthy story elements combined seriously prevent gamers from enjoying what Destiny has to offer in terms of gameplay and beautiful settings (of which I have little complaint, actually. The story is that bad).

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And we haven’t even gotten to the story of the story — what’s driving you from going on those tedious fetch quests that barely vary, if at all. As you can imagine, it’s easily the game’s biggest, most obvious problem.

Because odd choices in your world and aesthetics can easily be forgiven if you have an engaging story with memorable characters.

Destiny doesn’t (really) have characters at all. Don’t get me wrong, it has placeholders. Characters, though? Can’t say I came across one.

The only character we actually get to know and listen to is our Ghost companion, voiced by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones). His role is essentially “male Cortana.” And that’s about all the thought they put into him.

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[The role of Cortana merged with the design of 343 Guilty Spark, basically]

All he does is direct you on your missions. He lets you know what you’re supposed to be doing, what to look out for, and he provides occasional insights into the ever-elusive backstory of this strange, postapocalyptic world.

The problem? All of these things are the same, essentially. Your missions are astoundingly similar to each other, and the script reads as if it were put together in a matter of minutes.

This is mostly evidenced by Peter Dinklage’s clear boredom as he voices his character. Yes, it’s so tedious that Tyrion himself can’t find much to like about it. Some people want to blame him for the dry performance, but it’s not his fault if he has nothing interesting to talk about.

It’s easy and sort of necessary to compare Destiny to Halo, which is Bungie’s true claim to fame. The “magic” of Halo just doesn’t exist here, even though the games are fairly similar to each other (and not just when it comes to gameplay).

With Halo, you had a simple story set within a fascinating world. Even the aliens were the stars. That’s why Elites, Grunts, Jackals and Hunters would remain memorable figures as Halo aged.

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Destiny, in comparison, is a complicated story set within an even more complicated world (and forgettable enemies). In Halo, my mission was straightforward. I was a powerful soldier (with other soldiers at my side to prove my scale) trying to survive on a mysterious world.

Many good games have this kind of simple story structure to draw you in. Far Cry 3 starts with the imperative that you have to save your friends on an island filled with dangerous pirates. Mass Effect is all about stopping a madman from resurrecting a genocidal race of super aliens. Fallout just comes down to surviving the nuclear wasteland.

But in Destiny, it’s not clear what I’m trying to do or why I’m anywhere the Ghost sends me. There’s no intrigue. No motivation. I’m lifted out of the rubble and told to join some movement, without a second thought (kind of what Destiny expects out of us as gamers).

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I just shoot evil aliens. That’s enough, I suppose, to justify buying it. But it’s nowhere near enough to say that Destiny is a special game.

And a simple explanation for all of these problems is the oft-cited observation that Destiny has a bit of an identity crisis. It tries to be all things to all people, and this lack of focus makes the overall game suffer.

I would add that Destiny is also an example of why a good recipe is more than just combining two things. Because on paper, the game should work pretty well — it has all of the things we like about Halo, Call of Duty, and the best MMOs — but it’s not any better than the sum of its parts.

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And the saddest thing about all of this is that it doesn’t take a professional team of writers to make a better narrative than what we got. My own version, if this project was handed to me, would be as follows:

Centuries after Earth was abandoned for unknown reasons, a coalition of humans and robots returned to the Solar System to recolonize the still resource-rich worlds. But they find that new, feral species have appeared, and they’re organized. Thus begins a war for who will reclaim the Solar System. Will it be the “new” humans? Or this seemingly selfish race of aggressive “aliens” that (Plot twist!) actually inhabited the Solar System long before humans, making them the rightful rulers of Earth and the rest all along?

I came up with that on the fly. Bungie on the other hand had years to churn this out, and the best they could come up with was the same “humanity versus invading alien forces that vaguely look like robots. Again.”

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Here’s just one more take on the Destiny universe:

Centuries in the future, the Solar System is abandoned. No one knows what happened to humans, who were on the brink of faster-than-light travel before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace. New governments and migrating species have since colonized the 8 planets (and Pluto), but a struggle for control ensues when a schism divides the Solar System into two warring factions. You’re a member of an order of scavengers who loot the battle-torn areas of this conflict. But in your pursuit of fortune, your order encounters an even more dangerous secret that could change the galaxy forever. 

