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The Evil Within finally released last week and it met with some pretty mixed reception. Despite what a lot of the reception has been like or all of the criticism I'm going to lob at it today, I found the game to be pretty enjoyable overall. While I had fun with it though, there is quite a bit that I feel should be addressed with it. As such, today I want to talk about what The Evil Within is, as a product presented to us, and also what it could have been based upon what the game offers.
The Evil Within is a strange game. In a time where the horror genre is in such a weird place, Shinji Mikami promised to bring it back to an era when it was well loved and received. What he delivered is essentially that, but it is also a game of two halves. Simply put, the game seems to be at odds with itself. Picture, if you will, two different types of survival horror games. In one hand you have Resident Evil 4; the action packed, tense game that still holds a place in many hearts today, while also begrudged by many others as the first step down the path that has slowly ruined the genre over time.
In the other hand, however, you have something new. A game that threatens to really break the mold, one that has the capability to truly revitalize the staling genre by taking the wonderfully psychological nature of Silent Hill 2 and giving it some old school Resident Evil tweaks, a Last of Us-esque stealth system, modern controls, and an incredibly cinematic look. What seems to have happened with The Evil Within is that these two games were mashed together to make a game that has all the pieces necessary to create something masterful, but chooses to hold it back by playing it safe and seeking to remind people of the other game that Mr. Mikami made that you probably loved.
It honestly feels like the creation of that second game was their intention, but they were worried that it wouldn't be received well; that people would cry for more action, because that seems to be what developers and publishers have decided that we want. If you have yet to play The Evil Within then you may think that I'm overreacting, that surely one would expect a survival horror by the man who created the award winning RE4 to play somewhat similarly, but no my friend. There are scenes in Evil Within, entire chapters mind you, that feel as if they were ripped straight from RE4. Not just similar, but legitimately feeling like you could replace Sebastian with Leon and you would not be able to tell the difference.
There are long sequences in run down villages with waves of zombie-esque villagers with torches and pitchforks climbing through windows and you using all the weapons at your disposal to fight off the seemingly never ending tide as your partner slowly unlocks a nearby door. Out of the 15 chapters in Evil Within I would say at least 3 or 4 of them feel like they take place in locations left over from RE4 development. Now, I thoroughly enjoyed Resident Evil 4 and I'm sure many of you did, but the issue is that these parts of the game are at odds with the rest of it.
The parts of Evil Within that don't feel like RE4 material are by far and wide the highlight of the game. There are fantastic sequences of you running for your life from one terror to find your self falling against gravity until you fall through a wall and end up in an entirely different setting. There are tons of great environments and monsters that mess with your head and make you wonder “just what the FUCK is going on here?!” and I LOVE those moments. Unfortunately, those moments are then broken up by the aforementioned action scenes or a fight in which you can easily get killed from full health in literally one hit.
These one hit kills are not rare either, they come frequently. The ones from traps can mostly be forgiven, as you can spot all traps if you're observant and careful enough, which should be expected of you. However, there are plenty of fights with enemies who can easily kill you in one hit and these can be painful. There is a many limbed, long haired enemy that you've likely seen in trailers or early demos who you have to face on multiply occasions and on any of these occasions if she so much as touches you then you will be locked into an animation from which you must watch your self get ripped apart, regardless of your health. I noticed in many reviews that reviewers felt that the game was unfair, but these one hit death encounters are probably the only times I truly felt like I was up against unfairly balanced odds.
If you want more proof that the game seems to work against itself and seems to be of contradicting ideologies then look no further than its presentation. The developers of The Evil Within went to great lengths to make this game as cinematic an experience as possible. The game runs at 30 fps, with a film grain filter, and a wide aspect ratio with incredibly large black bars along the top and bottom of the screen. When you're going through one of the more finely crafted chapters of the game you can really get into this immersive experience.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, these are quickly broken up. Once you've gotten in the swing of the game and you're wandering through the creepy mental hospital or mansion environments and you're really feeling into the experience, you'll then be pulled completely out of it by a large, ridiculous “CHAPTER CLEAR” screen with a big picture of the big threat from that chapter on a bloody screen with save and next chapter options. These screens serve no purpose but to pull you out of the experience. Nothing good is added to the game by these existing. It's there simply because it was in Resident Evil and that's not a good reason. Why would you go through such great lengths to make me feel like I'm having a cinematic and immersive experience only to rip me from it?
