Destiny 2: Open Beta Review
Destiny 2 launched its open beta from August 29-31. Not a lot of time to play a game that seems to be so massive, I thought at first. Silly me: you could play it all in just a few hours. And I say few in order to not say 2.
Why? well, For those who don't know all which there was to play was: an story mission called "homecoming". A PvE instance called "The inverted Spire" and two PvP matches, one of capture and a second of Plant a bomb.
It only took me that long because of the queue to try to play a PvP match... which has a controversy on its own.
But hey! I don't want to start so negative so I'll proceed to say what I DID like about the game. I wasn't wrong to compare the experience to playing Borderlands. It was really similar... as an FPS of course. Destiny's story is written way more seriously. Because, let's face it: An FPS will always be an FPS. The only thing which changes is how the developers make you get into the game.
(This one is a high Quality PvE FPS though)
So the first thing I played was the story mission. It starts right after you choose your class: I ran it twice, with a Hunter and a Warlock (I like the hunter more so far). I didn't play Console Destiny so I wasn't aware of the powers they had... in fact I still don't know what the warlock's one does. It was just a white circular area.
So yeah I did miss an explanatory tutorial for the classes. Just me?
In any case, the story mission starts with the trailer and explains just what happens right after. We, the guardians arrive at the war zone that has become Midtown. We see how some foreign technology is attached to the Traveler (The giant white orb) and we arrive just in time to lent a hand to our Allies, who tell us where are we needed.
The voice acting is amazing, and I had been chatting in reddit with some other fans about how the Ghost (The little robot who is always by our side) replaces what would be our character's voice. He talks, gets emotional, jokes around... and I find it really effective. A first person shooter is all about getting you into the screen, and the characters, the scenery, the enemies... all teams up and achieves exactly that.
The optimization is also really good, and even though I was playing it in low graphics I never once felt I was missing out something. Nothing got in the way of my immersion.
The story mission wasn't anything out of the ordinary though. There was a short animation when we changed "stages"... but it was clear that everything was made so that we were able to finish it. I do have to add that there was also a part where I teamed up with some other players in an event where we had to defend ourselves from an Kavald assault (The main bad guys right now) in the middle of the story mission. It was a nice surprise.
And of course, the cliffhanger in the end: the main antagonist presents itself, stealing from us the pillar that had been with us since the beginning, along with our hope... but not without giving us something in exchange: the fear of death.
Too dramatic? well, you probably can watch a video in YouTube.
But yeah, no more story mission. I was kicked to a lobby with my ship, floating in the middle, and found out that I was supposed to play just one (ONE) PvE mode which even though it was part of the story, it had nothing to do with what I just did.
"The Inverted Spire" is a 15-20 minutes long dungeon which takes us to some Vex ruins (An enemy faction whose origins are unknown) that are currently being raided by the Kavald Empire. We miraculously have our ghost back (despite losing him in the story mission) and are ordered to investigate the ruins and unveil why are the Kavald there. The factions are fighting each other when we arrive... and of course we have to kill them all to continue. The descending jump patron was really fun, ominous and it could get quite deathly. At some point we were in a giant excavator with some really dangerous rotating "Shovels" that could instakill you if they caught you.
For some reason the first time I ran the dungeon I was able to dodge them easily... the second one, not so much.
The real "challenge" appeared when we reached the Boss chamber. "The weapon" the Kavald wanted to obtain was a Giant Vex Robot which for some reason got really angry at us for being near. We changed stages three times throughout the fight, with spawning adds and the boss shooting at us from everywhere. It was easy to die if you weren't careful. Once we killed the Robot, we got some loot... but nothing out of the ordinary.
I mean, I know it was a beta... but precisely because of it I expected they'd give us the "sensation" of achievement they want us to have in the game.
No, I think I need to rephrase that. I expected them to offer us the change they were supposed to make in the grind-repetitive problem they had in Destiny 1... but all I know is that I had enough by playing the dungeon twice.
Maybe Destiny 2 is just not my game, even though I did have fun playing it. But is it too weird of me to want mostly PvE in an open beta of a game which is composed of mostly PvE? Something else than just two missions of 20 minutes.
In any case, once I had the PvE experience, I wanted to try the PvP one.
First: the modes were fun. The usual straight out of the book "Capture the zones" and the "Plant/defuse the bomb". The maps offered a variety of options to reach a point, but if I had to better describe the PvP experience I had... well, it was a clown party. At first I only died. People was able to headshot me so easily while I was trying to hit something that I thought "Holy crap, I'm really bad at shooting games that aren't Overwatch".
In any case, later on I realized how op was to just punch someone. So I started to flank while people were unaware of me, shot once then punched, punched, punched... and suddenly I killed three players before they even noticed it. But then a Hunter headshot me with an sniper. Or with a grenade. Or with a pistol (Better Devils) that for some reason was stronger than a grenade launcher.
That could be a summary of my pvp experience actually. Yet I should mention also...
Is not that much of a deal, just that the players who use controller have autoaim to, you know, being able to hit something. It'd make sense if that were the only thing that does... but apart from being better than aiming with KB+M (keyboard and mouse) in most situations, it also opens a path for people to use exploits and get that same autoaim in the KB+M input, which is the most broken thing I've ever seen.
The thing is that some console players defend the autoaim assist in the controller, while other PC players say "No, it has to go or I'll cancel my pre-order". In fact, the latest is people saying that they should use the exploit to get Bungie's attention... which is not necessary at all, if not counterproductive.
However, I do thing autoaim gives some advantages in a controller (For example, you can try to peek a corner, and if the enemy just spams the aim, even if he doesn't see you, he'll know right away you are there)... maybe they can tune it down to make it work. Overwatch was the same on PC, and they got rid of it.
But I guess the real question here is... Did I have fun?
I did. As a PvE I loved the experience. Nevertheless, I do think they should have added way more content to test. At least a few more dungeons. Let us see what has changed. Let us see more of the world you've created.
As a PvP... well, I can't see any "competitive" league happening any time soon. First because people just don't know how to play it yet (Me included), and second because of the aim assist issue.
But well, as a game, It'd give it a 7/10. However, this is from my experience in what I got to play.
But what do you think? Did you like the Open Beta? Or if you haven't played it, Do you like what you've seen? Please leave a comment if you have anything to add or information to share. If you enjoyed what you read, don't hesitate in pressing the like button down here.
And Lastly, if you'd like to know more about me and my work, follow me on twitter: @DezartVanheart.