Destiny is good. Destiny is really good. From it’s incredible visual touches to it’s spectacular gameplay, Bungie created one of the most immerse experiences ever.
No matter if you know Bungie from their years in Halo or if you’re a new player, this is one game you’ll definitely spend countless hours on.
During my hours I spent in the Alpha version, which was running smoothly on the PS4, I was teased with a Level 3 Story mission, Level 6 Strike mission, an endless supply of side quests and I got a taste of “The Crucible” – Destiny’s prodigious PvP multiplayer. They also enabled me to visit The Tower – similar to a town – where you can upgrade armor, interact with other player, visit shopkeepers and much more.
The more time I spent playing Destiny, the less I wanted the Alpha to end. The only hiccups I had during this well-polished Alpha version, was disconnection issues. Mostly due to the fact that internet connections in South Africa isn’t the most stable but on a 4mb line, it ran smoothly.
Upon starting up, I was presented with the character creation screen where you are given the choice between the Titan (essentially a tank class), the Hunter (mostly ranged) and the Warlock. For all intents and purposes, I chose the Warlock as my main character and began my first quest in Destiny.
Albeit my first and only story mission, for the Alpha at least, was brief, I had the opportunity to test out my abilities, ride my “space bike”, kill a Wizard (which is a semi-boss) and dance as the timer counted down until my mission ended.
Moving along to the Devil’s Lair, is where Destiny was at it’s best. Teaming up with two random player, our Strike mission started with what ended up being an hour long encounter. It was quickly revealed why this mission should be tackled as a team. Our fight began with a massive Spider Tank – to a large extent a raid boss – which had a one-shot-kill cannon attached to the back. To make matters worse, we were attacked by waves of insect-like Fallen from the side.
After a grueling 10-15 minutes, the final blow was given and the Spider Tank collapsed. With tears of joy and excitement all around, sun setting in the distance, dance emotes to celebrate our victory (press right on the D-pad), we came to realization that it wasn’t the final battle.
Our toughest challenge came with an unforeseen foe – Sepiks Prime. A silver floating orb, aggressively shooting plasma blasts at us, with the ability to teleport. Our battle wasn’t on an open field, as it was with the Spider Tank, but more cornered off, making it much harder to find cover.
When I wasn’t slaying Fallen or attempting Strike missions, I was socializing at the Tower. At a quick glance, you’ll get a Mass Effect vibe from it but that is due to the camera moving to a third person perspective, revealing your character in all it’s glory. Here player have a chance to dance, wave at each other and party up before attempting new missions.
Player can also trade with AI shopkeepers, buy new gear using Glimmer – the currency used that carries over to all your other characters – identify unknown item and follow up on Bounties. There is also a Vault, where you can store gear which can be accessed across all of your characters.
Destiny constantly brings the environment to life. Whether it is respawning enemies in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a chore or by seamlessly introducing random player to each other. In one situation, I was exploring an area and a Patrol event randomly began. My Ghost – which is a small cube-like device, voiced by Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage – scanned a small ship which has crash landed.
While scanning the wreckage, I had to protect it for about 4 minutes from waves of Fallen. During that event, two other players ran across the hill, assisting me with the mission. Once the event was completed, we waved and parted our separate ways as the game continued normally. This dynamic, is the moments that makes Destiny unique.
During my hours in the world of Destiny, I had barely touched weapon upgrades, The Crucible arena (6v6 PVP combat) and the well implemented character customization which give you a choice of 3 races, male or female, with a variety of face and hear styles.
Bungie promised us not only a game but an experience. It’s clear now what that vision was and how well they succeeded. If this is what they gave us in the Alpha, then I cannot contain my excitement for the Beta which begins on July 17th on Playstation platforms and Xbox platforms to follow soon after.