10 reasons you should start playing 'Destiny'

BungieDestiny’s next major expansion, ‘The Taken King,’ launches September 15.

If you own an Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, and you’ve never played “Destiny,” you owe it to yourself to try.

“Destiny” is made by Bungie, the same studio that created “Halo,” arguably one of the best games of all-time. If you never played “Halo,” it’s highlighted by incredibly rewarding gameplay, tons of guns and vehicles, and a sci-fi story centered on saving the universe from destructive forces.

Though the “Halo” franchise has switched hands — it now belongs to Microsoft-owned 343 Industries, which made “Halo 4” and is prepping the release for “Halo 5” later this year — Bungie has since moved on to a new, ambitious franchise, called “Destiny.” 

The initial release of “Destiny” was impressive from a sales perspective, but critics were lukewarm at first. That said, much has changed since the launch of “Destiny” last September; it’s a much different game than the one released 10 months ago. So if you’re still on the fence, consider these reasons to give “Destiny” a chance.

1. “Destiny” has all the same aspects that made “Halo” great. It’s another sci-fi story about saving the universe. It has great gameplay and a large array of weapons, which all feel great to use. If you like those things, you will love “Destiny.”

2. The “Destiny” community is incredible. If you want to attempt a “raid,” one of the biggest and best activities in “Destiny,” you’ll need up to six players. Unfortunately, Bungie doesn’t have any in-game tools to help you find friends — but that’s where the “Destiny” community comes in. On Reddit, for example, you can visit /r/fireteams to find a group to play any activity, like a raid. But if you just want to discuss your latest exploits, ask a question, or contribute to larger discussions, Reddit’s /r/DestinyTheGame subreddit is a super friendly, super safe place to find people who want to share their experiences with you, play with you, or help you.

3. There’s something new every week. The story missions in “Destiny” might be a bit tedious after the first run-through, but Bungie still tries to keep things fresh with its “weekly reset,” which happens each Tuesday. In those weekly resets, Bungie offers a new “Nightfall” strike — a difficult three-player mission that will force you to start over completely if you all die (no checkpoints) — as well as other special three-person missions that each come with their own modifiers: for example, one modifier might make your melee damage super powerful, while another modifier might make you more powerful while airborne. Beating these weekly strikes and missions will earn you sweet gear — namely, weapons, and more.

Destiny trials of osirisBungie‘The Trials of Osiris’ is an intense multiplayer activity that only appears on weekends, but it’s arguably the best part of the entire game.

4. The Trials of Osiris is a high-octane multiplayer experience. While the weekly reset offers plenty of newness for the week starting each Tuesday, the Trials of Osiris, which was introduced in the last major expansion pack “The House of Wolves,” is another way Bungie keeps “Destiny” feeling fresh on a regular basis — and it’s arguably the best part of the entire game. From every Friday to Monday night, you’ll have access to the Trials of Osiris, where you’ll need a three-person team to take out another three-person team on a specific multiplayer map; there’s a new map chosen each week. “Trials” is an elimination contest: Defeat all three enemies to net your team a point, and win five points to win a match. After each match, you’ll have a chance to win some sweet Egyptian-themed gear. But if you win nine matches without a single loss, you’ll get some incredible rewards — learn about those rewards here.

5. Exotic weapons and armour will keep you coming back for more. There are tons of guns in the game — auto rifles, scout rifles, hand cannons, sniper rifles, fusion rifles, machine guns, rocket launchers, and more — but you’ll continue grinding “Destiny” long after the story missions become stale to attain “exotic” weapons, which are extremely rare items that appear in yellow boxes. Exotic items come with perks you won’t find anywhere else: for example, an exotic hand cannon called Thorn deals lingering damage after you’ve shot someone, which renders their screen green and also makes them easy to track for a few seconds. There are only a handful of exotics in the game, but “Destiny” fans keep playing mainly to attain every single one of these rare, powerful, and extremely cool-looking items.

DestinyDestinyExotics.comThese are all of the exotic weapons and items currently in ‘Destiny.’

6. All of your rewards are random. There are only a handful of occasions where you can buy a special weapon or piece of armour; for the most part, these desirable items are given to you through “drops,” which happen at the end of most story missions, as well as weekly strikes and those six-person raid activities. You’ll also occasionally see “engrams” drop in-game, which are small boxes filled with light that you grab and take to a special character in the game to decrypt for you. Unfortunately, the main mechanic in “Destiny” is random number generation, or RNG for short. RNG means some players will get tons of the same rare item, while other players rarely get rare items to drop for them. As frustrating a system as this is, it’s the main reason many people keep playing “Destiny”: It means you can pour hundreds of hours into the game and still not get that Gjallarhorn you’re looking for (I’m talking about myself here). Yes, it’s unfair, but so is life. And furthermore, it makes finally attaining that item you’re looking for all the sweeter once it finally happens.

7. The six-man raids are the best part of the game. You might be familiar with raids if you’ve ever played “World of Warcraft,” but in “Destiny,” a raid is a six-person activity that requires lots of teamwork and problem solving to get through — and at several checkpoints throughout the raid, you’ll have a chance to win special gear and weapons, arguably the best in the game. Right now, these are the only activities in “Destiny” where you can get five other friends to play a specific mission with you. And while there are only two raids right now — “The Vault of Glass” and “Crota’s End” — both raids feel completely different from one another, and they’re a blast to play. Even if you didn’t enjoy the story missions in “Destiny,” you’ll absolutely love the raid activities.

Destiny taken kingYouTube/DestinyTheGameIn Destiny’s second expansion ‘The Dark Below,’ the raid activity called ‘Crota’s End’ drives you and five teammates deep into the moon to find and destroy Crota.

8. “Destiny” is never static; it will keep evolving for the next 10 years. As Bungie has stated several times, there is a 10-year plan for “Destiny.” Expect one major game release every two years, with a ton of downloadable content, including expansion packs, released several times throughout each year. Bungie says you will be able to use your original character from the first “Destiny” game in future versions, meaning your legend will only keep growing. You’ll never need to start completely from scratch unless you want to.

9. It’s a beautiful-looking game. If you’re into space and sci-fi, you’ll be entranced by the imagery in “Destiny.” Take a look at these screens below.

10. Dancing!
 “Destiny” is mainly about saving the universe, sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself. Check out clips below (the last one is the best one).

In just a few months, Bungie will release the next major chapter for “Destiny” — not an “expansion,” but not a full game either — called “The Taken King.” It looks awesome. Until then, though, now is the perfect time to give “Destiny” a try. You can buy the original game for just $US20 through Amazon, or you can pre-order the Legendary Edition of “The Taken King” for $US60, which will include that major expansion plus the original game and all the expansion packs released thus far, which you’ll be able to start playing immediately.

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