Destiny Alpha: Impressions

June 16th, 2014 -


Following E3, Bungie’s upcoming title Destiny went through a public alpha stage (in fact, it got extended and is still live – you probably won’t find a key for it at this point though). We streamed some footage from the game (you can find that just below this post, as well as another video involving a couple raid bosses and more – as of writing, we’re streaming RIGHT NOW), and I figured I’d sum up my feelings on the game from what I’ve experienced over the eight to ten hours I put into it.


First off, this doesn’t feel like an alpha. While I’m sure plenty of polish was put into this, when I think alpha, I don’t think a game that runs as well as a finished product. I mean, just days before this I played the Battlefield Hardline beta… It works worse than Battlefield 4 did when it launched, and we all know how that was. Be it in the campaign missions, the PvP in Control, or the social area of the Tower, Destiny just sings beautifully.

So upon starting Destiny, you are thrown into a mission without a tutorial. It’s nice. The game does say what a few of the buttons do, but for the most part you just figure it out. Whether the actual game does this or not, I have no idea (especially since you start out at level 4), but after playing it I feel it’d be insulting to add a tutorial. In any case, you’re in a vast map. It’s hard to not just gawk at the surrounding area, as it’s absolutely beautiful. Peter Dinklage speaks to you as your Ghost, the AI that accompanies you, explaining missions, helping further the plot, etc. And while you have waypoints to follow, the world is yours to explore. Upon killing the mission’s target, you acquire your spoils and head to Orbit, which is the hub where you choose what you’ll be doing next.


From Orbit you have three main areas you can go: Earth, The Crucible, and The Tower. Earth contains the campaign missions, or just missions in general for co-op; this will be where you acquire a good amount of your equipment, and most likely levels. The Crucible is for the lovers of PvP; the alpha only contains Control which is like Zones or King of the Hill, but expect to see Deathmatch, CTF, and other stuff like that here. The Tower is where you get messages, store equipment, buy new weapons, trade in quest items, use the various currencies, etc. Think Phantasy Star Online before you head out on a mission.

When I first saw the game I thought this would be Borderlands meets Halo. While it’s not really far from that, I didn’t expect the game to have such heavy MMO themes within it. But there certainly are – as mentioned in the previous paragraph, The Tower is very MMO inspired, albeit lacking the mass amounts of people (which is a good thing). It also allows for things such as waving, dancing, pointing, and what have you. When I first loaded into here I thought I was in PS Home. And in the campaign missions, you have things like optional events that spawn in waves of enemies or huge raid bosses that must be defeated within a certain time limit, as well as main mission bosses that take thirty plus minutes to beat. I imagine that only increases later on in the game.


Now let’s talk about your character. You can choose between three classes: Hunter, Warlock, and Titan. The Hunter is the class that usually draws me in when I’m given an option. I like playing rogues, or rangers, so this was the closest to that I could get. Each class has a tree of abilities which you unlock by playing the game, using certain weapons, leveling up, etc. In the alpha the max level is 8, but you can unlock more abilities to switch to in the game. The Hunter class has things like incedinary grenades, double or even triple jump, and various knife play. The Warlock on the other hand can use a vortex grenade, glide (or Blink, which is teleporting), energy drain and more. The Titan, as you’d expect, is a tank character and he can use flashbangs, lift, and massive fist abilities. You’re also given the option to up the stats through this skill tree system.

Overall, Destiny has impressed me. I’m much more intrigued by it than I expected to be, and I’m beyond excited to play the beta and actual release. Look forward to more coverage on Destiny over the coming months. Destiny will be available on PS3, PS4, 360, and XO September 9th, 2014.

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