Destiny 2 Beta (Early Access)

I admit it, I used to be a “Destinyholic” for the first year or so that Destiny was out, and as with a lot of people, I became disenfranchised with it due to lack of content – both story and actual playable content, and with the constant grind. Some background – I play MMO games and RPGs on a regular basis, so I am used to grinding for things that I want, but Destiny never really had a real MMO feel, nor did it have a full immersive feel either, at least to me. I essentially swore off Destiny forever, yet my children, inparticularly my two oldest boys, love watching me play – in fact, they are almost old enough to start playing themselves, so I relented, pre-ordered Destiny 2 so I could get the early access to the beta on PS4.

Couple of disclaimers – It is has been forever since I played Destiny, so I had a slight learning curve coming back in. Second, learning curve notwithstanding, I suck at FPS games – more so the PvP aspect, but you get what I am saying.

On day one I went back to my old trusty Titan, and everything felt familiar, just a bit rusty., and just a bit different. I love the character screen. Way more streamlined, way more simple – no more clutter. I like how weapons are done now – no more primary, special and heavy, we have kinetic, energy and power. Essentially, you can have 2 auto rifles equipped – one kinetic and one with energy, which, in my opinion, is an awesome move by Bungie. I did feel like the Titan was slower then before, but that could be from the fact I haven’t played in forever – when we did the Inverted Spire strike we seemed to move right along. It also felt like my jumps were a lot higher… then again, the opening story mission is in pretty tight quarters.

My only real complaint is that there is nothing in the beta to test the open world aspects – beyond exploring from inside the provided strike. It would have been nice to have gotten a little bit of a patrol area, a) to get a feel for how patrolling is going to be like, and b) of course to test it – mainly for stress with more then 3-6 people in an instance (multiple fire teams can load into the strike area at once) That being said, we explored a little bit last night within the strike area, and MesaSean and his team did some extensive exploring yesterday at release. Obviously, Bungie wants to keep as much of the game in the dark as possible – i.e. the new social space, etc, but it still would have been nice to see some of the patrol elements.

The opening mission was incredible – to me, far more enjoyable then the opening mission of Destiny 1. It felt like there were more enemies with more mechanics, something I felt was missing from the original game. The story, so far, provided along side of it, seemed to have more teeth, and I am looking forward to story and lore actually in game, versus having to acquire grimoire cards to view out of the game proper.

Inverted Spire – the included strike – was really fun, i can only imagine running it as a Nightfall when you get to the grinding blade section… will definitely be interesting as well as frustrating.

PvP was actually pretty fun, I ran both a Control, which is very similar to the original format, as well as Elimination, which has one team arm bombs while the other team tries to stop the arming team or at the very least, diffuse the armed bombs.

The changes to the classes are welcome. Sentinel Titan, with the possibility of either an offensive or defensive super is awesome. Choosing between a void Captain America or a bubble titan in the heat of the moment gives a lot more options for Titan. From the Hunter that I played with, their new super is way better then the original arc blade – I will be playing Hunter, and possibly Warlock, tonight.

All in all it feels like Bungie has taken a step in the right direction with the limited action in Destiny 2 that we can experience. I look forward to seeing what else gets said about it.

Note: I did not experience any technical difficulties except being kicked to orbit once from the PvP queue – our whole fire team got kicked to orbit. Several times we all had the ominous “Contacting Destiny Servers…” but we had no interruption of game play.