We sent two travelers from our HQ to embark on a journey of discovery and mystery to report back on what the heck Destiny – Bungie’s upcoming MMO Shooter fiasco is all about. Here are their thoughts.
When playing an alpha or beta for any game it’s always tempting to form an opinion of the final product despite how unfair that may be. The game itself isn’t yet finished, potentially buggy, and there’s only a tiny amount of content compared to the final product. The Destiny Alpha on the other hand didn’t feel that way. It felt like a demo of a completed game. The visuals had polish and (almost) everything worked without any issues so keeping myself from developing expectations of the final product was difficult.
Visually the game is breathtaking. The environment is simply beautiful and the map, albeit a bit small, had plenty of hidden areas to explore. I found the various enemies a little on the uninteresting side though. I can’t put my finger on it but I swear I’ve seen them somewhere before either in another game or a movie.
Offering one story mission, some multiplayer and a big pile of repetitive side missions the Destiny alpha didn’t give much away for the full game. Clearly an intentional move but I do hope that the types of side missios available are a little more inspired than those on offer this past weekend. The competitive multiplayer felt sluggish and tacked on so if Bungie plan on having a focus on this mode rather than it fading into the background they will have their work cut out for them in the coming months.
Your character carries three different weapons each of a different class with the ability to store heaps more. One issue in the Alpha had you starting out with no ammo for your special or heavy weapons after you switch between them in a certain class. I’m going to assume this is a bug as only an idiot would allow this to be a game mechanic.
And finally, the boss battles. One of the missions had you go up against 2 massive (and well overpowered) enemies one after the other. Rather than being challenging foes both bosses were quite boring to defeat. It was simply a matter of using up literally all of your ammo on the boss and then waiting for more enemies to spawn behind you so you can steal their ammo and use it all up on the boss. Repeat those steps for 30 minutes or more and you and your random comrades will bring the boss down. It’s boring and takes too long.
After spending several hours exploring a small portion of Destiny I’m very apprehensive of what the finished product will have to offer. At present it feels like Borderlands in space but not much more than that. And while the borderlands games were incredible in their own light, Bungie have promised something new. At this stage I just don’t see it but I sincerely hope I’m proven wrong.
Bungie’s Destiny is no doubt one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year, and Activision clearly have a firm belief in the game as they’ve poured a ridiculous amount of money into it ($500 million USD, to be exact). Having the opportunity to play the Alpha showed me why I should be excited for Destiny, because although it was just a small slice of what’s to come in September, I was hooked from the very beginning.
Starting off, I picked my character to be a Titan, who is very much like the normal ‘warrior’ class if you’re going to compare it to any RPG-like game. Titan’s are very much the front-line soldiers in Destiny, and because I wasn’t so great with magic and tactics – the choice wasn’t so hard for me. After picking my characters looks and race, I was thrown into Old Russia on Earth and the action began.
Perhaps the most striking thing about Destiny is how good the game looks. I suppose it’s to be expected on the new consoles, but I was very impressed by the graphical fidelity of the game – even when I was exploring the darker, grittier areas that didn’t have vibrant colors. Even the enemies in the game seem to have a certain fidelity to them, and each are remarkably distinct from the another. Likewise, the guns I had used were each different in their own way. I set myself to using the classic assault rifle at first, but mixed it up with shotgun shenanigans and a great helping of sniping in the latter stages as well – and each felt different and varied enough to call upon when the going got tough. And it did at times, as the difficulty of the game comes down to the level you’re at. Exploring a Level 4 area at level 3 or 4 is a problem waiting to happen, as I found myself battling enemies that were level 8 and 9 in the deeper areas of the map I was on, and it wasn’t until I hit level 6 before I started doing some serious damage to those specific enemies. At times it would take me upwards of 10 – 15 minutes to even make a dent in said enemies, but it didn’t falter the gameplay at all and I didn’t even end up dying, instead running away in hope I wouldn’t suffer the fate one of my pals had a couple of minutes prior.
Another impressive part of Destiny is how seamless the game is when it comes to integrating other players into the world. Sure, I only interacted with around 3 – 4 players during my time in the game (and because the Alpha was on PlayStation 4 I heard no one speak whatsoever), exchanging waves and entering into a quick dance-off before taking out some Fallen or the Hive was a lot of fun. The sense of community in the game is there, and I can’t wait to play the beta with some friends when it launches next month. Of course, you can play the game by yourself if you wish – and that’s what I mainly did, exploring areas and taking out foes by myself was a fun experience – but nothing really compared to taking on a large enemy in an area that was deemed a ‘random encounter’ with others.
I didn’t jump into the social hub of the game (The Tower) or the competitive multiplayer either, but even from what I’ve played on Old Russia, I can absolutely see Destiny becoming a huge hit if the Alpha is anything to go by. This was such a small taste of the game that I’m left wanting (probably craving) more, and for the first time in years I’ve genuinely felt thrilled to jump back into the FPS space. I can’t wait for the beta to open up on July 17, because I’ll be back into the fray, dancing with various compadres I’ve stumbled across taking on the evil within and having a blast doing just that.
Thanks to Activision for letting us check it out the alpha. PS4 owners will get access to the alpha next month ahead of the upcoming open beta. Destiny launches September 9th on PS4 and Xbox One.