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Destiny Preview

Destiny has some pretty big shoes to fill with it being Bungie’s real first foray into first person shooters since handing over the reins of its baby, Halo, to 343 Industries; Although rather than drop all that came before, Bungie have nurtured their old ideas and grown them into something new, albeit familiar.

Moving away from their previous console of choice and letting go of all things Master Chief there are still notable nods to their great gaming series and why shouldn’t it be, Halo was a monster when it out, but that went a different way, more focused on the exploits of Master Chief. This time around the threat isn’t new, its old and the human race is pretty much lost with only a few survivors remaining, relying on Guardians to protect and reclaim the scorched remains of earth. This preview version of Destiny did away with the majority of the story, dropping you right into the fray once you have created your warrior. Being a huge online game it starts like many others, character creation, offering plenty of original selections to at least make it hard for you to bump into a doppelgänger with character customisation allowing a range of different races and sexes and then specific classes that allow for different progression and play style with Warlocks, Titan and Hunters each having their own level tiers, but for this short advance they do play quite similar.

The preview code pretty much dropped me into the game world with little explanation, leaving the navigational computer "Ghost" to point me in the right direction, starting with venturing across a decimated Russia to take on an unknown enemy. Very quickly you come across one of the main enemy factions, the Fallen, quick to shoot and very clever, diving for cover and using other tactics to lure you out of safe cover. As mentioned the game has plenty of echoes of Halo but there are plenty of other obvious influences like Borderlands and other MMO's like in the actual fire fights the weapon handling and quick swaps are of the quality of a Bungie game but then you have hit counters appearing over the enemy, showing the damage dealt; if you are not happy with the weapon on hand then a quick menu allows very easy swapping to something more appropriate (as long as you carry it). Taking on this first mission was a real challenge, the game throwing all sorts of environments and enemies to contend with but thanks to a recharging shield and a decent waypoint system, making progress didn’t take too long before taking on the first boss. Of course being an online game, more often than not I found myself also backed up by other players, joining in the fight and reaping the shared rewards of loot and ammo drops. Once completed I was transported to the main game hub, a sterile version of Mos Eisley but thanks to a lack of on screen map it was a little confusing with paths leading to all manner of shops for new equipment and ships.

Back on the planetside there are a couple of missions left to try, one allows you to join or create a Fireteam of three players to take on specific missions, with the mission available taking a good couple of hours and plenty of boss fights to work through. These “dungeon raids” are created with team work in mind, working together to defeat certain enemies so a chatty team is essential, something that was lacking in my play through. Again it was good to see some classic Halo moments pop up like huge arena style battles against a huge tank or even the more subtle moments like when the two enemy factions clash, with both the Fallen and the Hive hating each other just as much as the humans, if you are clever enough you can sit back and let them whittle down the numbers before strolling in a picking off the left overs, it is all about tactics.

Destiny also has an open world element, again letting me return to Russia but this time free from any sort of main mission, wandering around the ruins, taking on smaller side missions whilst assisting any other player that may need help. Even through the world felt a little sparse the game also throws in world events, allowing you to drop what you are doing to take on a special request, be it destroying a tank or stopping a Fallen superior to get to a safe point. I even managed to wander underground and came across some Hive lurking in the shadows though even when fully levelled up they were far too strong to take on, leaving me with the impression that there is a huge world just waiting to be explored come the final release.

Even in its unfinished state, Destiny offered a good solid 12 hours of gameplay, trying out different classes and missions before maxing out the level limit and even then there was the thrill of just wandering around the Russian map on offer helping out other players or dipping into the Crucible, a 6 vs 6 deathmatch lets you bring all of the skills (including double jump and speed bikes) and weapons from the campaign in an intense fire fight on maps only Bungie know how to create.

Destiny is essentially Halo: Combat Evolved: Evolved, with the preview code doing everything a good demo should, showing off what it’s all about and leaving you wanting even more; roll on the beta.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

Edited On 18 Jun, 2014

( 7 )
Old Timer's avatar
Old Timer 3 years ago
Good read! To be fair I spent a short time on this Alpha, probably about 3 hours, at first my thoughts were "Just another generic shooter" but it sort of grew on me as time went on. I'm still not convinced ( early days ) because my main concern it felt too much like Halo, not saying that's a bad thing, I love Halo but wanted it to stand out for what it is, not remind me of something else but being fair, it's Bungie, what did I expect?
shane_5121's avatar
shane_5121 3 years ago
As I said before I really wasn't expecting anything special from this title...that is until i really got my teeth into the Alpha. I can't really comment on the similarities to Halo as I've never played it, but this title had something about it that pulls you in...The worlds seem vast and plenty to explore as Ash found out, and the enemy AI was better then most shooters out there at the moment. I really am expecting great stuff from this title. Great stuff. And great write-up Ash!
Dave 'BubbaJai' Aston's avatar
Dave 'BubbaJai' Aston 3 years ago
Good preview Ash. On my preview of Destiny, I can sum it up in one simple word ... EPIC! Granted it won't win me a journalist job. The downside is they're wiping the servers from Alpha to Beta and maybe from Beta to release
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 3 years ago
It makes sense to wipe the servers, it is annoying but it does make sense.
Spear 25's avatar
Spear 25 3 years ago
Playing the alpha has convinced me that this a day one purchase for me. I wonder if they will wipe the servers in between beta and release. Would be a nice reward for testing out the game to start with your character from beta.
da_kerr's avatar
da_kerr 3 years ago
I really wish I'd got my hands on the alpha. This preview has only served to fuel my interest in this game (along with many glowing comments on the Shopto comment threads lol). Originally, I wasn't all that bothered, but the more I've seen, the more I've found it inching closer and closer to a day one purchase. And, if it does feel a bit like Halo, I would necessarily consider that a bad thing ;)
Kaysar's avatar
Kaysar 3 years ago
The scope for this game is huge. The surface was barely scratched with the Alpha and stopping at level 8, which so much more being teased, just whets the appetite (speaking of which, lunch time). I never got into the tactics hugely apart from when I got involved in a fireteam and took on the fireteam level. That said, the hive just screamed "the flood" from Halo when I first encountered them. As long as it's done tactfully, and not too often, a few nods to the Halo franchise would be nice

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