[Preview] Destiny Beta

[Preview] Destiny Beta

I know everyone has longed for this day to come after gaining that Destiny Alpha appetizer in June  To many it wasn’t enough. While it was only a few days, Bungie gave us PlayStation owners our just desserts in the form of the Destiny Beta. A time for us all to play a little bit more before that big day on September 9 drops the full meal on us. So let’s jump into the Destiny Beta shall we!

Once you’re in, you are greeted by the Destiny screen and have to pick your class, whether that is a Titan, a Hunter, or a Warlock. Tough decision once you first start, but thereafter you have to pick your race and what your face looks like as well.  This can be even more difficult depending what you seek in your character.


Story Mode

After all that and the opening Cinematic, A Ghost appears,  a small mechanical star like creature that floats… seems to be looking for something – You. Apparently you were dead and after being found and brought back to life by what’s now Your Ghost, the surrounding area starts to fall into place around you with rusted cars and Destroyed bridges sprawled about. The biggest set piece in front of you though is an old dam that looks like it’s going to fall apart at any moment. Air is quite chilly with snow blanketing almost everything and signs with odd characters with speech resembling… A Russian Language? While everything looks bleak like something wrong has happened a long time ago, the environment and climate have taken over this Old Russian landscape which is still quite beautiful to behold (Look at those graphics!). Now that you’ve realized you must be in Old Russia, the path in front of you beckons for you to go inside the dam. So you trudge along the path, passing each snow covered car, while playfully messing around in the large puddle of water to the left.  Which reflects the surroundings and ripples as if you were actually in it. After hearing the shrills of what sounds like animals and being startled by crows coming out of random cars, you decide to not fool around any longer and hurry inside the dam.

 

Up the stairs and through a small hallway, you can hear something is right above you but you can’t pinpoint what it is. Doesn’t help things are creaking just about everywhere as if the wind doesn’t care that the Dam is a sealed in structure.  But the Sun does shine in for a little bit through the windows… before it all goes dark. Thankfully your Ghost is there to light the way, illuminating the path you are going down. Eventually this comforting light that is talking to you  leaves for a moment to turn on the lights in the metal cavern. Once the lights are on though,  you wish they weren’t as the first thing you and your Ghost get alerted to is your first enemy  – the Fallen. Creatures that are able to wield guns but can have multiple arms as well depending on their rank, they start rushing out of their den in order to get to you.  With nothing to defend yourself, your ghost directs you to a Rifle off to the side near a box. You hurry to pick it up as you meet up with The Fallen for the first time, but they too meet up with something for the first time.  Your rifle that takes them out quickly. After collecting their loot, you continue on, taking out any Fallen as you go through each room,  hallway, and even outside again but eventually end up back at a structure you need to venture into.

As you head inside, more Fallen show up of course.  So shooting and sucker punching them to make sure they are not in your way seems to be working well for you so far but lo and behold a Captain of the Fallen shows up in the last room, a bit more difficult to take down. You understand quite quickly why he’s there… a Ship that looks like it’s fully functional.  You get this feeling he would rather you be back in the ground than in the air. With your only way to get out of this battlezone full of The Fallen, you take your time to pick off the Captain’s support before doing the tango with the Captain himself. He’s not easy, warping from place to place, bringing in Floating robotic devices called Sparks to make it more of a challenge than it already is. Unlike the other Fallen, the Captain is heavily shielded, it takes a bit more time exchanging bullets with one another before one victor eventually emerges at the end of the struggle – you. So your Ghost helps you jump the ship to get it running and pops you into it before what looks like Fallen reinforcements showing up with a fairly large Unknown Fallen individual. You never find out who it is as your ships starts to leave the building and out the area but not only that a shadow like figure watches from afar as you leave as well. So many questions that are left unanswered for you to find out on your own in the future.

