The Destiny Beta has come and gone, and in its wake it has left millions of more people hungry for when the full game debuts on September 9th (It already left millions wanting more after the Destiny Alpha which was exclusive for Playstation 4).  While not owning a Playstation 4 to be able to play the Alpha, I do have an Xbox One and managed to be able to play the beta from the start date of our respective period (During day 6 they opening up beta access to the public across all 4 systems: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Xbox One, and Playstation 4).

Inside I will give a basic rundown of what you can expect of Destiny, and while I could be massively elaborate, I will try to condense it into a compressed review that will give everyone a good glimpse of what I felt from playing 5 days of this beta (July 23rd to July 27th).  Hit the jump to warp to the review.


  Small Highlights Video  

Here's a video that I made to showcase a few of the most fun things I did during the Destiny Beta.  I have it for Xbox One, so I regulated to only a 5 minute clip.  I hope you enjoy it! (Also a note, the person talking within the first and last clips is my gaming partner, Riot Trigger, better known as "RaS").




  Customization  


At the very beginning of the Destiny Beta you are going to be tasked with picking one of three classes: Titan, Hunter, or Warlock (Do not worry, I talk more about these classes in its self-titled section "Classes" below).  Afterwards you are going to have to customize your character's appearance in order to continue forward.  You can be male or female and you have the options of three different races to choose from that will effect everything else about their appearance.

The three different races you have to choose from are Human, Exo, and Awoken.  Humans are pretty much the standard inhabitants of Earth that look like you or me.  Exo are machines that were created by humans and have taken on intelligence of their own, think of them as really advanced A.I.  The Awoken are pretty much humanity's evolved state which transfigured somewhere within the universe (We know this since it says that some Awoken returned to Earth to help their "descendants" fight).

Customization options are preset, meaning it is not something like in the Saints Row series where you have sliders to increase a character's height, nor do you have individual parts of the face (Like nose, cheek bones,  lips, etc.) that you can freely tune to your liking.  I figure we have this restriction because of the fact that armor in the game appears on your character as you equip it, therefore they need to make sure it does not clash with anything else on that character.  You do however, have your choice from various preset faces (Including skin tone and eye color), Hair (Including styles and color), and Markings (You can choose their look and color).  Though, you do not have the option of body type.

Something else that is unique to each race is exactly what all is selectable.  Humans pretty much mirror what our variants are in real life (Skin tones, hair colors, etc.).  Awoken seem to have blue/purple variants on their skin tones, any selectable hair color, and markings which appear to be foreign tattoos.  Exo's have various robot parts selecting, different head adornments instead of hair, and markings are more akin to stylish paint jobs.


  Final Thoughts  

While I thought the customization was all right and is fleshed out enough to where you are unlikely to have two people within a Tower at any given time looking exactly the same, I feel like they would have did better if you were able to contort the faces how you want within the scope of what a helmet covers (Since there is no option to hide the headgear of your character).  I figure they did not use customization options also because of the ease of loading default choices when entering the Tower (Also because of selectable gear).  Even without selectable body types or custom variations on various features, Destiny has a decent character builder where I feel everyone will find something they like.  Also, there was no way to change your character's features in the beta after you already chosen how they will look, hopefully there will be somewhere in the game that will allow you to change your character's look after-the-fact.




  Classes  


There are three classes which are selectable in Destiny, they are the Hunter, Titan, and Warlock.  Each one has unique abilities of which they can utilize and each has at least one alternate sub-class which is available upon reaching a certain level (However, sub-classes besides your default one was not available within the beta), because of this I will only be discussing how the class works that was available in the beta.  I have a good grasp of how each of these three classes worked in the beta, though I only personally played as a Hunter (Primary) and Titan (Secondary).

The Hunter was my most played class (Got him to Level 8) and feels like he is suppose to be the character who stays at the back (At least within his initial starting class).  The reason I say this is because a lot of his weaponry seems to be tuned around hand cannons and sniper rifles, otherwise known as "Precision" weaponry.  Not to mention his Golden Gun super allows him three shots to deal heavy damage to different individual targets (In comparison to Titan or Warlock supers which has "Area-of-Effect" damage).  Personally, I feel like his Super is the best in multi-player as you can take out multiple targets since you have three "One-Hit-Kill" bullets (Possibility you can kill even more than that if you have it where Golden Gun bullets over penetrate).  I also feel like the Hunter as the best aerial double-jump for combating others during the Crucible since you can go up in one direction and switch mid-air with a different angled Double Jump.  I also like that their custom armor is a cloak that is definitely the most visible thing out of all of the custom items you can have.

The Titan is my secondary class (Got it to Level 6) and feels like it is suppose to be the character that rushes in and deals the most damage with close ranged, automatic, and heavy "One-Hit-Kill" weaponry.  From my time playing the Titan I felt like he was more aggressive and the heavier armor would play better with "Run-and-Gun".  I can also back up the Titan's aggressiveness by their super, which is a big ground pound that annihilates everything around him, useful for up-close encounters.  However, because the Super has to be used up-close, I feel like the Titan is especially good for Story missions but will lack in comparison to the Hunter and Warlock in the Crucible.  The Titan also has the second most visible class armor besides the Hunter.

