Posted on September 12, 2014, Phil Hornshaw The Destiny Diaries – Day 3: Saving Private Heaney
The Destiny Diaries is a daily retelling of the experiences of GameFront’s days in Destiny, imparting our impressions as we work through the game for the first time. Check back each day for a new episode, and stay tuned for a full review next week.
Don’t miss The Destiny Diaries – Day 1: Dinklage the Inscrutable, The Destiny Diaries – Day 2: Hell is Other People in the Crucible, The Destiny Dairies – Day 4: In Which I Read All Those Grimoire Cards and The Destiny Diaries – Day 5: No More Worlds to Conquer.
If you’re playing Destiny, turn up the difficulty.
And get some friends.
On the third day of our foray into Bungie’s pseudo-scifi-but-actually-totally-fantasy world, I joined up with GameFront’s Mitchell Saltzman and James Heaney to create a fireteam of epic proportions. Our goal: do Destiny stuff, but without James dying.
James isn’t a bad gamer, but he plays one on YouTube. Well, also, sometimes he’s a bad gamer. When it comes to first-person shooters more than anything, the man is in his element, however. The trouble with Destiny is, like many MMOs or MMO-like games (of which you might count Destiny as either), so much of the mission content is set to certain player levels. We formed our multiplayer fireteam knowing that James would potentially be woefully overmatched for anything Mitchell and I wanted to go do — we were running characters at about level 14, while James’ Warlock was about level 10.
Destiny’s not great about using enemy and player levels as a good test of matches of strength — before I wrote this, I ran a mission at my level in which I was almost never in danger of dying — so James and I were a little dubious about the supposed dangers of taking him into a Hive stronghold on the moon. “It’ll be fine,” I said. “We’ll keep James alive, no big deal.”
Mitch was not so easygoing about the endeavor, and insisted that Strike Missions, Destiny’s small-team dungeon raid-style levels, would be a challenge even to our bulky Hunters. I reminded him of several factors:
- I was the Czaress of Russia, since I single-handedly saved that country from the Fallen, probably.
- I had named myself the Supreme Chancellor of the Moon, having killed so many Hive enemies that I could build my royal palace from their carcasses.
- Destiny had been, up to that point, easy to the point of almost being kind of dull.
Our mission was a simple one, like all the missions in Destiny: we had to kill a thing. We would descend into the depths of a Hive theme park, where a crazed industrialist had chained a giant monster for the amusement of small children. Having been informed of the plots of King Kong and Jurassic Park by the Cryptarchs, the Speaker of the Traveler wanted us to destroy the park and its towering monster before it had a chance to get loose in the Last City, climb a building, or otherwise terrorize folks*.
We also had a secondary goal of leveling up James’ character and ravaging some bad dudes because we are ultimate bad-asses. I told Mitch I had no fear for our ability to protect our charge: We would get Private Heaney through this, or we would die in a blaze of Tom Hanks-esque Spielbergian emotional pathos in the attempt.
As the gates of the park/base/hollow pit in the moonground rearing up before us, we girded our loins and prepared our Dinklages to help us navigate the Hive’s maze. The opening rooms of our descent went without incident. Our spirits were high; James was contributing to the team effectively despite his low level, and Mitch and I found ourselves racing for sniper kills, Gimli-and-Legolas-style. We would take this dangerous park offline no sweat, I thought.
*I made this up, but it seems at least plausible as a reason for the mission given Destiny’s overall lack of crap-giving about story considerations.