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Destiny is definitely promising. After playing it over the first Beta weekend, my initial concerns that it would be more of the same aren’t as prevalent as I anticipated. When we first heard about Destiny, we basically just came out of Borderlands 2 and some Dead Island Riptide. By that point, I was a little over the FPS RPG.
Here are my random impressions of the Playstation 4 beta:
- The game looks and runs really well.
- I’m really impressed by how fluid and intuitive the game feels. The gameplay flows into the interface and the interface flows into the menus. It just feels good. The game play itself feels good too, but it definitely feels like Halo.
- Building off my last statement: I like the fluid transitions between everything. You go from being on a planet fighting, to sitting in orbit for mission select and then you get a cut scene showing your ship flying to the planet. I like that transitional stuff. Mass Effect did that well too. It’s better than a shitty loading screen.
- The game feels like a combination of Borderlands’ mechanics, married with Halo’s gun play and engine, laid over a Mass Effect-feeling story with Halo elements. The enemies, drop ships that drop them off, energy weapons, and lots of other stuff are very Halo.
- I’m already fascinated in the lore. I want to know what “The Traveller” actually is. Is it a planet? A Deathstar? Why do they resurrect select people to become guardians? What happened that wiped them out? It all seems interesting to me and that’s great world building.
- Load times seem to vary. Longest load time for something so far has been a minute and a half.
- I’m disappointed there aren’t more character class choices. I’m sure they will add more. I hoping you can really customize your character builds and it’s not just linear choices later on.
- I’ve tried a few guns, but the assault rifle seems to be the best. I tried a rifle hoping to snipe people and it’s not very effective, at least at level 4.
- I’m glad I can sneak around enemies as they close in on my last known position. I hate computers that know your position at all times. Being able to flank is important.
- I’ve explored the Old Russia map a bit and I’m glad they have little caves and things that contain hidden chests. Exploration is really important to me.
- The Old Russia map is detailed and seems pretty massive. Just looking around, you can tell a lot of detail and care went into the placement of objects, which create cover and interesting battlegrounds. It’s smart level design. I’m assuming PVP will take place in chunks of the various maps since so much work went into creating the environment.
- Seeing other people roam the map gives that sense that the world is alive. Seeing enemies drop in and attack someone a mile away is pretty cool.
- The game has an interesting blend of elements from a single player game mixed with an MMO.
- Controlling your character in third person in The Last City Tower is a weird design choice. Being able to see my character gives that true MMO feel though.
- It seems to be pretty easy to find people to play within the interface.
- Being able to level your gun and unlock different skills gives the player great options for slight build customization.
- Joining a fire team and playing with your friends takes no time at all. It’s fast and intuitive.
- PVP is standard fare. It feels just like the Halo series. They only had two game modes, both of which play exactly the same except one lets you keep your current level and weapons.
- The only PVP modes available were called Control. It’s basically capture points A,B,C and holding them to earn points. I didn’t care for it personally. It felt predictable. You’re basically running around a circuit capturing points that the enemy just captured. The other team is doing the same thing. It’s a giant hamster wheel.
- Supers (pretty much a super attack that builds as you kill and pickup items) take away from the PVP experience, especially in a mode like Control. Since you need to stand in a small circle to capture a point, an enemy can run in, fire their unblockable Super and kill the entire team. There’s no warning and no way to counter the Super other than to kill the person before they use it.