Destiny 2 • Open Beta
After a fairly solid weekend of playing the Destiny 2 Beta, I thought I would collect a few thoughts about my experience with the sequel and where I think it’s positioned for its end-of-2017 release.
In short: It’s good. It’s darn good.
Everything about the beta drips quality, even the fact that Bungie have held back a lot of content for the beta compared to what they delivered for the original game means that they are taking this second outing much more seriously. [Read:No more complaints about having played the whole game by the end of the Beta]
The opening level, a strike and some crucible matches give an excellent understanding about what is the same, and what’s different for Destiny 2. When you have a good setup with the Titan-Hunter-Warlock trio, you stick with it, and D2 builds on the character classes by introducing a few new tweaks.
Overall, the handling of characters seems a little slower, but there is sufficient substance in the PvE areas of the map to keep things interesting. Enemies, in the beta at least, take a fair effort to take down, and there is a nice variety of enemy types to mix up your strategy with.
Within a few minutes of first arriving in the tower, you are presented with access to Lord Saladin’s armory, where your Guardian helps him or herself to what looks like your first look at an exotic weapon. As an aside, EB Games announced today that preorders are going to receive the Killtracker Ghost and Exotic weapon, Coldheart … so it looks like I won’t have to wait quite as long in the sequel for my first exotic.
For reference, my Xbox Hunter is still running around with the first Exotic I ever earned (the Shotgun, The 4th Horseman), and I’ve just kept upgrading it when I have the currency and the weapon parts needed to buy the components from Xur.
I aimed to try to have some playtime with each of the three character classes with the view to learning more about their super and class abilities. The Titan’s new wall and shield made for some interesting gameplay. During the strike, The Inverted Spire (which I’ll talk about a bit more in a minute), there are wave-on-wave of (what I think were) Vex, so popping a wall to crouch behind while dodging enemies from all sides was, not to understate it, very very helpful. I found the Hunter’s sword swinging special a bit hit-and-miss (pun intended), as a lot of the time I seemed to be simply slamming a fiery blade into the ground with very little damage being done to the enemies surrounding me. That’s not to say it’s a problem with the super – there’s a very high to almost certainty that the issue is between the controller and the console (read:me), and it will take some time to master the eccentricies of each character class.
Perhaps the most fun I had out of D2, was in the strike. Oh, lord that Strike was fun. The setup is fairly straightforward. Work your way through various enemies towards a big end-boss, but it was nice to tackle both a new environment and a new boss, and it gives me enourmous hope that D2 will offer the much-needed reinvigoration of the franchise that I’ve been longing for. For me, it was the combination of environment-use and the end-boss that appealed most to me. For much of D1, the best strikes (and the only raid I’ve ever done, the Vault of Glass) effectively used the environment to shape the story. Without too much spoiling, the big boss does this very effectively during your final battle with him, and it breaks up a lengthy battle with a little fun along the way.
I’ve already preordered Destiny 2, but the beta went a long way to validating my decision. Scoring an exotic at launch is a nice little perk as well, though I’m certain the appeal will wear off once everyone starts levelling and bigger, badder weapons are introduced into the world.
I would love to finally see some PC specs for the game and ultimatly decide where I’m going to play, but overall, I’ve been very satisfied with the experience on Xbox, and even if I carry across my PS4 Guardians and startup a PC team, I am fairly confident that I’ll be at home on Microsoft’s platform for at least another incarnation.
Perhaps PS4’s system update 5.0 could convince me otherwise.