“Destiny” Beta Impressions

For 10 sporadic days during the month of July beta testers were able to experience the beauty and brilliance of Bungie’s upcoming first person shooter/role playing game, “Destiny.”

The majority of gamers are familiar with Bungie and their pedigree when it comes to video games, specifically when it comes to first person shooters. The company behind the original “Halo” trilogy, the FPS that some say is single handedly responsible for establishing Microsoft’s original Xbox system as a house hold console, is branching out into somewhat new territory this year. And if the beta is any indication of how the complete game is going to play out, it’s safe to say Bungie will continue to revolutionize the gaming industry and blaze new trails when it comes to the content their customers are playing.

Though the beta itself only allowed players to play up to level eight, out of a purported 29 levels in the complete game, it was still a reliable gauge of how the overall game will play out. The areas available for exploration were limited to the Cosmodrome, a dilapidated Russian space shuttle factory of sorts that will be home to a minimum of five level capped areas for missions as well as one area that will allow players to explore, and kill, at their own leisurely pace. The Cosmodrome also allowed players to experience a Strike Mission in all of its sadistic glory. Strike Missions require players to be a part of a three player fire team, and when all is said and done you will be happy that there are two other players backing you up as you tackle the advanced enemies and bosses.

One of the most interesting parts of the Destiny beta was the resemblance to standard role playing games as well as massive multiplayer online role playing games. As you play through the game not only will your character level up in strength and experience, but the weapons and armor that you use will level up along with you.

If the true game follows suit with the beta, the more rare the armor or weapons are then the more they will level up. Uncommon weapons seem to be able to level up a maximum of three times, while common armor seems to cap out with a level up of one. The level ups available increase firing speeds of weapons or the allowable amount of certain ammo types, while other upgrades will lend themselves to the movement of the character through speed increases or jump distances being lengthened.

When everything was said and done the Destiny beta was an amazing experience, one in which hundreds of hours of game time were logged for the millions of gamers involved. That in and of itself is impressive since we were only allowed to play a small percentage of the overall game. The complete game is scheduled for release on September 9, 2014. It will be interesting to see how other game developers are going to try and follow Bungie down this new path they are creating in the interactive world of video games.