Despite having played video games for as long as I can remember, I started ‘playing’ Lucas Arts point and click games as a child with my dad, I have never gotten into online gaming. I’m the guy who gets a new COD game and only plays the campaign. Despite having played beaten every Halo game, I’ve never done anything more than local multiplayer. It just always seemed too intimidating. I played COD MW at a friend’s house online one time as a teenager and just got wiped out. It wasn’t fun to me to just keep getting my head blow off.
This is the reason that I completely wrote off Destiny when I heard that it was online only. I had no interest in paying for a game that in my mind was just letting other people kill me. I eventually did break my rule for online gaming a little over a month ago. One of my best friends lives on the other side of the country from me and I wanted to start playing games with him like we used to when he lived here. I looked up games that had good online multiplayer/co-op and sure enough, there was Destiny. It worked out, because it was on sale at the time. I figured I wasn’t wasting a ton of money for a game that I assume wasn’t going to be that great.
The game itself is very fun. The controls are tight, the different character types are unique and no one seems too over powered over the others, and there’s a lot of interesting gear and weapons to collect. I’m a sucker for unlocking abilities and collecting loot, so I was pretty hooked from the beginning of the game. It was definitely kind of uncomfortable to see random people running around the map while I was heading to missions, and I always made sure try and avoid them if I could. One case in particular changed that though. There are public events that occur on the different planets in the over-world you travel through between missions. I had an assassination event pop up near me, and I headed over to check it out. When I got there, there was one other player fighting the target. He was a much higher level than me, and my first thought was to just keep on truckin’ to the mission I was heading to. He died during that time, and I saw the option to revive him. I decided what the heck, and went over and revived him. I then decided to join in on the fight and together we took down the bad guy. At the end of the fight, he looked at me and gave me a salute. I gave him a salute back and for the next fifteen minutes or so we went around the map together fighting together.
That was when online gaming finally made sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there is a dark side to online gaming, but I finally got the reason that online gaming has gotten so popular. I started having fun with this game for the same reason that I have always had with local co-op in games. You’re working with other people to take down bad guys together. It’s someone to watch your back, someone to take out the guy who’s about to kill you when you’re reloading, and someone to celebrate with when you finally finish a level.
Once I had gotten over my hang-up in the campaign, I dove head first into the Crucible (their PvP multiplayer) with the intention of sticking it out until I could confidently say that I had given it a fair shot. At the end of the first round, I was already having fun. Once my thought process had switched from thinking that all the other players were angry gamers screaming at noobs to thinking that they were probably primarily people like me, it was suddenly a great experience. I now have a whole new facet of games to check out. I’ve ordered Titanfall, and I have my eye on Diablo 3. I look forward to meeting and playing with other random gamers.
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