Sunday was the last day of the Destiny beta. The next time gamers launch into the game will be September 9th. It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to the full version. Here’s a full breakdown and review of my experience playing the beta.
Creating a Character
There are three races: Human, Awoken, and Exo. I didn’t really notice a difference between them, they all played the same for me. Regardless of race, you can customize a character’s physical appearance: hairstyle, skin color, eye color, markings, and such. Awoken’s skin color customizations were more in the blue/purple shades. They also have glowing eyes. Exos look like robots. Along with race and gender, you also picked your character’s class. The three classes are Titan, Hunter, and Warlock. Titans are warriors, built for strength. Hunters are rouges, built for speed. Warlocks are wizards, built for special powers. I’ll go more into the classes in the section below.
Titans are strong. They specialize in armor and heavy weaponry. They don full armor and look like super soldiers. Looks wise, the Titan was my favorite. My Titan just looked so cool in all that armor.
There are two subclasses: Striker and Defender. Strikers are close range and physical. I didn’t get to test the Defender subclass, but from what I’ve heard you’ll be able to summon a shield as your super ability.
The Striker subclass has a pretty powerful super called the Fist of Havoc. Once your super bar is filled up, you can smash the ground around an enemy (or enemies), disintegrating them in one hit. That was extremely handy in The Crucible’s Control mode, when you wanted to knock opponents off of a particular zone.
The three classes each had a unique movement skill. With Titans, you jumped once, then tap the jump button again to initiate lift. This would glide you upward. The higher leveled this skill, the higher your lift could reach.
Hunters are built for speed. They’re slimmer than the other two classes, have lighter armor, and wear a hooded cloak. The weapons best suited for Hunters are hand cannons and sniper rifles. Although I preferred the auto-rifles for all my classes. This was my favorite class of the three and I spent most of my time playing as a Hunter.
There are two subclasses: Gunslinger and Bladedancer. Bladedancer doesn’t open up until level 15, and the beta capped your level at 8, so I didn’t get to try that one out. However, each subclass offers slightly different abilities.
For the Gunslinger, the Hunter’s super is the Golden Gun. Your character turns gold and summons a flaming pistol. You have about three shots with it, or until your time runs out. One single shot in an enemy’s direction disintegrates them, but if you’re too far away the hit won’t land. The Bladedancer’s super is supposed to be the Arc Blade. You’re supposed to be able to charge the blade with Arc Light and disintegrate the enemy with lightning somehow. That sounds pretty cool and I look forward to testing that out in the full game.
The Hunter’s unique melee attack is a knife. Like the other two classes with their melees, one or two stabs and the enemy will go down.
The unique movement skill for this class is the double jump. Jump once, then in midair, jump again. My character’s skill tree also showed that when further leveled up, Hunters could triple and quadruple jump as well. This was by far my favorite of the movement skills and the main reason why I played as the Hunter class for the majority of my beta gameplay.
Warlocks specialize in combining magic with modern weapons. They wear long coats and have an armband on their upper-left arm. Out of the three classes, Warlocks have the lightest armor, however, they can also recover health the quickest.
There are two subclasses: Voidwalker and Sunslinger. Like the other two classes’ second subclass, the Sunslinger couldn’t be activated until level 15. The Voidwalker, however, focuses on using void energy.
Within the Voidwalker subclass, the Warlock’s super ability is the Nova bomb. You can harness an orb of light and sling it at enemies, disintegrating them in one hit. The Sunslinger’s super is supposed to be Radiance, which allows you to revive fallen Guardians and boost both your stats.
The Warlock’s unique melee attack is energy drain. Basically you’d stick your hand out and suck the life from the enemy, causing them to go down with one or two hits. This would drain their energy and reduce your grenade cool down.
The unique movement skill for this class is the double jump but with a glide on the second jump. It was a little different than the Titan’s glide. With this you could glide up or down. Truthfully, I found it incredibly difficult. When I wanted to glide up, my Warlock would glide down, and it always took me a few tries to get up to somewhere. That was one of the reasons why this was my least favorite role, and the one I played in the least.
