And Another Thing: Destiny PR feedback is an attack on game critics

7 min read

So the well received and much hyped Destiny launched a short while ago and since no media received early review copies the reviews took a while to filter out… but they are all pretty much out now.

So taking a look at the PlayStation 4 aggregate score and we can see that Destiny is sitting on a comfortable 77. But you wouldn’t think so with the amount of fuss being kicked up on social media networks and the veiled comments from numerous Activision PR reps across the world. Apparently anyone who reviewed the game with a score less than 80 are not understanding the full scope of the game and that it’s a title that will continue to grow over time with tons of content being added over time.

Which is all fair and well but you wouldn’t let us review it before the release because the game is dependent on being part of a living thriving world and as such we needed to wait. Then we waited and now we are being told we shouldn’t review it only on what we have but also what may come in the future. Whether what comes in the future will be charged for or not is brushed aside as not being important.

Well I hate to break it to you all but when I go out and buy a game for R700-R800 I want to know what I’m getting now, not what I may or may not get in the future. But even moving past that I am yet to see a review in the 70% range that criticises the game for anything that can realistically be expected to be fixed in the future content rollout: the rinse and repeat mission styles, the need to grind and the beautiful but in the end lifeless planets aren’t expected to be changed.

We have this great sandbox world to explore and play in but there is very little benefit to exploring. While the worlds are huge we are definitely funnelled down paths to complete missions and the bosses are far too predictable for my liking. We know that head shots count more; do we really need bright spots to aim at to remind us of this?

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Now don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely loving Destiny when played with multiple people. The single player experience bores me, but heading into a fire team and taking on strike missions are easily some of the best gaming experiences I’ve had for years. This is the Destiny I want but in reality that part has become the odd exciting part. I have to hope that my friends are online, on the Xbox One, then if I choose to go random the other players are muted by default making the experience less than thrilling.

Destiny made a big deal about the clans they are offering so we created one with a bunch of people only to find out that you can’t see your clan mates in game. I mean the game is so multiplayer-dependent and then you miss out something so blatantly obvious?

And my last bug bear, the loot. Seriously for a game designed around rewarding players for loot this game sucks. I took out the keymaster (keyholder? whatever) all by my lonesome and you know what I got for my achievement? Nothing, not even some new ammo. I mean come on you don’t even have to give me something cool…but nothing? That’s a slap in the face.

Our own review gave it a solid 7.5 because as Geoff puts it,

It’s a confused game that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be; is it an MMO, a pure shooter, or a sprawling space epic? It tries to be all of them and misses the mark on most. As much fun as it can be – especially when played with friends – Destiny ultimately crumbles under its own ambition.

Destiny has been struggling to explain what it wants to be for well over a year now and even after release we are no closer to really understanding what the game is.

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However in the end a review is just someone’s opinion. I don’t agree with any of the reviewers who gave it a score of over 80 and I definitely don’t agree with anything under 70.  But that is their choice and PR reps coming out and making snide comments about reviews and scores is uncalled for and wholly unprofessional.

andanotherthingThey know as well as we do that they are going to be asking us to review the DLC packs when they drop, and what if they suck? Are we going to be told that it’s a work in progress still? Should we be paying top dollar for a work in progress? At a time when every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Internet wants to take a swipe at games journalists it may be prudent for the journalists to take a step further back from the reps and make sure you are being entirely honest with your journalism.

Now if only Bungie has listened to me after the beta when I told you exactly what was wrong with it. I do like being that person who ways “I Told You So”

And Another Thing

Oh and the official PlayStation magazine of Australia gave Destiny a 10/10 score. Now if that isn’t reason to kick them off Metacritic then I don’t know what is. What a pathetic excuse for an objective review.

Now that I have that off my chest, who’s up for some strikes this weekend on Xbox One?

Oh and if there is nothing above to make you comment, how about letting us know what you think about the Xbox One metascore being higher than the PS4 one?

Last Updated: September 19, 2014

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • TGS Babay (Umar)
  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    So, ye be needin’ Jedi senses ta previde yer score? Arrr arr arrr

    • Hammersteyn


    • Therant87

      Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing j?bs that ?nly require for you t? have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8012 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, s? you ?an try it t??. You ?an ?heck it ?ut here……


  • Hammersteyn

    Silly Aussie mag is silly, I can think of 2 500 000 why Bungie would want the score to be higher.

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    10/10 = moooooolah!!!

  • Hammersteyn

    Still the most important thing about Destiny is that most people, including me aren’t going to stop playing it any time soon.

  • The Aussies only gave it a 10/10 because they didn’t have to dumb down the violence/sex/language. Pretty obvious. Otherwise i am tired of 7.5 being low, how is that low?

    • Hammersteyn

      If your parents are Asian and that was your math score then it’s almost a fail 😛

    • Anon A Mouse

      In my house 75% was a fail. #kidsthesedays

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Activision PR rep:

    You just don’t get it Gavin. Destiny is the best game ever, trust us, we know because we made it. Sure it’s not the best now, but one day. We promise. So raise your score or feel the full wrath of our scorn as we ride the coattails of Gamersgate!

  • Rags

    I hope in part that the whining from the readers on D3 PC high scores by game critics have at least made them a bit more objective on these massively hyped titles. Where in my view they often seem clouded by being placated by niceties from the publishers such as early review copies, being invited from all over the world to shows, advertising money etc.

  • Neji

    Did Bungie hire Phil Fish to handle their PR?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      If they had they’d already have cancelled the DLC & turned off the servers.

  • Eric

    So the XBone love from LG has nothing to do with the XBone ads popping up all over the place?

