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Destiny 2 Beta Impressions

Jul 21, 2017

By: Max Cannon

Destiny was a huge hit when it first released, a widely anticipated game from the legendary developer responsible for the Halo series. After jumping ship with their beloved space-shooter that was exclusive to Xbox, Bungie threw their hat into the multi platform ring with another space-shooter that bridges the gap between multiplayer and single player.

The strike is a highlight of Destiny 2's beta.The strike is a highlight of Destiny 2's beta.

Some players weren't on board with the original Destiny because some of Bungie's promises weren't fulfilled and the structure of Destiny is completely different than most other games to come before it. Now that gamers know what they're getting, will Destiny 2 make good on the promises of a sequel?

The Fall of the Tower

Similar to the first game, you're able to choose between the Hunter, Warlock, and (my favorite) Titan class. The classes change which guns wind up in your hands, how you'll run and jump through the world, and which super moves you'll be granted. Unlike the first game, you're unable to choose which race you'd like to be but that doesn't frustrate me. 

The courtyard from the first game becomes a battlefield in the beta.The courtyard from the first game becomes a battlefield in the beta.

The opening mission made me feel right at home but with a clearly sinister spin. Fighting through the destruction of the Tower, the original hub of the first game, is a great message to players. The developers are putting everything from the original game behind them and moving on by fully moving away from the Tower -- though it'll be replaced with a similarly styled hub called The Farm. Shooting, sliding, and switching guns feels nearly identical to the first game even if something is slightly different. The jumps feel retooled by just a hair, aiming is competent, it's all slightly different but not in a negative way. 

The game looks better than the first title but not drastically, the lighting of this opening mission notably impressed me and it was clear that some muscles were flexed by the game's use of rain. But one bit that really disappointed me was the locked 30 frames per second. We're transitioning into an era of 60 fps shooters, especially online, so to be slowed down to a lower frame rate is disheartening. Maybe the Xbox One X will allow for a higher frame rate?

Destiny 2 - Official Gameplay Reveal Trailer


But my biggest disappointment was the entirety of this opening level. Nothing amazing stood out to me here, especially in terms of level design. Sure, the mere fact that this space is being destroyed is exciting but it didn't feel fun to play. And a certain chunk of level involving turbines wasn't too challenging but slows the momentum of the opening to a halt because of how poorly designed the level is. But once this level is wrapped up, the gold of Destiny 2 begins to shine through.

The Strike and Crucible

While there isn't one present here, the raids of Destiny were a highlight of the original game and consistently impressed me. The quality of the strike available in Destiny 2 is on par with that of the raids. This strike is the best in the series and an awesome look at things to come. Mixing fighting, platforming, and strategy into the strikes of Destiny 2 won't make them seem as repetitive -- because we will undoubtedly be playing them over and over. Setpieces fit naturally into the gameplay, dodging giant saw blades, making Superman-like jumps over the map, and a giant boss fight ending in a creepily atmospheric pit. 

Keep these strikes coming!

Fighting through the tower is definitely atmospheric but I could do with a higher frame rate.Fighting through the tower is definitely atmospheric but I could do with a higher frame rate.

The Crucible, the more traditional multiplayer mode of Destiny, gives two modes in this new beta. The first mode I tried is the traditional control mode from the first game, the map works well and feels really well balanced. Having two super moves to choose from in one class is a welcome addition especially in multiplayer, but it wasn't enough to help me do well. The other mode is similar to Counter Strike or Rainbow Six: Siege, every fighter has one life and is either defending or planting a bomb at one of two points. I loved this mode, it was exactly what Destiny needed and surprising to actually see. 

So while the opening of Destiny 2's beta didn't get me out of this world excited, the remainder of the beta reaffirmed that this was going to be a good game. I can't wait for Destiny 2, so long as this is a fair indicator of what we can expect.

Destiny 2's open beta is available July 21st to July 23rd.

Have Your Say!

Have you tried Destiny 2's beta? Are you going to get your hands on the new game? Share your comments below!