If your inboxes are like ours, you and your fellow nerds are kibitzing right now about whether to buy Destiny or not. Collectively, in the aggregate, we’re on the fence—but leaning towards probably not. Or not any time soon.

Mary and I played the beta (i.e., the “beta”) a good bit back in July. Mary is recusing herself from any Destiny commentary because SHE KNOWS TOO MUCH, but here’s what I had emailed those guys after the beta, if you’re looking for another data point to steer your decision-making…

I played a good bit this weekend (got to level 6) and all I could keep thinking was “Hey, you got your Borderlands in my Halo.” Which, you know, could be two great tastes, etc. Although I’m not a big Borderlands fan, with all its incremental Torchlight-y treasure that always makes me think of Excel. And Destiny keeps some of my least favorite parts of Halo, like the fake-y iterative combats, but those are probably necessary for MP. But the game is beautiful. I had some nice moments of thinking, “Finally, Mass Effect Skyrim!”

 And I also know that we can’t expect too much gameplay innovation from a triple A studio. That’s not what the machine is designed to produce. All these games just keep eating each other’s poops and churning out more beautiful poops that are basically the same game. In addition to obviously Halo and Borderlands, you can see quite a few flecks of Far Cry. Which I basically don’t have a problem with—it’s fine to keep artisanally hacking away at making a better version of That Game. But it’s just more clear with the rise of the indies that it’s not the only kind of game we’re allowed to have.