Community Review: The Destiny Beta

Almost everyone I know is playing the Destiny Beta and if you're not? You've probably seen a ton of streams, video, and screenshots from the folk who have.The successful Alpha drove the world of mouth, the large scale beta is pushing things into the stratosphere.

The Beta has been, arguably, the most ingenious piece of marketing Bungie could have realistically come up with. Not only has it given codes to people who pre-ordered, the folks who pre-ordered have an extra two codes they can dole out to friends -- it's the ultimate pay it forward scheme. And the game is so good: I'd say that a vast majority of the folks being given free codes? They're going to buy Destiny. Once you've played it, it's going to be pretty hard to resist. It's just that good.

Why is it so good? It's hard to explain. I'd say that it combines the smooth, perfectly pitched mechanics of Halo with the devilish number wizardry of WoW. When you take that raw, rewarding feel of Halo-style gunplay and combine it with a robust levelling system -- you're bound to have something pretty spectacular indeed.

Also: sweet mother of god it looks good. It looks so good on the PS4. It's not just the raw texture work, it's the art itself. The world itself is beautiful and it feels brilliantly considered and delicately designed.

And those skyboxes. Jesus Christ those skyboxes. On my Facebook at the moment, there are about three photos of Destiny skyboxes on my feed, and that's how it is at practically any given time. When you are out in the open, there is something glorious to look at. Always. At any given time you can look up at the sky and fall in love.

My only regret is that I haven't spent enough time with it so far. I've been so busy: I'm moving house, I'm playing World of Warcraft for my Idiot in Azeroth series -- but at any given time you can find me daydreaming about Destiny, and the beautiful world it's set in. Yep, I think I'm a bit of a fan of this game.


Comments

    looks nice for sure (would look FAR better on my PC).

    Gameplay is nice, co-op is good. music is very good.
    Nothing really amazing or revolutionary but over all a solid looking game.

    Beta was lacking in content, as stated in another article, i got 2 toons to level 8 and completed Everything a couple times, in just over 6 hours.

    Not sure what all the crying was about Dinklage voice acting... he's playing a robot... it should be a little flat/unemotional.

      The ghost voice in the alpha didn't have any of the post processing it does in the beta, it was just peter Dinklage talking and it did sound out of place

      Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel. Nothing revolutionary but still looking promising with solid gameplay. Still hoping there will be a PC version because of the Stutter on PS4 and lower rez (ATM)/ delayed content on X1. Oh well, we can dream.

      (@piat) And the Dinklage acting.. IDK if the post processing really added to it at all. (It's a cheap 5sec trick involving a tone shift in an audio program, I would know. But that's perfectly fine IF that's how they intended him to sound in the first place.) The acting was fine as it was, and still is with the filter, for an AI. IMO it's that the dialogue he says feels like it doesn't fit. It's just awkward at times. And I can't blame the actor for the lines he has to deliver and how he was made to deliver them.

      Anyway, in all it looks promising. I think it's the only shooter I'm still looking forward to right now, ATM.

      *Edited post coffee.. I think.

      Last edited 21/07/14 12:00 pm

    Am I the only person who's not that interested in Destiny?

    and that hurts for me to say because I love Bungie. But when I look at Destiny I see a hybrid of Borderlands and Call of Duty.

      I'm flip flopping between being interested and being not interested. I love the Halo games, and I really want that sci-fi epic story fix and Halo gameplay, and it's really hard to judge whether this has that.

      I feel like I could easily love a game like Destiny, but the focus on mmoltiplayer doesn't excite me the way I imagine it does a lot of other people. Does Destiny have a story, like with a beginning middle and end?

        Must be played with friends or the magic is lost. That said the PUG system works well (I have 2 psn friends and they both didnt play the alpha or beta, our group mainly plays xbox) for those of us lone wolfs out there. Love the celebratory dance at the end of each strike.

        It does have a story with specific mission being called "story mission", dungeons called "strikes" and free exploration areas where you pick up little quests on the map. All seperate from the pvp part of the game.

        Last edited 21/07/14 12:58 pm

          Not playing with friends. Magic is not lost.

