The Moon dust has settled. The Sparrows have been switched off, and all Guardians have returned to The Tower. The Destiny Beta is now over, and with it the game now retreats into its final hibernation period, until its release on the 9th of September. And after the brief glimpse we saw over the past week, September cannot come soon enough.
I’m not going to go into details and boring lists of unlockables and classes, but Destiny does feel deep. The search for better gear and items is perfectly balanced between the achievable and desirable. I can confidently say that there are few developers currently working that could stand even the remotest chance of pulling this off. Bungie are one of them, and they are doing it extremely well. I coveted items from the Factions, whilst still enjoying the new weaponry I was getting at the time. I wanted to go further and the game nurtured this, teasing you of things to come, rather than hitting you with content gulfs between levels.
One of the criticisms I did have was how similar the classes appeared. When my Hunter, a ‘lone-wolf who lives for the perfect shot’, was able to equip a rocket launcher from pretty much the start, I questioned how fair this was on the Heavy Titan class, and how in fact the only factors separating the 3 choices is the special abilities each class uses. Hopefully the class sub-divisions and later-game content will help in diverging players, that it’s more nuanced and subtle than we can currently observe.
On the surface, you could be forgiven dismissing Destiny as something already done. A Frankenstein’s Monster of other game parts, all cobbled together to reach multiple target audiences. But when you start going down this road of questioning, it’s then you realise the potential this game has.
The game is like Borderlands, yet it’s much bigger in scope and online functionality. The game is like World of Warcraft, yet it’s much more reaction-based and console-focused. The game is like Call of Duty, yet it’s more engaging and has more purpose to its multiplayer. Games have been borrowing and stealing aspects off those that came before them since time began, but here it’s different. It doesn’t feel like aspects of other games, rather the start of a whole new approach. Halo’s DNA lingers within it, but this is a different animal.
The real test will be in just how much content is going to be there for people to play, and how they can make it exciting for players. Russia was great to explore, and didn’t feel too repetitive. If they can provide enough content of that quality, and supplement it fiercely with DLC, this game has a real chance of laying down the 10-years-plus legacy it’s hoping for. Bring on September.
Written by Brapscallion.
Some other Frugal Gamers wanted to add their thoughts, here what they had to say…….
The hype for Destiny had completely passed me by, everything I had seen before the beta looked bland and rather uninteresting. Having gone hands on with the beta, my interest has been piqued but I’m still not quite 100% sold. It looks, plays, and sounds fantastic, but questions remain over the amount of content on offer in the full game. With just 4 locations confirmed to be included, I’m thinking this may get old fast but I truly hope I’m wrong. The story and the rather short length of the actual story missions also sent alarm bells ringing. I think narrative always struggles in MMO’s. It must be hard to create the same sort of emotional engagement that Bungie has done so well in previous single player games in such an open and shared world. That being said, the beta has taken me from no interest whatsoever to a planned digital purchase. I’m cautiously optimistic, but like a lot of new franchises of the last generation, I don’t expect it will hit its stride until the second instalment.
I was worried for Destiny, so this ‘Beta’ was a smart move from Activision/Bungie. They’re clearly confident in their product to be rolling it out so publically. There has been evidence in the past that these sorts of demo’s can hurt sales, I’ve seen nothing but the opposite in our own community.
On the back of this demo, I pre-ordered myself. It’s the closest thing I’ve played to Phantasy Star Online since the Dreamcast days, that makes me happy.
My hope? Content and variety, lots of modes, lots of variety.
My fears? That it was all a bit straight faced and serious and lacked the laughs.
I was impressed. The game play was solid, the games looked beautiful and captured my interest at least. I hate RPG’s and that silly area with the shops and all got on my tits. If I want a gun, give me a gun… Don’t make me run around an annoying RPG village looking for a shopkeeper to buy it.