Destiny, made by the same studio that originated the iconic Halo games, is beautiful, challenging, and fun. The landscapes, both earthly and alien, are at times breathtaking and may cause players to stop fighting simply to appreciate their splendor. But it's the action that will keep players coming back -- especially strike missions, which see teams of three players going up against impossibly powerful bosses and seemingly never-ending waves of lesser enemies. RPG-like leveling and looting let players customize and grow their warriors as they like. An integrated competitive mode called the Crucible lets players engage in traditional multiplayer modes such as deathmatch while evolving their heroes. Add in finely tuned controls and a terrific and seemingly never-ending selection of powerful, upgradeable weapons, and you have the sort of shooter that fans of sci-fi FPS games ought to gobble up.
And yet, it's not without problems -- chief of which is repetition. The four gorgeously rendered worlds that players get to explore are big enough to fit a few missions without much backtracking, but the game is designed so players continue to visit these locations almost endlessly, eventually making them feel small and over-populated. Plus, players looking for a compelling narrative may come away disappointed, since even the story missions are virtually all action with very little meaningful exposition. The seeds of a fascinating new sci-fi mythology exist, but they never quite sprout. Still, fans of shooters and online games are bound to have a fair bit of fun, even if it doesn't last quite as long as they might have expected, given the immense hype that preceded Destiny's release.