Thoughts on the Destiny Beta
I took a pre-order of Destiny just to get into the Beta. I was very skeptical of the game after watching ‘The Devil’s Lair’ trailer. It seemed very dull, and nothing we haven’t seen before. Very disappointing. However, the gameplay seems much better after playing the Beta. Controls are good, graphics look fantastic. There is a real feeling of polish that Bungie are really good at, even though this isn’t even the finished product.
I think the scope of the game and the great polish is what makes it good. I also want to point out the amazing user interface, which is like nothing I’ve seen in a videogame before. But there is still the feeling of having done it all already. The three classes - Titan, Hunter, and Warlock - are just renames of Warrior, Rogue, and Mage. The combat is pretty standard, though the “mounts”/vehicles are really fun to drive and sound cool. Also, Marty’s music is great :D The aesthetic also bugs me a bit. It feels like you’re walking around inside concept art. There’s too many styles meshing together. And they also probably owe a lot to Star Wars.
Mission objectives (as seen in the aforementioned trailer) are pretty uninspired. Walk to here and press a button to deploy your Ghost (a Halo monitor essentially), or defend your Ghost while Peter Dinklage hacks into a door or computer. I was just hoping from Bungie’s next game (one that’s helping kick off the new console generation) we would have something a bit more engaging or dynamic. Maybe it’s just these early missions or that it is a Beta or the MMO-like nature of the game, but I hope it gets better. I did get to play the first Moon mission when Bungie unlocked it at the end of the Beta, and that was very enjoyable. It let me use a Pike vehicle which was fun had guns that sound like fireworks. I also like how you just find other players in the story missions, doing their own thing or following their progress in the story. It’s completely seamless and it adds some life to worlds that are otherwise completely empty of NPCs or wildlife.
I can appreciate the scope of the project and the care and effort that went into it, but it feels a bit too contrived. Getting to play it has definitely helped me like the game more, so we’ll see how it goes at launch in September.