A little more than a year ago, Destiny made its way into my living room. It was a warm September afternoon, when my finger brushed against a shiny new console, and the first image of the now-iconic Traveler appeared.
At the time, most gamers I knew were super into first-person shooters, (i.e, Call of Duty, ect.) but for the most part, were largely unfamiliar the MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) portion of Destiny‘s DNA.
Believe it or not, I was even further removed than that. Up until that afternoon, a strict ban of FPS’s had long been in place at my residence; only to to be lifted under the most special circumstances, which ironically enough, did not include any iteration of Halo.
Fast forward to a year later, and here we are. We spend nights saying things like, “OMG, I love this Hereafter jumpoff” in relation to a piece of exotic weaponry. During strikes, you can routinely hear people saying things like, “Let’s take care of all these ads, first.” And by “ads” they don’t mean pop-ups, but “additional enemies,” as in, other than the Boss.
It’s important to note that a year ago, “ads” was obscure lingo that only hardcore MMOG players used. Admittedly, it’s new to me too, and it’s only through @ExpertPenguin‘s unrepentant nerd-tasticness that I toss it off so easily today. Most interestingly, today it’s on the mouths/keyboards of so many of us, and we don’t even think twice about it. There are Forbes articles about the latest development in the ever-evolving world of Destiny posted pretty much every other day. And of course, now things like this exist:
Back in October, Jason Schreier over at Kotaku posted an exceptionally well-researched piece about Destiny’s tumultuous journey from conception to your messy ass bedroom. You should take some time out to read it, if you haven’t, because a)this post isn’t about that, and b) it highlights the level of expectations placed on Destiny from the very beginning.
When Destiny was first announced, the words “Space Epic” were being thrown around with pretty wild abandon, even though if we’re being completely honest, none of us really knew what that meant in relation to what we had seen up to that point. After all, sweet concept art does not an epic make. No sir, it does not.
Inevitably, we were disappointed. I mean, really. When you come out of the gate telling people you’re working on something akin to Star Wars, or Harry Potter with your (rumored) $500 million budget, you’re not only setting the bar pretty high. You’re tapping into a pool of cultural memories and emotional attachments that go beyond what the source materials ever dared hope to do in the first place.
What’s more, at launch, Destiny was a far cry from what we were promised. I mean, let’s be real for a second. This did not reflect the Destiny experience we received in 2014:
Still, it’s hard to argue Destiny hasn’t changed things in its own way, through all its growing pains. Having successfully married two genres within the gamesphere, it’s also converted me into someone who might play a traditional FPS without having to be plied with bribes or blackmail. Say what you want, but that’s pretty huge. I’ll bet you anything that if I’m stretching my gamer skillset, then so are many other people.
But in case that’s not enough for you, there is one undeniable aspect of Destiny that makes it pretty special. Its community.
Destiny is just no fun without friends, and if you’ve been playing from the beginning, you’ve had plenty of opportunity to make them. After all, what better way to make friends than through the shared adversity of what a lot of people considered to be a weird, stitched together Frankenstein of a game that was really, technically, in beta for much of its first year? We all became legend, but not in the way we thought.
In the end, Destiny may not the the grand space epic it initially set out to be, but thus far, it’s succeeded in telling a far more interesting story. The story of us, and how we band together for the sole purpose of utterly and decidedly extracting as much fun from any experience as we can. Oh, were you thinking Destiny could become that other kind of legend? It’s kind of a long line. But if you’re space wizard, or a space cowboy, or a space marine, then the legend is already here, and it’s being written by you.