The Evil Within is both a very good game and also a pretty big disappointment, and no these two are not mutually exclusive. This game had all of the necessary pieces to create a new survival horror experience that could have been ranked among the best of the genre, but unfortunately those pieces were stitched together with RE4 threads and made in a way that feels like the safe way out. So many fantastic psychological and creepy moments placed adjacent moments that you feel as if you've already played through 9 years ago. I'd still recommend Evil Within to any fan of the genre, but just know what you're getting into. Thanks for reading.
We all have our little quirks in life, and many of us have them in video games as well. I'm referring to those little things that you do, consciously or otherwise, when playing different types of games. Maybe you roll everywhere instead of walking in Zelda or maybe you can't stand not having your inventory sorted in a certain way in RPGs. I've got a few things myself that I stick to when gaming, so I'll tell you some of mine and then you can tell me yours!
When ever I'm playing an RPG for instance, if I am at all invested in the characters, I will generally use the characters I actually like rather than characters that may be better stat wise. In Final Fantasy VI I always seem to end up with a party of Setzer, Sabin, Shadow, and Gogo solely because they are awesome. The fact that I play these types of games in this way is actually one reason I'm very happy that Dragon Age: Inquisition is removing dedicated healers, because I despised having to either take the one character designed for healing with me all the time or just going healer myself in the previous games.
Dark Souls is a game that easily lends itself to many different types of players. I have a lot of quirks for this series alone. For example I pretty much always lean towards melee. If I play a character who has spells those are always secondary to my melee ability. I also always rely heavily on dodging, only really making use of my shield on little guys between bosses. The fact that there are so many different ways to play the Souls games leads a lot of people to create little quirks or personal challenges to make replays more interesting.
In one playthrough of Dark Souls II I decided to do a dual wield only Lucatiel armor run. I made a bee-line for Lucatiel, killed her so that I could have her fabulous looking light armor, and then played through the entirety of the game using only that armor and never using a shield. While it seems like you should be asking “okay, but what do you gain by doing that?” I'd actually recommend trying random stuff like that, because you never know how it will affect your overall outlook on the gameplay mechanics.
Doing a playthrough where you're forced to dodge rather than block can help you not rely so heavily on that shield the next time you play. The “Lucatiel's armor only” bit was just my personal game of “Fashion Souls,” the game everyone should be playing. Looking cooler is always higher priority than being more effective in battle!
When I play stealth games like Dishonored I have a particular way I play as well. I always personally challenge myself to use complete stealth and take out every enemy I come across in complete silence, leaving no one standing behind me. If I get seen I generally restart from the previous checkpoint. I can't really explain why, that is just the way that I personally view as the most enjoyable way to complete a stealth game.
There are plenty of other more inconsequential quirks I have as well, like the fact that I always play a game on Normal difficulty the first time through, regardless of how difficult or easy it turns out to be. When playing Ocarina of Time I always do Spirit Temple before Shadow Temple. I go and get the Lens of Truth from the well and then skip straight to the desert. I also always keep my ocarina on the C-down button at all times. I can't explain why that matters to me, it just does. When playing Pokemon I HAVE to have a team of 6 relevant pokemon. I can't stand the idea of having 3 or 4 good pokemon and 2 bullshit entries that are just there for HMs.
So those are just a few of the weird gaming quirks I have. I'm interested in hearing if any of you have similarly weird personal things you do when playing different games, so feel free to share them with me! Thanks for reading!
This post contains full spoilers for Silent Hill 2. If you have somehow still not played through it then rectify that immediately and then return here.
October is here dear readers; the month that everyone's minds begin drifting towards the slew of horror games on offer. Bloggers will be recounting their tales of terror, youtubers will be scaring themselves on camera for your amusement, and nearly everyone with an interest in the genre will finally be playing through Evil Within come next week.
The horror genre is one that I've never really leaned one way or the other with. There are plenty of great horror games but usually it needs to be pretty unique to get me to try it out, rather than being a part of the landslide of first person indie horror games we've seen over the past few years. My favorite type of horror will always be of the psychological variety. I love the idea of the human mind being the true source of terror in a story. With that in mind I'd like to talk about what is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of psychological horror: Silent Hill 2.
