Day Two of my time with the Destiny Beta began with taking on the fourth story mission, titled Warmind. Th is mission involved finding a data bank for Ghost to hack, and also gave me a new vehicle- the Sparrow. The Sparrow is your basic hoverbike, and is a lot of fun to pilot over the terrain. Controls are nice and simple, with the left stick handling your steering, R1 handling your brake and L1 providing your boost to speed you past any enemies. Think eventually I’ll be able to put guns on the Sparrow (didn’t notice it having any right now), so engaging in any combat necessitates jumping off (a simple touch of the Square button). The mission grew a bit intense towards the end as I needed to ward off waves of enemies while Ghost hacked the data. This introduced me to some new enemy types- Stealth Vandals and Servitors. Stealth Vandals can move in swiftly, since they can cloak themselves. You’ll have to pay attention to the shimmer charging you, or your health will disappear real quick. The Servitors are large floating globes that fire a powerful energy burst at you. They’re slow, but they pack a punch and require many bullets to take down, unless you have a heavy weapon.
After the mission, it was time to revisit the Tower. Figured out the controls for the Emotes, your way of communicating with fellow players. The Emotes are controlled by using the direction buttons. Up makes you wave or bow. Left makes you point. Right puts you into dance mode (very silly when a group gets going). And pressing Down has you sit on the ground. Paid a visit to Shaxx, the Champion of the Crucible, who invited me to take part in a round there. The Crucible is the games Pvp (Player vs. Player) mode, featuring a 6 on 6 combat match. The one I entered into was a Control match, where one team tries to hold three different checkpoints on the map. The Control match was titled Dead Sectors, and used the First Strike map on the moon. The matches have a time limit, and each team scores points for controlling a point on the map, killing enemies, etc. At the end, the team with the most points wins (the team I was on won, no thanks to me, as I’m just not very good at multiplayer shooters). It was fairly fun, even though I got my ass kicked, and maybe with more practice I might get better. But PvP is not my strong suit. I do better solo or in cooperative modes. Thankfully, Destiny looks to have plenty of content to cater to all types of players, so if fighting against others isn’t your thing, you can help out others against AI enemies between the Story missions, Explore mode, and Strike missions. This is a game where if you can’t find something to your liking (presuming your enjoy shooters) you’re not trying hard enough.
After dabbling in the Crucible, it was back to Earth for another story mission. The Last Array had me searching for fallen Ghosts and ultimately activating a large array to act as a beacon for ships from the Last City. In the middle of the mission a community event triggered. The event called for you and fellow players to protect a fallen satellite from waves of Fallen. Doing so nets you a nice reward back at the Tower. The mission introduced me to yet another enemy type (Knights) and leveled me up to Level 6. After a visit to the Tower, it was time for a bit more exploration. Participated in another community event (this one involving stopping three enemy troop landings) and mapping out a new section of the map (which turned out to be a helicopter graveyard of sorts). After that, I participated in the Strike mission, titled Devil’s Lair. This involved fighting through multiple sets of enemies (including a spider tank) and taking on a massive Servitor. It was good I had two decent companions, who worked with me in the mission, reviving as necessary and taking out more than their share of foes. The Strike missions involve three players who need to accomplish a specific task. Completing it successfully nets you nice rewards back at the Tower. The game always seems to be rewarding you with something for your gameplay, making for a very satisfying level of progression.
My second day with Destiny consisted of a four hour play session, and I got to dabble in modes beyond the Story missions. Once again, gameplay was nice and smooth, as I encountered no problems. The game looks great and so far is a blast to play. I believe I exhausted the Story missions for the Beta, but I’ll see if another pops up, especially after the Beta goes down for a couple of days on July 21 for maintenance and preparation for Xbox users to join in on the fun. If so, it may be time to create another character, to see how different gameplay is between the classes. My Warlock is at Level 7 now, and I’ve heard the beta caps levels at 8, though that doesn’t stop you from playing. We’ll see if that holds true. So far, my time with the game has won me over, and I’m looking forward to the full version come September. Stay tuned for my further adventures as the Destiny Beta continues.
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