Friday, June 13, 2014

45 Minutes with the Destiny Alpha on PS4  


Games: Spent about 45 minutes with the new Destiny alpha on PS4 tonight, and streamed it as well.

Although I’m not a Halo fan, I've been pretty interested in this one ever since I went to Bungie headquarters last year for a quick peek. Although there weren't many hard details at the time, I got a general sense of what they were shooting for, and now that I've had hands-on, I'm happy to see that it basically ended up as exactly what I was expecting, in a good way.

Here’s a quick rundown.

I started things by making a Warlock-class character, and there were two other classes available. There were a decent amount of customization options (male/female, human/alien/robot) although I expected that more details would be able to be changed. Maybe later. Still, I was able to create someone who looked reasonably like my beloved FemShep, and that was what I was aiming for.

Once my character was made, I was put into a mission in Russia, and the area was quite open and easy to navigate. The game controls just like you’d think a Sci-Fi FPS should, with everything being standard except for the "special ability" mapped to the L1 button. In my case, it was a sort of purple magic grenade. Also, my melee was an energy burst/push-back sort of thing, mapped to R1. After leveling up once, I also unlocked a super move triggered by L1+R1 -- sort of a super fireball, and it was neat to see the camera pull back to show me throwing it in third-person.

After messing around some more, I found that the controller’s touchpad brings up a little robotic buddy that comes with you (looks like the little Bits from Tron) and while it’s active,  you can leave the level and return to homebase, or you can summon a vehicle at any time. My ride looked a bit like a speederbike from Return of the Jedi, but there are slots in the menu for plenty of other types, it seems. Again, I was happy to see the camera go into third-person for the vehicle section. Also, the homebase sections are in third as well. I'm not the biggest fan of first-person viewpoints, so I appreciated multiple opportunities to see my character, and not just her hand holding a gun.

The first mission was to cross the area and enter a large structure to find out what the aliens were hiding in there. This felt like a story-oriented sort of thing. The second mission was more freeform, with assignment markers scattered in the level, able to be started at-will. One had me collecting resources from downed aliens, one had me scouting the scene, and two were just ‘kill X number of dudes’, but the action was tense and enjoyable.

Towards the tail end of my playtime, I came across a few other real players who were in the same area that I was, and that was a neat occurrence. I’ve said this before and it still holds true now-- Destiny strikes me as a higher-octane version of Defiance, and that's a good thing. It's got the same open-world sort of philosophy, the same drop in/drop out co-op, similar use of vehicles, and other ideas that seem to be in the same ballpark. Of course, Destiny looks and feels about 42,000,000 times more polished than Defiance, but their cores are similar, and since I had a blast with Defiance, I’m expecting that’ll hold true here as well.

You had a good run, Defiance, but I'm pretty sure it's over now...

After the clearing the mission, I went back to base and chilled out for a bit… It's a standard sort of city-like hub, small in size with some merchants to get things from and a few people to talk to, but it seems like this place is still under construction. More to come here, I’m certain.

Overall, this was a super-positive first impression, essentially delivering exactly what I expected with a few extra surprises. I'm definitely looking forward to some co-op with friends and to get a taste for what the other missions are like. So far though, Destiny seems like a big thumbs up.


What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories

4 comments: to “ 45 Minutes with the Destiny Alpha on PS4


    I like your little reviews, good work :)


    Thanks! = )

  • Don Blake


    I know it was only the Alpha but did it hint at any story elements? I'm a bit worried that this game won't have the "mass effect/star trek" style narrative. One thing I hate about MMOs is the way they drip feed you story events between grinding.and I think it needs to step away from that if destiny is going to succeed, especially with them saying that they have planned to run the game for such a long time.
    Are you planning to go into the beta this weekend?


    it's definitely not a story-heavy Mass Effect type of game, but I dig the freeform multiplayer. The world, mechanics and customization are the real hooks, from what i see so far.