The Halo: Reach campaign was everything I could hope for in an action game. The story was easy to digest and framed every skirmish well. The trademark Halo sandbox skirmishes were engaging and varied courtesy of Bungie’s terrific artificial intelligence. They even snuck in an unexpected dog fighting section to cap off their final contribution to the Halo universe.
My hope for Destiny was simply Halo: Reach Expanded. I saw the pre-release demos (those weren’t really alphas or betas) as teasers and believed Bungie was holding back content for the final release. I hoped for vehicular combat in the vein of Halo’s warthog. I hoped for space battles because they offered a selection of ships in the demos and Bungie were no strangers to aerial combat. I even believed there would be grand battles where squads of players boarded giant walking tanks a la Halo 3. Bungie were known for their action games and although there were glimpses of MMORPG tendencies, the pre-release information and demos did not indicate Destiny was going to conform to the genre’s tropes.
Boy, was I wrong.
Destiny met my lowest expectations and that was it; the beta was actually representitive of my twenty hour Destiny experience and that was huge bummer. Like 2007’s Assassin’s Creed, the bulk of game’s layout consisted of copying and pasting the same gameplay loop across a handful of beautifully crafted vistas. No amount of model changes or poorly delivered story justifications could mask the repetition of the game’s structure.