The other reason dealt with the Warlock’s grenade. The other two classes had a more or less standard grenade. You throw it, it explodes, enemies go down. The Warlock had a vortex grenade that trapped enemies inside causing continuous damage. It was extremely powerful, and if you’re good with accuracy, this is a powerful ability to have at your disposal. However, my throwing skills aren’t the best and in the heat of battle I would miss my targets half the time.
The Warlock is a powerful choice for a Guardian, but isn’t as easy as the other two to master.
There were five available modes to play in the beta. They were: Story, Explore, Strike, Tower, and Crucible. Here’s what the map looked like:
In the Story mode, you are revived by a Ghost and together you trek through Earth, fighting Hive and Fallen. You usually have an ultimate mission to complete, destination to reach, and boss bad guy to defeat. The story mode in beta stopped at level 5. For a couple of hours on Saturday, July 26th, they opened up the Moon on the map where the story continued. Unfortunately, I had to shuffle off to work at that time, so I didn’t get to play it, but my friends that did tell me that it looked really cool and was fun. More anticipation for the full release now, I suppose.
Here’s a video of Story mode gameplay that I captured:
Strike mode dealt with defeating waves of enemies and a boss in three stages. You were paired with two other people, and together the three of you take on Strike mode. The first stage had three waves of a bunch of standard enemies attacking, it was more of a numbers game and ended with a difficult Fallen guy with a yellow health bar. The yellow health bar guys are supposed to be harder and rarer. The second stage, I took on a giant bug thing that shot missiles out of it’s body. One hit from the missile and you were dead. This was probably the most difficult stage of the three. Once you made it past bug guy, you proceeded to the final stage of Strike where you took on a giant floating eyeball. Aiming directly for its pupil yielded more damage. Beat the eyeball, and you won Strike!
Explore mode was the third mode you could play on Earth. You loaded into the world, searched for mission markers and completed missions. Some of the missions I got were to collect my defeated enemy’s spines, collect cloth from my enemies, clear the enemy from a certain location, and scout the enemy’s forces. I couldn’t spend more than an hour or two in this mode, or it started to feel a little repetitive, but it was a great way to grind for experience.
The Tower wasn’t really a mode more of a place, I guess. It played a part in the story mode a little bit, but it’s more a place to upgrade your gear and socialize. You could also accept Crucible and Vanguard missions here. Here’s a video from my time in the Tower. Lot’s of silliness:
The Crucible is player versus player. It is the place where you face off against other Guardians, Call-of-Duty style. There are bunch of different modes within the Crucible that you can play: Control, Clash, Skirmish, Combined Arms, Rumble, and Salvage. Control, however, was the only mode available.
In Control, the objective was for each team to control three zones on the map. Players would fight to hold the zones and neutralize and capture a zone if held by an opposing team. Teams get points for killing opposing players and capturing zones.
There are a total of eleven playable maps. In the beta, I was only able to play on two: the Moon’s First Light and Venus’s Shores of Time.
The complete list of maps are as follows:
• Earth: Twilight Gap, Rusted Lands, Exodus Blue
• Moon: First Light, The Anomaly
• Mars: Bastion, Firebase Delphi, Blind Watch
• Venus: Asylum, Shores of Time
• Mercury: The Burning Shrine
Occasionally throughout the beta, Bungie opened up a limited time event called the Iron Banner. It was Control, but a weapon’s power ratings were used as they were, instead of being leveled weapon stats for even gameplay, like in normal Control matches. A previously blocked off section in the Tower opened up and I was able to buy legendary gear. I was also able to take on Iron Banner missions. The coolest thing from the event though was that I was able to check out a new map, Blind Watch on Mars. Below is a video of one of my Iron Banner/Crucible/Control matches:
I may have briefly touched on this before, but as you gain experience, you are able to activate certain circles on your character’s skill tree. Each circle gives your character a new ability or improves an already established ability. I found the fastest way to level up was by playing the Story mode, as you earned experience for completing each chapter. Strike was another good way, as you were forced to go against enemy waves. Explore was basic grinding, but you slowly got there. The Crucible wasn’t particularly the best way to level up. You would gain minimal experience from matches, but if you are good at completing missions, you could gain major experience that way. (Missions would be something like get 50 headshots, stab 15 people in the back, etc.)
