Halo developer’s new game falls short of expectation

Enio Chinca, Contributing Reporter

Many people know Bungie video game developers for creating the ultra-successful “Halo” franchise. Because of this massive fan base, Bungie stirred a lot of excitement when they announced the release of a new game called “Destiny.” Gamers had been clamoring for something new in a market starved of fresh content. Expectations instantly soared in wake of news of the upcoming game, as Bungie had proven time and again that they simply knew how to make good games.

The game stays true to “Halo” roots, designed as a first-person shooter, space combat game. The game features a detailed role playing system, allowing players to customize the classes, weapons and appearance of their character. The game features an open world for players to explore, alone or with others, to try to discover all the secrets hidden throughout the game. Bungie also includes special content for serious players who reach the maximum level.

Upon release, the game was immensely successful, generating over $500 million in revenue on its first day. This was in part because of Bungie’s popularity, but also due to the accrued excitement for the game itself. Unfortunately, this was the last victory the game would see. After playing the game for a few days, players began realizing the game was not quite what it was promised to be.

The game tries to appeal to many different kinds of players. Unfortunately, this leads to no aspects of the game being explored to their full potential. The art is beautiful, and the game plays fluidly, but fails to offer much beyond that. There are four worlds in the game and each is unique, but none quite reach the size we have come to expect for maps in massive multiplayer online games, making the game feel smaller than it could be. While it does offer RPG elements, none of the classes bring especially unique things to the table in the same fashion as a game like “Mass Effect.” Post-game content is poorly explained, which makes the max level experience much less exciting than it should be.

All criticism aside, “Destiny” is not a bad game. It is fun, feels polished and offers a mix of solo and group play. Perhaps if another publisher had released it, it would have been better received. However, in a market dominated by reputation, “Destiny” simply doesn’t match the quality of prior games made by Bungie. The game is new, and still has time to improve. But as it stands, “Destiny” lies a tier below its predecessors. It’s okay, but not great; for developer Bungie, this is a stumble in a history riddled with jumps.