A Date with Destiny
When I first heard that Bungie (the studio responsible for Halo: CE) would be creating a new game that combines elements of a first-person shooter and a massive multiplayer online game, my imagination went wild. An action game on that large of a scale simply has not been done on a console. Will Destiny live up to the hype? The recently released beta has provided us with an excellent preview of the game.
First things first, the visuals are absolutely incredible and bring everything to life. The worlds you delve into on Destiny are filled with breathtaking skylines and beautiful areas that are ripe for exploration. You might not expect a post-apocalyptic Russian landscape to be eye-catching but Bungie has turned the blasted ruins of Earth into something beautiful.
Mission play is unique and loads of fun. In a world with hundreds of other players in it, it never feels like you have to wait for the next set of monsters to spawn before you can move on in the storyline. You can go from mission to mission laying waste to your foes without being slowed down by other players. For the more difficult boss missions, which require you to be on a “fire team,” the matchmaking system will quickly match you with adventurers of similar experience levels.
This wouldn’t be a Bungie game without a solid Player vs. Player portion of the game. The Crucible is that area in Destiny. In The Crucible, there are zones similar to what you might find in a typical Call of Duty or Battlefield game. Not surprisingly, the mechanics here feel a lot more like Halo. I was really impressed that the game never seemed to be overcome by lag when facing other players online. There was little to no ghosting. Tracking player movement felt extremely solid, especially for a game in beta. I have no doubt that the multiplayer portion of the game will be what brings the majority of gamers to Destiny over and over again.
You’ll definitely be excited about the level of customization you can do in Destiny. Beyond your typical cosmetic customization you will choose between 3 different races and classes for your character. Destiny also has a skill tree that lets you further customize your character as you level up. In beta, I could only reach level 8; which meant that I was locked out of 95% of the skill tree customization. When the game is launched, you’ll be able to craft your own character with the abilities and attributes that you want.
Based on what I’ve seen in the beta, I have no doubt that Destiny will be “The Game” for 2014. While the beta may have lacked a bit of the depth that I’m used to from a typical MMO, it made up for that with the superb FPS play style. As “big” as Destiny is, there is a sense that you are playing a co-op mission on a LAN with some close friends. The final version of the game looks to deliver the depth of a massive online world. Don’t miss out on it. You can pre-order Destiny on NFM.com or purchase the game in-store on September 9th.