By this point, I would expect anyone that owns a PlayStation 4 to already have experienced the Beta for themselves. Bungie hasn’t been stingy with the codes, granting players who pre-ordered the game codes to fill out their fireteam as well. So what do I think of the Destiny Beta so far?
There are many things I feel like Bungie is doing right with Destiny‘s Beta. As expected, they’ve updated several things from the post-E3 Alpha that I’m pleased with. First of all, they’ve added cut scenes. While not crucial at this stage in the game, it’s good to see the team making an effort to give players a sense for the final product and its emphasis on the story. With these cut scenes we get a sense of setting as well as some of the major players in the tale of our guardian.
One of the most notable updates they’ve made from the Alpha is with, arguably, one of the most controversial voice acting performances in video games. Peter Dinklage’s (Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past) Alpha performance as your AI companion was received with criticism. Bungie has since added effects to turn the flat, phoned-in ghost into a more believable digitized, robotic companion. They’ve also removed the notorious “wizard from the moon” line. With the promise of yet another pass on VO before the final release, Dinklage’s role is shaping up to be solid, despite the fact that he’s competing against Halo‘s Cortana for Bungie fans’ love.
The Beta is also introducing fans to some new audio tracks. The first time the tunes swelled up in the middle of combat, I was beside myself. What caught me even more off guard, though, was how similar it sounded to Martin O’Donnell’s works from the Halo franchise. While I realize he was let go from Bungie, he did contribute to Destiny‘s soundtrack. It was cool to experience, but I sincerely hope Bungie does more to establish a unique sound for Destiny before its release in September.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, the Beta lets players start from level 1. The Alpha sets players into the world with a few levels already under their belt. This gives Destiny the opportunity to show off some more missions along the way. The missions themselves feel well orchestrated, giving guardians plenty to do while they complete their tasks for the Traveler. If the final game’s missions are all as solid as the Beta, we should be in for a treat.
As with the Alpha, the Beta maintains a Level 8 cap. I understand said cap for Beta purposes. What has me concerned though, is that the final game will have a level cap of 20. As someone who will be taking a day of vacation for the release of the game, I’m nervous that I’ll be able to hit the level cap within that day. In my mind, it presents serious concerns for the amount of content the final product will feature. My sincere hope is that I’m not stuck having to replay missions or do PVP after a week with the game. Unfortunately, that’s something we will only know after we get the final product in our hands.
Overall, the Beta is another great showing for Bungie and Destiny. The story missions show a great deal of promise and the music and voice-over work is much improved from the Alpha. That said, I can’t shake the feeling that players are going to run out of launch content far too quickly. I’m not particularly drawn to the PVP and I don’t want to replay story missions forever. We’ll just have to wait until September, when we get our hands on the final product.