            Glad to hear it. Im playing all by my lonesome on my ps4 waiting for the beta to launch on xbox so I can play with friends.

            Prob should change "magic is lost" to "much better with friends". I realise I shouldn't have made such a sweeping declaration.

            Last edited 21/07/14 1:05 pm

          I'd disagree that "the magic is lost" if you play alone. I found the adventuring in the Alpha to be pretty peaceful after a while. And the PUGs I got matched with were awesome. If everyone plays as if their team members are there to help, and aren't just distractions or bait, it's a pretty good time. I have heard horror stories about teams that couldn't progress because they didn't help each other out, though... ymmv, I guess.

            How bout I change "magic is lost" to "better with friends or decent team mates"?

              Only if you feel your original statement misrepresented your opinion. Don't censor yourself just cos someone disagrees with you. It's the internet; there's always going to be someone that disagrees with you. :P

                I do feel like my original statement misrepresented my opinion tbh. There has to be a reason I am/was dying to get home and play it, hoping that they haven't turned off the servers yet for that mid beta break. Even if I am playing by myself.

                Servers still up btw.

                Last edited 21/07/14 2:35 pm

          I can certainly see your point about friends but I've had a blast playing on my own. Some of the most fun I've had is just showing up during someone else's fight and helping them out and getting the occasional wave/dance in appreciation or pugging strikes. However that being said I can certainly see its going to be a game that reaches epic levels of fun when you've got a couple of mates online playing.

        I'm the same. I like it but I'm not sure... What makes it harder is that IF I do buy it I'll get 2 copies. One for me, one for my brother for the co-op. And console games are NOT cheap.

          .... He could buy his own copy?

            He doesn't want the game because he's tired of shooters, but wont say no to me buying it. Regardless, IDK if I can justify buying even just one at full price regardless. It's just looter/ shooter. And considering the price, even just one copy is still almost double what I would normally pay for a PC game. (Which would be 1080p60fps, but I wont get into that.)

            Edit: Maybe I'll pick it up when the price drops/ if the reviews are great, but right now I'm still not 100% on board. Other than it being by Bungie, I haven't seen any one thing that blew me away/ peeked my interest. So far anyway.

            Last edited 21/07/14 1:49 pm

      It's actually really well done... I was pretty skeptical after Patricia's article a few weeks back but after getting my hands on it... I can't describe what's so good about it but god damn it's good >.< The guns feel nothing like the ones in Borderlands btw or Call of Duty, they feel solid to use, I'd say its kind of like a hybrid of Killzone and Halo guns in terms of their weight and kickback. But what's really clinching is how there's so much in there reminiscent of WoW...

      I'm kind of curious, but my issue is more about whether I need yet another FPS. I'll definitely be getting Far Cry 4, and I'm just not sure if I need or want another FPS on top of that this year. Which means stuff I'm kind of half-interested (Destiny and Evolve) will probably either miss out or at least wait until they're cheap.

      it's actually more of a cross between halo and an MMO. I'm a fan of halo but MMO's? Not so much :(. Each mission just seems like an instance/dungeon raid to me and that's disappointing. I'm thinking that is not a single player game i'd really enjoy...

    What I like:
    - It's a VERY pretty game.
    - Enjoying the art style.
    - Gameplay mechanics are solid, if somewhat unremarkable.
    - Is incredibly fun when playing with friends, or if you happen to meet up with a good group of randoms.
    - Still decent fun solo.
    - Nice class and progression system.
    - The Old Russia setting is very cool. If other zones are comparable in quality, that's awesome.

    What I don't like:
    - Not really open world. More just a series of hubs. Could definitely do with a bit more freedom, but I'm hoping for that in the final game.
    - No text chat or VOIP. Again, hoping this will be in the full game.
    - There's still a very Halo-esque feel, which is understandable, but then again I was never a fan of Halo.
    - The story is pretty meh so far. Finding it hard to care.

    Overall, it's not quite the revolution I think the hype is building it up to be, but I'll definitely be picking it up on release.

      There was VOIP? I had a dude talking to me via the game, we weren't even in a fireteam together.

