Destiny Beta Report

Posted: July 28, 2014 by ryanlecocq in Features

Destiny1

It’s not often a game comes along that gets all four of us playing at once.  I think the last one was Defiance, which is ironic because Destiny has a lot in common with that earlier game.  Maybe we just really like shooting things together in open-world environments.  I even remember saying a year ago while playing Defiance that when a big studio made a massively multiplayer shooter, it was going to be huge.  That game is now almost here and it is going to be huge.  Destiny takes the conventions of shooting games and mixes them with massively multiplayer ones with a big budget shine and polish.

The beta only included the first quest hub, which takes place on Earth in Old Russia.  One quest was also opened up on the moon for two hours on Saturday, but all of us missed it due to other obligations.  What was on display showed the well-tuned gameplay we expect from a Bungie game with the addictive grinding that players of Borderlands will immediately recognize.  Hunting for that next level of rare gear is equally as important as following the plot, which may turn off some Halo fans who are used to Cortana leading them from cutscene to cutscene.  Personally I felt that Bungie struck an excellent balance between what it feels like to play a big budget shooter and what it feels like to play an online game.

Players who are coming from the MMO side rather than the Halo fandom side will not be disappointed either.  Destiny has the MMO chops to make a splash in the online game market as well; PVP, small group raids and world events all appear ready to go on launch day.  There are already factions to earn points with and multiple paths towards getting unique gear.  Bounties and other temporary modifiers will grant bonus objectives for added advancement.  About the only thing missing here from a typical MMO launch is in-game-purchases and a player economy.  Personally I’m not missing either and wouldn’t mind a bit if they failed to become standards in the new MMOFPS genre.

The most amazing thing I noticed while playing Destiny was how well a shared world game performs on consoles when Bungie develops it.  I remember while playing Defiance we would always shrug about the lag in busy areas and say “well, the consoles just don’t have enough RAM.”  Here we are a year later and Bungie has managed to provide a smooth experience with those same consoles.  Granted I never saw as many players in one place as you see at every single Arkfall in Defiance, but besides stress test related lag, the game ran perfectly on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 while looking very impressive next to current games.

Here at Bleeding Edge, the beta response was a unanimous “I’ll buy it.”  So you know you’ll see us online September 9th.  We’ll be playing on Xbox 360 until the PC version comes out ;p

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