I've said it before and I'll say it again; Silent Hill 2 is a masterpiece of story telling. It's also a fantastic example of a series evolving and finding it's true potential. This is a game where the devs said to themselves “I mean, we've created this creepy setting and it's pretty cool, but surely there's more we can do with it than dark cult magic bullshit.” I'm no huge fan of the first game (nothing against it, it just wasn't up my alley), but the second entry is one of my favorite games ever. From the brilliant introduction that tells you just what you need to know to get started to the creepily bizarre characters to the fantastic enemies that all have meaning behind their designs.
Silent Hill 2 isn't necessarily a game that exists to try and make you jump from your seat or be terrified to sleep at night; what it really wants to do is make you think to yourself “...what the FUCK is going on right now?!” and it does a damn good job at that. The town of Silent Hill is so incredibly surreal that it's difficult to not become completely enthralled in it. Seeing insane sights like the infamous “There was a hole here. It's gone now.” sign or the strange prison deep beneath the historical society leaves you so incredibly intrigued that you can't stop yourself trying to find some small form of understanding.
If you're unfamiliar with the premise of the game or have forgotten over the years then allow me to enlighten you: James Sunderland has received a letter from his wife asking him to join her at their special place in the town of Silent Hill. The kicker here is that James' wife, Mary, is dead. While venturing through the foggy ruins of the town he discovers strange creatures and even stranger people. One of the latter is a woman named Maria; a gal who looks uncomfortably similar to his former wife, but with a much more forward personality.
Making your way through the town you battle many remarkably disgusting enemies who each represent something within James; the creepily attractive nurses representing both his difficulty staying committed to his wife and the terrible memories associated with hospitals, and the infamous pyramid head representing things such as his darker thoughts, his masculinity, and his desire for punishment. The amount of detail and thought that went into each of the character and monster designs is astonishing.
Equally impressive is the way the scenery and the mechanics of the game tell you even more about this crazy world of Silent Hill, even when you think you're learning something completely different. For example: there is a fantastic scene in the prison area where you find Maria (whom you believed to have been killed by pyramid head earlier) locked in a cell. You make your way into the room adjacent to her cell and have a seat in a chair in front of the bars and have a conversation with her that leads to more questions than answers, with her briefly drifting into Mary's personality before snapping out of it to remind James of his place. During the scene the camera changes between angles around the room, swapping between her side of the bars and your own. This wonderfully subtle change in perspective plants the idea in your head that it may not be Maria who is really locked away, but James who is locked away in his mind and the pain hidden within it.
Learning the truth behind James' journey to Silent Hill is a moment of realization that I'm sure most who played this game will always remember. Finally making your way to you and your wife's special place and seeing the VHS tape of old memories and the truth behind Mary's death is a fantastic turn of events. Mary had been stuck bedridden in a hospital for a long time due to illness and James had been finding it harder and harder to cope with having to take care of her and remain faithful until he finally took her life in a moment of weakness and selfishness.
The letter he had received from Mary was written by her before her death to be given to him after she passed away from illness and James, in his fragile state of mind, used it as an escape to convince himself that he could somehow get his wife back. The specifics of the ending after that change depending on how you went through the game, but hearing Mary's voice read her full letter as James finally exits the haunting town of Silent Hill serves as a fantastic epilogue. It's a wonderfully tragic story of horror and suspense that keeps you going and looking out for the tiniest details in the strange environment.
The mind is the most terrifying place in the world in my opinion. No matter how much a movie or game or event scares you in the moment, when you're laying in bed that night it's your mind that convinces you that, even though you know that what scared you isn't real, you should still pull those covers up just a little bit higher just in case. A story where the fears a character is seeing are pulled straight from his or her mind and are therefore impossible to escape without coming to grips with them is a truly intriguing story for me. Imagine if your worst experiences in life; all the terrible decisions you made or thought of making, were given physical form. Your depression and your hate manifested in a form with the ability to inflict harm on you. THAT is true horror.
If you know of any other great psychological horror stories or just have a different idea of the pinnacle of the horror genre then feel free to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading!
Dear game developers: let's talk. There are some issues that I'd like to address with how games of different platforms are handled. I play games on whatever platform I feel like; sometimes that's PC, sometimes it's on a console, and sometimes a portable device, so I've had plenty of time to see the pros and cons of each. Let's start with console gaming problems.