        I believe VOIP kicks in when you are grouped in a fireteam - however the only way to send an invite is through your system's "friend" network application (at least, that's how it went for PS3). Being taken out of the game to set up a group was just a little jarring. I was expecting a kind of radial menu with some pre-set helpful messages, like "Hello!" and "Let's group up!", etc. Other games have had similar menus, and it's particularly useful when trying to communicate across language borders.

        I agree with @hotcakes on the text chat/VOIP & "open world" vs hubs. I got the impression that a lot of story was obscured from the beta, so as not to give everything away in advance, however I am concerned that it is actually addressed. Without a story to string the Strikes and Raids together, thy may as well have just released the multiplayer content cand called it "Definitely Not Halo".

          I dunno, I'm on PS4 and some random dude walked up grabbed his mic and started talking to me.

            Ah, ok then. If it's working for you then it's probably a combination of the way I have my PS3 set up for voice and the voice options within Destiny.

            It doesn't diminish my desire for a radial text chat menu. Or a more intuitive way to join/create groups.

        Hmmm, interesting. I have to say I haven't come across that. Maybe I'll just have to dig deeper.

      There is VoIP in fireteams. I think VoIP outside of fire teams would be insane. Open to a team speak client for PlayStation if there isn't one already.

      Its on playstation, of course there is voip. Check your chat settings.

    I'd love to look, don't know anyone with a code going though, so that's a bummer. It's looked nice from what I've seen though.

      I have PS4 code if you need.

        Thanks for the offer man, looks like I was too slow. have an upvote for the gesture though! :D

          Np! I did have two actually, but they were both taken. :( GL.

      Noting @braaains comment (:P), I also have one PS4/EU code left, if anyone wants it.

        If youve got it sitting about i'd love it! I accidentally put US as my region and can't use my keys >.

        Can I have one kind Sir?

      And I'll add that I also have 1 code left too :) first in first served.

      Edit: PS4 that is.

      Last edited 21/07/14 11:14 pm

    I've realised I'm not sure how I feel. I've played through to the point where everything that can be unlocked is unlocked and don't know if I like or dislike it. The game itself feels like a cross between Too Human and Section 8: Prejudice which isn't a bad thing, except it shares some of the flaws of those games which make it feel a little empty and mechanical, rather than organic and fun.

    The campaign isn't that great to play and the voice over is very monotonous and tedious with none of the varied and "interesting" cast you'd find in Borderlands. Getting a good team together for a Strike though is really fun and can lead to some chaotic times. There were several times when I'd be sprinting across the map, bullets and missiles whizzing overhead and then leaping into a pile of enemies with a fist slam (I was playing sentinel) before reviving a comrade, only to have to sprint back across the battle field to revive my other team member.

    So I guess, when the game reaches its stride, it's a heck of a lot of fun, but at any other time it's like playing single player Borderlands.

      Definitely this. After hitting level 8, the "MMO-ness" really set in. A string of repeatable quests to grind for reputation isn't that appealing - and the beta does make it feel like that's what the game is. It's very difficult to see past that at the moment since so much of the game is actually locked out.

      Multiplayer was fun, and hopefully there are a lot more Strikes/Raids + those random "mini-Strikes" that occur during Explore missions at Release.

    Copypasta from the other article:

    A pretty lousy Beta, actually. I'm slightly concerned by the lack of content. It's the same stuff, set in the same placce, done over and over again. The world 'explore' missions are the same thing you did just before or 'kill some enemies'. You can get to level 8 in a couple hours, and the cap is soft-cap 20 for now. There's only two sub-builds per class.

    If they don't flood us with content on actual release, the game will be very mediocre.