There was a pretty decent weapon selection in this game. Each Guardian could carry three weapons: a primary, secondary, and heavy.
There are four types of primary weapons: the auto-rifle (full automatic), scout rifle (semi-automatic), pulse rifle (fired in short bursts), and the hand cannon. Personally, my favorite was the auto-rifle. It wasn’t as powerful as the other three, but it felt easier to use.
There are three types of secondary weapons: the shotgun, sniper rifle, and fusion rifle. All three deal higher damage than the primary weapons, but ammo is rarer. My favorite secondary was the sniper rifle, but the other two packed a pretty powerful punch too.
There are only two types of heavy weapons: rocket launchers and machine guns. Coming across this type of ammo is very rare, but you are guaranteed kills with your heavy.
There are various and different weapon models for each type of weapon, and they all have different levels. As your Guardian levels up, you’ll want to trade up to a higher level weapon as well. Some weapons can also gain experience points as you use them and level up to activate a weapon ability.
Items and Rarity
I thought this would be worth mentioning. Both weapons and armor can be one of these four: standard, uncommon, rare, or legendary. Standard items are denoted by a white tile on the item screen. Uncommon are green, rare are blue, and legendary are purple. The rarer the item the stronger it is and the better chance it has of having an add-on ability from equipping it.
I had a blast playing the Destiny beta. It was a lot of fun! I would recommend this game to anyone sitting on the fence about it. It will be released on September 9th, and I’ll certainly be counting down the days. I look forward to continuing the story, fighting other players in the Crucible, and exploring the worlds of Destiny.
Back during E3, Sony announced that a solid white, limited edition PS4 would be bundled with Destiny, due for release on September 9. If you only want the system, however, you won’t have to wait very long.
President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, told french site Game One, “In Europe we’re going to launch the bundle with Destiny on September 9th,” he said. “But after that, later this year, we’re going to release the standalone white PS4 as well in Europe.”
While North America is set to get the console in the bundle, there’s no word yet on whether it will get it as a standalone as well.
North America is set to get new color controllers. A glacier white DualShock 4 controller, along with wave blue and camouflage, are set to be released on September 9 and September 30 respectively.
The Walking Dead bundle is on sale for $14.99 and includes all five episodes of season one and the 400 Days of Summer DLC add-on. Steam keys for both the Mac and PC versions are included. The sale ends on July 15.
I recently picked up this very game at the Steam Summer Sale a week ago. It’s quickly become one of my favorite buys from the sale, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re a fan of the show, you will like this game. It’s a point-and-click, so you don’t need to be too gaming savvy either to play it. The story is extremely captivating and heart wrenching (it is The Walking Dead universe).
The plot is independent from the show, so you don’t need to have seen it to play it. Although some characters from the show do make small appearances. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s on Netflix, and I can’t recommend it enough either though!
There could be a new simulation game on the market: Rock Simulator 2014.
Rock Simulator 2014 is a concept game on Steam Greenlight. It’s listed in the free-to-play genre, so a digital rock pet would cost as much as a physical one.
According to the game description on Steam, “This simulator is a rock enthusiasts dream. You can watch beautiful rocks in any location in the world. From grass plains to salt flats, there are dozens of hand designed BEAUTIFUL environments.”
As of June 25, Rock Simulator 2014 is ranked 9th on Greenlight. It is being developed by Steam user Strange Panther Games, who’s name is Ryan.
Ryan said in a June 22 update post for the game, “Rock Simulator will be a one of a kind experience. The game will consist of mini games where you play as a rock, such as a rock tumbling down and hill and having you avoid obstacles.”
This past weekend, I had the chance to play the Destiny First Look Alpha on the PlayStation 4. It was a fun opportunity to see and play the game before its release in a few months. I thought I would share my experiences for those that didn’t get to play.
After loading into the game, I was given the choice to create one of three Guardian classes: Titan (heavy weapons), Warlock (wizard), or Hunter (fast scout, weaker of the three). Each has their own unique abilities and skills. I was also given the ability to choose my character’s sex, race, and customize their physical characteristics. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an option to name your hunter, you simply went by your PSN ID. That could be something added in later though.
