A Look at Destiny Beta

Destiny’s Beta has gone live to all users now, Bungie want to fully test their servers, I have played a good amount of time on the game so far. The beta is something I don’t want to overplay, with the game being promised to be so good, I certainly do not want to ruin it. Obviously, Destiny is still a work in progress, the game may change drastically by the time the game releases in September, but Bungie want full feedback, so I may be a bit brutal with some aspects. Let’s start with the good parts;

The gameplay: its fantastic, movement is quite fluid, and the use of the jetpack for a double jump makes exploration of the map that little bit easier. The jetpack lasts about 2 seconds, just enough to push you higher or further without issue. The multiplayer maps have been designed with the jetpack in mind, there are gaps that are only makeable with use of the jetpack, it adds a nice dimension. Within gameplay on multiplayer, I feel like the guns are unbalanced, singleshot and burst guns are very overpowered and automatic weapons are not strong enough at close range. Snipers are too easy to use and the rate of fire is too great, even my girlfriend (www.thealicejones.com) could use it! Vehicles are powerful, and they should be, but on the moon based map vehicles can enter capture points and it gets a bit ridiculous. Its quite an annoying issue when people can take what is basically a tank into a close quarters battle, footsoldiers don’t stand a chance. I had some issues with aiming the Titans special ability whilst in the air, I feel like this is my own issue though.

Character Classes: I did not feel any major difference between classes, the 3 given in the beta were Titan, Hunter and Warlock. All felt very similar with not much difference apart from grenade and special ability. The differences with agility were slim, and the armour was the only part that really felt like it made a difference (which made me pick Titan). The Hunter had the best melee attack and apart from that, they were all very similar. I feel that the weapons and abilities will change the classes dramatically in the full game, I hope for this for the sake of diversity. I would also like to see many more classes in the full game.

Graphics: The game is very pretty, Bungie have invested a lot of money into this game and the graphics really show it. all areas showcase dramatic backdrops that make you believe that far away areas are reachable. Old Russia has wonderful areas, all being overlooked by on old shuttle launch station. There are parts which make you realise how far in the future the game is, with old dry docks looking very worn down and old rusting ships split in half. Characters are well designed and most impressive is the shadow effects which are close to being perfect even shadowing on the character itself is extremely well done. Emblems are a cool little idea which reminds me of Halo emblems. They are all pre-made and I assume lots more will be available. The colour of your emblem defines the colour of your Destiny Player card

Free Roaming: The free roam of old Russia is literally free (and you will be able to pick any of the areas in the full game), you can run around the area and find mini missions dotted around, they are normally as simple as kill X amount of fallen or find this recording, nothing taxing, but still quite fun. You are put into a large game with up to 16 people, even if you are in a mission, which is strange, especially if you need EXP. The issue caused is that missions turn into a race to get kills instead of a slower fun time with friends. I hope there is a way to create private games in the future to remove racing randoms for kills. The tower is the main base point for the game, an area to collect rewards, buy new items and generally roam around. Making this area third person is nice, it allows you to see your character which is something alot of games dont allow. A little idea for people, find the football (soccer ball), it makes for a fun time if you get 16 people chasing one ball. One minor warning, look out for enemies that are undefeatable, they literally take no damage. I feel like Bungie have done this to limit exploration in the Beta, or it could be to try something different from an invisible wall, either way, its pretty funny yet very annoying sometimes. They normally one shot you every time!

Menu’s: The menu system is awful, any cursor based menu on a console is no effective, it makes for slow browsing which is bad, particularly when the game doesn’t pause when you go into the menu’s. Making the menu’s worse is the holding of a button to press things, I don’t mind this if its half a second to stop you accidentally hitting the wrong button, but when it takes 2 seconds to get past something, then there’s an issue. Hard is hard: Be warned, selecting hard mode is extremely difficult, especially when you enter no respawn zones. I played the game on hard and the last Beta mission took me and friend at least 50 minutes. Boss battles end up taking a very long time and it will make you play the game slower. It was very enjoyable though as we found normal too easy.

Load times: Loading times are too slow, its cool the first time you watch your space ship float about whilst it loads up and then eventually it dips down to earth (or the Tower), after this it gets tedious and boring. Its the same problem with online loading, seeing 6 ships is cool at first, then it happens everytime and gets slow. Matchmaking for multiplayer is also a bit slow.

Things to add: I would like to see a few things added to the game (these may be planned already). Ability to change the colour of you’re armour. Ability to make custom emblems. Option to make private lobbies. When in missions, put the players in the fire team in their own lobby. Increase fire teams to at least 4 for missions. Add more classes and improve versatility between classes. Balance the multi-player weapons and vehicles. And finally, carry on making this a hell of a good game!

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Dan Booth

British gamer and technology addict.
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