The Destiny beta has come and gone along with it the hours of fun I had using my Guardian. I spent well over 24 hours of this week diving into the Destiny Beta on the PlayStation 4 trying to learn everything I could about it while I still had the chance before it officially releases in September. In that time I did a multitude of things including story missions, strike missions, exploring old Russia, The Crucible, exploring the tower and even spent a little time hunting glitches. With the amount of time I put into this beta I would normally be sick of this game but I keep finding myself wanting more and more. With that in mind I’m gonna break down the Destiny Beta section by section so you can see what I thought about it.
Exploring Old Russia was one of my favorite things to do in the Destiny Beta. I spent hours just wandering around looking for loot and other curious things. Old Russia is a decent size map with plenty to explore and find but with the recent news that each planet will only have one area to explore I would prefer that the maps be much larger for the final game and they kinda will. Portions of the Destiny beta were blocked off by doors, walls or overpowered enemies placed there to keep you out of specific places. The fact that entire sections were blocked off makes me think that these maps might be bigger then we think but until the official release we won’t really know.
My favorite thing about exploring Destiny is the way you meet other people while roaming the world. While exploring Old Russia you are going to run into other Guardians out doing the same things as you; exploring the world, joining public events and doing side missions that you pick up from beacons placed around the map. While you can see these other players and even choose to help them if they’re in some trouble the one thing you can’t do is talk to them. You have some emotes like point, wave, sit and dance which you can use to get your point across but talking is out of the question unless they’re in your fire team.
I’m personally 50/50 on this choice. I enjoyed not having to listen to everyone in the room all the time but there were times where it was just really frustrating. I came across a few situations where I wanted to be a nice guy and show some of the others around me where some cool hidden things were that I had recently found, but just getting some people’s attention is hard and trying to relay something like follow me or check out over there is almost impossible. I think some type of proximity based chat where only your fire team and the people directly around you are able to hear you, would be much better suited to something like Destiny.
Destiny like most games does have a story and we got a little taste of it in the beta. While only 5 story missions were available (6 if you count the short lived moon mission) they shed some light on what we can expect but mostly just left me with more questions then answers. I won’t go into any details of the missions here so that I don’t ruin it for you but suffice to say there’s something happening in the Destiny universe and only you can figure it out.
Story missions in Destiny are very straight forward. Once you select your mission and difficulty you get to hear what it is you’ll be doing as you fly in your ship to the mission. Once you are on the ground its full steam ahead. Story missions are fairly fast paced and keeps you moving from one objective to another at a good rate eventually leading to a boss fight. These boss fights are no joke. They can take a lot of damage and do a ton of it themselves which leads to using teamwork to take them down and thankfully in story missions the other people with you are on your fire team so you can talk without the emotes. I can’t wait to dive deeper into Destiny’s story and see what else is lurking out there in the depths of space.
Strike Missions in Destiny are kinda like dungeons in World Of Warcraft. There’s a little bit of story to it but its mostly just an onslaught on enemies you need to fight your way through until you get to the mini boss and the final boss. The Destiny beta gave us access to 1 earth strike mission called Devils Lair, the same one that the alpha build let us play. I enjoyed doing the strike mission for fun at first but with it being the only strike mission it got old kinda quick however it also gave some great rewards after completing it so whenever I was in search of some new gear this was one of the first places I went.
The strike missions were fun but they had 1 small thing I would change a little bit. The first thing I noticed was that you can’t choose how many people to take into these missions. Unlike story missions where you can go it alone or with friends your only choice in Strike missions is to be paired up into a group of 3. There were times where me and a friend wanted to do a strike mission and kill everything while we explored a little at a nice slow pace but we were always paired with someone who would just run through everything and get to the bosses leaving us either chasing him and abandoning our plan or missing out on the big fights. An option to choose how many people you want to be paired with for these strike missions in my opinion would be great. Giving players options is never a bad thing.
Destiny’s multiplayer arena is known as The Crucible. This is where you’ll be going to battle with other guardians for all sorts of loot and bragging rights. The Destiny beta gave us 2 maps to play on for the Control game mode which were based on the Moon and Venus plus 2 more maps when Bungie opened the Iron Banner game mode which were based on the Earth and Mars. The overall gun play felt great with aiming and tracking feeling very smooth and fluid. While no one person ever seemed to be more overpowered than someone else there were some problems in The Crucible.
The most notable problem in The Crucible takes place on the Moon map called First Light. If you played the beta you know exactly what I’m talking about. The interceptor. This beast of a vehicle is not only overpowered but can chase you through some parts of buildings where flags you need to capture are. Luckily before the beta even ended Bungie said that they have been listing to feedback about the interceptor and have plans to fix it already by changing the rate of fire and possibly some small map alterations.
The other problem that I encountered quite a bit was late hit detection. There were a lot of times where I would deliver a finishing blow to someone only to have them get those few extra shots needed to bring me down too. In a game like Call Of Duty I would have been frantically shouting about how bullshit it all was but with Destiny it was a little bit different. I did die a lot by the hands of someone who I already killed just a second ago but I also killed a lot of people after they killed me. Because of how evenly it happened it didn’t irritate me to much but for the final release I really hope that’s something that gets fixed or else it could make a lot of people not want to play in The Crucible.
The Tower is where you come after everything else I’ve talked about. This is where you can get bounties, buy new weapons or armor and turn in anything you found while you were out and about like spin metal or encrypted engrams. The Tower is also the main social hub of Destiny with lots of guardians running around, playing with soccer balls or having dance parties. As the main social hub in the game though I’m still surprised there’s no way to talk with other guardians here unless they’re in your fire team. Some type of quick direct message system or even a group text chat would be a welcome addition to The Tower.
Overall the Destiny beta gave us a small glimpse into the full game and I’ve come away mostly impressed with it. I had a blast exploring the world Bungie created and just as much fun destroying my opponents in The Crucible. Most of Destiny seems to work very well and the parts that don’t are small but will hopefully be fixed by the time the full game releases on September 9th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Until then may the travelers light be with you, Guardians.