Destiny – Preview and Review

 

Destiny1The open beta for Bungie’s new upcoming game, Destiny, closed this past weekend.  This has been one of the most anticipated and most talked about next gen games.  Ever since Bungie handed the keys to the Halo kingdom to 343, people have been wondering what they are working on next.  For the past few weeks they have been giving players a chance to actually try out the game.

I was a little getting into the beta, mostly because I was skeptical on the game.  I wasn’t sure if I would like it.  I trust Bungie, but I’ve never really seen them do anything besides Halo.  Also, I wasn’t entirely clear if the game was going to be released on 360 and PS3, or if it was PS4 and Xbox One only.  No sense in getting myself excited for a game that I wont be able to play.  However, I finally found out that the game was coming out for all 4 current systems and decided to try it out.

Destiny-GR-01Destiny is a first person shooter set in a future post-apocalyptic world.  The beta did not provide a huge amount of the story.  I’m sure that’s intentional.  It’s just enough to give you a taste of the world.

What I could gather of the story is that a manned mission to Mars discovers a giant sphere called the Traveler, the Traveler helps to terraform Mars, Venus and Mercury into habitable worlds and humanity enters a golden age.  That is until the Darkness, the Traveler’s enemy finally shows up.  We start many years later.  Earth is not a good place anymore, there is only one city left and you are a Guardian sworn to defend it.

Screen-Shot-2014-06-10-at-7.33.54-AMThere are three playable races: Human, Exo and Awoken.  Exo are a machine race somewhere between Wheatley from Portal and the Terminator.  The Awoken are an elvish looking race with blue & purple hued skin.

There are three playable classes: Hunter, Titan and Warlock.  Each species can be any of these three classes, and each class has it’s own unique advantages and disadvantages.

10431395_1486362628266609_409171820245391721_oWhen you begin the game you select your species and class, and then create your own unique character.  There is a decent amount of customization options.  At least for the beta it is mostly presets that you can mix and match to create your own unique character.  It’s possible that the full game may have more options, but I’d say it’s pretty unlikely.  It did feel like a pretty good selection of heads, faces, hair and tattoos to really create your own avatar.  It seems pretty unlikely that you will see dozens of people who look just like you running around.

destinyguardiansOnce you create your character you are ready to go.  You are dropped into combat pretty quickly, but the controls are familiar enough that anyone who has spent any time playing FPS will be able to jump right in.  What I did find interesting is that the combat did not feel like Halo.  It felt more in line with a Borderlands or a Call of Duty style shooter.  You start out with a more conventional set of weapons with more of an emphasis on “down the sites” aiming than Halo’s “spray and pray” style.  The controls felt responsive.

10454959_10152405221381480_7066009215127978636_oAfter a brief story/tutorial mission you enter in the larger world of Destiny.  You arrive at the Tower.  This is the main hub of the world, at least for the beta.  This is where you can buy items, upgrades, get missions, etc.  This is also where you realize that this game is slightly different than your standard shooter.

The first thing you see once you arrive on the Tower is that there are dozens of other players running around, this is where the MMO portion begins.  You can interact with players through basic gestures and dances.  Now, when you go out on a mission, you will run into players who are also playing.  You can choose to join them or just pass them by and continue on with your mission.  Stay out in the world long enough and events will begin to happen.  Several times I had to fight off waves of enemies in a select amount of time for bonuses.

destiny-towerI really like that the game gives you options, you can more than likely run through the game fully single player all on your own and complete the game, but you can also team up with friends or random players to compete and take it on as a Fireteam.

The world of the beta play was pretty limited to a few specific areas, but there is a promise that you will venture beyond and take the fight to other planets.

Destiny had a lot of hype surrounding it and a lot of promise to deliver on.  In my short time with the game I feel that they have delivered on most of their promises.  This game has gone from being mostly off my radar to a must buy.  I recommend fans of games like Borderlands, Mass Effect or Halo to check this one out.