The long awaited Destiny beta has started for Playstation, and will be starting for Xbox on 7/23. I have been lucky enough to snag a key, or I just pre-ordered the game, and have spent some time playing the game to get a first impression. So far, impressions are good. In order to avoid spoilers I am going to avoid talking too much about the story, which I may have done on this weeks podcast.
First and foremost, Destiny is a FPS. You look down the barrel of a gun, hold one trigger to aim a bit more carefully and the other to fire said gun, nothing ground breaking there. You can access 3 guns at a time divided into primary, special, and heavy and each gun has its own ammo. There is something cathartic about shooting aliens with a digital weapon though, so it all works. But Destiny is more then just an FPS, it is also an MMO. That means your Guardian (what you play) gets experience and new abilities as they kill things and complete quests. In fact, the game's core gameplay is very similar to Borderlands, just much more serious. That means no fart jokes, so far. But there is a robot sidekick that introduces you to the world and continues to help you throughout the game. Good thing this is a formula that works, huh? One big difference is that when you are exploring an area you will see other players, and not just friends you invited into the game. This is especially true when in the Tower (aka, game hub) where you can buy gear, guns, and enter the Crucible (PVP).
Now there are three different classes to choose from in Destiny; Titan, Hunter and Warlock. Since I plan on the Warlock for release I went for the Titan in the beta. He was fun, especially once I got a few special abilities. The most often used two for me were the flash bang and powered punch. These abilities have a refresh timer after you use them, meaning that while you can't spam them in a bad situation, you don't have to spend resources replacing grenades or power packs to have the abilities in the first place. Then there is the big ability that can be used once you are supercharged. In the Titan's case he has the Fist of Havoc, which dissolves nearby enemies with Arc Light. A very fun ability that can turn a bad situation around very fast.
And that is all I am going to say on this. I will end this saying I had fun playing it, and look forward to the actual release. At that point I can sit down, play a much bigger chunk of the game, and get a much better feel for it. So far though, things are looking good. If you have not had a chance to see much gameplay then check out one of the missions I played through posted just below.