Seriously, Bungie. Step it up.

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Overall, Destiny is a mindless game. But while other mindless games get a free pass, Destiny doesn’t because it wants you to think it’s not mindless. By dressing up its world with seemingly creative ideas that fall short of your expectations.

But, and this is a big but, Destiny is still (miraculously) worth playing if you like good shooters with some RPG elements. In those respects, the game excels and is addicting fun. You just have to immerse yourself out of the story to better enjoy it.

What do you think of Destiny?

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40 Replies to “Why We Hate Destiny’s Story (And How It Could Have Been Way Better)”

  1. I enjoyed your article. I have been anticipating this game but I haven’t purchased it just yet. After reading this article I now have some second thoughts. A rich story is one of the main reasons why I purchase any video game, movie, book etc. A game with some gameplay flaws can still be an enjoyable experience, but it seems like the opposite is happening with Destiny.

    • Pretty much. It turns out that the gameplay and scenery are rich enough for many people to enjoy the game in spite of its lack of story. It’s tough for me to say you shouldn’t try the game out, of course, because it really is a good time, even if it does feel like a grind sometimes. If you go into it with some friends and decent expectations, then you might enjoy the stellar co-op features that help this game stand out.

      • It seems to me that bungie and Activision set out to make the initial story play through a general and simple one, so nothing would be taking away from the cooperative gameplay later. Does that make sense? I think I will buy it anyways because it looks amazing, I just won’t be as excited I suppose.

        • That’s a fair guess, but I still think there’s no excuse on Bungie’s part to drop the ball on this. If you don’t have the extra money to devote to a good story (which they should’ve, considering the initial investment), then don’t try to make a good story. Keep it simple and acknowledge the game is not meant to be a novel. But Destiny wants to do “everything,” as you can tell. Regardless, I think you’ll still have a fun time with the game. Enjoy!

  2. Great Article. I agree with everything you said. I played the Alpa Beta and kinda regret buying the release. I think there are more flaws in the game other than the ones that you have outlined . one of my biggest gripes is the fact that the ‘Strikes” are nothing more than yeah shoot your way through the bossin 10 min then spend the next 20-30 min (yeah i timed a few boss encounters) shooting at the bosses ‘weak’ point only doing 1/3 more damage when if you shoot else ware, I feel the lack of ingenuity in the game play couldnt have put in phases that players have to fight through to get the bosses to reveal their weak point so make a quicker finish. rather than having the weak point exposed in the front of the boss the same side that the boss’ overly powerful shots are coming from not to mention the hordes of enemies that just swarm you and if you take your eye off the boss to the mobs your dead. the Cure for this was take a look at games like Warcraft. their bosses had a phase system, and if i remember correctly Phantasy star online also did and before any one says this is a shooter the Gears of War franchise, even Metal gear these games all had boss fights that involved a bit more than just point and shoot.

    In the end i wasn’t really excited about this game in the Alpha & Beta but got it cause there is nothing else to play for the next few months. I haven’t played the raids yet but unless Bungie has don’t some thing damn spectacular story and game play mechanics in them (which i highly doubt) im prob going back to using my ps4 asa paper weight then get Smash Bros for my WiiU.

    • Borderlands is an excellent example of what Destiny should have been. That is, a fun multiplayer romp that doesn’t take its story or world too seriously. Like Destiny, Borderlands doesn’t have the most compelling story, but we don’t care because it does have memorable moments and characters.

  3. This is the same developer who had a cutscene where my Awoken guardian said “How could the Awoken have survived out here?” and have the Awoken make no reference to the fact that the guardian who showed up was another Awoken. Call me cynical but I doubt there’s complex layers of storytelling going on here.

    Could there’ll be a twist where it’s revealed that the Traveller is being hunted for a damned good reason? Sure in theory. Will it happen? It’s an MMO that they’ve said they want to turn into a series that lasts a decade, sod all chance of anything massive happening to change the story unless perhaps they want to have you playing as Fallen/Hive/Vex/Cabal in the sequel or something.

    • I had the exact same Awoken experience and was wondering the same thing…what an oversight, especially when you consider there’s only 3 races.

      • the reason he doesn’t know whats going on is that he has been dead for a while and cant remember anything that happened plus this is generations later so maybe the later generations forgot what the earlier ones went through if that makes sense lol well they should have explained the story better though.

