Destiny: Why the Critics Got This One Wrong

Destiny is one of the most hyped and now, the most misunderstood games in existence.

Destiny is one of the most hyped and now, the most misunderstood games in existence.

Disclaimer: This editorial reflects the opinion of one member of the VGRHQ staff and doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the site as a whole.

Hello, my name is Brad and I’ve been reviewing video games since the 16-bit era. In fact, I think my first review was for Super Metroid. Anyway, in looking at this whole Destiny fiasco and reading many of the reviews, I’ve concluded that for the most part, the critics definitely got this one wrong.

Yes, reviews are partly subjective so one could argue there’s no such thing as a “wrong” review. However, I’m speaking more about the approach and what appeared to be the expectations of most of the bigger reviewers out there. I’m not talking about hype; I’m not saying the guys that scored the game lower (GameSpot, Polygon, EGM, Giant Bomb, etc.) got suckered in and as a consequence, expected the world.

Destiny is a shooter. Why are the critics not recognizing this?

Destiny is a shooter. Why are the critics not recognizing this?

I’m talking about their expectations of what the game actually is. In reading some of the bigger reviews, I’ve noticed a distinct trend: It seems like the critics in question were expecting a completely different game, and were annoyed that they didn’t get it. I wonder, what did they really expect? Destiny was always going to be a multiplayer-oriented, shared-world shooter. There was destined to be repetition because that’s the way these games are.

There was little to no chance the story was going to deliver, because no story can thrive in a multiplayer-dominated environment, especially in a persistent world where everything has to change constantly, and a cohesive plot with actual character development just doesn’t fit. Anyone who thought they were going to get a top-notch narrative was just being naive. It was equally naive to believe the single-player entertainment would be just as fun or as rewarding as playing with others. With such games, that is never – and could never be – the case.

Destiny is a very large game and it's just getting started. Don't forget that.

Destiny is a very large game and it’s just getting started. Don’t forget that.

Granted, the world could be fuller and the missions could be more diverse. But don’t forget that for all intents and purposes, this is an MMO, and should’ve been treated like one in the reviews. This is a starting point, not an end point. The Destiny of 2016 will not be today’s Destiny. Just about every element of the production will be bigger and better in due time and while I never support the release of half-finished products, Destiny never felt half-finished to me. It just felt like the beginning of a massive experience.

Yes, you run around and you shoot stuff. You team up with others and shoot more stuff. You earn better equipment that enables you to shoot bigger stuff. This is indeed an online shooter at its core. That’s how it should be evaluated and these are the standards critics should’ve adopted for their analysis. If you really think about it, for what it is, Destiny delivers in almost every way possible for the FPS fan and furthermore, the future is awfully bright.

All right, end rant.

7 thoughts on “Destiny: Why the Critics Got This One Wrong”

That’s an interesting viewpoint.

It has merit too, but again, I think it’s more about critics simply expecting more from what was supposed to be the defining “next-gen” game of the generation so far.

They didn’t get it wrong. Just because it’s a shooter doesn’t mean it can’t be innovative, and innovation is basically what Bungie promised over and over and OVER for a very long time. The critics had every right to be disappointed.

It’s probably a combination of factors. Critics just wanted more and didn’t get it, while some gamers have no problem with not getting more. It’s just a clash of interests, I think.

They may have gotten it wrong but I still think Destiny isn’t all that great. Reviewers could’ve fallen prey to all the hype, but the bottom line is that many reviewers still don’t acknowledge that the game isn’t all that mind-blowing.

On the contrary, I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing from the critics. They may not be flat-out saying it all the time, but it’s obvious to me from their reviews that they admit the game isn’t mind-blowing.

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