    Found some codes online for in game stuff. redeem from bungi.net

    Copy and paste them into the Code Redemption page on Bungie.net to redeem them for in-game content.
    CARD CODE
    Warlock YKA-RJG-MH9
    Hunter 3DA-P4X-F6A
    Titan MVD-4N3-NKH
    Rixis TCN-HCD-TGY
    Old Russia HDX-ALM-V4K
    Hive 473-MXR-3X9
    Moon JMR-LFN-4A3
    Gjallorhorn Launcher HC3-H44-DKC
    Duke Mk. 44 69P-KRM-JJA
    The Tower 69P-VCH-337
    Hive Ogre 69R-CKD-X7L
    Valley of the Kings 69R-DDD-FCP
    The Fallen 69R-F99-AXG
    Red Death 69R-VL7-J6A
    The Cabal 69X-DJN-74V
    The Devastated Coast 6A7-7NP-3X7
    Vex Minotaur 6A9-DTG-YGN

    Enjoy

      do they work more than once?

      EDIT: just redeemed them all.

      Last edited 21/07/14 11:58 am

        You redeemed classes and game locations? Dude what, report back. :D

          it just says " Destiny Collectors Card #1 Check back in 2014 to see what you’ve unlocked!" there is 17 of them, I don't even have the beta yet.

    In my experience I feel that the game is OK. As a PC guy I don't feel that it looks much better than any other last gen game looked on PC (EDIT: I know it's not on PC, I'm talking about on PS4). There are some things that look better but, as I said a while back, it's not all about graphics. It's especially true here because there is quite a bit of scale in Destiny and the art style is still quite consistent.

    I don't mind the voice acting but find the script is... an odd fit at times. The gameplay feels like Borderlands meets Halo. Not a bad thing, but nothing revolutionary, which asks the question of 'Do I need another RPG-FPS-looting-type-cross-gen-game?'

    I'm not sure, and I think that's the only problem.

    I'm still on the fence with this game. I really want to like it and I'm looking for something to get me completely on board... The music is doing a good job at that ATM, but for $80-100 in AU there needs to be more for me IMHO.

    Edit: The sky boxes also look way too flat and like layers of 2d clouds to me. They look like great skyboxes, but with all the 'real time' dynamic sky's we are starting to see, this one fails to impress me.

    Last edited 21/07/14 12:48 pm

      I agree about the skyboxes actually, they are amazing art, but it is kind of jarring that they are so noticeably 2D sprites. In my opinion games like Red Dead Redemption had more technically impressive clouds and skyboxes.

    I am waiting for the Xbone BETA. I'm sure it'll look just as good :)

    I really enjoyed the gameplay and atmosphere, but I'll get it for last gen. The difference between the two is not enough to warrant a whole system (friend is playing on PS4).

    I played a bit of Destiny at the beta launch event on Thursday.

    I didn't play any multi, and this was the first time I'd ever picked up a PS4 controller, but I actually found myself really enjoying the three singleplayer missions that I finished, I want to play more (but will have to wait until it's (probably never?) on PC). The storyline isn't super-cerebral, but that's not a huge surprise.

    The gunplay is very satisfying IMO, moreso than any Halo game I've played and much more than over-the-shoulder Mass Effect. It's quite like Borderlands on PC, which is a big compliment.

    LOOT
    LOOT
    LOOT
    LOOT

    I've really enjoyed my time with the game. PvP is of no interest but the PvE is leaving me hungry for more. LOOT!

    Played the Alpha, played a good chunk of the Beta. I am absolutely salivating for the final product. As Mark said, it's really that good.

    PS. found this cool time lapse of the sky boxes you mentioned @markserrels

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeXHtztyXI4

    People can just go to the PS store on their console and "pre-order" the game. It says that it wont charge me till the 6th of September, but after I started downloading the beta, I just went to the my transaction history and cancelled the pre-order. It didn't cancel my beta access.

    Last edited 21/07/14 2:57 pm

    The biggest problem is the Fireteams. In order to invite someone I see "in the wild" to my fireteam I have to click down the right stick on them, then push options, then click on invite to fireteam, then wait for a painfully slow PS4 OS message window to load (for some reason) then wait for the send button that is greyed out inexplicably to become selectable, then click it, then wait for the message to send (another 3-5 seconds).

    They then receive the fireteam invite through PS4 OS, have to push their playstation button to get back to the main PS4 screen, then go to messages, open the message, accept the request.

    THEN the game pulls them out of the world and back into orbit so it can load you into the other person's instance and you can end up right where you were 3 minutes ago when you were staring them in the face.

