Destiny Beta Review

I was lucky enough to be part of the short but sweet Destiny Alpha, now that the Destiny beta is in full swing I’ve gotten to spend more time guarding the last of humanity and I am blown away. With the beta comes more campaign missions, four to be exact, a tease of the Moon map and a limited Crucible mode, Iron Banner,  where level advantages are in full effect. Bungie also opened the flood gates on the social, MMO portion of the game for the beta build. This was one of the more disappointing points in the Alpha but now the tower is a hive of players dancing, saluting, and buying massive guns and ships. Crossing paths with various levels of players is fun but nothing compares to stumbling upon a group of players trying to take down a Devil Walker and joining the fight.

All my time with the beta so far has been devoted to my male exo warlock, currently sitting at level 8. The entire upgrade experience isn’t confined to just your character. Upgrades can be earned for armor and weapons that not only boost some attributes but add specific actions that can reduce cool downs on various abilities. For example I have a level 8 shotgun with fire damage that every time I score damage with reduces the time it takes my absorbing melee to recharge, once I use my absorbing melee, it takes time of my grenade recharge and so on, everything is connected. Armor can be purchased or upgraded to be able to hold more ammo for certain weapons as well as stat increase.

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An extended beta means I’ve been able to really explore more of the world, as a level 4 I followed a level 8 to an area full of higher level enemies and quickly died, when I can back several level ups later for revenge I continued just wondering, and wondering, and wondering. I ended up in a decaying building I had no other reason to be other than I was curious and I could with no load times and when I was done I simply called down my vehicle and rode all the way back to where I originally spawned. This game is simply massive.

Leading up to the beta, Bungie also released the Guardian companion App. This free app is packed with useful information that might make your wireless provider cringe if you aren’t on wifi. From the app you can check on your current bounties progress, recent Crucible stats, inventory, and every kill you have made in the game and when. You can also view the all your unlocked Grimoire cards, maps, even find and join groups for fire team fun.

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If I can find any faults in Destiny so far it’s that one, It doesn’t come out till September and two, I waited an extra day after the announcement of the Ghost edition, which is now currently sold out…everywhere. Every time I step foot into the virtual old Russia I grow more and more impatient for the full release. Based on everything I have seen and played this is easily earning its title as the biggest game ever.

Till later Guardians, I’ve got more Fallen to kill,

 

Nick

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With the family away…

Recently my wife took our daughter on a five day four night getaway with several other moms and kids. This was the first time I had been alone in the house for more than a few hours in almost four years. This is what happens when the family is away.

Monday

4:50 am My wife asks if I have a knife she can have. Apparently she had a dream where she got “funny gamed” and is scared to stay where she is going to be staying in a few short hours

5:40 am Take a peek at my daughter and leave for work

6:06 am Arrive at work

5:30 pm arrive home from work, pick up the remnants of another life, toys, toddler bowls with partially eaten snacks, coffee cup with half drunk coffee

5:45 pm turn on Xbox and hop into my buddies session of Borderlands 2 and leech off his xp, I will leave this on for 2 hours

5:50 pm start clearing out what was my office to get ready to paint

6:20 pm after losing contact with my wife since 9 am I am informed that they arrived and will call when things have settled down

6:50 pm I order my first meal as a free man

7:20 pm arrive back at home with food, sit down on the couch with food and beer and watch a show I could never watch with the wife or daughter around, Burn Notice

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Behold a feast of Chinese extravagance

7:40 pm my food is demolished

7:45 pm I put layer one, of paint for a special side project in the basement

8:05 pm play Watchdogs

8:10 pm wife calls and I talk to her and read Goodnight Moon over the phone

8:15 pm resume Watchdogs

10:00 pm bring beer upstairs and fall asleep sprawled out in the middle of a queen sized bed watching south park

Tuesday

4:40 am wake up laying diagonally across the bed, I will lay like that for 20 more minutes…

5:40 am almost forget that I have to feed the animals before leaving

5:41 am go back inside the house and feed the animals

7:52 am Text received from wife about how she already misses me, I respond with my beard is stinky and tell her I love her

11:55 am I eat my mountain of leftover rice from the night before

3:36 pm leave work and head to home depot (my 3rd trip in 4 days)

5:09 pm open my first beer of the evening

5:30 pm Buddy arrives to help

5:40 pm open 5 pack of steak from Costco, massage olive oil into them like I was going to be inside it later and not the other way around, season, and let sit.

