Today was a very sad day, the Destiny beta… is over. This now seemed a good point to reflect on the last five days of fun and give my impressions of the game before its launch in September, later this year.
I’d like to start off by saying I always try to avoid the hype. The more branding and marketing I see, the more I try to steer away from it. Big developer? Yep. I keep out of the way so I can enjoy the experience without any expectations or spoilers. I’ve tried to do this since Gears of War. I had no idea what to expect, and it goes down as one of my most treasured memories in gaming history.
So we can begin with the assumption that I had no idea what to expect with this game, apart from I knew it was developed by Bungie of Halo fame. I was lucky enough to received an early Beta thanks to the great guys over at XboxMad.net, people were going crazy on twitter, so I redeemed the code and launched it.
I was simply blown away. The music and visuals were awe inspiring. Absolutely beautiful. The early stages of the Destiny beta filled me with wonder and excitement that made me feel similar to when I first saw Star Wars as a kid. The art style, world design and level of detail entice you to explore and spend so much time just… looking at things. Marvelling at the universe Bungie have finely crafted. I could talk about this for ages, but I’ll try to focus on some game-specifics.
You start the game resurrected from the dead as a Guardian, where you get to do a little character design. There are 3 classes to choose from (Titan, Warlock and Hunter), each with their own unique special abilities, and 3 races (Human, Awoken and Exo) which are purely for aesthetic individuality – there’s no stat bonuses or anything like that here. I went for an Awoken Warlock as they look cool (I was tempted by the Exo race though due to the awesome robotic look), plus I used to enjoy playing as a Warlock in World of Warcraft back in the day.
As soon as you’ve created your character it’s up to you to grab a gun and shoot your way through numerous Fallen as you make your way to a ship to take you to “The Tower”. This acts as a central hub between missions where you can buy and sell weapons and armour, talk with other players, obtain new quests and most importantly… dance! Well, you can dance anywhere, but this seems to be the place where everyone is doing it and uploading videos to YouTube.
In terms of gameplay, Destiny feels like a cross between Halo and Borderlands, with a little hint of Mass Effect. There are numerous weapons and armour pieces to help your character be more unique and a levelling system that I was barely able to touch (as I only reached level 7 I think and the beta level cap was level 8). Still, once you’ve gained a few levels, come to grips with the game play, and progressed through the initial stages of the story mode, you finally get to jump into competitive multiplayer!
Whilst I enjoyed the multiplayer I’m not sure if I sucked at it or if the balance was a little off. I imagine it was probably down to my skill level as it has been a while since I’ve played on online shooter. The thing that really annoyed me though was the announcer. I found his voice quite irritating, mostly down to the sheer repetitiveness of the bases being taken over. Sure, it is important to know, but I’m hoping they find possibly a more visual way to show it rather than the current method. It reminded me a lot of the frustration in Quantum Of Solace multiplayer modes, where the characters you played as would keep shouting the same thing over and over.
Apart from that little gripe though, I am extremely excited for this game! I was to get it on day one, but unfortunately (well, not exactly) I am away on holiday around that time. So hopefully I’ll get it on my return a couple of weeks after.
What Did You Think?
I’m interested to know what you think of Destiny so far? Did you play the beta? Have you been following the hype? I think this is going to be a big thing when it comes out in September. I’m keen to know your thoughts. Let me know in the comments box below. 🙂