Destiny Beta: First Impressions

destiny beta

If you’ve any interest in Gaming, you’ve probably heard of Destiny. Set to be one of the largest games this century, having had more money spent on it than most films, it’s on a lot of peoples radars. The public Beta has been ongoing this week, first open to Playstation gamers on the 17th and Xbox gamers on the 25th, and so far I’m pretty damn impressed. Set in a distant future, players undertake the role of a ‘Guardian’, who protects the last city on Earth from all who seek to destroy it.

If you’ve played the Destiny Alpha, like I did, then not much of the following will come as much of a surprise. Just like the Alpha, the Beta is a small slice of what looks to be a huge (and I mean huge) game. During the Alpha we were dropped into the middle of a map early on in the story, with little to no context available to us. Fortunately this wasn’t the case this time around, we got to see the start of the game, including a very impressive opening cutscene and basic back story.

Developed by Halo creators Bungie, Destiny is already proving that Bungie has learned a lot in the past 20 years and they’ve brought their A game to their new endeavour. Players choose between 3 distinct classes, that are remarkably balanced ensuring that one class isn’t overpowered in comparison to another. The choices are the heavily armoured Titan, the deadly Hunter and the powerful Warlock. Each class has access to all weapons, but each has different abilities (or as I like to call them Space Magic). Each class has advantages and disadvantages, for example the Titan is more resistant to damage and the Warlock regenerates shields quicker.

Accompanying your chosen class is your ‘Ghost‘. These ‘machines brought to life’ act as your guide and helper throughout your journey. Ghosts are voiced by Peter Dinklage (think Tyrion Lannister from Game Of Thrones, or Bolivar Trask from X-Men). Dinklage does a good job with his voice acting, and whilst criticised during the Alpha for this line, Bungie have improved the voice acting to an even higher level.

destiny beta 1Anyone who played Halo will immediately feel the similarities, and that’s not a bad thing. Weapons are all unique and all feel weighty when used, the jumping feels floaty and free, and combat involves managing your ever regenerating shields. Also like Halo, Destiny is down right gorgeous (even more so on PS4 and X1). I’ve often lost my concentration during a firefight just to look at the view. Combat is fast paced but forgiving, unless attempting the harder difficulties, with weapons doing decent damage and each bringing their own pros and cons to any fight. There are dozens of different types of weapons, too many to list, that allow players to fully customise their loadout to fit their playstyle. Like trying to one hit your enemies? Try the Fusion Rifle, it packs a hell of a punch. Alternatively, stay at a safe distance with a good old sniper rifle.

For those less co-operatively oriented, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a PvP (player vs player) mode called the Crucible. Combat is fast paced and fair, with any armour bonuses not active ensuring no-one has the advantage. Of course, this is just an option, as Bungie have said that there are stages with level advantages on and warn players to bring their very best gear with them in order to even stand a chance (Although I might leave that to the hardcore players out there!).

Destiny has already impressed me immensely. Considering that when the Beta launched on PS4, Bungie’s own website crashed as well as the Playstation Store, I never noticed any lag. I don’t have the best internet connection in the world either, and I never once noticed any lag or desyncing. For a Beta test, I’d almost go as far to say that they could’ve released the entire game at that level! Bungie have already stated that things are only going to get better, and I for one can’t wait to see the finished product on September 9th.

You’ll find me dancing my way around The Tower.


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