On September 9, 2014, a community of gamers eagerly picked up one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year, Destiny. Two of the most respected, heavy-hitting, and consistent game studios teamed up for the first time to produce this video game blockbuster. Bungie, of Halo fame, and Activision, the producers of Call of Duty, combined resources to bring gamers an experience that was to be incredibly engrossing and rich in content. Destiny spent seven years and $500 million in development and advertising. This campaign made sure that the world knew Destiny was coming. Within half a year, over nine million copies sold. However, one has to wonder if Destiny has delivered everything that was promised.

Destiny is visually stunning; the lighting creates realistic shadows and gives a serious and beautiful depth to the environment. Colors can be loud and vibrant when necessary but can dull down to give a gloomy look and feel when the game calls for it. If a player has ever felt isolated in a game before, exploring the catacombs of the moon will give a new sense of dread. The game also carries a sense of wonder and excitement when embarking to new worlds, like Mars or Venus. Each world has its own feel. Every environment is different and provides challenges that the player must overcome.

As a gamer, it's always nice to have good graphics and beautiful scenery to enjoy, but what about the core of Destiny? Any player will tell you that any game comes down to two things: gameplay and story. The controls are tight and fluid; there is no sense of delay or lag when vanquishing enemies. This lends to how very gratifying the experience is, especially when you receive in-game loot for your actions. As the player, you are tasked with complete missions and are rewarded with new weapons and armor for each accomplishment. Each new piece of equipment modifies the player's stats in some way to accommodate that player's style, both aesthetically and in play. On top of all of that, playing with friends online in a "fire team" can earn even better loot.

However, the single-player experience is lacking in storyline. Destiny centers on you as a customizable Guardian. The Guardians are protecting the last city on earth from "The Darkness". "The Darkness" is a coalition of creatures who are hell-bent on destroying everything and everyone in their paths in the name of a parasitic god. It is up to the players and the other Guardians to stop "The Darkness" and bring light and peace to the few remnants of life left on earth. When the game begins, players must choose from one of three races: Humans, Awoken, or Exo. The Awoken are humans that have been touched by "The Darkness", and the Exo are human-like androids. Once a player has chosen a race, they can choose one of three classes: Titan, Hunter, or Warlock. From this point forward you're on your own. Each player must piece the story together by exploring the environment, talking to other characters, and collecting Grimoire cards, which act as small articles on subjects in the world of Destiny.

Since its launch, Destiny has been a nearly unrivaled success and has been critically acclaimed as one of the best games of 2014, as well as a fantastic start to the newest generation of home consoles. Even with all of this, there are some complaints. Some gamers found that the story was too thin and the addition of Grimoire cards aren't enough to flesh out a fully realized narrative. Others have complained that the drop system for the loot is unfair or unbalanced, giving advantages to some and not others. Despite these minor oversights, the game is still played in huge numbers online with a rabid and loyal fan base. Any gamer who is a fan of first-person shooters or one who wants to be engrossed in a unique world filled with grand challenges needs to jump on the Destiny bandwagon immediately. The studios already have ten more years planned out for the future of Destiny, so the sky is truly the limit.

Challenging Destiny Trailer

Justin Sellers is a senior English major and a pretend Psychology major. In his spare time Justin fights the monsters under your bed, then contemplates that maybe he's the monster.