  4. I think your being a little hasty dismissing the story quite so quickly. I’m sure I’ve read bungee plan on destiny being in our consoles for the next ten years!. I’m not sure if you guys have read any of the theories doing the rounds… what if the traveller is “the darkness”, the stranger makes a reference to picking sides, even if it’s the wrong one. As a long time fan of the halo games and universe (books, anime etc) all I can say is bugees makes story’s like onions. Onions. I for one am absolutely hooked on this game and the idea their could be such huge game changing twist. Give bungee a chance. You don’t understand the story because it’s not finished! Noticed just how often they’ve been saying “were only just getting started”?

    • You can’t judge something by how good it can “become.” You can only judge it by what’s presented. And what’s been presented is utter garbage.

      That said, I too hope the story gets better and it probably will. But that doesn’t excuse or justify the mistakes of this first try.

      • Amen.

        I think this represents a maddening trend in an industry that is trying to figure out how to control its audience’s cash flow perpetually, a la visual arts distributors trying to control your access to media you already own through means such as streaming and DRM/DMCA. It’s getting to the point that when George Lucas wants some more cash, he simply re-releases his movies with various ‘remasterings’ and ‘never-before-seen footage!’ so that he can then prevent your previously purchased Blu-ray disc or digital copy from operating anymore, forcing you to purchase or rent the new version if you want to watch the movie at all.

        Halo spawned not just sequel (and prequel) video games but also books, videos, etc. and the fans couldn’t get enough. Surely, Bungie must have realized that the story of Halo was even more compelling to fans than the gameplay itself, and probably spent more of Destiny’s years in production figuring out how to maximize the profits from such a story than anything that would make for satisfying gaming. I think they’re afraid that if a player has been ‘satisfied’ then they will stop playing the game and possibly (god help us!) sell it and prevent someone else from paying full retail price for it. Requiring you to maintain ownership of your copy for years to be able to participate in the revelation of the story is obviously aimed at preventing a resale market.

        Besides being vague on a story to prevent being painted into a corner too early, it seems to me like even the entire form of the game was a calculation by business-people to allow for maximum follow-on purchase, both in- and out-of-game. This is forgivable for so-called ‘free-mium’ games, but alas Destiny separates you from your cash before playing to get you invested since apparently the story won’t…

    • But that is part of the problem – dragging the story out over such a long time is why this bit is boring. You cant do that, at least not for me. I’m not hanging around to find out because what has been presented is boring. If there is meat in the story and we just haven’t gotten to it because of the 10 year plan then it is still a fail because I’m not waiting around. Halo on the other hand had a story and characters from the get go. You want more? Delve into the lore and back story and you’re rewarded. I just used to ask my mate who was totally into it and that was enough for me. Cortana, guilty spark, the sarge, Halo had heaps of engaging characters. Destiny has none save the exobot female. My ears pricked up with her. The queen and brother were laughable.

  5. Sweet post!

    I got into the alpha a while ago, and while I enjoyed the PvP (whenever it was balanced), the campaign levels kind of fell flat. I got the feeling that I’d enjoy them if I had my friends playing with me, the same way I enjoyed the Halo games better in co-op. I think I’d only purchase the game now if my friends got it, too.

    Destiny, and the Halo games, are predominately gameplay-centric. Sure there was a story in the Halo games, but I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we think they delivered a tour-de-force in narrative. I get the feeling that people would have criticized Bungie if they developed too much of a story and didn’t deliver on gunplay. Thoughts?

    • I agree for the most part (especially on PvP!), though I have to say we differ on Halo’s story. While Halo is no Bioshock, it’s still a very deep, rich world in my opinion. But you’re right that the gameplay and multiplayer is what really sells both of these games.

      So I wouldn’t want Bungie to sacrifice gameplay for a story, as you point out. But at the same time, they can at least provide something with a little more effort akin to Halo.

      • That’s true. Halo’s world was super-cool. I guess that’s where Destiny really needs work, in developing the world to be deeper and richer.

        Maybe the game’s story and lore fell short because the main playable protagonist isn’t a well-written character, like Master Chief? Or do you think it’s unfair to keep comparing Destiny to the Halo games?

        • The lore would have immediately been more interesting if we had more convenient access to it.