    • take a ticket please. All the SONY fanboys saying the same thing are way ahead of you 😛

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        And all the Xbots said the same when Destiny PS4 ads were everywhere. #expertanalysis #gamersgateisreal!

        • U no nutting u dik!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I don’t know nothing, I know fuck all!

          • Yea! Zactly! 0_O

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I’m sure my matric English teacher would be so proud to know I remember his joke.

          • He cane you? AAAAAIT!

    • Xbox One launches next week.. obviously we are excited…

      Last week the ads were Destiny :).. now it’s FIFA.. we have no idea why they are FIFA Xbox One, go ask EA

      • #onthetake #whores #tinfoilhats

      • FoxOneZA

        Because of the FUT Legends Pack DLC agreement that’s exclusive to XBox One???

        Seriously though, most gamers will hold out until December to buy the Xbox One or PS4. With the current state of the economy, the prices of games could swing either way of R700.

  • For me this games launch was bad, did all the ports and this game still giving me common network errors, really like the game, got to lvl 20 but cant again play because of the network errors

    • fred

      I have not had one disconnection or error in about 20Hrs of play , could be your connection. I’m on Telkom LTE btw , very happy gaming on it.

  • fred

    So , will the ad running on DSTV be updated with your comments after reviewing? From ‘wildly ambitous’ …to ‘misses the mark’.. hehe … I don’t regret buying it and still enjoying it.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor


    Gavin… tell them you’ll give them a season pass for review score increases if they sponsor you! KA-CHING!

  • WarframedSquirrel

    The user reviews on Metacritic don’t help anything… “It’s not the game I WANT or NEED, it sucks!” “No offline single player!”… *facepalm*

    I still love the sheer RANGE of scores from users and critics.

  • Mielies the Magnificent

    Actually got to play last night. Even though I was drunk, was really really REALLY fun not being kicked out every 5mins.

    • Jonah Cash

      I am so happy to hear this!!! Are you on PS4? (Can’t remember, brain scrambled….) Add me if we aren’t friends yet: Castertroy03

      • Mielies the Magnificent

        Do believe I already did. 🙂 Yep, ps4 – Mielies296

  • fred

    TBC/10 …. ah well , lot of people went and bought it anyway , and I don’t see that many being offered second hand. Just hate the season pass crap though , and all games have it these days … dammit is it not enough that I dropped a small fortune to buy the game in the first place.

  • Generic ZA

    Personally I think it doesn’t deserve a score above 6.9, not that I’m not enjoying the game but it’s missing something, can’t quite put my finger on it, maybe a primate like beast dropping fiery barrels of pain somewhere on Mars, need to think on this.

    • CAE9872


  • Well trying to join a multiplayer session is still a nightmare so hopefully when Xbone gets released in SA next week it might make it easier to actually join

  • brad coetzee

    just play Borderlands

  • Fully agreed. Of course, if I wrote this I’d probably get a lot of flak for it so somehow I’m glad you did. Also, more coverage this way. 😛

    Thing is, a lot of Destiny sympathisers are just taking the defence of the game too far. They’ll accept that it flaws but wholly refuse to concede either that the game suffers for those flaws, or exactly what those flaws are. Then even when you can get them to that point the inevitable, “But I’m enjoying it,” will come out.

    It’s okay with gamers because after all, at least as far as reviews go, we’re only trying to help them make a purchasing decision. For the purposes of critique, however, and especially if you’re a writer on a website with an audience, why ever defend something that is so obviously flawed? All you do is show the world that you are willing to blind your eyes to something because you either want to, or you like the thing, or you’re just too far invested in some company and refuse to upset them by calling a game bad. Backbones be damned.

    For all my pre-release talk of cautioning against Destiny and its effects on this industry, I’d probably still buy it (not brand new) and play it. But I fully agree that it’s time we stopped attacking each other and trying to defend something that, at this point, too many people agree has issues. I mean, at what point does the entire internet become wrong so that you can continue to love a thing? Love it, by all means, just don’t then purport to be correct in doing so.

    Also, “And Another Thing” is the title, and there are currently 42 comments. <3 <3 <3

    • Go get the game and play the strike missions and tell me you don’t love it…

      It’s possible to love a portion of a game and ignore the rest, we don’t need to marry it 🙂

      • L337J1MB0B

        I played the strike missions and I don’t like it. Boring as hell.

  • Mike

    So the reviews should be based on how the game will be. In that case I’ll get the game when it’s how it’s supposed to be. Well that and I don’t have ps4 yet.

  • CAE9872

    THIS is the story I have been waiting for – wanting to see what Bungie, Activision, et al had to say in response to “poor” review scores.

    And I was thinking this in the car (yeah I know!) – do they expect reviewers to wait for reviews to go out on the basis of what the game could become? No. You have provided a game here and now and that is all anyone can react to…not the promise of tomorrow.

    Basically Destiny was not the 2nd coming…it was a game. A good game but great? Would appear most reviewers, bar the Aussies, would say no to that part.

    Should you still get it? if you like excellent core shooter mechanics, great graphics = YES. If you after a meaningful story = NO.

  • Jonah Cash

    That is bad style for sure, but if they had said that all reviews under 70% is ludicrous I would agree 100%!! And I will concede that the game doesn’t really deserve much more than 85%…. Still a fun game and sitting in Polokwane for the weekend and not being able to play is pissing me off to no end!!!

  • Brian Murphy

    “Oh and if there is nothing above to make you comment, how about letting us know what you think about the Xbox One metascore being higher than the PS4 one?”

    75 reviews to 8. You needed a comments section to figure that out?

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