My dream game would allow me to play for hours on end while sitting on my couch with a controller in my hands, the main character in this game would be a character that I built and was unique to me. I could spend hours exploring the world in order to acquire gear that would make my character more powerful and make him/her look even cooler. The game’s world and lore would be interesting to explore and have enough things to do that when I only had an hour to waste I could easily find something to do.
I’ve been searching for this “Holy Grail” of videogames for years now. Unfortunately I have yet to find a game that meets all these criteria, but it’s possible that my search could be over come the release of Destiny on September 9th of this year. Luckily Bungie ran their beta version of the game this weekened and I eagerly partook.
Bungie hasn’t had much success in conveying what exactly Destiny is and all the trailers and demos I had seen up to the beta weren’t making me jump out of my seat with excitement, but there was something telling me to not give up on this game.
I spent the entire weekend playing the beta, trying all three classes and doing missions long after I had hit the level cap. Whenever I found myself bored I would fire up the beta just to waste time. After about 15 hours of playing the beta over this past weekend it is safe to say Destiny is one of if not my most anticipated release for the remainder of the year.
I walked away overly impressed with the small glimpse we were given, but I still have some skepticism and fears.
The Bungie quality
My experience with the beta was almost flawless. Aside from being disconnected from the game twice I never ran into any issues. There wasn’t lag or rubber banding, the shooting mechanics were smooth and responsive and the game seamlessly introduced other players into my surroundings.
There are finished games that don’t run as beautifully as the Destiny beta did. I can’t praise Bungie enough for the attention to detail. In an industry where the finished product isn’t always “finished” it was rather refreshing to play something of this quality and in beta form no less.
How impressive was the beta quality?
Bungie announced late in the week that if you were to log onto the beta at 2:00 PST on Saturday you would be given a reward for when the game came out and be able to play an additional story mission on the moon, but would only be made available for a two hour span.
For a lot of companies and games when an event like this happens the events play out as so:
- 2:00 PST rolls around and the mission isn’t available yet
- It’s now 2:30 PST and for some reason you still don’t have access and are disconnected from the game.
- Finally the mission is available and you try to start it, but you are stuck at a loading screen that eventually times out
- You check twitter and the company apologizes stating “We know a lot of people are having issues and we are working on it. Thank you for your patience.”
- After all this you finally get access to the mission about an hour after you were supposed to
But for Bungie it went like this.
- 2:00 PST I open my map and the moon has a blue exclamation point beckoning me to it. I click the mission and begin
- 2:15 I have finished the mission
As I said earlier I can’t praise Bungie enough. They did an amazing job the whole week-plus the beta was available. They were so efficient in their doings that the beta went back online a day prior to when it was supposed to.
Now to be fair I played the beta on the PS4 and have no personal experience of how it faired on other consoles. I did see there were reports that the beta was having some issues on the Xbox One. But my experience was outstanding.
This could be something special
People have been waiting years for a game to come along and revolutionize the first person shooter genre and I honestly can say Destiny might just be that game. Destiny has the potential to be a ground breaking and genre changing game.
The game implements so many new things into the genre and it does it all very well. The leveling system rivals any RPG, the character customization is outstanding, the gameplay is brilliant and top it all off this game has the cookie cutter team death match if you get bored with all the new stuff.
Bungie has created something that could be very special and something that will make a lot of companies pay attention. They are creating a game that is social but not forced social, a first person shooter where there is so much more to do than to hop online and play death match after playing through the six hour single player campaign. On top of that Destiny has the potential to have a very long life span.
We could be spending the next three to four years with Destiny. Bungie will have the ability release new content for the next few years and keep the game fresh, whether it be increasing the level cap or adding a new zone. Bungie has taken what Blizzard did with World of Warcraft and has packaged it into an FPS, the most popular genre in gaming right now… that’s scary.
Of course I have my fears
Not everything is perfect and although I can rave for hours about the beta the fact is it was just a beta. We were given a glimpse at a very small portion of the game and don’t be mistaken this was a very fine tuned presentation. Bungie used their alpha and betas as a marketing campaign and they weren’t going to leave anything to chance. With that here are my quick fears about Destiny:
Any game that relies heavily on online features seems to have a problem at launch. Whether it’s not enough servers or some unknown problem that seemed to slip through the beta not found, when midnight hits on launch day and eager fans are trying to play they are greeted with an error message and frustration.
Can Destiny break this mold? I really hope so but history says that the launch won’t go as smoothly as we all hope.
With the game Bungie is building players are going to need a lot of content to stay satisfied. Will it take me a week to get to max level? How long to get the best gear in the game? Is there end game content? Or is Destiny just a prettied up normal first person shooter where the single player campaign will take me 6-10 hours and then all I am left with is team death match?
Hopefully Bungie has done their job in creating a game that will reward the PvE player and PvP player for a long time to come.
My biggest fear is that I will have explored everything there is to explore in Destiny and have the best gear available in one week and have nothing but PvP to do for the remaining lifecycle of the game.
With Destiny Bungie has potentially created a genre changing and ground breaking game. There is the potential for Destiny to be not just the next big game but the next monster hit game. I have nothing but praise for Bungie and Destiny after playing hours of the beta, but still fear that Destiny will fall short of its true potential.
Only time will tell if Destiny can become the ground breaking game that it has the potential to be but one thing is for sure, September 9th cannot come soon enough.