Destiny Expansion – Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

Nov
19

Destiny Expansion – Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

It was the middle of September when I was in the local game store browsing the shelves, looking for the next game to play, when the friendly fellow who worked there asked if I need any help finding anything and struck up a conversation.  “Have you played Destiny?” he asked me as he pointed to it on the shelf.  “I’ve been playing as a Warlock with a few buddies” he continued, “and it’s been a lot of fun.  Kind of reminds me of a sci-fi Borderlands“.  I told him that I had played it but just wasn’t feeling it, and as our conversation continued and he asked me why, I explained that it’s just the same thing repeated and ultimately a shallow game.  “Oh” he remarked.  “Just wait for the expansion.  It’ll make the game great”.  I  simply nodded and said that maybe it would before letting him know that I was fine and he wandered off to help other customers.

While he meant well, the EB Games employee had actually hit a nerve.  I wasn’t mad at him, of course, but I was annoyed at the revelation his statement had put into my head.  If I spend $80 on a game after taxes (games be pricey in Canada), why should I have to spend another $40 before it actually becomes good?

First, let’s be clear about one thing:  I don’t hate Destiny.  I don’t think it’s a terrible game, but I do think it’s terribly disappointing game.  I bought it on launch day, played it for a few nights with some friends, then very quickly realized I was bored with doing the same thing over and over again.  Not in the way that every game is the same game over and over again (in any FPS you’ll shoot enemies over and over again), but in more of a “this game has tons of missions, but every single one has the exact same structure” type of repetition.  The actual shooting mechanics, that is, the actual control and feel of the guns and how they interact with the world and it’s inhabitants is solid.  In fact, it’s more than solid,  it’s downright incredible.  It’s not a stretch to say that Destiny is the best feeling shooter I’ve ever played, and I think that’s why I had such a great first impression of it.  From the moment you get your hands on that first rifle you can feel that the gunplay is polished and exciting and you can’t help but imagine all the cool stuff that lay ahead of you, which is exactly where Destiny falls apart.  That cool stuff never happens, and the solid foundation is never built upon.

The most common complaint against Destiny is that there’s just not enough content.  It’s a short game, and what content does exist is incredibly repetitive.  Some might say that’s the entire point; Destiny is a loot-based game at its heart, and loot-based games, almost by definition, contain copious amounts of grinding.  Unfortunately, even by this metric Destiny is lacking. It’s lacking in variety compared to nearly every other loot-based game, all of the really cool loot is entirely luck based and very hard to acquire, and there’s not even any semblance of plot or intrigue to string you along until you reach that next shiny pickup.  Despite what it’s large (and mostly empty) fields might suggest, Destiny is a small game and you can see most of what it offers within a few hours.

Destiny fooled me,  I expected it to be a much better game than it was.  That’s on me.  Sometimes game aren’t what you expected and turn out badly.  That’s okay, but what’s not okay is when you’re expected to fork over more money to “make it great”.  If you want to release a game at $100 ($120 in Canada) then go ahead and do that, but releasing a poor game and then asking for more money after the fact to fix it is an insulting proposition.  With how content-light Destiny is it almost seems as if we were sold an unfinished game, almost like Early Access without the warnings (and at full price).  Even worse, I’m afraid this might be the precedent for the industry.  If Destiny gets away with shipping a partial game and charging for the rest, I’m afraid that the rest of the industry might follow suit.  The slippery slope argument isn’t usually a good one, but videogames are ultimately a business, and a business is going to follow the money.

Of course, it goes without saying that I’m not going to be buying any of the expansions.  I’m going to cut my losses and not throw good money after bad.  If you enjoy Destiny then more power to you.  I’m not here to tell you what you can and cannot enjoy, and I’m genuinely happy that you were able to enjoy a game that I was not.  But I won’t get fooled again.

 

 

About Justin Arnott

Justin is the Founder of Controller Crusade and has played video games for as long as he can remember. He loves all games but there's an extra special place in his heart for anything created by Nintendo. He's also a big retro gamer and is deeply interested in video game history—so there's that. You can contact him via email at jarnott@controllercrusade.com or via Twitter @sirultimos

3 comments

  • Josip Benko
    Nov 19, 2014 @ 14:30 pm

    I totally agree with your statement. I was lucky enough to fight off my own hype for the game and ultimately did not end up buying the game. However, I have fallen into the pressure of IAP for phone games. I dislike how the Gaming Industry as taken this turn of events and how many companies feel that they can get away with this. On the one hand I understand that money is needed to run a business and etc. but I would rather them take their time and charge me the $100 like you said instead of $60 and then $20 for every expansion or patch update they release. One example of this is the indie developer of Retro City Rampage. I bought the game at $15 when it first came out and 6 months later he decided to release an updated version called Retro City Rampage DX for $8. I asked him what the difference was and all he told me it was an the original game with an update. I asked him if I could get a free copy of the game since I already payed double for the incomplete version and he said no. His reason…the new update allowed players to play on 3 Sony systems: PS3, PS4, and the handheld PS Vita. To be completely honest, it was a BS excuse. On top of that, I read another article by TIME that due to the fact that Gaming Companies feel that they can get away with releasing Alpha type games and charge for updates. That maybe it is better to simply wait 6 months and buy the new release of the game. This seems to be very true for many games and the most recent example would be Titanfall. It has just been announced that Titanfall Delux Edition will be released for $50 with all the DLC. When TitanFall first came out, it was a $60 game with payed DLC. In the one hand I feel cheated, but on the other hand it was my choice to buy it on release or wait. I am over it now, but I was a completionist and so if they released day one exclusive DLC I wanted it, but now, after being screwed over so many times, I got over it and wait to buy the games I want a few months later because they come out with an “Gold, “Exclusive”,”GOTY,” ” Master,” or “Redux,” edition.

    Reply
  • Dirk
    Nov 19, 2014 @ 14:21 pm

    If you buy a $60 (USD) game you should be guaranteed some content. Borderlands has a lot of content so even if the multiplayer didn’t work out it still has a lot of conent for Single Player. Destiny doesn’t have a lot cotent in comparison no matter how you play. If a Free-2-Play game is well um free…who cares? Move on because you haven’t spent any money yet.

    Reply
  • Solkard
    Nov 19, 2014 @ 14:10 pm

    Have you tried another “loot based” shooter game called Warframe? I’d like to see how you feel the two stack up. Warframe is F2P, so it shouldn’t cost you anything to give it a shot.

    Do you think reception for Destiny would have been better, had it not been a “finished” package game? I often think it would fit better into the genre of “perpetually open beta” F2P games.

    Reply

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