          And I don’t think it’s off the mark to talk about the two games side by side. They are, after all, made by the same developer. So it’s pretty fair to assume that Destiny should excel in areas that Halo did admirably.

        • I’m pretty sure the main character is supposed to be those self-insert avatars in games. But from what I’ve researched, if they have no backstory or explanation, then yea, I think thats an issue.

        • Reading these comments, somehow it feels like I’m the only person who noticed the immense amount of lore contained within Destiny itself, rather than the Grimoire. We are given a wealth of information about the races we face, such as the Hive and the Vex. Even the Fallen are explored in indirect detail, with only the Cabal left mostly unexplained.

          The origins and true nature of the Traveler, the Darkness, and the exact nature of their conflict during the Collapse are left a mystery, but that’s to be expected. No decent Sci-Fi game explains everything in the first game. Halo didn’t. The Covenant, and their war with humanity is never explained in Combat Evolved.The Forerunners are left similarly untouched. In Gears of War, the Locust are never really explained beyond the bare facts surrounding E-Day. It’s not until Gears of War 2 and 3 that we learned anything substantive about them and why they attacked Sera. Even Mass Effect did it with the Reapers.

          As for Destiny not giving us a sense of motivation for why are ‘going here or doing this’, I just have to say it’s not that kind of game. Destiny is much like many RPG’s in that our character’s history, personal motivations etc. are left to our imagination. The game gives us a framework, and leaves us to fill in the rest. The only problem with Destiny is that we are given very few opportunities to actually ‘fill in the blanks’ in a meaningful way within the framework they gie us, which is half the problem. We are never really allowed to make personal choices that allow us to feel like we are part of the plot. The closest the game comes to that mechanic is allowing us the choose a faction, but that doesn’t even tie into the plot of the game.

          Destiny’s greatest failing in terms of story is the lack of characters and character development. Our Ghost shows some signs of personality here and there, but it’s smothered by the fact that Bungie more or less turned him into a walking library of lore. He’s good for learning about the world and what’s going on around us, but he doesn’t make interesting company. The Stranger was far more interesting, especially with what we learn about her at the end of the game, but she doesn’t show up nearly enough to make an impact. Same with the Queen and her Brother. Both had potential but they only make a brief appearance.

          In the end, comparing Destiny to Halo is a bit off-base anyways. Halo was firmly entrenched in the linear, story-driven FPS genre. Destiny is something of an experiment in mixing bits and pieces of FPS, RPGs, and MMO’s, with a much bigger emphasis on the MMO element than the rest. It didn’t quite work out as well as Bungie had hoped, at least in terms of story. In terms of gameplay, the combination worked out brilliantly and it’s completely addictive. Time will tell if Bungie learns and adapts. The House of Wolves will at least tell me if they are taking steps in the right direction since they have a golden opportunity to explore two of the more interesting characters introduced in Destiny.

          • Very good points. Better or even existent characters would have allowed us to have a bit more interest with the central conflicts the game presents. The problem was that many of these story elements simply went over our heads because we did nothing but shoot things. Which is ironic because it was really fun to shoot things.

  6. I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s not just the story that’s lacking, there is such a false sense of scale and grandeur in the game. Putting beautiful vistas in the game does not make up for the small explorable areas. Each planet is full of linear corridors that lead to small, open areas and there is literally nothing that interesting in them, they’re just full of the similar hordes of enemies.

    Imagine if the game was more in depth, more detailed. Like, how hard is it to put a proper armoury in the tower with a shooting range? Where you could test out guns, and even buy really decent weapons, obviously for a hefty price instead of relying on random loot drops / loot farming to even get a sniff of a legendary weapon? Or even like, go to the last city, perhaps visit a market area? Imagine if the day / night cycle actually affected the game play. Night time meant specific groups of enemies were more active, more aggressive, maybe there were some kind of nocturnal enemies or creatures. These planets were supposedly abandoned for hundreds of years and and are now hostile but they really don’t feel it. Imagine if you could communicate with the tower at any time, and request a vehicle, a small helicopter or truck that you could use with your fireteam when you’re exploring. The playable areas need to be increased in size dramatically, or have different areas added. I look at a game like GTA 5 and San Andreas is a real living, breathing place full of life and Destiny is the complete opposite. It might look pretty but the game has no character and doesn’t feel alive in the slightest. I was completely detached for the entire duration of the story and the worlds feel so lacking.