The first thing I want to talk about is controls. How a game controls can be incredibly instrumental to someone's enjoyment of a game. Unfortunately everyone will not always agree on what are good controls for any given game. We've seen plenty of games try plenty of different control schemes over the years, but there is one major flaw that seems to exist in the majority of console games: why can I not just customize my own controls?
If I was to play a game on PC then, unless I'm playing a pretty bad port, I can usually customize the keyboard controls to my liking. If I'm playing on a console this is incredibly rare. All too often we're relegated to choosing between a couple of presets, but why? What is the downside to just letting us stick whatever buttons we want wherever we want? The fact that you give us presets shows that obviously you're aware that different people may want different setups so why not just give us full control?
There are a few games that do allow this kind of freedom, and it is wonderful when they do. If you play DmC: Devil May Cry on console you are able to change the buttons around however you see fit, which is great and something that I took advantage of! Hell even the new release of Hyrule Warriors gives you access to both two presets as well as being able to just set whatever you want for most of the buttons. If I want the triggers to be my attacks I can make that happen! When a Warriors spinoff (regardless of how fantastic of a spinoff it is) is doing a better job with control options than AAA GOTY contenders then there's something wrong. Give us presets for suggestions, but let us customize controls to our liking.
The second thing I want to talk about is this ridiculous Resolution War that's been going on since the new generation of consoles came around. 1080p is lovely and it is fantastic if you can achieve it, but sacrificing framerate or texture quality for the sake of perpetuating this ridiculous phase we seem to be going through is stupid. You'll often see people throwing out the pictures that show off just how big in relative terms 1080 is to 900 and 720, but here's the thing: consoles are meant to be played on a TV, and you're meant to be a reasonable distance from your TV. If you're playing on PC then resolution is a much bigger deal because your face is right in front of the monitor, making it easier to see the difference.
I'm not saying resolution isn't important or that it doesn't make everything look better, because it obviously does, but surely there is a compromise we can strike here. If you can hit 60 fps by sticking with 900p but pumping it up to 1080 will force you to lower it, then personally I would rather deal with the smaller resolution. That being said, I'm aware that there are people who are adamantly in favor of your race for the highest resolution possible.
There are people who would gladly play a game in 30 fps if that meant getting to have 1080p. Here's an idea for this problem if you feel the need to try and appease them as well: make the two ideologies an option in-game. Put an option in your game to lower the resolution for the sake of gaining framerate. Final Fantasy XIV did this for its console ports. I'm no game developer so I really have no idea how difficult this would actually be to implement, but I can't imagine it would be an overly substantial amount of work, especially considering that it could potentially please both sides of the divide.
Now let's move on to gaming in general with another issue; this one moving back towards objective problems rather than subjective. For the love of god please make each and every cutscene both pausable and skippable. It is utterly ridiculous that in 2014 there are still games that do not have both of these ideas implemented. If you use cutscenes to cover up loading, then as soon as the loading is finished the player needs to be given the option to skip.
I shouldn't even have to come up with an argument defending being able to pause cutscenes because there is no argument against it. If someone walks into my room to say something to me while I'm playing a game then I should be able to press start and pause that game without worrying that I'm going to miss something important that I'll never be able to see again unless I replay the game up to that point.
These are just a few notable examples of issues that I feel could really use resolving in our medium. If you can think of any other things that you think deserve to be re-evaluated in gaming then feel free to leave your thoughts below! Thanks for reading.
Very recently my dad suffered from a minor heart attack. He's doing alright, despite being stuck in one of the most uncomfortable hospital beds in history, but after going to visit him I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about the man who put me here; not just in life, but likely in this lifestyle as well.
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but possibly my oldest memory is of being a very small child playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project on the NES with my Dad. My memory is generally pretty terrible, but a lot of the things I do remember from my childhood can be related to gaming in some way. Sure, I have more “normal” memories of time spent with him, playing catch and what have you, but seeing as I write about games I'll try and keep it gaming related.
My Dad, as far as I can remember, is to thank for having that stuff around the house originally. My grandma (his mom) also had an interest that kind of stuff. I remember when we'd visit her house on occasion and I'd be more interested in going to her room to play The Legend of Zelda on that shiny gold cartridge than going outside to play with my brother and sister. Memories like that dot the barren landscape that makes up my childhood memories.