 

Tower Plaza

Your ship ends up up at what’s called the Tower Plaza, another side of Earth according to your Ghost. A place where the guardians rest from the action, buy equipment, and gain more missions to continue the battle. It is also where you meet up with your friends for the first time and many others who you may become friends with in the future. Pointing, waving, dancing (yep you heard right, pretty much everyone knows how and are pretty good at it too), and various social activities happen at the Tower Plaza.  Like a fun game of Soccer or volleyball (but there is the chance the ball is tossed off the tower edge, which until it’s recovered later you may not see for a while). There’s also a Bounty board front and center where you can accept challenges for more loot and upgrades for yourself outside the normal missions and Battles.

 

The Tower Plaza though is quite large which leads to various hangout areas but more importantly to the Hall of Guardians, the Tower North, and the Tower Hangar. While the Tower North seems to be more shops and conversing with the Speaker, The Tower Hangar is centered around repairing your ship or buying a new one (if you don’t like your current one) and also buying, upgrading, and re-skinning your future Sparrow, a hover bike of sorts.  While there are shops to buy gear, Weapons, and even to check your mail in the central hub, the Hall of the Guardians is the most important area which leads you not only to your trainers who give you rewards and missions to advance your Destiny but also to the Crucible.

The Crucible

The Crucible is not for the weak though,  especially not for those coming from Russia for the first time, you will not have access to those arenas until you’ve gone up in rank levels a little bit (level 5). That’s not to say we can’t talk about it. The Crucible is a Player Versus Player arena where you battle to the death in various maps with different rule sets depending on what tickles your fancy. Hey, Not to worry about that death part, you come back numerous times in one piece during multiplayer matches. It’s more like a fun romp with your friends or anyone who hops in to sharpen or show off their skills, like headshots on you, or vice versa. Now currently in the Beta there is only one mode to choose from in the Crucible, Control. Control is a fun endeavor that is very much  like Team Deathmatch mixed with Capture the Flag. Entailing a group of six versus six (six per party, so no crazy shenanigans), your objective is to get to a total point count of 20,000, but often times that doesn’t even get reached before the Time Limit ends, so the majority of the time it’s whoever has the most points. Capturing each zone (A,B,C) multiplies the points you and your team gain, so the more you capture and kill, the better!

  

In regards to Maps to play on, the following four maps are for the Beta: The Shores of Time (Venus), First Flight (Moon), Rusted Lands (Earth), and Blind Watch (Mars). The Shores of Time and First Flight map’s were the only crucible maps available to play at the start of the Beta but within a few days into it, Rusted Lands and Blind Watch became available along with a Rewards Event (Iron Clad) , which shows that this is one of the few Beta’s where more content is given over time to Guardians, like yourself. Each map has their own spin too; Blind Watch is very Vertical with stairwells everywhere, Rusted Lands has lots of broken up buildings with walls blocking your way, First Flight is heavy with the Vehicles and turrets being the focal point, and The Shores of Time is broken up with sections of Rocky landscapes. Overall, The Crucible has given us so much for the Beta so far, whether that be maps (two new maps to play on after a few days in), earned gear (those level 20’s are such a tease), and even more bounties to unlock (due to events like Iron Class) you can Bring your friends or play with randoms and have fun together!

 

Fireteams: Story, Strike, Explore

Oh,  and the Crucible isn’t the only way to play with friends and those around the world, the Beta also allows you to enjoy what is a big emphasis of the game as a whole, the Co-Operative play called FireTeams. Although the Beta has Old Russia as the Only available map, there is plenty to do like the four different missions in the Story portion which you no longer have to do alone anymore but can be completed with your Fireteam. Two different difficulties do present themselves for you and your Fireteam in these, normal and hard. Normal difficulty is according to your level at the time and Hard is for those who want a challenge or  want even more experience points. Leveling up through these feel more like a natural progression than actually grinding through area’s of enemies and the outcome is different and fresh each and every time (an extremely fun romp!) Outside of continuing the Story, there is also the Explore and Strike missions. Together with your Fireteam  you will do these missions and move across the Destiny universe for as long as each participant wishes to remain part of that Fireteam. Within these missions you will also find other Fireteams and can decide if you wish to work together or not.  

