So the last few days I have been playing the Destiny Beta whenever I can. Overall I would say it lives up to the hype and is exactly what I expected. It is a near perfect blending of all the trappings of an MMO that draws me in and keeps me playing, while combining the shooing FPS gameplay and style of Halo…now that is just a quick and basic summary of the game for people who don’t know anything about it. It’s made by Bungie, the original creators of the Halo franchise.
The Beta included several story missions of the main campaign, an open-world map of earth, one strike (3-man dungeon-like event) and one PvP mode called Control (capture and hold bases and earn bonus points for kills). I played all of the content and was able to participate in the special events, Iron Banner, and the bonus Moon mission stress test.
The story missions were varied and kept the story interesting, especially for an FPS. You get a real sense that Bungie has spent significant time fleshing out the lore as there are little nuances throughout that really show off their polish and attention to detail. You level up and gain new abilities just like an RPG. You earn equipment (armor, weapons, poweru-ps) that also improve your ability to survive and do damage. I found that the balance was spot on. It was challenging enough that I failed when I didn’t pay attention, but it wasn’t so hard that I became frustrated or angry. I found the open world map very fun. There are random “quests” you can pick up and they lead you throughout the whole map, sprinkled with public events that pop up from time to time to bring everyone together. You can team up with 3 people for everything in the PvE content and the Public Events are open to allow anyone to participate… they generally require 3+ people to succeed regularly. You can check out the bonus story mission here: Moon Patrol
The PvP takes all of the equipment and levels it off for even gameplay, unless you specifically choose the Iron Banner, which allows level advantages to take effect. I found this mode to be the most fun of the two PvP types as it let me show off the cool gear I earned in other parts of the game. I also was on the receiving end many times..quickly being dropped by a high powered shotgun. You can check out a video of it here: Iron Banner on Mars
So after several hours of play, I wholeheartedly support Destiny. I highly recommend that if you like Halo 1-3, Mass Effect, Planetside, or are a FPS fan in general, you should definitely plan to pick this game up on September 9th. It’s going to be a grand 10 year experience from Bungie. They have put their whole company behind the development of this new franchise and it looks like it is going to pay off.