Experiences like that are what got me hooked on video games from an early age. If games hadn't always been there to keep my boredom away or to tell me stories or bring me together with people then I'd very likely be a completely different person today. That could be a good thing just as much as it could be a bad thing, but for better or worse this is who I am now. Over the years there were a handful of times when my Dad would sit to play something with me, usually with my brother or sister joining in. It wasn't really a regular occurrence, but it didn't need to be.
The game that I can remember him playing with me the most as a kid was Diddy Kong Racing on the N64. This is one of the few things I can think of in my life that has brought my brother, my sister, my dad, and I all together for an experience we all enjoyed. My Dad would always go for the little mouse character and the rest of us would just go for whoever looked good at the time. Racing each other in planes and karts, battling each other on versus stages, stealing each others' eggs in that friendship ruining mode; these are things that keep Diddy Kong Racing in a special place in my heart.
My parents ended up splitting up around the time I was in 6th grade or so, and I started seeing him less and less as time passed. He'd take us to school in the mornings for a while, then we'd just go see him every other weekend, then as we got older it just became a matter of seeing each other whenever I was willing to drive to see him, and now I don't even live in the same town as him. After that, the only time I can think of when I actually played anything with my Dad was when I got a Wii at release and took it over so we could all play Wii Sports. That may be a more cliché example of gaming with your family, but it's still a nice memory to have.
The gaming memories I have with my Dad are incredibly rare if you look at them as parts of my entire life, but the fact that they are some of the few things I can still remember at 25 speaks for itself I think. In a world that constantly overwhelms me at every turn, video games are what keep me sane. If I get stressed, depressed, or just bored (all things that happen far too often), I can always load up a game to take my mind off of it. In my mind I'll always consider that as thanks to my Dad.
He may not have always been around, but I never really made a whole lot of effort to be around him either, and this kind of stuff works both ways. These may be things that only I remember, and I'm most likely the only one for whom they're important, but there they are nonetheless. So thanks, Dad. And thank you for reading.
I have decided to move my weekly piece to Mondays now that games are starting to get released again. If last week's piece has taught me anything it's that you do not want to release something that you want people to pay attention to on the same day as one of the biggest releases of the year.
Well friends, Destiny is here. The long awaited return by Bungie has been released and it's actually very solid. Unfortunately, Destiny's unique mix of game styles places it in such a unique category that it can be hard to decide just how good or lacking it is. I've played all through the story, tried out the different modes (with the exception of the raid) and put in a solid 15-20 hours in the game, so let's talk about it.
I should first point out that the experience I've had with Destiny has been, for the most part, a pleasant one. I enjoyed going through the story missions and experiencing the new planets as they came along. I didn't even hate Peter Dinklage's performance as much as so many others seem to have. I find him to fill a nice role as a not quite human level AI but not full robot either. Not every companion AI needs to feel like a human. The problem with Destiny is in its strange new mix of genres that it embodies.
Destiny is a combination of FPS, ARPG, and MMO styles of play. Unfortunately, it fails to stand out in any of these categories. If you look at it as primarily a FPS title then you have to notice the lack of emphasis on story in the story mode or the lack of anything really new or unique in the multiplayer modes. The universe that Destiny takes place in is full of potential and could be home to incredibly interesting stories, and yet none of that is given its chance to shine in the game. There isn't quite enough variety in the missions themselves either. Occasionally you'll find yourself in the seat of a weaponized vehicle but they are always one seaters and as far as I saw there are only two types in the entire game, with one not appearing until the last planet. Enemy types and environments change with each planet, which is one thing the game certainly has going for it. It constantly gives you new settings to look forward to and new enemies and fight off.
If you look at it as an ARPG then there's a severe lack of stats to build up or abilities to gain access to on any one character. Each class has three stats; one that lowers the cooldown of their special ability, one that lowers the cooldown on their grenade, and one that lowers the cooldown on their melee ability. Each character class does have its own talent tree to go through but many of the things you'll unlock in the tree are variations on other things you unlock or are just changes in your armor, recovery, or agility. As a warlock your tree has three different types of grenades that work differently, but only one can be used at a time. Similarly you can change how your special ability works, but that will be used so rarely that it doesn't feel as badass or important as it could. Your melee ability is probably the least interesting of the three because it's simply an extra effect that will happen when you melee an enemy. Maybe you'll steal life from the enemy or maybe you'll gain a speed boost, but from a gameplay perspective you're still just punching the enemy.
