Bungie are reasonably well known now for their reputation at making great games, and thus, here comes Destiny. A game that has a backlog of hype, a universe that has been started from a fresh by a fantastic and skilled studio. And to top it all, they plan on it being a 10 year franchise that has a $500 million dollar budget backing it. So it’s not something you could call ordinary, in any shape or form. I have had an eye on Destiny pretty much from the start of it’s announcement for next gen, but I was never too sure of it. It was around the time that I was still a hardcore (still am really) Halo fan. However, as we got closer to E3, the hype train was going full steam ahead, where I think I had no choice but to jump aboard and ride it. And when the Alpha was released, ride it I did.
And that’s when I started hating it. I loved what I read before the Alpha, the videos I saw, the attention to detail in the lore of the universe they had newly created. What class would I pick? Hunter? Titan? Warlock? It was a tough choice between the roguish Hunter or the armor stacked Titan for me. A decision that still takes me over 10 minutes to make on every RPG game I play that gives the choice to me. I went with the Hunter first of all, as I am prone to hunkering at the back with a sniper rifle laying down fire. After choosing, it hits me with character customisation, another thing that I love in a game, why would Destiny do this to me? There wasn’t a great deal that I could do, but choosing between 3 races, and picking enough facial features to make me different enough was fine by me. Exo it was, in full black. Choice made.
I hit finish, and I’m in the universe after a short thank you from Bungie. Straight off you’re in a battle zone, on a mission known as the Dark Within. The graphics look beautiful, and has me already impressed and wanting more. The hatred grows. I run about, find the first group of enemies, lay down some fire and numbers go springing across my screen. Is that the damage I am dealing? Argh, not another box ticked on what I have found to be great in an FPS. It’s hard not to be satisfied seeing the actual damage you are doing, and getting those crits to help pin-point weak spots, and the general idea of seeing what damage you are outputting. I love the Borderlands series, and this has taken a step in the right direction.
Pushing buttons to figure out what does what leads me to the touch pad. Holding down square finds myself mounting onto a jet bike with seamless ease. A smooth Tron like mount of a vehicle, and I can blast off. Why does it have to be done so well? Why am I taken in by such a simple thing?
Moving on, I progress forward, I come across other random players embarking on the same journey as me. One even waves at me coming up as an emote. AN EMOTE? What does this game not have? How can I do it? I find the D pad grants me access to 4 emotes. And one is none other than the infamous /dance. Nostalgia of my WoW days comes flooding back. Where anything can be celebrated with /dance, and it can be done anywhere no matter what. Getting ganked? / Dance it is.
I head towards the story quest, enter the building after taking out a number of enemies on the way, all of which annoyingly ran away and had me chasing them in circles. Actual first negative point, I might add. I am pushing right up to where the quest begins, there is another player by my side as we battle our way through, each sharing the experience. And then, as I am in the building, the screen fuzzes a little bit around the edges and I find myself alone. Again with the seamless transition. I was both awesomely impressed and surprised at how smooth it was. Going from a MMO experience, to being there on my own within seconds. Now I know you can tackle things if youre in a group. But the fact that it just slides into the instance/ quest without a loading screen or anything was just a small wow factor.
The game pushes through further in, and it has got to the point where I know there is at least something that I don’t like. And that is the voice of the cube that helps you. Because my GOD is the voice boring. There is no excitement, there is no thrill. Just a simple vocal drone of “oh like there are enemies ahead, watch out” as if it would love to be anywhere but in your presence. Whether it was designed or not. It just made things a bit crap, because every time he speaks, it’s so dull it makes me want to mute him. Maybe because game’s like Transistor nail audio so well, that I come to think that everything should just be done with the same passion.
After completing through the story quest, you’re advised to head to The Tower. The main city you could say where trade occurs, and other plays can gather for a /dance a thon. Or just to chill out and check what armor, guns and other bits and bobs that the merchants have to offer. That and the absolute gorgeous backdrop over the city as you spawn.
After checking stuff out, I find that I can buy all the bits and pieces with the glimmer that I have earned from the quests and enemies. I also can access a mailbox, storage and merchants that I can buy new loot from. Each area is also quartered off to cover different areas of purchase. At this point I check the clock and the days I have left to play this game, and depression hits in. I have so little time, but so much to do, so much to explore.
On top of this, there was still many more quests to be completed within the free roam, all obtained through beacons found scattered about, taking you to new areas. There was the events that occur every now and then meaning nearby players can rush to take down a certain high level enemy or clear out several areas of enemies for that bonus exp and glimmer. The multiplayer was great fun already for only two maps… I could talk for hours.
Bearing in mind, that this is just touching the surface of the game, that’s why I hate Destiny. And giving me the chance of playing a game that I have to wait until September to enjoy fully is the icing on the unfair cake. From the second I could play it, I was doing nothing but playing whenever I had a spare minute. There was so much to do for an Alpha release. Being able to explore the initial area is no small feat, with lots of small nooks and crannies. Not to mention a few hidden mini bosses where you can expect a one shot. Doing a mission on either normal or brute difficulty to get a feel for what the differences are, and the multiplayer too, it all gave me the sense of how Destiny is going to pan out. And I freaking loved it. So much that I can only hate it until it comes out, and for Bungie for allowing the short experience. Screw the beta. I want the full game!