You will find a numerous amount of Explore missions in the Beta. After choosing your Explore Mission,  you arrive in Old Russia and are invited to explore the world as you wish. You are also given the option to do side-missions by going up to one of the many beacons distributed around the world and find the many hidden treats that will likely await us when the game fully releases. It’s a nice way to tease you about the possibilities of going into caves, exploring abandoned buildings, visiting new areas, finding new enemies. However, you will quickly learn that exploring in the Destiny Beta can be dangerous because the beasts that lurk in these areas are way beyond your level and immune to all your attacks! These areas and new enemies will leave you wishing that there was no level cap in the Beta.  Level cap aside, the Beta still has plenty of areas that are well within your combat range to explore. The side missions vary greatly in objectives, from clearing out enemies, securing data, or to locating lost ghosts. Not only that but Public Events can happen at anytime which you can tell almost immediately when it starts happening.  More rewards are given as well if you and your Fireteam participate in these. Making a mad dash to the area where it is happening is a must and Explore is the place to be when this happens.


While Explore focuses more on approaching missions any way you like and gives you the option to fight enemies, Strike missions are more combat oriented. Strike missions have your Fireteam fight across the map against multitudes of Enemies. These missions also require a Fireteam of three and will have portions where other Fireteams join the fight. In the Beta you will find 1 Strike mission called, The Devil’s Lair. In this Strike Mission you will fight wave after wave of enemy and fight multiple bosses. The enemies vary in size, strength, and numbers. You will soon find out that after accomplishing an objective and killing a boss, you will get another objective and fight another boss with increased difficulty. The bosses in this Strike Mission will have you running out of Ammo quickly, but never fear! You have other powers that can take out the never ending smaller enemies that drop ammo. When you work together with your Fireteam, you will learn that the bosses can’t stop a Fireteam of Guardians.


Conclusion

Guardians, while the last week of battle was short lived before the actual war is upon us later in September, we hope you were able to play as much and as often as you could. When the game releases, enjoy the Story by yourself or with your friends in a Fireteam, utilize that Fireteam to it’s fullest through the difficult Strike Mission and Explore objectives, rest up and have fun socializing in the Tower Plaza, and go back into the arena of the Crucible to go against your friends or as a team. The Destiny Beta was quite an adventurous event that was a great to have tried out. So if you are on the fence in getting Destiny, make it your Destiny to learn about the Destiny Beta and what’s in store in the near future!

(*Special thanks goes to TheJLC  and KANE-FIRE for their help with this!*)


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4 comments on “[Preview] Destiny Beta”


  1. Avatar Fexelea says:

    One amazing article, thank you so much for sharing! :D

    Your article helped me understand some aspects that I wasn’t getting, and through your view see the fun in some modes I wouldn’t have thought to consider!

  2. SlothAlmighty says:

    I’m pretty sure its “the wall” not “a dam”

  3. SlothAlmighty says:

    wonder if we will get to keep our characters?

    I had a blast playing the beta. and I was so close to unlocking the incendiary blade on my hunter. I’m going to be so sad…

  4. Avatar AnCapaillMor says:

    Got to say i liked it. I’ve played FPS’s since i could walk, wolfenstein 3-D and doom on a 386, quake, medal of honour, halflife etc etc, around 8 years ago i found they were all the same and pretty lost my love of the FPS genre as a whole. Well besides the BF series and i rarely if ever PVE’d those. A former poster here was banging on about destiny so it caught my attention and i said i’d give it a go. I always thought halo was a vastly over-rated game so went into this with some scepticism and i got to say i absolutely loved it. There was just many nice touches, the coop, the emotes, the public events and when i found a soccer ball and giant purple ball that i could knock around i just fell in love. Definite buy for me now.

    Before i forget, nice write up dude.

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