I’m late to the whole console gaming thing … I know. I’ve always been a PC Gamer and very much dismissed the console especially in its earlier incarnations and with the games that they had then. I’d always been more of a strategy gamer with titles like Civilization, Master of Orion etc… and actually wasn’t into the first person shooter style of gameplay at all. I never really enjoyed it – especially the player vs. player – as it seemed mindless, boring and silly.
However I have had to change my mind and while I still believe that Civilization is one of the best games ever produced, over Christmas we bought a new Xbox One for my son (well he plays also!) and while there are a bunch of games on there one that I got for myself is Destiny. After doing quite a bit of research and reading up on different games for the console one of the things that jumped out for me about this game is not the graphics (which are really, really good), or the story (which is OK, somewhat engaging, but not really a key differentiation) but rather the community that play the game.
Being a PC Gamer I’m used to playing games by myself. Sitting and staring at a computer screen plotting out my next move or sequence of moves works for the loner. First person shooters however are infinitely different and while you absolutely need to react faster than you do in strategy games, the distinction here is that in some missions you simply cannot do it all by yourself. There are simply too many different enemies attacking in succeeding waves that regardless of how good you are, unless you want to spend day after day grinding through the same mission until you’re at a high enough level to survive, help is almost essential. That’s where co-op play comes into … “play” … and unless you have tons of friends with the same game and more importantly the same schedule you’re stuck with the luck of the draw when the server assigns you to different groups in missions. Perhaps a bit of a non-sequitur but even Kirito (from Sword Art Online) eventually realized that he needed to join a guild!
One of the best things that I’ve found in Destiny though is a group that matches MY requirements. Namely the Dads of Destiny. Perhaps a bit of a corny name it is – at least in my case – 100% accurate. The sad fact is that when you’re participating in a raid or a strike (the names given to the more advanced missions within Destiny) you are committing yourself to at least one hour of uninterrupted gaming time. Quite often with 20 year old kids with little to no responsibility and the reflexes of an Olympic level shooter! While there is enjoyment it is somewhat muted knowing that you’re being outshot consistently and also that if your wife calls, or the kids need your help you have to go. Your concentration – unless quite late at night – is never 100% and even then you have to get up for work the next morning so you can’t spend too much time blowing up monsters!
With the DoD’s though it feels different. While I’ve only joined in a couple of missions so far they are more than anything else … helpful. They want to help you get your character to that next level and they’re not there to compete, but rather to assist. I know my experience might be limited to the few members that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and playing with, the impression I get is that they are all in this for the group and not just themselves. It’s actually quite humbling to be honest (see the video tribute posted below to get an idea of what I mean) and I hope to be able to return the favor in the future myself as I get my character (come find me if you’re a player – I’m “glassishalf”) to the next level and help other new members grow their own.