The following impressions were from my experience on the Playstation 4 during the recent trial BETA test.
DESTINY is Bungie’s new epic MMOFPS… Wait, sorry, new “Shared World Shooter.” Epic in game-play and in budget. Will it measure up to our past experiences with this studio? I certainly believe it is on the right track.
This grand tale is set in the future after a spherical object, deemed the Traveler, with seemingly omnipotent capabilities is discovered by Mars, and spurs a golden age in technology advancement. Unfortunately, this Traveler has a hunter, the Darkness. When the Darkness threatens to extinguish humanity, the Traveler creates little robotic AI’s called Ghosts and sacrifices (we think) itself to protect the humans. The sole purpose of these Ghosts is to seek out the Guardians of light and that’s where your story will start.
The interesting thing is that DESTINY won’t play like your average MMO or FPS. They truly have found a compelling mix of MMO and FPS as you fall in and out of worlds that act almost like GTA V’s multiplayer free roam lobbies. Friends can drop in and out with ease, or you can close that ability if you really want. While the controls and missions feel like Halo at the core, the game’s universe feels similar to WOW, RIFT, and the like in terms of gear and world development.
There were a several things that I thoroughly enjoyed about the DESTINY recent BETA test. The first example was just how simple it was to play with friends. Click a name, and then click “Join Fireteam” and it will put you in their game to help most of the time. Customization will be a large part of the game as not only do you have a fair amount of weapons and armor, you also have your ship, vehicle, and ghost to grab skins for your viewing pleasure. Oh, and I also can mention that the Lore does seem to be very deep.
Alas, I do want to articulate some concerns without detracting from the fact that I really, really enjoyed my time with DESTINY. I also can’t envision a scenario where Bungie would ignore these concerns as they are potential deal breakers.
The PVP arena, known as, “The Crucible,” is a lot of fun. However, after many hours of using several types of weapons (just so I could write this article), I became painfully aware of weapon imbalances; Rate of fire, more specifically. People were ignoring many types of weapons in favor of a high rate of fire and great stability Auto Rifle (Here’s looking at you Shingen-C). If you didn’t get to play the DESTINY Beta then let me explain. There were three types of rifles. The Auto Rifle is a fully automatic weapon where you can easily just hold the trigger. The Pulse Rifle was a 3 Bullet burst fire, and the Scout Rifle was a singular shot. Naturally, people with better aim usually favor the latter 2 while close range attackers usually gravitate towards the Auto Rifle. However, the Auto Rifle in question had no issues from any distance, and greatly hampered the abilities of a good pulse and scout rifle.
I know we only got to see how up to level 8 functioned, but I am worried to see how the itemization is implemented. The first strike (instance) called, “The Devil’s lair” is actually pretty fun. Albeit, the second boss (Devil Walker) fell into the trap of a tedious shooter boss, a trap that hurt DEFIANCE when enemies didn’t die in an appropriate amount of head shots – in fact, we ran out of ammo for all of our guns multiple times. On top of the Devil Walker boss’ lengthy kill, there was no loot to collect after the boss died. Many people will want to play the PVP in DESTINY as there were many Halo multiplayer gamers, and if it becomes hard to gear up to compete on equal levels in the multiplayer, then it will likely push some people away.
My qualms are little and my positive impressions high. The DESTINY Beta was a great source of entertainment for me while it was running. I am looking forward to the playing with my friends as we had a blast, and if they work on balancing specific weapons in The Crucible then the replay factor of DESTINY will skyrocket.
DESTINY is set to release on September 9th 2014 across multiple platforms including Playstation 3, Playstation 4, X-Box 360, and XBOX ONE.