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Destiny: The Dark Below
Score: 40%
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Bungie Software
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 12 (Online Only)
Genre: First Person Shooter/RPG/Online

Introduction:

Given Bungieís famously stellar relationship with its fans, a release like Destiny confuses me. Since its troubled launch in September, it has come across as little more than a soulless Borderlands clone that replaces the humor with contempt for the player. Games can be timesinks, to be sure, but very few games have made me this painfully aware that I am wasting my time. I was hoping that the gameís add-ons might give me a taste of whatís really in store for this franchise. Well, if The Dark Below is a sign of things to come, I think I want out. From where Iím sitting, this game looks unfixable.

Here we have possibly the most audacious cash grab of the year; a half-baked mush of characteristically subpar single player content and a trio of par-for-the-course multiplayer maps Ė all offered for a whopping third of the base gameís price. Whoever greenlit this should be ashamed.


PvE:

Over the course of your Guardianís confusing, muddled adventure through the first half of the Solar System, you probably heard the name Crota come up once or twice. The Hive god has been burrowed away in hibernation for generations, and heís primed to make a return. However, with the help of veteran Eris Morn, the Guardians are primed to combat the new menace and put it down for good.

If youíre hoping for The Dark Below to rise above the abysmal storytelling this game has become infamous for, your hopes are in vain. Thereís a lot of potential; Eris Morn has become so corrupted by her experiences with the Darkness that her eyes literally leak the stuff. Alien mythology should be inherently interesting. But this is DestinyÖ

Three story missions. One Strike. One Raid. Thatís the depth and breadth of everything The Dark Below has to offer in terms of base PvE content. And for the most part, it smacks of laziness. If you were hoping for something that would at least fool you into thinking that youíd never seen it before, youíll be disappointed for the most part. Nothing feels new; in fact, youíre mainly sent into the same areas to kill the same old baddies and farm the same old resources. Crota's End, the raid, comes as close as Destiny has ever been to being a riot, but it can't save The Dark Below from being the atrocious value that it is.


PvP:

Thereís really only one place in Destiny where the player experience is somewhat personal, and thatís in the Crucible. Stories crafted in the corridors and arenas of the competitive multiplayer maps are the only ones that you can claim as unique, and the new maps offered in The Dark Below do a passable job of facilitating that.

Skyshock, Pantheon, and The Cauldron are solid multiplayer maps that lend themselves fairly well to the core gameís mechanics; whether youíre trapped in the confined spaces of The Cauldron or serpentining for cover in Skyshock, there are always advantages to learning the ins and outs of each map. Destiny is arguably at its best in the Crucible. That being said, Destiny at its best isnít really all that good, and every match I play only makes me want to play Titanfall.


Value:

Destiny may be the most expensive bad game Iíve ever played, and if its lengthy cycle of downloadable content continues in the same vein as the value-bereft The Dark Below, it will fight tooth and nail to go down as the most egregious exercise in poor value this side of next generation gaming. If you enjoyed the core game and simply want more of it, you will get some enjoyment out of it, but this DLC is still such a rip-off that it remains impossible to recommend. At a reduced cost, Iíd still be hard-pressed to give it any praise. But at $19.99, itís just plain indefensible. Save your money or use it on something deserving.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:



Microsoft Xbox One Alien: Isolation - Corporate Lockdown Sony PlayStation4 Destiny: The Dark Below

 
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