I do not play MMOs. I do not care all that much about multiplayer. I don’t like most first-person shooters. By all accounts, Destiny looks like the exact opposite of my type of game. Yet here were are at the end of 2014 and Destiny is my selection for Game of the Year. It was one of my most anticipated games of 2014, and while there have been some bumps since it’s release in September, the game has exceeded my expectations and is the game I sunk the most hours into this year.
Before Destiny was even released, I had probably already invested well over 20 hours playing both the alpha and beta on the PS4. Even though both only allowed players to visit a few areas in Old Russia, I never got bored or tired of playing them over and over again during the brief testing periods. Even in the alpha and beta, there was always some little nook to explore or a more powerful weapon to collect. There were even powerful Hallowed enemies that couldn’t be killed to tease players of what would be available in the full version of the game. I had seen plenty of gameplay videos and even a live demonstration during E3 before, but actually sitting down and playing the game myself, even in these early stages, reaffirmed my convictions that Destiny was something special.
Destiny‘s RPG leveling system coupled with the openness of an MMO provides players with almost an endless amount of entertainment. There are an abundance of weapons to collect and upgrade, many of which can only be acquired by playing specific game modes or missions. The story missions are pretty straight forward and are actually the least favorable sections of Destiny. They’re fun to play, but the story itself isn’t all that unique or interesting. Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones fame plays your Guardians’ own little personal assistance drone and is the most enjoyable aspect of the campaign.
Where the game truly shines is in its Strikes, Raids, and multiplayer modes. These offer much more difficult challenges than the single player campaign and will test every skill of a player. The raids in particular are especially challenging, although you need five other high level people in order to even attempt them. Thankfully, there is a passionate Destiny community out there that will have no problem in finding you a raid group or other people who can help take you through the insane requirements needed to succeed. No matter what your level is, there is always a challenge waiting.
Bungie has always stood behind it’s 10 year plan for Destiny and so far I think they’re doing a fine job supporting the game. There’s always something new whenever you log in. Daily Missions, Weekly Heroics, and timed multiplayer events are just a few of the modes that keep players constantly coming back and one of the reasons I’ve invested so much time this year already. Destiny has already released the first of hopefully many DLC expansion packs recently with “The Dark Below”, further expanding the game’s replayability with new story missions, strikes, raids, and multiplayer maps.
There has been some valid criticism of Destiny since the game’s release regarding the availability of content and it’s repetitive nature, but I personally haven’t grown tired of the game yet. Destiny has combined many of the types of games I never enjoyed playing before and turned them into something I’ve grown to love. For that, it’s no surprise that it’s my 2014 Game of the Year.