Image captured by Hatmonster.
The release of Destiny is important. It is. Whether you love the game or hate the game, our general reaction to its release has made it important. Many of us, while definitely enjoying the game, have found ourselves disappointed with everything surrounding the core gameplay: the story, the characters, the by-the-numbers feeling that creeps up on you as you shoot your way though another gang of enemies, and so on. The reviews available so far have been fair and have definitely reflected this, yet it kind of feels like we’re all holding back somehow. It’s as if we feel like it’s too early to be casting our final judgments on the game since it just came out, but that’s just it: the very fact that many of us are approaching it this way is telling. We want the game to be better. We want to give it time to become better, and the real crazy catch of it is that, for perhaps the first time, it’s a desire that could actually be fulfilled!
It’s no secret that both Bungie and Activision have gone on record saying that they’re planning on supporting this new franchise for the haul. We’ve already got an expansion due out in December, with another set to release sometime early next year. It’s clear that the game as it is at launch is most definitely not going to be the same game even a year from now. So for perhaps the first time, we have a console game with the potential to grow from just “good” or “average” into “great” or even “excellent”! It’s a game with the potential for improvement within its lifetime, and that’s something most of us have never seen before. This potential presents us with a question though: “When can we consider it done?”
It’s generally considered unfair to judge a game before it’s finished. After all, how can you accurately judge what game is worth before all of it’s gameplay elements and features are fully implemented and polished? You’re not getting the true experience without them, so how can you tell whether or not it’s really good or bad? If Destiny actually does manage to raise itself up to a higher standard as content is added, then we’ll suddenly find ourselves at the beginning of a new phase of game development and reception.
Suddenly launch reviews and impressions will be representative only of a game’s launch state, not the game itself. The review process might become on-going rather than one-off as games are consistently improved in the months and even years after the initial launch. Gamers will be faced with new decisions regarding their game purchases, not just of whether or not to buy a game at launch, but also of how much post development we want to wait for before buying, or even how much of it we’re going to want to support in advance.
Destiny has the potential to be one of the most important launches in the last several years of gaming, one that could change many things about how the industry works. All it has to do is address the problems of its launch state and actually improve as more content is released!
What are your thoughts on Destiny? Do you see the same potential in its release or perhaps something else? Would you want games become on-going works (even more than they are now)?