When I first heard about Destiny I dismissed it. I thought, yeah, just another Call of Duty shooter but in space this time made by the creators of Halo. I didn’t give much attention to it, but two days ago one of my friends got beta access and invited me over to check the game out.
I was so so so wrong about Destiny.
Destiny is a first-person shooter game with role playing elements. You can choose between three classes, the mage like warlock, the aggressive/defensive titan or the agile hunter and level them up to get new abilities, new grenade types or augment your current skills. Its the bread and butter of role playing games these days and Destiny does it really well. You have different game modes, story where you play through missions for the story, explore where you can walk around a map and explore areas, find missions and do public events (rare events that randomly happen where anyone around you playing online can join in on), strike where you and team members have to fight really tough boss characters that can take up to 30 minutes to destroy, and the pvp mode called crucible, featuring modes like capture that is the only mode available in the beta currently.
After the long wait for the 13 GB download to finish, I started the game up as the the hunter class because I was going to play with some friends and they already chose the other classes. After 1 or 2 missions of the story where you get the full tutorial completed and get everything you need to start the game, you’re free to join others.
I joined up with some friends online and we blew through all the story missions including completing them on hard mode. We connected via voice chat and were coordinating the whole time, making wins that much more satisfying. Along the way we won some great weapons and armor from the missions we completed. I like the scout rifle and sniper rifle for my hunter because it matches the play style of the character.
On top of all that fun player vs. enemy content, there was still pvp to try out! We played pvp for hours and were having such a blast. I think its amazing that they found a great balance between the different class abilities so that in pvp nothing feels overpowered. Class design is done exceptionally well and don’t forget the multiplayer maps are really good designs too.
What we have here dear friends is a game that encompasses the multiplayer experience. Great gameplay, great game modes and great rewards for playing with friends.
Here are the things I like most about the game so far:
- Every gun feels distinct, and I’m not just talking about from gun type to gun type, even the same gun types with different stats handle differently. If you have more impact you notice it, and if you have a higher rate of fire you notice it. The gun play is very well done.
- The strike modes are sooooo fun. Battling really tough enemies that take upwards of 15 minutes to destroy with friends is really enjoyable. I played the strike mode in the beta maybe 6 times so far and haven’t gotten bored of it yet. I really hope they put a lot of strike modes in the final game.
- At first I thought the hunter’s special move, the golden gun, was under powered, but after playing pvp I found that all the special moves for every class is very well balanced. They’re all strong in their own right and have good cooldown rates where the matches are not full of them. You have to use them strategically because you can only use them once or twice per match.
- The loot system is done very well. You’re not overburdened with loot like in games such as Diablo 3, where you constantly get crap loot and have to keep teleporting back to town to sell them all or just throw them on the ground. With Destiny, enemies and bosses rarely drop any items and you only usually will get something as a mission reward, and even then they will only give you a max of 2 new items. Plus at any time you want you can open up the menu and dismantle and old or crappy item and it will instantly give you glimmer (the game’s currency). This is so much faster than having to go back to the main town to sell stuff and it is a really smart way to handle loot in general.
Another amazing feature of the game is special events. Last night they had an Iron Banner special event for PVP where you can get unique items that are only available during that time period. My friends and I played our best and we kept winning a lot. I ended up winning a legendary hand canon that is named after the Iron Banner event, and my friend won a legendary ship! If they have special events like this every weekend then it will entice me to play all the time and get the best gear!
And now for the most important face of all, which to me can be the deal breaker of playing a multiplayer game in Kuwait.
There is little to no lag in player vs. enemy.
Seriously. At first I was put off that the game is entirely played online, and with Kuwait’s Internet that means its going to lag. We constantly have to play with lag in games like Diablo 3 and League of Legends, where 150-200ms is normal. But surprisingly in player vs. enemy, I feel very little lag, to the point where its negligible. Even with pvp its not that bad, where only a handful of enemies I ever played against I noticed were laggy. The net-code done for this game is amazing.
Do I have any criticisms? Yes. First, when my friends and I make a team to play pvp, every other game it disconnects either one one or all of us, forcing us to recreate a team again which can be a time drain. Bungie have already acknowledged the issue on their blog and hopefully it will be fixed by the time the full game is released. Second, although the special event was awesome, there was very little information given to the player about it. I didn’t even know how to join the event until I searched everywhere for it and finally found it. Also it turns out that there are special pvp bounties you can get at The Tower only during the event, and a special shop is open only open during the event also. I had no clue and only found out when I read about it online on forums. For the full release I really hope they put an announcement in game at least 24 hours before a special event starts with full instructions.
Destiny is the multiplayer experience. Getting online with friends, exploring new areas, kicking ass and getting awesome loot. Destiny is seriously contender for one of the best multiplayer games I ever played and I am so hype for the full release. Plus they didn’t even give us a raid mode in the beta where you have to team up with 6 of your friends to take on really even tougher bosses! I can’t wait for the full release!