    The only thing keeping this game a float in my opinion is the level of cooperative play. If I had no one to play with, I’d probably hardly ever touch this game again because it gets boring very quickly on your own.

    • Agreed on all counts. And what you’ve described is sort of like a beautiful fusion of Minecraft and GTA V. What saddens me the most, however, is that Destiny clearly tries to have character, like you say, but is awkwardly inconsistent.

  7. hello there:) i completly agree with you about the story being garbage. i my myself am a long time gamer, i’ve had the thrill of playing baldurs gate in the 90’s and later on it was diablo 1-2-3 ect, and not to mention DAO, MASS EFFECT series. what puzzles me is that a developer like bungie or bioware for that matter are turning more and more over to FPS and graphics, over and over again they make some dreadfull turn around’s with the stories. Even loot’s have no actual history behind them. its just flat, dead and linear, just going on a kiling spree over and over and hope u get something nice, it’s… “Diablo in space”!
    i remeber the dissapointment when DA2 came out when comparing it to DAO, same happend for them on ME3. and again with some other companie’s and their games! and it’s amazing to me when they knew and still know, that people were ecpecting DESTINY to be the turn around with an awsome story and loated with quest’s giving you the WOW effect, with some ME, DAO, HALO kind of story that could keep u up for hours late at night even if u knew u had to wake up at 8 am for work.:)))… this is excactly what people have been longing for in a few years now. Over and over when u read on google or watch youtube about games, this is the same thing u hear gamers complaining about, we miss with meaning , with depth, with romance, 90% of gamers love the party optons in DAO and ME. hell they even have it in DIABLO,..
    i think the biggest problem today for these companie’s, is that they have allot of technical talent but absolulty no one with some writing skills, someone that can actully write a story that makes sence, probably because it does not pay well to be a story teller, i dont know but this is something that has been going backwards not just in gaming but in books and moveis as well the last 10-20 years! look at EA for example, people have been trolling and fighting and complaining about FIFA having the excact same bugs every year last 5-6 years, they don’t care! same goes for Bioware on mass effect and DA2, everyhting is graphic’s and having allot of blood everywhere, and the story just get’s lamer for every new game, it’s like watching a typical porn movie! gaming industry has become like Coca Cola and Mcdonald, it’s all about advertisment, and people fall for it everytime becuse it sound and looks so good, until u eat or drink it and u find out that ur hungry for something else in 1-2 hours!!!

    • You covered a lot there, so I’ll just address one thing. In the case of writing for games, many of the stories we are engaged with are written by real writers who freelance for the gaming company. Crysis 2, for example, was penned by a science fiction writer. Of course, having a good writer for your story isn’t the same as delivering said story. It takes the combined efforts of everyone involved in making the game to generate a compelling story.

  8. I never have blamed an actor/ actress on their performance in a game. Because to me, the game makes the actor (there are some cases where an actor can be blamed but just try to understand my point here.) that is all I will say about that. Now for the main thing, the game it self. I’m disappointed in bungie. I get that they’re not Halo anymore but yet, they are. They made, what I will call the best games I have played to date… Halo.. It had good plot and good lore… Like, the forerunners or even John (Master Chief) and the other Spartans. Like who are they, what happen to them? Which you find out about 90% of the stuff by the end of halo3/halo reach… Now in this game (destiny) they don’t know how to explain. Like the Darkness, they need to focus on that. Like your Ghost is Cortana.. She told you a lot of stuff and because if that it made the story. Infact I Believe she is telling they story of Halo, think about it. ( I’m sorry for how much it jumps around. I’m not a good writer and my grammar is horrible.)

  9. If anyone is giving you SH*T for this article, do not worry. You are not alone in your thoughts here. This game is an awful, drudging, mindless piece of CRAP.

  10. Kill lots of things then press X

  11. Great article. Expectations is definitely the key. I loved the original Halo because it was the most immersive story I had played in a game (not the best, but the most immersive). I don’t enjoy PvP, but I bought each Halo just to find out what happened to my favorite characters. What guy doesn’t want to be Master Chief and maybe meet a real like Cortana? The only personality I saw in the whole game was in the cut scene with the girl robot who pushed the Ghost around and called him “Little Light”. Oh, and when the Queen referred to us as “It”. Both times I felt like the game was about to develop a personality finally!….but no, no it didn’t.

