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|ESRB rating: RP
release date: Sep 09, 14
|» All About Destiny on ActionTrip|
I never had an ounce of interest in Bungie's Destiny (And that’s why ActionTrip exists so we can start hands-on previews with sentences like that one. – Vader Ed.). Everything I saw about it looked like it would be another Halo, and I don't need another Halo when I already have Halo and love it as much as I do. I didn't get a chance to play the Alpha as I was reviewing another game at the time, and due to fun scheduling snafus at E3, I wasn't able to play the game at my Activision appointment either. Then when the Beta released, once more I didn't have much time for it. Some reasons were out of my control and some reasons were under my control. So when I finally got time to spend a few hours with the Beta, I was instantly sad I didn't have more time. Yes, in so many ways, it is like Halo, but in many others, it's not. And well, it's been a long time since I've had this much fun with a first-person shooter.
Vince would definitely make a character like this. In fact, this looks very much like Vince.
We have to be smarter than this. You shoot and I'll toss a dwarf.
To me, Destiny is like Bungie put Mass Effect in my Halo, and we know how much I love Mass Effect (not to mention, Halo). I went into the Beta completely blind, not knowing really much about it, and I'm glad I did because I was able to be delightfully surprised by so many things. I was expecting literally another Halo with different aliens, so I wasn't prepared for the RPG-like elements. No, they aren't as in-depth as the first Mass Effect, but the RPG elements are enough to satisfy the RPG fan within. For example, you get the ability to create your own character, choose your own class, develop unique skills for that class, find the weapons that best suit your preferences, level up your armor, etc.
Also like Mass Effect, the campaign lets you go a little bit at your own pace. You can fly to your next destination as soon as you want, or you can head back to the main tower to buy new weapons or armor. You can even take on bounty hunting side missions from the tower if you want to play around and level up a bit before your next mission.
While the gameplay is similar to Halo as it is a first-person shooter, and yes, the Ghost is quite reminiscent of both Guilty Spark 343 and Cortana (albeit not half as annoying as Cortana), the mechanics are definitely not like Halo. It was so nice to use the L2/LT for aiming instead of throwing grenades. I cannot tell you how much times I would fire up a game of Halo and inadvertently throw grenades while thinking I could aim with the LT on the Xbox 360. Melee, reloading, sprinting, and jumping are all mapped to the same buttons, so there is still that nostalgic, intuitive flow for Halo veterans. However, button mapping is intuitive enough for any gamer to pick up on, especially those who often play first-person shooters (that aren't Halo).
A rather unusual selfie.
There's a floating thingy behind you.
I had a lot of fun playing on my own, but it didn't take me long to see how much more fun I would have if I played with friends. There's a bit of a co-op/MMO-ish feel to it, but it's more like Journey than any other co-op game I've played. Any other players who are as far as long as you are in the campaign will appear in your game, and you can team up together and get through the mission. Like the co-op in Journey, you don't have to say anything to the other players, but you can also invite them to officially be part of your fire team. It gives you a great option to join with them on their campaign, maybe help them out if they're undercover, or blissfully ignore them and go on your way. I didn't attempt to actively add people to my game, but I traveled along with a few random players and battled by them in a couple of open areas. I cannot wait to experience that with my Halo co-op partners.
But is it just another Bungie game where you shoot different aliens? Well, kind of, yes, but there are enough twists in story, setting, and gameplay to it to separate it from Halo. I'm completely surprised at how much fun I had with my brief time in the Beta, and I have to admit that I'm now on board the Destiny hype train. I was so set against it, I can't believe I now have the September 9th release date marked on my calendar.
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