A few sessions in on the Destiny Alpha and I can say that this game is epic. Part Borderlands, part Halo, part World of Warcraft, Destiny seems to take the best of these games and combine them for an almost flawless experience. It starts the same way most games with a RPG base start; with character creation. At this time there are three classes and three races. I’ve spent most of my time so far playing with the hunter class which excels with longer range weapons and a trusty knife. The hunter’s special ability reminds me slightly of the golden gun out of Goldeneye on N64. The mage uses a dark magical “grenade” and has a special ability that resembles a bolt of dark energy. The race you pick does not seem to significantly affect your character stats, as far as I could tell, aside from aesthetics when your helmet is removed or the social aspects of the game.
You’re thrust into an extremely detailed world long passed its prime, free to explore at your own risk. The beta starts you off in a desolate Russia armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun and a trusty AI voiced by Tyrion himself, Peter Dinklage (calm yourself). The assault rifle has a satisfying kick to it and your steady aim is often rewarded with a tiny blue explosion of soul when you take down enemies with a headshot. The starting shotgun may as well be a melee weapon as you need to get in almost that close for it be effective. You finish the mission with a large but not unmanageable amount of enemies to take down. From there you are transported to an exterior view of your ship. It is there that you decide if you want to take on more of the campaign, compete in PVP matches in “The Crucible” or go to the Tower. The Tower is the main social hub of the game. It is the last standing city on Earth and it is where you can go to interact with other players, purchase new weapons and armor (you can find these in game as well), take on bounties for the crucible, receive messages and upgrade your ship.
The beta only served to make me more excited for Bungie’s newest and boldest endeavor. If I can fault anything so far, it’s that there was a lack of explanation on how you level up your skills, customize your armors and what purpose buying other ships serves. I would be a little disappointed if the race selection is again nothing more than a preference for such a small portion of the game, race attributes are somewhat of a RPG staple by now. Again I don’t know if these issues are because it’s just a beta or oversights that will be in the final game. Either way July can’t come fast enough for the open beta and September for the release. I can’t wait to see further into the world of Destiny.