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Destiny Beta Impressions

Posted on Monday, July 21 @ 16:00:00 PST by


Activision and Bungie have started their campaign to bring Destiny to millions of gamers this Fall. The beta ran over the weekend for PlayStation gamers and after a break at the start of this week, will reopen on PlayStation and Xbox platforms Wednesday.

For many shooter fans, Destiny represents the biggest outing on next-gen consoles thus far, especially if you're looking at the project based on production cost alone. $500 million spent developing and marketing a shooter sounds like a lot of money because it is, but my first steps into the game's beta confirm what you probably already know.

The game's controls respond well, though you might want a bit more of a bounce in leaps especially since the terrain features some wildly varied verticality. Much of Halo's alien landscapes offered rocks and structures to climb and the same is true of Destiny's, but melee attacks and strong differences between the shotgun and assault rifle I played with make it even more fun to use mobility to flank or outmaneuver enemies.

Still, there's something to be said for taking it slow and admiring the lighting and texture work in the game, even at this stage of development. I usually expect beta tests to give gamers a chance at the multiplayer and lobby systems, but those feel nearly finished and ready for retail here.

Here are a few more impressions from Destiny's beta test:
  • As much as I'd like to speak more to the game's story, I ignored a lot of the cut-scenes and dialogue in favor of the full game as it launches later this year. I went with Warlock for this early hands-on and had fun chipping away at enemies with a vortex grenade.
  • The shotgun feels just like it did in Halo... at least the shotgun I got to use within the first two or three levels. I didn't pick up any other weapons in the first three missions I tried, but one crowded boss fight allowed for quite a few close-quarters attacks, but even with rechargeable health the pressure was on.
  • I'm not into Game of Thrones. I don't really care that Peter Dinklage has voice-over in Destiny, but why did people complain about it? Seemed fine, despite my eagerness to skip ahead to gameplay.
  • I like how you need to hold buttons sometimes in order to move forward in menus or other mission screens, though it could stand to be sped up at times.
  • All the feedback on screen. Honestly, without knowing how much health enemies have you'd want to retreat far more often. Getting consistent damage feedback means you'll always know how to approach a group of baddies, including a keen awareness for how close you need to be for melee or whether or not your assault rifle will do enough damage.
I'll most likely play a little more when the beta returns later this week, but if you got in share your thoughts in the comments below. Have you already made your own character?
Related Games:   Destiny
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