    The story isn’t the reason I quit though – just the reason I won’t come back. The reason I quit was no matchmaking for raids, daily’s, and weekly’s. I played the beta – if I had known they were going to limit matchmaking I would have never bought the game. I will not go to a website for story, and I won’t go to one for matchmaking either.

    • I don’t understand as to why play a game to find out whats gonna happen next (unless its an interacting game like walking dead where you constantly interact with the game) when you can easily see all the story elements that happen in the game by watching them on Youtube. I’m not insulting you or anything, I’m just curious.

  12. The first time I read that this was a ten year journey, I thought that meant some really well laid out planning regarding expanding the gameplay and story experience. However since playing the game for a month I’ve started to feel that 10 year statement is actually quite maddening, mostly because it is offered up as a defence to any accusations of overly light content.

    Presumably we are still to view this as a complete game with its respective price tag? I’m not sure how well this comparison fares, but I’d be frustrated to pay to see a movie and find myself watching a great looking, but weakly storied pilot to a tv show. Shouldn’t it have to stand on its own feet?

    Granted this is coming from someone who has yet to try the raid, and doesn’t anticipate doing so anytime soon (I don’t have six Destiny playing PS4 chums), so the infamously most innovative and interesting part of the game is locked away. As the original post says, much of my gripe here stems from disappointment of Destiny’s greatly weighted expectations, but considering the criticism the Call of Duty series receives regarding weak campaigns compared to their investment in PVP, couldn’t Destiny be accused of offering less by the same criticism?

    I’m a big Mass Effect fan, which is arguably hasone of the strongest stories of the sci-fi shooters type, but the story (and lore) within any of those three games in the series didn’t leave you scratching your head wondering what was going on at the end.

    We’ve heard speculations, and perhaps there is a big twist to come in the Destiny series where we discover the ‘Darkness’ is a retribution force hunting the Traveller for some misdeed – Humanity now its stooge army unquestionably laying waste to alien foes. A nice meta twist, which would be great in a sequel after we’ve got a firm grounding in a fully fleshed out first episode. Something that you’re not going to see without paying for more content.

    Against my expectations, Destiny hasn’t been enough. But objectively, promises and hopes aside, is it enough of a game anyway?

  13. applauds. I only heard of bungee by watching Angryjoe’s review on Destiny and I have to say I’m shocked. 5 years. 5 million dollars. And you make the game give all the explanation by looking up a site, barely explain the story, etc (I researched these things, I barely actually played the game myself). I don’t know what to say. How did they screw up this game is beyond me.

  14. Beyond Destiny’s fascinating game-play and brilliant graphics there is a fundamental flaw. It is the presumption of its producers that whatever they turn out is acceptable. Well, its not acceptable to me, a veteran gamer, that its story-line is simply a ship without a rudder. You complete one chapter and seem to revisit it. The same intro to the chapter with that dreadful monologue ghost-voice. The player does not know whether he/she is entering a variation of that chapter, or it’s a repeat. Just rename Destiny as Ground Hog Day and you get the idea. Destiny to me is a hoax. It is also an insult to gamers as me. I’d like to see all these new releases go first to a government agency for assessment before release. Have vet gamers working on commission to rate these games outside the vested interests of the industry…before they are foisted on the public. Those like Destiny should have a warning classification: For Mindless; No Plot; Released Before Completion. I’m at Level 19 Now and seem as though I’ve got to go back to that almost impossible chapter 18 in the Black Garden. If I do, then its curtains for this Destiny disk. I’ve only ever cut up one, where Snipers could actually shoot through rocks. If I have to re-enter the Black Garden, then Destiny gets the scissor treatment…on YouTube. At least that satisfaction will make up for the wasted 70 bucks.

  15. Your article is no more appealing than the story of the game. Paragraph after paragraph of the same complaints just re-worded. Trust me, your attempts to write a compelling intro to the story were just as bland and made little sense.

    • Nah, I won’t trust you, especially since I point out that my own intro was made up on the fly. The point was that Bungie had years to get this right, but they botched it.