So do you treat Destiny as an MMO primarily then? If so then you'll have to note the lack of variety the game offers or its major lack of social features. There are three classes to choose from in Destiny, each with some unique features, but regardless of who you pick or what race you choose to play as, you'll still be playing through the exact same content as anyone else. There are no separate paths you can level through. It has been said multiple times, even by Destiny's Executive Producer, that the game evolves as you go through it, becoming a new experience altogether when you reach max level. I don't find this to be a fair statement at all.
One of the most important things to consider when making any kind of MMO experience is a way to keep people playing it. This is something that, currently, Destiny lacks. To say that the “real game begins at max level” is incredibly silly, because you know what you have to do as a max level character in Destiny? The exact same things that you've been doing the entire game. You can do heroic strikes, which in my experience have been exactly the same as they were originally, just balanced around higher level characters. You can do PvP, which you could have been doing the entire time. You can run around doing patrol missions on the planets, which you can do while leveling and also net you next to nothing for doing them.
There will be a single raid for max level Destiny players to go through when it opens, if those players have managed to accumulate powerful enough gear by then and can find 5 other people willing to run the raid with them in a game that has no real social features to speak of. Gathering the gear is a chore in and of itself. It doesn't really require you to go out of your way to do anything challenging, it just requires you to spend a lot of time doing the same things you've been doing.
You can acquire gear in a few ways at max level: it can randomly drop from enemies, you can receive it as a reward for completing a strike, as a chance reward when playing PvP, or by purchasing it from factions. Buying gear from factions is actually the only reliable way to get GOOD gear and it requires a solid amount of grinding to get. The gear you get from strikes or enemy drops or even PvP (regardless of whether or not you win) isn't guaranteed and it definitely isn't guaranteed to be good. After one heroic strike I was given a Rare quality chest piece that was only level 16 and actually had worse stats than the level 14 chest piece I had been using for hours. To get gear from factions you first need to build up that faction's reputation, which is a relatively slow process.
Building up Vanguard rep requires you to either do Vanguard (PvE) bounties or doing Patrol (repeatable) missions on one of the planets. Of the two, only bounties provide a substantial reward in terms of reputation. Patrol missions don't even seem like they were thought out particularly well. If you are a level 20 and you go do a Patrol mission on Mars (the highest level planet) you will get the same boost in reputation as if you did a Patrol mission on Earth (the lowest level planet.) So why bother dealing with the higher level enemies? A solid question. Obviously, that leaves bounties as the preferred way to gather rep, as one bounty is worth at least 5x as much rep as one Patrol mission. Unfortunately, you can only hold 5 separate bounties, regardless of whether the bounties you hold are for PvE, PvP, or a mix of the two. Also, after doing your bounties the robot who gives them to you will run out and you'll have to wait for the substantial restock timer that he has on him.
Once you've reached the rank required to buy max level gear from a faction you then need to have a special type of currency to purchase those items. For the 2 main factions those are Vanguard marks and Crucible marks respectively. Not only do you get an incredibly small amount of these for doing max level activities such as heroic strikes, you can only get a certain amount each week. If one heroic strike nets you 3 marks, and it costs 65 marks to get one piece of gear, and you can only get 100 marks a week, that adds up to me having a bad time.
Bungie also seems to hope that players in Destiny will build a community with one another, but it fails to give players the tools to do so. The only way to interact with other players you meet in game is to invite them into a fire team. There is no optional proximity chat or anything that would allow you to meet others who may want to join you for a raid. If you wish to do a strike mission, which requires 3 players, then the game will find you the players you need. Raiding however, which requires 6 people, has no such feature. You have to gather that group yourself, in a game that doesn't have any features that allow for you to do that.
Now, I've had quite a lot of negative things to say about Destiny, but it has in no way been to just talk shit about the game. I believe that Destiny has a TON of potential and has the capacity and the devs behind it to make something truly unique and special, but it will require some serious work to make the game into what it deserves to be. Bungie has crafted a lovely core game that makes you want to keep playing it, now they just need to make it fun to continue to do so.