Today is July 17th and the Beta for Bungie’s new epic masterpiece, Destiny just went live. Naturally, anyone that wants to see this game in action ahead of its autumn release should dive right in, but assuming you can’t for some reason, here’s a handy little piece which will provide you with the basic impressions…
The very first thing to take note of is its graphics, obviously. Presented in very sharp detail that’s adorned with motion blurring and other environmental effects designed to make you feel like you’re mired in the action, Destiny is definitely one for immersion. Approaching enemy characters, you’ll find the action to be smooth, yet challenging as well, with just the right amount of opposition applied to keep things fun, yet interesting at the same time. Clearly the developers spent a lot of time trying to make basic combat here the central focus or main point of appeal.
Completing a basic mission where you find a spacecraft and fire it up to blast to a nearby city, you are greeted with more of a standardized level summation window. From there you basically are able to apply upgrades and measure your progress, just as you would in a more typical FPS like Halo, which is ostensibly divided up into levels. However, you’ll transition to third person view at times where you have the ability to roam around and interact in a non-combat zone as you would in any more typical RPG. Basically, this means that you’ll run across hubs where you’ll encounter lots of others in typical MMO fashion, trade and talk with them while at the same time picking up your mail at the post office and shopping. Simply put, this adds quite another dimension to the already great storyline, combat and visuals, thereby increasing the game’s appeal and apparent depth. (Note* - there is also a companion app you can install on your device which allows you to interact with the game and your character data as well.)
Setting your sights to leave the safety of the tower, you can use your spaceship to select a new destination. Currently, for the beta, you can only explore old Russia, which is fine for our purposes. Our next mission has us returning to the “fallen” territories and searching for additional parts to enhance our spiffy little ship with. After a little graphic which shows our ship sinking to the planet’s surface, we move back into first person view and arrive at “The Steppes”, which appears to be more or less utterly ruined and overgrown with various types of vegetation.
Moving down toward the underground areas, the game takes on a more frantic character, with perhaps even a bit of horror thrown in for good measure. With only your flashlight to illuminate the way, you can effectively explore these kinds of areas knowing full well that you’re probably being watched by some nefarious (space) pirate or god knows what. Of course, this is what makes taking the time to roam around exciting and fun, if there were no inherent danger what would be the point, right? Coming across a Hallowed Knight you will discover just how much farther you’ll likely need to level up before being able to comfortably bring them down. In this way, Destiny plays out and feels like a more classic RPG, where you can often encounter fierce enemies in the initial stages of a world map yet lack the power to easily subdue them, rendering their treasures and so forth.
Again, the highlight of the game, aside from offering loads of questing potential as well as exploration possibilities, is the combat, which is delivered via first-person shooting mechanics. Here, the action feels smooth and precise, sort of like a more refined Halo or something, with just a touch of CoD thrown in for good measure. In addition to this however you also have additional powers to tap into which ends up making the game feel very RPG-ish indeed.
At first glance, Destiny is certainly a real charmer – the type of game that you not only assume will succeed but one that you really hope will as well. From initial reviews it is entirely possible and practical to assume that this title will go on to much bigger and better things, perhaps even rising to prominence to become the next big IP to set the entire video game world ablaze, it certainly has all the necessary components to do so.