The Warlock was a class I did not play at all, but my gaming partner Riot Trigger and friend Rampage did.  The Warlock seems to be a mix of Titan and Hunter classes, the ability to go out or in with abilities that will allow him to do either relatively well, more-or-less like a middle line.  His Super "Nova Bomb" was similar to the Titan's, only he could hurl it as an energy blast that exploded upon impact.  Also, his melee was pretty good since it was more-or-less an energy base class (My friend had actually made it where he had 100% cool down, so he could always do this melee).  Although, I find that the Warlock has the least visual of all class armor (Armbands), they do have some very cool variations at higher levels where it glows.


  Final Thoughts  

Even though you only start off with three classes, it feels like you will be getting an additional class (or two) with every new sub-class you open up for one of the three main ones.  I feel like they are not very different from each other (Such as in Borderlands), but that they do differ enough for everyone to have a preference of their own (I myself am struggling between Titan and Hunter classes).  I personally feel like it is lacking somewhat in complete class originality between all of them, but I figure that is because they also have to worry about player balance when in The Crucible.  I feel we will see a massive jump in variety as soon as we get to see all the sub-classes in action and their unique powers added into the fray.  Regardless, all the classes are cool and




  Armor, Guns, Items, and Equipment  


The Destiny Beta featured a variety of things that you could collect while in there, but could not readily use as of yet.  The specific categories I noticed was your Armor+Guns, Equipment, and Items.  Each one had their own function which I will elaborate below.

Armor+Guns screen (Pictured above), is your basic screen that you can start on.  You can choose from your weapons (Primary,Secondary, Heavy), Armor (Chest, hands, legs, head), Class Armor (Custom piece of clothing for each individual class that does not effect any stats, purely aesthetic only), and your Skill progression.  Once you have enough experience, you will be able to upgrade our skills/abilities, and certain uncommon guns (Those with a green background) can be upgraded as well as you continue to use the weapons.  Your weapons can also gain abilities, like the bottom half of a magazine dealing additional damage or gaining a quicker reload speed.  Your armor can also help improve your Discipline (Custom ability) and Strength (Melee ability).  Oh, I also forgot to mention that you can "Dismantle" weapons you no longer use for Glimmer or for Weapon Parts/Sapphire Wire.

Equipment are things like your ship's look, what type of hover vehicle you can drive around the map, and even things like your emblem.  They are mostly for style purposes and are purely to give you more unique customization options.  Though, I did notice an increase in speed by finding an uncommon/purchasing a hover vehicle instead of using the default device that you start with.

Last but not least, items are things that you can find or buy from in-game.  You have some items that will effect how much "Glimmer" you collect from enemies for a certain duration of time, items for upgrades like Sapphire Wire and Gun Parts (Though they are not used in the Beta), and even items that you get after completing certain missions which allow you to access other things (Or to be turned in for a reward).


  The Verdict  

I believe that their system is pretty simple and easily accessible for everyone.  Nothing overly complicated as far as the HUD goes and there is a necessary function for everything that you collect (Though, not everything in the Beta as certain things were cut off).  To be honest, I wish they would have place equipment on the screen to the left or to the right versus it being selectable at the bottom-left of the "Armor and Equipment" screen.




  Story Missions, The Tower, and Enemies 


The story pretty much says that you are a "Guardian", someone who has been sought out by a Ghost made by "The Traveler" in order to protect humanity from The Darkness that is coming.  Also, you come to find out that they also have more enemies such as The Hive and The Fallen.  The Beta pretty much has you following the orders of "The Speaker", someone chosen by "The Traveler" to be his voice since he can no longer speak from using all of his power saving the Earth.  The Speaker assigns different missions to you and you go carry them out, though, he very beginning missions are given by your Ghost and just involves you trying to get back to "The Tower".

The missions that you are given are anything from collecting your hover vehicle to finding a warp drive for your ship.  You will also fight two of the Fallen's Bosses along the way.  All of the missions in the Beta were on Earth and went up to level 8 (Which is the max).  Well, all of the regular missions were on Earth.  During the second-to-last day of the Beta, a mission opened up on the Moon and we got to play a single level 6 mission, after completing it you could turn it in for an item and see what the other two missions on the Moon were, but you were not able to play them and they did not unlock.  During missions you will sometimes have very random "Public Events" that every Guardian currently on the map can participate in (Think of it more akin to F.A.T.E. events in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn).  The ones I remember participating in I cannot wait for the full game to see all of the missions, complete them, as well as watch all of the cinematics.

Enemies within the game appeared in different varieties: Enemies with shields, boss enemies, enemies that fly, grunts, etc.  I will say that they had a decent variety and together they can be very annoying.  The fights can seem brutal and intense, I died a few times and we even had to restart because all three of our team members died during a Strike.

