As a huge fan of Bungie’s legacy with Halo, I had high expectations with their latest space odyssey, Destiny. I had every reason to believe that Destiny would simply take the elements Bungie has refined with Halo and incorporate them – well, of course. But now that I have had hands-on time with Destiny, not only have I come to find Destiny a superb shooter, but the RPG elements akin to Borderlands, the social interactivity of MMOs, and an epic tale of galactic proportions make Destiny the most ambitious first-person shooter ever created.
The beta starts off with players playing through the ruins of Old Russia and play through the Cosmodome seen in Destiny’s gameplay reveal. Mere moments before controlling my Guardian for the first time, my muscle memory from playing an unfathomable amount of Halo kicks in; Destiny feels and controls just like I’d imagine and it’s wonderful.
Playing with a headset allowed me to be enveloped with the remarkable sound design as the echoes of Fallen soldiers ripple throughout the building and tension builds with the always excellent score by the one and only Martin O’Donnell. Weapons have a satisfying bang, which many would argue could potentially ruin a shooter if done wrong. And even a basic melee attack sounds satisfying, like the skulls of your enemies are shattering underneath the sheer force of your fist kind of satisfying.
After the well thought out prologue that teaches you all of the mechanics of Destiny without being overbearing, you can finally head to The Tower, the hub area where Guardians can socialize, restock supplies, get new gear, and even accept bounties for the main game and the competitive multiplayer that rewards XP and reputation. Whether you’re a lone wolf looking for trouble or work well with others, you get what your want. You can tackle the dangers of the world alone or you can form a fireteam and stack the odds in your favor with friends.
At one point I felt like I already had a finished copy of Destiny playing in my Xbox. Everything looks and plays fantastic, and your Guardian’s stats and weapons are amazingly balanced out in the competitive multiplayer so no one is overpowered. If this is the beta then I can’t wait for the actual finished product. Bungie, you outdid yourselves.