All images captured by Hatm0nstar
It’s kind of hard to believe that the Destiny beta has already come and gone; it seems like just the other day we were all gearing up to see all the the Crucible and Cosmodrome had to offer, which turned out to be quite a bit! The long wait following its conclusion is definitely going to be difficult, but at least we get time to consider what we’ve learned during our time speeding and battling around the beta’s reticent locales.
A World Made For Roaming
Players of the beta only got to see one a portion of just one location that will be found in the full game of Destiny: the Cosmodrome. What used to be a bustling port to the stars is now just barren wasteland and the crumbling ruins of a bye-gone age. It’s an expansive space with equal measures of open plain for zipping around on your speeder bike (it’s called a “Sparrow”, but yeah it’s a speeder bike) and indoor areas to get up close and personal with the forces of the Darkness (more on that later). There’s caves with treasure, basements with dungeons, and randomly spawned chests to find in every area. It’s a place that took hours to crawl through, and this was just one small piece!
The beta promises a world made for roaming, exploring, digging, and delving. If the full game delivers on that promise, Destiny will be something special indeed.
I Need More! (Loot that is)
Destiny will be similar to games like Borderlands or even full MMOs, in that a big part of the game is gathering up that awesome loot, but with two big differences! The first is that you won’t grow to hate the people you play with as loot drop after loot drop is stolen! Instead, everyone will get their own drops, allowing the fun to continue unimpeded by barely-contained resentment. Woo!
As for the other…
Enter The Crucible
The weapons and armor you collect and painstakingly upgrade in the solo/coop portion of the game come with you into the Crucible, a grueling contest in which Guardians (aka player characters) prove their worth among their peers.
Just like in the alpha, the beta only had the Control game-type available for play, which for former Halo players will feel like a combination of Territories and King of the Hill. Unlike the alpha however, the beta’s Crucible showed that Guardians won’t always be brought down to the same level and will be able to fight at their full ferocity in events such as the “Iron Banner Tournament”. In these events Guardians fight as they are; all level advantages intact, all weapons at their most deadly. It’s a much more difficult challenge for the ill-equipped, but one whose rewards of rare items will inspire players to test their mettle anyway.
The Crucible will have several gametypes available at launch, but the presence of these events definitely help calm fears about the multiplayer becoming stagnant.
Who Am I Exactly?
Aside from a few notable exceptions player-defined characters don’t get much of a back-story. Since they’re just our avatars in the virtual world, they often don’t need one and it’s usually fine that way. I have nothing to confirm this, but based on the circumstances surrounding how our characters become guardians, I can’t help but feel like they’ll have some sort of story of their own woven into the tale that Destiny will be presenting us with. It’s all in the details: where you are in the beginning, your first weapon, your character’s apparent combat prowess…there’s more to our guardians than meets the eye, and I can’t wait to find out more about what that is!
Also, our characters will have their own voice! It seems like a small thing to be excited about, but I don’t think I’m the only one who’s getting tired of protagonists who are silent because of…reasons.
It’s All Better With Friends
Unlike Borderlands, Destiny is likely to be pretty fun when played solo. However, just like Borderlands, it only reaches its peak when played with others. Much of the game looks like it’s meant to have a social element. The story and exploration portions feature drop-in, drop-out coop, and the Strike missions match solo players up with others. It’s all about shared experiences and teamwork, which somehow brings the world to life even more…though perhaps not so much in the story missions.
In short, if this beta is an accurate sample of what the full games has to offer, then maybe, just maybe Destiny will be one of the first games in a rather long while to meet the expectations. The beta wasn’t without some flaws, connections and matchmaking being among them, but if Bungie is able to get those resolved then the game should launch in great shape!
All we have to do now is wait…
What are your impressions of Destiny after having played the beta? If you didn’t have the opportunity to play, how’s the game look to you? What are you expecting?