I am a lot more excited for the release of the new Forza title than I thought I’d be. Ive recently been seeing more and more gameplay videos online and each one of them grabbed my attention more than the one before. I was a big fan of the Test Drive games, unlike quite a few people, because of it attention to detail with the vehicles, but with complete free-roam and huge open landscapes to explore with all different types of cars. I am also a fan of the utter amazing detail in the vehicles of Forza Motorsport 5, so you can imagine how I feel about Forza Horizon 2. Admittedly, I haven’t played the first title of Forza Horizon, but for good reason. I was a huge fan of Forza Motorsport from the second title, and I didn’t want to ruin my experience of the game by playing a spin-off that made it into a gimmick. Luckily the first game got a lot of good attention, but I always felt Forza could do better with the idea of a free-roam. This game seems to be ticking all of the right boxes for myself, hence I am very happy to see it coming to the next-gen consoles.
This is a review about a few aspects of my experience while playing the new highly anticipated game, Destiny, on Xbox One. First I would like to talk about the character element of the game. There is not one single protagonist as such, but you are the main character of your game experience. To further explain, you are helping to fight a larger cause than just one protagonist could accomplish, or so the storyline foretells. Whereas you do defeat the main enemy cause alone, or with a couple of your friends. The game gives a great player customisation, it is not so complex that you end up getting bored or confused, but with a nice variety so that you input your own personal ‘flare’ on the gameplay. You play as a ‘Guardian’, and you are one of many, but every Guardian has his or her own ‘Ghost’. Not to give away to many spoilers, but a Ghost is appointed by ‘The Traveller’- a huge spherical, mechanical ball in the sky. There are a few AI controlled characters, but they do not have much affect on the story, or any background whatsoever, although you do end up interacting with them quite a bit for story progression. I do not feel like they made a mistake with the way the player was not controlling one sole protagonist, as for the online gameplay experience they have opted to go with suited it very well.
The environments on this game are very well thought out, although I have to say, because they were planets in our own solar system, there was not too much ‘innovation’ here. Even though the developers didn’t completely create the environments from their imagination, the attention to detail was admirable. For example, on Mars the footprints were soft and rounded, because of the sandy environment, but on Earths Moon the footprints were quite detailed due to the lack of winds and the type of ground material. Obviously there were structures that were placed on these planets, but although they seemed like they fitted in very well with the storyline, they felt a little unoriginal. I can’t completely fault them for this as they still made it very enjoyable to see because of the amount of sheer detail in the models. There is a ‘base’ where you always come back to on Earth called ‘The Last City’, the developers crafted this very well and put a lot of work into making the detail next-gen, especially with the foliage. Overall, the environments just feel ‘right’, it is hard to completely innovate a futuristic landscape, as there has already been so many, but Destiny did a great job at making sure it did not feel repetitive. I sometimes just finding myself looking around at the model and texture detail, especially on the wearable objects (armour, weapons, etc).
At first I had a little bit of difficulty with the arrangement of the controls, this is because they are a bit of a mix between the original ‘Halo’ franchise controls and normal first-person shooter controls. Quite quickly I adjusted and found that the button placement was very functional for myself. Destiny does allow for customisation of the controls, quite a bit at that, but one thing they didn’t do which I though would put everyones mind at ease completely, is allow for individual custom button binding. I can see why they might not have allowed this, due to the fact that the online multiplayer may be compromised, but the PC gaming community have been allowing this for quite some time now, so I think it would only be wise to allow this on consoles. Overall I do like the default setup for Destiny on Xbox One, but I can imagine that it won’t be optimal for everyone and it could discourage people from playing the game.
For a quick summary I would just like to say that I am pleased with the game and the way it has turned out, but I think the fact that it was hyped up so much, like a lot of games nowadays, the experience gets a little dumbed down. I understand completely that it is for advertisement purposes, but there is no feeling like getting an unpopular game and it turning out to be outstanding.
The link below is Matt Kamen’s in full in-depth review of Destiny on Wired.