As we near the end date for the beta of Bungie’s latest “Blockbuster” game “Destiny” I thought it would be appropriate to write down a few sticking points from my own play through of the beta.
First of all it is a very pretty game, it does have a certain borderlands sheen to it as at certain angles it looks a bit cell shaded (Borderlands was fully cell shaded) not to say that is a bad thing, but it is a noticeable similarity. Of course Destiny far outstrips it in terms of beauty, take in the scenery, the wide expansive lakes, the mountainous areas, you could easily take yourself on a sight-seeing tour of the whole map and still enjoy yourself.
So what about the gameplay? Again its Borderlands but mixed with Halo (Naturally since this is the studio that created the Halo series) The ever-present “Ghost” companion that acts as your guide essentially could very well be guilty spark from Halo or Claptrap from Borderlands, except with much less emotion and far more robotic in tone (I will get to that later!). The shooting/combat is a lot of fun actually, this is definitely where it leans on its Halo heritage and why not? The Halo’s were great games, if you look carefully you can see that some of the animation could have been ripped straight from the game such as reloading animations or when your enemies sidestep your bullets it’s all very safe and familiar.
There is your standard PvP game modes that you get with every MMORPG, and these are ok, I couldn’t help getting the feeling that it is quite slow and ponderous at times, matches drag on for sometime and the maps are a little bit bland for my liking, although his is a beta with a severely limited collection of maps so I wont judge it too harshly on that.
Severely limited is something that you could apply to the entire beta as you get capped at lvl 8 and you only get access to 5-6 story missions, after you do that you’ve near enough maxed out your character and the only thing left to do is the multiplayer, maybe its just me but I just can’t sum up the will to play it much when any xp earned is useless and any rewards unlocked could very well be taken away when the final version is released. Now I understand why they’ve limited it somewhat, but it’s so short it just feels like testing out a beta release of a demo of the game whereas back in the day with the first final fantasy MMO you essentially had free reign t do what you wanted within the time span of the beta testing, which I think was around a month (this was on the 360 so it was a while ago and im working from memory).
Ultimately though getting something to try pre-release is pretty good and I appreciate that, but I still can’t help feeling a little disappointed.
The last thing that left an impression was the voice acting, from what I could recognise Bungie have hired a lot of big name actors to voice characters in the game, which is great if they are good at this very different craft. And they are for the most part, however I cant help but thinking that Peter Dinklage who they got to voice the ghost companion isn’t much of a voice actor, getting a great actor like him and make him as emotionless and robotic in tone and manner was an awful, awful choice. It doesn’t feel natural and that is a crying shame.
Those are the things that jumped out at me during my time on destiny, again it is the beta so there is scope for things to improve. Rather than outright criticism think of it as what I would highlight as things to think about as the development process ramps up to release.
Thanks for reading!