Destiny 2 (PC) Beta Impressions
After 4 days playing the Destiny 2 (PC) Beta, I feel moderately interested in playing the full game when Bungie and Blizzard Entertainment launch it on the PC on October 24.
I say moderately, because I am used to play Blizzard games thoroughly before buying their games. When you play a Blizzard game’s Beta you usually get access to most of the content that ships. In the case of Destiny 2, the Beta is limited to the initial encounter after the cinematic, a Strike encounter (what we call a dungeon), and two PvP modes. That’s it.
I am very picky with shooter games. Over 5000 hours played in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch multiplayer, and solo I have played some FarCry, Crysis, Crysis 2. Plus, Overwatch since Technical Alpha. Currently, I have 4 golden weapons which amounts to 12,000 Competitive Points. Almost half way to get my 5th.
So opening up my heart and time to a unknown shooter, it’s tough.
The first thing that impacted me of Destiny 2 was the cinematic: near-real life quality, and motion-capture facial expresions.
The graphic quality of the interior and outdoor scenes is impressive. The special effects such as explosions look awesome. There is motion blur (with an option to disable it), and when moving from a dark area into a colorful outdoor, there is color aberration.
You can switch between three types of weapons. I usually use one that looks like a magnum gun for heavy damage against light and heavy armored enemies, or the machine gun with a tactical scope for headshots both close and far away (especially for snipers). Then the third one is for bosses and enemies with shields (usually looks like an energy shotgun for close proximity). It basically breaks through shields and kills them in two shots.
However, pressing F1 allows you to access your character like you usually do in World of Warcraft or Diablo III. Pressing a slot lets you see other weapons previously looted to switch to be your primary, secondary and third weapon slots. Pressing Q while hovering over a slot allows you to compare the looted weapons or gear with what you have currently equipped. Instead of numbers, it shows red bars (for what is a downgrade), or green bar (with what is an upgrade).
There are three types of heroes: Titan (Tank), Warlock, and Hunter. However, don’t let the class names fool you. These aren’t the typical classes you know and love from World of Warcraft or other fantasy games. All of them use guns and rifles. What makes them stand out are two abilities that are unique to each hero.
When the energy bar reaches full you can press “V” to use the hero ability. In the case of the Titan, he projects a shield barrier that blocks incoming projectiles. Your team can hide behind it. The Hunter leaves some kind of spiraling white void on the ground that I assume boosts the damage done to enemy targets (team members can stand on it).
There is a large energy bar on the bottom-left of the screen for the Super ability (what we know as a Ultimate or Heroic Ability). This one makes your hero go bananas on enemies for about 10 seconds. The Titan draws an energy shield on his hand to smash opponents, and can launch the shield to hit multiple targets. Basically, the Titan goes Captain America on steroids.
The Warlock dons a magical sword and starts shooting large fiery blasts at enemies disintegrating them on impact.
The Hunter dons some kind of energy staff and starts physically beating the beep out of anything standing in front.
The only complain I have about the super ability is that it takes way too long to charge. I usually manage to get to use it twice before the map ends. Forced to save it for situational moments when your team is overwhelmed by too many enemies. In my opinion, heroes should be able to use the super ability more often. It is what makes your hero be a Titan, Warlock, or Hunter. Otherwise, you are just a regular joe shooter 98% of the time until the energy bar reaches full.
In Heroes of the Storm, in contrast, you can use your Heroic ability every 60 sec, or 90 sec, up to 120 sec — in a game that can sometimes last 20-30 minutes. In Diablo III, each class has four abilities with a moderate cooldown and you can use them pretty often. If you are a WoW or Diablo III player, you get my drift.
In Campaign mode, sometimes there is phasing technology at work. I would reach a plaza and instantly two players who were also arriving to the plaza or already mid-encounter would pop out of nowhere and I would join the map objectives: Defeat three waves of enemies.
Opening the Director tab by pressing “O” allowed me to queue between the two PvP Crucible modes, or the Strike dungeon. Personally, I abhor PvP. So let’s move on to the dungeon. Pressing the Inverted Spire button started a queue to match me with two other players.
The only boss available in Destiny 2 (PC) Beta was the Inverted Spire. The encounter looks simple, but it certainly isn’t. In fact, I managed to play as Titan, Hunter, and Warlock multiple times. Probably 10-12 times separately. Each time my team would wipe 2-3 times per run. Very few times I managed to not wipe. When you wipe, you start from scratch. So yea, this isn’t an easy boss by any means.
Multiple enemy units spawn during the boss encounter forcing you to deal with shooting the boss, then refocusing into shooting the minions that spawn, and dodging the boss who is also attacking you. If the boss manages to sneak on you, he will slam the ground and the shockwave pushes you off the map into the lava (which isn’t fun). The strategy is to use the obstacles to block incoming damage, and get near the edge of the obstacle to shoot down mobs one by one, while making sure the boss isn’t walking into line of sight with you, or sneaking right next to you. You have to avoid getting close to him to avoid the ground slam that sends you flying across the map.
The battle is lengthy, complex, and difficult. If that’s the kind of adrenaline you like in shooters, then Destiny 2 is for you. It kept me coming back to test my mettle.
You should pre-order Destiny 2 (PC) to get an exclusive Kill-Tracker Ghost (skin), a Coldheart (gun), and the Salute emote. This bonus perks are exclusive to those who pre-order.
I have never played Destiny before, and I still don’t know well the key mapping, or how to use certain abilities. However, you might see something of interest in the videos below:
Destiny 2 Beta Videos