We all play games for different reasons. Some people do it to completely immerse themselves in another world, others prefer to compete with other players, while some gamers just want to mow down pedestrians in GTA. Whatever your reason, most people would agree that having something new to do keeps gamers switched on.
Fresh content, especially with MMOs, is essential. It stops the daily grind from becoming too stale and even a change in the meta can lead to gamers completely modifying their play style.
Aside from a few limited time events and a relatively content-light DLC, Destiny hasn’t really changed that much since The Taken King came out in September 2015. So what is it about the sodium-powered, space-fantasy shoot-em-up that keeps mediocre players like Hitbox Gaming coming back again and again?
Not all shooters are created equal. If you quickly switch between COD, Battlefield and CS:GO you’ll notice a huge difference in how they play. Movement speed and mobility are both telltale signs of which FPS game you’re playing but the biggest differentiator, and what makes Destiny really stand out for Hitbox Gaming, is the gun play.
I’m no technical whizz kid and I can’t explain exactly how Bungie has made doming a bunch of thrall or a shotgun rusher in the Crucible feel so good, but it just does. The consistent rate of fire and aim assist with guns like Hand Cannons or Scout Rifles allows you to get into a rhythm, almost a trance, of blowing heads off of hordes of alien monsters. Killing things in Destiny is percussive and therapeutic, like playing the drums.
Melees, grenades and other stuff that doesn’t involve aiming and shooting your gun is pretty important in most FPS games. Tactical placements of tripmines in Battlefield 1 can give you breathing room to hardscope in areas where you would usually be exposed. And a melee attack from behind is a one hit kill in most games. While we can all agree that abilities are a big part of most FPS games, very few shooters take it quite as far as Destiny.
At the start of Destiny, a little robot companion (originally voiced by Peter Dinklage before switching to Nolan North) reanimates your centuries old skeleton with some magical power from a giant moon thing called The Traveller. This magical power (The Light) lets your companion (Ghost) bring you back to life, as well as giving you some really cool abilities.
In PvE, these abilities can be used to clear big swarms of enemies or weaken bosses. They are situational and when used correctly help to make the game enjoyable and interesting. In PvP, some of these abilities range from gaining a strategic advantage to being wildly overpowered in the right hands.
Abilities in Destiny aren’t just a nice addition, they are a major part of the game. They seamlessly fit into your Guardian’s arsenal, needing no additional overlays or menus to work. After only a few hours your super abilities, grenades and melees naturally become part of how you play the game. Space Magic in Destiny gives players the variety of play style needed to prevent the game from becoming stale.
If you’ve ever played a game like Diablo or a Bethesda open world RPG, chances are you’ll understand the appeal of loot. Finishing quests and killing stuff becomes of secondary importance to the excitement of the shiny new stuff the enemies dropped afterwards. It’s addictive.
Destiny is one of the few “Shoot and Loot” games out there. You kill alien monsters, you get loot; you go into the Crucible against other players, you get loot. Loot is everywhere in Destiny and most of it is trash.
The loot chase makes you want to play just a few more Crucible games to see if you can get that god roll Clever Dragon. You just want to finish a couple more strikes to get that Exotic chest engram to drop. You end up spending a few hours every week running the same Raid for loot.
And then the meta changes. Your previously god roll guns are being outgunned by different weapon archetypes. It’s back to the grindstone to retain that advantage. But that’s not a bad thing. It keeps you coming back for more and forces you into trying new play styles and gives you new weapons to farm for.
If you love a game, does new content even matter?
Why should Guardians have to play another game just because they’ve run out of new content? Why is it so different than football fans playing FIFA for an entire year?
If your main reason for gaming is to relax after a long day at work, you may not want to immerse yourself in a new story. You may just want to spend a few hours shooting some aliens in the head, throwing space magic all around and picking up some sweet loot.