Surprisingly, one of the best reviews so far comes from The New Yorker. I feel they really get the game …
Simon Parkin in The New Yorker:
Video games like Destiny are entire worlds that are governed by the rules and systems that their designers lay down. Because of this, they often take on the systems of the culture in which they are created, in this case, late capitalism. You are thrust into a world, told to work (here, your work is to harvest glimmer, a currency dropped by aliens), and use the fruits of your labor to improve your equipment. These upgrades allow you to work more quickly, more efficiently, or for greater gains. In this way, the ecosystem of investment and yield is established, an Ouroboros that is both irresistible and, by design, never completely satisfying. It replicates the familiar grind of consumerism; you are made to feel constantly dissatisfied with your possessions because you have the knowledge that there’s always a slightly better gun, cloak, or helmet just out of the reach of affordability.
So you return to work in order to save up. The better your equipment, the greater your social status with other players. The greater your social status, the more they will want you on their team and the more they will envy your achievements, which are clearly displayed in the clothes that you wear (in the game’s later stages, the only way to advance your character is by equipping him or her with better items). In this way, from a certain angle at least, Destiny exposes the alluring futility of the consumerist systems on the other side of the screen.
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