The Destiny Beta version is finally here, and I have gotten the chance to play. So far, I am very encouraged with the game. The world of the game looks amazing. The combat and controls work very well. There are some intriguing set pieces. But there are also things that bug me about the Beta mode. I hope Bungie will fix or address some issues for the final retail version. Other concerns need to be fleshed out later. So here we go:
5. PlayStation Plus Required for Fireteams and the Crucible
A subscription for PlayStation Plus is required to play the competitive multiplayer and certain other areas for the Beta on the PlayStation 4. I imagine this will not be the case for the final game release. However, it is frustrating that the server crashes constantly break the flow of the competitive multiplayer sessions.
4. Some Monotonous Missions
In the Beta mode, most of the story, progression-based missions are at times repetitive and a somewhat monotonous. Most of the level missions follow this pattern: Ghost sends you to Old Russia; Ghost tracks down a computer terminal; Ghost scans it for information; the main Guardian character has to fight off hordes of enemies until the end. Wash, rinse, repeat. The “Select Destination” area seems to suggest the Guardians will be able to explore different areas, such as the Moon. However, I hope the other levels have some variety in the type of play and objectives.
3. Thin Story Scenario
What is really drawing me into Destiny is not so much the story, but the ambiance and tone. The world of Destiny is one I want to hang around in, explore and learn more about. However, the story scenario and the way the game opens is more than a little derivative. The plot almost comes off like window dressing; and I wonder if maybe this was Bungie’s intent? Perhaps the intent is not to sweat the story details so much and just enjoy the world you are playing in.
2. The Darkness
It was somewhat of a letdown to find out that the name of the ancient enemy and antagonist of the Destiny universe is literally “the Darkness.” Perhaps after more is revealed about the Darkness, it will have a different moniker. In defense of the game, perhaps some inspiration for the Darkness was drawn from the movie The Fifth Element. I cannot shake that I get a similar vibe from this game as I did from the movie The Fifth Element, where the main antagonist was essentially pure, unadulterated “Evil,” which later manifests in the form of a giant ball of fiery evil and hate.
1. Server Crashes
Nothing kills the flow of gameplay like a server crash. The servers for Destiny have been crashing constantly during the Beta version. I was unable to finish a single multiplayer play session because of server crashes. This is incredibly frustrating because I had a couple of rounds where I was actually doing quite well; but none of the data was saved because of the server crashes. I hope Bungie gets this fixed in time for launch because a lot more gamers will be playing at that point.