As far as The Tower (Which is described as "The Last City on Earth"), it is just a place where you can go to do a variety of things within the game and is the central hangout for all Guardians (Acting like a lobby to other players and the only time you can walk around without your helmet on).  You can spend "Glimmer" (The In-game currency you arm from dismantling guns, completing missions, and killing enemies) to buy items, weapons, and other gear.  You can also "Decrypt" Encrypted Engrams in order to reveal whatever they are.  Also, you can spend special currency due to leveling up things like your Encrypted Engram level and Vanguard Level.  You also will be able to use things like Crucible Marks to buy gear from dealers inside of it.  There also seems to be a way to join certain factions, buy different ships, and buy different hover vehicles.  There was also a part within the city that seemed blocked due to this being a Beta.


  Final Thoughts  

The social aspect of having to work together is pretty awesome, and I especially like that if you did not have any friends to do the tougher "Strike Missions" with, that they paired you up with other teammates (Since I only really had my friend RaS to go in with).  I am just hoping that everything is more expansive, especially since the beta is only suppose to be about 10% of the full game.  But from what I can tell, I will be wasting a lot of time replaying missions and trying to find all of the best gear, even on the harder difficulties.




  The Crucible  


This mode is really just about Player vs Player matches (PVP). It has a lot of traditional FPS elements but it also has things reminiscent of classic MMO PVP when you get into Iron Banner matches.  Allow me to break down what I know so far about "The Crucible".

We had a total of 4 maps we could play during the Crucible, though 2 of them are maps I only remember playing during the "Moon" event during the second-to-last day of the beta or during "Iron Banner" special events.  We played a match-type "Control" that is very similar to "Domination" in Call of Duty where you have A, B, and C points and must control more than your opponent in order to win the match.  However, it seems like you get kill multipliers for controlling points and kills also count towards your team's total.  I think they should take out kills counting towards your team's total because it makes it where you can win the entire match without having to play the objective, or the top person can be someone who has neither captured, defended, or assisted in playing an objective.  It should also be noted that all level advantages and weapon stat advantages were disabled.

Iron Banner is a special event that was still played in the "Control" match-type, but all of your level bonuses and equipment stats mattered.  I think this will be the definitive play-type for Destiny because it makes getting all of the loot and special weapons completely worth it.  I noticed a VERY clear difference when fighting those who were ranked less than me, I was able to kill them more easily without getting killed by them very often.  However, the one thing I do not like about this is the fact that it might become an event that only players who are Level 20 will play.  Why would you want to go into a match where you will probably lose simply because someone's armor is superior to your own because of your level?  Not me.

It should also be noted that during one of the the stages (Which original origin is the Moon), you had access to a few turrets and also some vehicles.  Bungie has already announced that they will be doing their best to balance everything out and has already tuned up the "Interceptor" to make it not so over-powered.


  Final Thoughts  

I found that the multiplayer was fun, especially for Iron Banner.  I am curious to see how many more match-types we will have and how many different modes within those types.  I enjoyed it immensely, way more than I thought I would have and was completely excited.




  The Verdict  


  EXCELLENT BETA!  

  STRENGTHS   - Excellent representation of all modes, seamless feel between MMORPG and FPS elements, Good cinematics, Excellent graphics, All classes are fun in their own way, Cool looking armor for every single class, Too many strengths to actually note because this list could go  on for a very long time.

  WEAKNESS   - Experienced some server issues on Xbox One due to capacity, Moon mission should have been open longer to people, No ability to change your character's appearance after they are made, No item to swap the stats between equipment.


This has got to be the BEST beta I have EVER played for a game.  In all honesty, Destiny is shaping up to be Game-of-the-Year, at least to me personally.  It is amazing that this game can go from a fun, single-player co-op experience and immediately turn into a competitive PvP experience without ever having to leave the same game.  This game is like a mixture of Halo (Due to the nature of the armor and sci-fi experience, including some of the PvP combat and movement) and Borderlands (Due to it being a FPS RPG with very unique classes and an expansive world) in some ways, but it has taken both to a new extreme.

This beta was good to me because it showed off what all it is capable of by giving you a small taste of everything, even the little things like seeing what you will be able to do after the full game is released (Including some of the Legendary weaponry).  Just exploring a map is extremely fun and teaming up for Strike mission with a friend proves very satisfying.  Few betas have ever given you this much freedom, content, and open-reign and still feel as though they still have way more to deliver during the final game.  I am astounded.

I am anxiously waiting for the full game to release so I can see what they have waiting on me, that is amazing considering I use to think it looked pretty boring and lacked interest until just recently.  I was completely addicted to this beta and it was only rumored to be about 10% of the full game, I cannot wait to see what Bungie has in-store for me once I get to witness Destiny in its full glory.

I know this review was long, but thank you for reading!