This past Sunday Bungie shut down its Destiny Beta. What’s Destiny you say, well basically its Bungie’s biggest foray into video games that is not Halo--their 13-year-old classic Sci-Fi console shooter that made the company a pillar in the video game word and has casted a very long shadow over the company. I played the beta for Destiny for the X-Box One and here are some thoughts about my experience.
Graphically the game is very good-looking. Next generation aside, it’s the overall artistic design of the game. From The Tower, a sky bound city and your base of operations, to the abandoned Earth. The attention to detail architecture creates an impressive visual. Even the three playable classes and race have had some time dedicated to them to make them stand out despite the customization being a bit shallow. Of course the music adds with the overall presentation guiding your ears in tandem with the spectacle that your eyes are absorbing.
The game play was very reminiscent of Halo. From the way the guns shot, felt and handled. The auto aim, even though it was turned off and hit boxes felt way too generous at times. The guns all did well representing their classes, be it pistols, auto-rifles, snipers, ect. I did find the shotguns to be a bit lack luster and underwhelming. Speaking of underwhelming, the jumping mechanic between the three playable classes were all different. One would double jump, one glide and one jump very high. I’m sure there’s a strategic angle to this but it felt awkward.
The main game is a co-op mode where a team of three can hit the various locations and quest to their heart’s content. Presented in more of a shared game world that a true MMO, you and your “fire team” will grid for levels all while looking for better gear/loot and making progress to the overall narrative. On your travels you’ll experience a lot of open and at times empty landscape, which can be a lot to bear. But fret not because you can call upon your "Sparrow", a speeder bike vehicle that lets you speed across the vast traverse. Along the way there are the enemy known as “Fallen”. All of which vary in attack patterns and degree of difficulty. Occasionally there are random events that are timed that everyone around can participate in. Be it a difficult enemy or an onslaught of weaker foes. There’s even an area level where you and a team will spend way too much time fighting a series of boss characters.
If player versus player is more your thing, don’t worry because Destiny has that too. I’m not sure but I think that this is where the game struggles. You are placed in the pvp with the character that you’re playing in the main game mode; level, current weapons. If there are other players that are equipped with better gear than you, then will already have a hell of a fight on your hands. There are some vehicles and mounted guns that can be exploited along with scattered ammo for your heavy weapons. Where Halo has always been a “murder game” where there is little variation to the way that kills/frags are gained, Destiny follows suit with no real variation. I'm sure that the game types will vary upon release. So for good or bad, the first taste of multiplayer is a bit of a let down. Don’t get me wrong, it has moments but I just would have liked to have seen some more innovation.
While there are more than a few of some striking/glaring similarities between Destiny and the Halo universes there is still enough to enjoy with Bungie’s latest FPS. Destiny is fun and has the makings of an interesting world that was crafted with care. Once it is experienced, it defines the embodiment of the journey and not the destination thus making it almost a must to be played with friends.
On a personal level, I don’t see myself picking it up day one but if there is absolute nothing out at the time I would pick it up on the cheap.
You can buy Destiny on 09/09/2014 for Playstation 3 & 4, X-Box One and 360 for $59.99.