At first glance, it is easy to dismiss Destiny as a refurbished Halo game. There are obvious similarities; most notably among them is the fact that Bungie, the developers behind the original Halo, is developing Destiny. After several hours within the alpha on Playstation 4, I am excited to say that what we are getting with Destiny is an interesting twist on the Halo gameplay and aesthetic, combined with a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) feel. Candidly, I would describe Destiny as Halo and World of Warcraft’s love child. So far, the game feels like it takes the best features of those two titles and smashes them together.
From the moment you begin playing Destiny, you are asked to create your character. There are three classes to choose from: Hunter, Titan and Warlock. You have three races to choose from as well, only one of which is human. Afterwards, you select your preferences for the typical character attributes: male/female, hair style, and skin complexion. Lately, I have been making it a point to create female characters in games that provide the option, mostly because I am tired of making and seeing game characters that look exactly like me. I am sure that there will be thousands of burly men in Destiny, so I set forth in making the character pictured below. While the alpha did not give me the opportunity to name her, I call her Andromeda.
“Andromeda” is a Hunter, which based on the provided description, is more of a ranged shooter. Hunters contrast with the aforementioned Titans and Warlocks; Titans are more of a heavy, close-up, tank/warrior class and Warlocks are masters of energy, making them more of a magic class. Quickly after character creation, I was tossed onto a planet which was described as Earth, obviously sometime in the future. Enemies are almost immediately available for your destruction and there are some story elements for you to sink your teeth into as well.
After completing the first mission on Earth, my character went back into orbit and I was able to choose between some new locations, most interesting of which was the Tower. It is a hub/headquarters where I was able to improve my weapons and interact with other players.
Like other MMORPGs I was able to communicate with them through gestures, I also had a good time busting out some of Andromeda’s dance moves.
Following my interactions at the Tower, I jumped into “The Crucible”, which is a training facility. This area hosts the usual multiplayer player versus player (PVP) options you would expect in a First Person Shooter. For the alpha, I was only allowed to access the six versus six (6V6) capture the flag mode. Throughout each match in this mode, weapons caches are made available to grab ammunition for your heavier (and more powerful) weapons.
Also, pressing L1+R1 brought up my hunter character’s Golden Gun special ability which deals out an incredible amount of damage. Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of Capture the Flag multiplayer in other games, but I enjoyed running around with my team in Destiny.
After playing several rounds of Capture the Flag at “The Crucible”, I decided to journey back to Earth for some exploration. Less than 15 minutes into my exploration, I came across a large spider-like opponent, which essentially functioned as a boss character. The best thing about this experience is that I was able to take on the boss along with some other gamers, which means the game had incorporated the MMORPG style. The spider boss was difficult; especially since none the players had raised our characters above Level 5. But after the spider was downed we chose to go on our separate ways.
In that first play-through and the subsequent runs I enjoyed before the end of the alpha period, I found my level of engagement in Destiny increasing exponentially. The way the game blends Bungie’s take on the single player First Person Shooter formula with standard MMO fare has made for an interesting combination which you could compare to your favorite mixed drink. I enjoyed Destiny so much that I have already pre-ordered a copy of the game many months ahead of its September 9th release date.
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