For the majority of my gameplay, I chose a female human Hunter Guardian. She looked pretty awesome, here she is below in all her glory:
After her creation, my game began. I was loaded onto Earth and told by a voice to proceed with caution to my destination. I battled against enemies called Hive. Eventually, I ran into a Wizard boss type Hive guy. He was extremely hard and dodging him and the other enemies proved very difficult. I died countless times. And then something cool happened. My friend came on and loaded into the game too. He joined my session and the two of us took down that pesky Wizard and all his minions.
After that, we left Earth and went to “the Tower.” It’s a home base type place where you see all the other users on the server, buy weapon upgrades, and such.
After wandering around the Tower, we went back to earth and completed more missions.
I have a question mark there, because I think that’s the mode I was playing. It could have been Explore mode, however. Unfortunately, no way to double check since the Alpha is over.
Whatever mode it was, for the most part, I played in that mode. My friend and I wandered around Earth, found missions and completed them. You could join up with other Guardians if you wanted. We found a few people a few times and helped them out with their missions. It was fun for awhile, but after a few hours, it started feeling a bit stale. The missions all started looking the same. The enemies we battled were all the same too, they just increased with difficulty. It was still fun, but this isn’t a mode that I will be playing for hours on end. Earth was gorgeous, however!
Here’s a vid I captured of Strike? gameplay:
This was by far my favorite mode. It was Guardian vs Guardian, Call of Duty style. Within Crucible, there were different modes you could select with different rules (like Call of Duty’s Team Deathmatch, Domination, Capture the Flag, etc). The only one available in the Alpha was Control. In Control, your team had to capture and hold three target areas on the map. Teams received points for killing opposing players, defending held zones, capturing zones, and such. What’s cool is that your character and all their weapons and armor customizations that you’ve obtained from other modes, such as Explore and Story, are available in this match. Level advantage doesn’t occur to keep the playing field equal.
I played Crucible for quite a few hours, but there only seemed to be two maps available during the Alpha. The maps seemed perfectly sized. Not too large, not too small.
Here’s a vid I captured of Crucible gameplay:
I was pretty satisfied with the weapon selection in this game. You find weapons as you explore the world, or you can buy your own, you can complete missions to win them. They’re futuristic looking, but operate just as any modern weapon would. Shotgun, semi-auto AK type, auto mini type, frag grenades, and such. You are bound to find one that fits you. Personally, I loved the first weapon given to players which was full automatic, and didn’t really care for any of the others I picked up, so I mostly stuck with that for the duration of my gameplay.
There were two cool things you could do in this game that I loved: double jumps and personal aircraft load-in.
Double jumps are exactly as they sound. You jump once, then jump again mid-air to jump higher. It just felt so cool. I heard that double jumps were specific to Hunters, however, I briefly created a Titan character before the Alpha ended, and she seemed to be able to do it too. Hers had an awesome glide after the second jump. I don’t know if Wizards can double jump, as unfortunately I ran out of time to try out that Guardian class.
The other thing I loved was the personal aircraft. You could load it up and fly around the terrain, saving yourself lots of time if your destination was pretty far away. You can also load it during the Crucible gameplay if you need to get out of a hairy situation quickly. But mostly it was just so damn fun zooming about on it.
Overall I really enjoyed the Alpha. I’m eager to try out the other modes and especially the other Crucible modes and maps. This game was beautiful and the mechanics were flawless (at the Alpha stage, at that). The servers seemed very stable. I didn’t have a single disconnected or laggy session during Cruicible, or other areas of the game. I’m very eager for the Beta, and game’s release!
Halo: The Master Chief Collection will contain remastered versions of Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. Every multiplayer map from each of those games will also be included in the collection. The updated games will run at 60fps and 1080p. It’s set for release on November 11, which will mark the 10 year anniversary of Halo 2.
As an added bonus, those that purchase the collection will get automatic, guaranteed entry into the Halo 5: Guardians beta, scheduled for December.