      But I’ll indulge your incredibly ridiculous (and needlessly rude) comment. I made the same complaints over and over again? No, I didn’t. You just don’t seem to understand how longform articles work. I purposefully drag concepts out to articulate the reasons behind every complaint. And as you can see from the other comments, it’s a breath of fresh air from typical rants about this game that tend to just make assertions without delving deep into the subject.

      Here’s my outline for this article, and you tell me where I just reworded the same thing:
      Let’s see.

      Beginning paragraph.

      Overview of the game in question.

      General complaint of the story.

      Set up Bungie’s financial mishap.

      What Destiny gets correct.

      Destiny’s downfall.

      Breakdown of what makes a good narrative.

      Example: Titanfall

      Comparison b/w Titanfall and Destiny

      Example: Halo, another project by Bungie

      Combination of expectation, surprise, and creativity lent to this game’s failure

      Destiny’s lack of immersion

      Destiny’s lack of compelling features and rookie errors

      Issues with the codex

      Bungie’s obsession with their own website

      Breakdown of problems Bungie needs to make conceptually and artistically

      Destiny’s tragic potential as we approach Destiny 2

      Wish list of settings that Destiny needs to craft alongside the plot

      Generic execution combined with generic characters

      Lack of a tangible evil big bad

      Jarring classification system

      The over saturation of Peter Dinklage and the “Ghost” concept

      How the story robs the game of its great gameplay

      Lack of memorable characters, and development of your character alongside Ghost

      Complete lack of variety between missions

      Uninspired script that drags boredom from the voices of its characters

      How the game feels like Halo without feeling like Halo

      A needlessly overcomplicated narrative (using several examples)

      Comparisons between the assumptions made of the main characters and how Bungie is treating us

      Destiny’s identity crisis and how they botched the recipe

      My own ideas for Destiny, but more importantly how brief it took me to come up with it, while Bungie had years

      Yet another idea that could work just as well.

      How the mindlessness of Destiny actually does translate to “fun” for most players, despite all of this

      Question: what did you think?

  16. The article perfectly sums up my views on Destiny, but found it easier to file the disc in my ‘sucked-in-by-hype’ library and re-align my buying decisions to reviews. What many critics are possibly overlooking is the cash-flow that comes from the new demographic, more interested in tomorrow’s weapons and blam-blam continuum than in story-line. I saw a bunch of kids with it (8-11 yo) on the XBox One when Destiny hit the stores and they were engrossed in the amazing graphics and killing opportunities as though it were a collective cathartic experience. They were simply having fun. They had no idea what the story was all about. I helped them find a warp-drive and warped myself out of the very noisy room. I bought the damned thing which would not play on a standard XBox 360 console, and so invested a further $270 to get modern and now wished I hadn’t. Now I see I can buy additional chapters on line but won’t, because the fundamentals are missing. The classic tale of quest, challenge, triumph, emotion, denouement, those classic qualities that are omnipresent in all story-telling whether it be the ancients The Lady In White or web-based gaming. Then again, I rationalised, its probably just older-gens as me, who don’t get it. Not to be too unkind I did enjoy the challenges and finished the story, just to get my money’s worth…and i did. But at the end of a very long ordeal, it’s a bit like space-travel…all the logistics and expense and talent to get a rocket beyond the stratosphere…without a destiny.

    • I think you’re spot on. Destiny certainly caters to a different generation than mine. While I grew up on immense space opera first person shooters like Halo, these gamers grew up on matchmaking CoD and World of Warcraft. Good on them, but not so much for us “older” gamers.

  17. Been waiting for Halo Five. But won’t be paying 500 bucks for XBox One to play it. On the value of gaming to older folk, I have written for years to managers of retirement and aged-care institutions to get older dudes into gaming.Better than staring at the door for visitors who never come. I play these things on the hardest-levels and it really cleans the cobwebs out of the ‘retired’ brain cells. Has anyone done any research on hand-mind co-ordination benefits that flow from gaming? One of the buzzes out of gaming is when kids come along and say, ‘how’d you get through The Library?”

    • Xbox One isn’t $500. You can get it for about $350 these days, which is still pretty pricey. If I were you, I’d wait to make a decision until Microsoft announces the inevitable Halo bundle if you’re interested enough.

      I firmly believe that the kids who grew up on 80s arcade games will be active gamers in their old age. It’s hard to instill something as modern as gaming into the lifestyle of someone who didn’t have that as a child.

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