I wasn’t overly fond of Destiny when it launched last year. I enjoyed the tight FPS controls on my PS4, but the hackneyed story, the repetitive progression, and the overall disjointed feeling of so many long loading screens between everything eventually pushed me away. But I recently came back, and this time I think I might stay for a while.
The reason why is pretty simple. The game as of patch 2.0 is in far better shape than it was when Destiny launched, and perhaps most importantly: I bought a CronusMax and can now play Destiny with a Mouse and Keyboard. These things combined, plus a fair amount of hype driven by endless posts across the web, have me giving Destiny another shot these days.
And I’m pleased to say that I think the game has improved a great deal since launch. I’ve started over complete, so there’s little I can say about the House of Wolves and Dark Below content just yet, but the base game feels overall tighter and more complete with the recent UI upgrades, leveling seems far more fluid, and yes… loading is much speedier, making those many spaceship interstitials far easier to bear.
I still can’t help but wonder what kind of game Destiny would have been if Activision and Bungie hadn’t decided to keep the first iteration on PS3 and XB360 as well as the new consoles. It’s plain to see that the game has suffered in terms of tech by sticking to those older and antiquated consoles. My only hope is that Destiny 2: Electric Boogaloo avoids those platforms and sees a much more open and shared MMO world than this original incarnation.
But I digress, I’m here to tell you that the quality of life is better in Destiny these days. You can take multiple missions, have up to 10 bounties active, and the horrid grind that was level 20 and beyond is gone because the “Light” level has been reworked into something akin to a Gearscore, while the level cap is being raised to 40 (obtainable through normal XP gain). In short, Bungie really listened to its players, and though both House of Wolves and The Dark Below expansions met with mixed press and player reviews, it seems the extra time taken to work on The Taken King has met with an expansion’s worth of content features that players actually appreciate.
Now, our own Steve Messner will be helming the official review of TTK over the next couple of weeks, so for my part I’m just talking about the initial “Vanilla Destiny” experience. I remember having to putz around the open patrol zones of the Moon and Russia in Destiny 1.0 just to get to the next level in order to proceed with the story. So far since re-rolling and just doing story missions I’m level 9 and haven’t had to take to the patrol missions except when I wanted to do a Bounty. If you’re starting Destiny now, or coming back, I’d highly suggest starting a new character if it’s been a while since you played. The early story remains unchanged, but Nolan North as Ghost (Peter Dinklage was recast) is admittedly nice and the whole process of going through the base game seems a lot more evenkeel.
If you’re really new to Destiny, paying $60 for The Taken King full edition of the game is a steal. You’ll get the base game, and all three expansions for the same price vanilla users paid a year ago. It’s a no-brainer if you’ve been itching to try the game out.
But the main thing that’s really got me enjoying my time in Destiny this go round? It’s that CronusMax dongle I mentioned. This little beauty of a device, with a little bit of set-up on the mouse sensitivity to make it perfect, has turned my mouse and keyboard into the controller I needed to truly enjoy shooters on my PS4. That is to say… it uses a cable link between your PC/Laptop and the console to let you control your games with an M/KB instead of the console controller.
Like I said, it takes some tweaking to get the moust sensitivity and settings just right, but some googling helped me find a few setups that were close to what I wanted. Once I had the settings just right, I couldn’t log out. If you’re like me and you prefer your shooters with a mouse and keyboard, and you prefer not to wait and hope Destiny one day comes to PC, the CronusMax was a worthy investment at around $70. Heck, I’ll probably use it for Uncharted later this year.
Is Destiny suddenly a perfect game with 2.0? Nope. Of course not. But it is a great deal more friendly to play, more natural to progress through, and less frustrating to enjoy. If you’re not a console fan, this little article won’t change your mind. That’s not my goal anyway. I’m writing more to those of you who, like me, put down Destiny after a week or two because it all just felt off somehow. That feeling is gone these days, and I’m gladly leveling a new Titan to see if I can this time at least hit the level cap before calling it quits again.