What better way to spend time while the Destiny Beta is offline for maintenance than to write about the Destiny Beta! What a great Beta it is, too. And to think this is only a snippet of what we can expect when the final game drops soon. While it may seem silly to “review” a beta, which is basically an almost-ready test-phase, I wanted to highlight some of my reactions. I feel I’ve played the beta enough to cover all of its ground.
First things first, those graphics. Those oh so pretty graphics. Bungie is taking full control of the next-gen console (specifically PS4). I always thought Halo was kind of behind on this front (they weren’t bad by any means, but there were also better looking games. The pinnacle was obviously Reach). But Destiny is shaping up to look grand. The moment I knew this game would look fantastic when released was standing at the edge of the Tower, looking out into the distance. Just jump over the rail and stand out there. Do it. And dance while you’re there (I find the dancing one of the most enjoyable parts of being at the Tower, honestly. Fuck getting upgrades–just kidding, I really love getting upgrades).
There’s a lot to look forward to in this beta. You’ve got 5 story missions to complete before the Crucible (6v6 multiplayer) opens, and there’s a “Strike” mission that you can complete with a fireteam of 3. The story missions are kind of repetitive. Straight-forward get-in, get-out situations that bring you to the same place multiple times. But I’m sure the full game will be fleshed out and the story could be trash and still rock because Peter Dinklage is your guide.
The strike mission is pretty damn hard. Granted, I beat it, but I did it on Level 6 rather than 8. I’m gonna beat it on the harder level. The key is consistency. After the initial wave of Fallen (not Transformers’ Fallen, these are way better) you go up against a giant mechanical spider-tank thing (that’s the best way to describe it) and then a giant glowing robot eye-thing (also the best way). Thankfully you get checkpoints after each, but good luck getting through each phase without dying tons of times. And if every squadmate dies, that’s it. You just gotta keep fire concentrated on the big fuckers no matter how long it takes.
And then there’s the Crucible. I always thought Halo had a pretty good story (maybe I’m in the minority) but it’s multiplayer was obviously a big draw. The same can be said of Destiny. While I’m hoping for a good storyline for the campaign, there’s no doubt that online multiplayer is the game’s backbone, and rightfully so. While the only mode open for the beta has been capture-the-flag type, it looks like there will be plenty to choose from once the full game is released. Destiny is going to set the bar for next gen multiplayer. If only we weren’t placed on the moon so many goddamn times.
Character creation doesn’t offer a lot of options. You get to choose between a class and race and then choose a color scheme and some extra features. It’s limited, but while the game is similar to an RPG, I’d say it’s more of a shooter with RPG elements. The upgrading is pretty great, though, and your character starts taking on a look of its own once you upgrade your armor and such. The level cap for the beta is 8 but looking through some of the weapons and armor for level 20 makes me want the game NOW. If you get accustomed to the gameplay and rock the Crucible enough, levling up becomes pretty simple.
Gameplay is a cinch. It’s very Halo-esque, but…better? I don’t quite know how to describe it. There’a a great variety of weapons to choose from. My favorite is the Scout Rifle I’m using now. Deals a lot of damage and once upgraded has great accuracy and range. I haven’t exactly used my secondary weapon all that much (the sniper rifle is good on the moon if you sit in a good location), but once you get heavy ammo it’s a treat to use your heavy weapon. I use the grenade launcher and love it, probably because I get to use it so rarely. My favorite weapon though isn’t really even a weapon. As a Titan class, once I get “super charged” I can literally punch the ground and send my enemies flying, killing instantly. It’s the best to get multiple people at once with it.
As for bugs and glitches, I was only booted from the system twice, which I think is pretty good for a beta. Other than that, I haven’t ran into a single problem. It’s impressive. Lets just say this is miles ahead of the Alpha, so I can’t wait to see what the actual game is like. The only reason I would have gotten an X-Box One is for Halo, but with Destiny I’ll get my fix and then some. This is only a glimpse at what the game has to offer and I’m beyond excited.