    Oh and if you want to return to orbit or the tower while your friend continues on in the area you were before, the fireteam has to be disbanded.

    This is a massive pain, and pretty unforgivable considering MMOs have been painlessly letting you make groups with random players for over a decade now, and Destiny takes up to 5 minutes and a lot of messing around to get you there.

    --

    Other than that the beta is good, I feel a little disappointed having played the alpha to see that it doesn't really give you much more content (even letting us get to level 10 would have been nice).

    The highlights are definitely the strike missions. PVP doesn't give you reliable enough loot rewards. I've played games and finished on a 3-5 K/D ratio and received a white, complete obsolete pair of boots at most, 90% of the time. Meanwhile someone who underperforms on the team received a blue or even purple item. For something that takes 12 minutes of game time, the rewards aren't really "worth it" compared to something like Strike Missions.

    Overall though, so, SO pumped for September 9th when this comes out. It's all the things I thought were good about MMOs, but the actual GAMEPLAY is fun as well, which puts it miles ahead other MMOs where you literally click boxes in order to win battles.

    Last edited 21/07/14 3:24 pm

      Wow...thanks for illuminating me. I had no idea how the Fireteam invite system worked!

      I would see an invite pop up (it looked like a PS download notification for starters), be in the middle of a something and not know where the invite went or what I actually had to do with it to hook-up with another player. The system seems very clunky.

      Here's to hoping Bungie fix it?

        You'll have to push options, L1 to get to the "Roster" tab, and then click the icon that appears above your name in the first column. Make sure you change the fireteam setting from friends only to public or whatever it says to get the best experience.

        You won't be able to invite people you don't know without it.

        Last edited 22/07/14 1:14 pm

          Yeah, I figured that out. I assumed that since I was getting invite notifications from other random players my settings are public. Anyhoo...might catch you in Old Russia some time. :-)

      At last.. someone objective!
      And discussing a game mechanic that we're all going to use heaps and which is appalling? And there's me having lost faith in Comments sections..

      I was always going to buy Destiny for the One. I'm a rusted-on Xbox supporter, can't be arsed changing platforms and got into Halo a year before it dropped.

      I'm very interested to see how the One handles all the Fireteam stuff. Surely MS would do a better job than PSN at basically connecting PCs.. but then I wonder if the in-game menu gets in the way.. perhaps even by design.

      I mean, the Xbox versions of the game have been very firmly pushed to the background by the Sony ones. Hey, it's business, I get it. I'm just reeeeally interested to see if the LIVE version hooks you up faster. Because it most definitely can and should.

        As someone who's 360 was their main console last gen (had PS3 as well but got it later on) I've always found xbox better for the online networking side of things. The playstation OS, especially last generation, really got in its own way a lot of the time. Even something as simple as checking your trophies (not that I care about that stuff) on PS3 required some sort of "server syncing" that took several seconds.

        I hope it is better on Xbox One, It's hard to tell right now whether it's a limitation of the game engine or the platform at this stage.

        Last edited 22/07/14 2:15 pm

          I'm downloading the demo right now, so hopefully we'll know pretty soon.

          45 minutes so far and it's not even halfway done.. why does XBL always take five times longer than normal to download things? Two hours for 13GB? That kind of speed is only fair enough if you have a dam and a windmill..

    Anyone got a spare code. Please. Keen to try it. Ps4

    I'm interested in the single player missions... and the campaign I guess.

    I can see how this game will get grindy and tiresome. The missions just felt disconnected and I wonder if there are cutscenes missing.
    By the by, Destiny is most certainly an MMO.
    Also, the Ghost is a poor replacement for Cortana.

    I can easily sit for hours just fighting mobs in explore mode. Loving it so far.
    Hopefully there's a tonne of content at release. Many strikes.

      While I thoroughly enjoyed explore mode, I'm not spending a lot of time in the Beta specifically because I want to really enjoy the finished product. I see so many ways that it could be awesome, and the amount of "WTF" moments I had just wandering around were staggering.

    I will launch my beta but I I can see is a black screen

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