Like many of you who are reading this article, I have been interested in Destiny since I first heard that Bungie was moving on from Halo. We were all likely similarly perked up when we heard that not only would Bungie be making a Sci-Fi shooter, but that it would be massively multiplayer AND an RPG!
A few lucky players were fortunate enough to get a chance to play Destiny last month when the Beta released for those who pre-ordered the game. In fact a few who were still sitting on the fence got lucky as well, as each pre-order beta code came with a couple extra codes so that we could invite our skeptical friends to play. And of course in a few days that was no longer special because EVERYONE got to play. But let’s focus on why this whole experience was, is and will be special again by looking at the top Destiny features.
First off let’s get the obvious out of the way. Destiny’s Beta really is something special, and it shows great promise for the future. I played the Beta from the day it started until the very last day when it ended. Some of my friends who were playing with me went so far as to play the game right until the servers kicked them off. How can I accurately explain how awesome the beta was and how hard we are all withdrawing from it currently?
Hmmm still not accurate enough…..
Well, since I cannot write down exactly how much I am withdrawing from Destiny and cannot accurately articulate how I am counting down the time until the game is released (25 days, 8 hours, 53 minutes, 29 seconds as of the first draft of this article), I will instead list off some of my favorite experiences in the Destiny Beta while I wait to experience them again.
As with any massively multiplayer game or RPG, one of the best things to do is always right at the start of the game. Naturally I'm talking about choosing your class, race and your look. Destiny is no different, and character customization is one of the best Destiny features.
At the beginning of the game you get to choose from 3 different classes. The classes available are Titan, which is the warrior class for those of you who like to get right up close and blast everything in sight. Next is the Hunter which is the rogue class, for those of you who like to sneak around and blast people at long range with a sniper rifle. Finally, you can round yourself off by choosing to play the warlock class which handles the Destiny equivalent of magic. Once you've chosen your class you must then choose your race which is pretty much only cosmetic as far as the Beta stands. Your race options are Human, Exo and Awoken. Awoken are a blue/white skin toned race with mysterious origins. The exo are a cybernetic life form known for power and ruthlessness. And humans..... well I'll let you figure that one out.
Nope! Try again!
#4 Space Travel
Ok so maybe I am easily impressed. Maybe I just really like shiny things, but you know what? I really like the way Destiny uses map travel to launch your spaceship towards your destination. I loved it in Knights of the Old Republic and I like it here.
Just look at it!
The Destiny beta only limited players to traveling to Earth, a city on earth called the Tower and the multiplayer suite called the crucible. Later, they added the ability to go do a mission on the moon....... one bloody time... Bungie, if you do anything right it's teasing your audience. After flying to the moon and playing the one mission available, I was so mad when I couldn't go back and play again..... is it September 9th yet?? No? Damn. Well at least I have a nice screenshot of my shiny ship going to warp.
Are you sure it's not the 9th yet?
One of the massively multiplayer features to make it into the Destiny Beta was a simple emote system. The ability to be silly is always one of the best features in any online game. I am a pretty frequent player of Star Trek Online and one of the things I've done lots of is stopping in a very inappropriate place and dancing. So yes, I took advantage of this in destiny. There are only 4 emotes to choose from right now by pushing one of 4 directions on the D-Pad but they are useful. I've seen people give commands to their fire teams using emotes and it was really weird to watch. I literally stood there on the digital battlefield staring dumbfounded as these guys would point at objectives, dance to determine firepower and then salute to drop the hammer. The 4 available to players are Sitting, Saluting, pointing and dancing.
You could say that Destiny is just a giant Sci-Fi Dance party
Ok. Let’s give this a quick show of hands. How many of you that are reading this article right now are huge fans of Star Wars? Ok. How many of you think that the speeder bike sequences were one of the things that saved the Return of the Jedi from being absolutely terrible? All of you? Oh good!
Well you guys are going to love this. Every guardian in Destiny (your character is called a Guardian…. Keep up jeez.) eventually gets their hands on a Shrike, which is essentially your own personal speeder bike that you can take most places.
I may have abused my shrike privileges to the point of driving mine indoors during battles…… Yea my friends weren’t too happy about that one…. Oh! That brings me to my final and absolute favourite feature in Destiny!
#1 Destiny Feature: Multiplayer (Duh)
Destiny is, at its heart, a massively multiplayer game. As such, the best Destiny features center around the mutiplayer gameplay. When you are not engaging in multiplayer matches you will still be among other players. It is inevitable so you might as well enjoy it. Everything about Destiny is designed to enjoy with friends, from huge boss battles, to story missions to walking around the tower. There’s a really big bouncy ball on the tower you have got to try! Hilarious soccer games will happen.
One thing I really enjoy about the fire teams is that during my time playing on the Xbox One, I noticed that if you use fire team chat instead of party chat, your friends voices will sound different depending on how far away from each other you are. If you are standing right next to each other, they will sound as though they are right next to you. If you are on opposite corners of the map then their voices will sound like they are speaking to you over a radio, complete with the crackle of comm static. And if you are playing in a cavern or a large empty room, your voices will reverberate a bit as the sound echoes around the room. That last bit there could just be beta bugs but it sounded cool. Oh and for those of you who stream on Twitch; you’ll be happy to know that the Xbox One picks up fire team chat in twitch so your viewers will hear every hilarious conversation from all sides of the story.
For the Beta’s competitive multiplayer mode (the crucible) there was a conquest style mode where players had to capture and hold 3 hard points in order to win the game. This really appealed to me because I am a hard-core conquest player in Battlefield 4. Plus, it’s really badass when you first load up your team on multiplayer and see them all lined up just generally looking like a wall of awesome.