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Aidans Preview of Destiny

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Ghost: Greetings Guardians, I hope you had a good warm up, because the battle hasn’t even begun yet.

Destiny is a game developed by Bungie and has recently finished off its 2 week Beta, 1 week for Microsoft consoles. Showing off just a slice of the action and wetting the fans appetites with gameplay, PvP and loot. Whilst the game was shown to almost everyone in the last few days of the beta some people didn’t get to see or hear it all and this is where that stops.

Story

Before you read on, this is a preview based on the Beta of the game, this information can change and it has been changed before from Alpha to Beta so take my words with a pinch of salt.

The beta started off with a Ghost searching through the ruins of Old Russia, just outside The Wall, a massive complex built in the golden age. What it was searching for was a Guardian; one he had been looking for a long while, that Guardian is you. After finding your body the Ghost uses its light to bring you back to life as you have been dead for quite a while in the words of the Ghosts.

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From your revival you are taken to find a ship, get it fixed up and acquire a Jump Drive for it to be able to travel all over Earth, to the moon, Venus and even Mars. In your travels you meet onslaughts of Fallen, an Alien race that look like thin monsters similar to the Covenant of Halo. Soon after your battles with the Fallen you face the Hive, a zombie like race of grey and gold fighters in both rushing Bashers and far off shooters normally lead by a Wizard who shoots off fields of decay and explosive magic. Space Magic.

Throughout your battles and adventures you slowly uncover the history of the World and The Traveller that saved it so long ago, from the masses of aliens and the Darkness that leads them. The Beta mostly covers the investigation side of the story, with you and possibly some friends going to the different locations and finding old records, relics and sometimes putting down a leader of Fallen or Hive to lessen their numbers.

The Story of the Beta is only around 2-3 Hours long but the Beta only shows off one piece of Earth, where Venus, Mars, Moon and previously Europa are all advertised as locations to visit.

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Gameplay

Some people have likened Destiny to Borderlands and they aren’t far off, from the slightly randomised loot to the gameplay and feel the game gives you. I think of Destiny as a Hybrid of Borderlands and Halo, combining the loot and gameplay of Borderlands with the seriousness and atmosphere that Halo has.

Fighting is the main thing you will be partaking in within Destiny, using guns from 3 classes, Primary, Special and Heavy. The primary guns consist of Hand Cannons and several types of Rifles ranging from burst to full-auto. Special weapons currently have Shotguns, sniper rifles ad Fusion Rifles. Heavy weapon currently only have Rocket Launchers and Machine guns. Each type has a different type of ammo; with Primary have the most ammo held, special having around 30 rounds and Heavy having around 6 Rockets and varying amounts for Machine Guns.

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Combining your guns with 3 types of Melee’s, from the different classes, you will kill Fallen and Hive alike in the Beta and more for the final release of the game. Either choosing to Snipe your foes from a cliff, up close with rifles and shotguns or even closer with fists, palms and knives you will bring death to all you see, barring any other Guardians you encounter. The enemies within Explore areas are grouped up in packs of 3 – 8 differing classes of the same species, whereas in story areas they can be sparser or more packed due to the difficulty of the mission.

On the PS3 you use the left Thumbstick to move, the right to look around, right trigger to shoot with left to aim, right bumper for melee along with the skill attached to it and left to throw your grenade and combining the two to use your Super. X allows you to jump and use your class jump on top of that, Hunter’s double to triple jump, Titans Jetpack boost and the Warlocks Glide. You can also summon your ghost with the Square button to analyse the area for a quest or revive a fallen comrade.

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The other part of the fighting in Destiny can be found within the Crucible which is the name of the PvP arenas you can fight in at any time, with special events happening throughout the months for limited times. In these battlefields you will fight to control areas, and later on fight in teams, fight everyone, recover items from points and garner as many points as you can in vehicles.

Overall Thoughts and Feelings

The music in Destiny is Superb and is on par with the soundtrack of Halo in my opinion, with some great energy filled tracks for the action parts of the game and some smoother ambient sounds for the exploration modes. There can be points where the music seems to disappear but this can be overlooked as it’s not for long and it might be improved in the actual game.

The graphics are amazing, albeit a bit lacking on the facial quality of the characters especially while walking around in the Tower as on the PS3 the faces look rather plastic and plain. The ambient movement of the flora and fauna, the dust going in the wind and the explosions from nearby combat really set the scene and atmosphere of Old Russia as you explore it and give the area a certain character to it. The Moon shines and carries a lot of white and grey colours whereas Venus is lush with vegetation and ruined pillars which help to distinguish between the separate locations you visit.

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Destiny is one of the first games in a long while that has a well-balanced difficulty, as it doesn’t hold your hand too much and the strikes and Hard Difficulty missions actually provide a big challenge for even a full team of Players. After completing said missions there is a big sense of accomplishment as you can finally breathe easy knowing you succeeded in something that took around 20minutes to do and possibly several deaths.

Overall I am very pleased in what was on offer in the Beta, from the combat system, the amazing PvP to the calmer moments of travelling around the world finding hidden treasure and Grimoire entries. The game still needs some polish and weeding out some of the bugs that can be found within it but from what was shown not much needs to be done on the game. Just make those faces more appealing.

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Computer Games Design Graduate from Staffordshire University with Animation and Motion Capture as my main subject. I am a neutralist both in world views and people, everyone and everything is equal. If sexism comes up in a game I will weigh it based on the themes at play and the story implications it has. Not afraid to give harsh criticism. Graphics and technology don't make the game, it's the gameplay that makes the game. Favourite Genres: RPG, Adventure, Action. Favourite Games: Joint 1. Final Fantasy VII (PS1) Joint 1. Jade Cocoon (PS1) 3. Persona 3 (PS2) 4. Tales Of Vesperia (X360) 5. Dragons Dogma (X360)

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