5:45 pm start measuring, cutting, installing shoe molding

6:00 pm turn on grill continue shoe molding (beer #2)

6:10 pm place sexy looking steaks on grill and continue to work

Man Fuel

Man Fuel

6:15 pm flip and continue

6:20 pm plate up and devour delicious red meat

6:30 pm plate up the remix

6:45 pm sit in food coma

7:30 pm start painting (beer 4)

8:00 pm work break to read Good Night Moon over the phone

8:45 pm painting is finished in the nursery

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8:50 pm apply second coat of paint for project in the basement

9:00 pm Sit down to play Marvel vs. Capcom 2, things get heated

9:45 pm after a stunning victory I give my buddy (defeated and sad) a ride back to his house

10:10 pm I decide that I did not punish myself enough today and go to Taco Bell

10:30 pm Arrive home and grab beer 5 and head to bed with my bag of tacos

11:30 pm decide it is time to go to sleep

Wednesday

5:30 am decide to get out of bed after several snooze attempts, today will be rough

11:55 am I manage to stay somewhat conscious all the way to lunch where I reheat leftover steak (yes surprisingly I had leftovers) side note: If you bring steak to work just go ahead and bring a steak knife too

5:30 pm leave work

6:08 pm arrive home to change and feed the pets then it’s off to play Titanfall

6:20 pm arrive at buddies house for weekly Titanfall mandate

7:15 pm a few disappointing matches in and we decide to pick up some bbq from a local place, I will feel like I wasted a meal with this decision

8:00 pm wife calls so I can read bedtime story over the phone

9:15 pm my last match of the evening is a hearty improvement over the rest but still nothing to write home about

9:20 pm arrive home and tend to my project in the basement

9:40 pm head to bed and fall asleep to south park

Thursday

5:30 am no left overs from last night so I decide to make a pb and j sandwich for lunch, the bread is in the freezer so I choose a bagel and yogurt instead

10 am this day is dragging

11:55 am I supplement my poorly planned lunch with a vending machine purchase of beef jerky and somewhere a lumberjack gets its flannel

5:06 pm work is over and I head home.

5:45 pm I burst through the door with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning and start prepping my dinner for the evening

6:10 pm dinner is done

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Grilled cheese hamburger buns

6:20 pm I’m getting a bit hot so I decide to take my pants off while I eat

6:30 pm I sit and just stare at the TV

7:00 pm When my body allows me to move again I start downloading the Destiny Beta

7:05 pm I should have started it while I was eating

7:15 pm apply last coat of paint for my surprise project in the basement and remove tape

7:30 pm I use the downstairs bathroom to do natures business (I have to use the upstairs bathroom so everyone else doesn’t have to smell my shame) and I do it with the door open

7:35 pm  grab another beer and set up a Twitch.TV account

7:40 pm finally finished downloading and I get comfortable

7:42 pm wife calls for the nightly reading of the bed time story (I think she must have some sort of super power to always know when key moments are happening in games)

7:48 pm my daughter is chatty tonight

7:55 pm Destiny…it’s glorious

9:30 pm jump in the shower and go to bed

Friday

5:30 am I went to bed early-ish why the hell is it so hard to get out of bed

4:45 pm Text from wife “Half way-ish home”

5:06 pm Leave work

5:45 pm Hurry up and cut and piece some molding together

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6:00 pm Jump on and play some Destiny with a fellow dad.

6:45 pm Text from wife “Please tell me food is ready”

6:46 pm I get in the car to pick up a pizza

7:15 pm They pull into the drive way and I go outside to meet them. I’m greeted with a wall of lavender scent the second I open the car door. I pick up my daughter who is wet and sticky and snotty and head inside the house as my wife speed waddles to the bathroom

7:20 pm I change my first diaper in 5 days

7:25 pm we sit down to a lovingly made dinner

8:00 pm Turns out my daughter is teething and has an ear infection, bed time is fun

8:30 pm Attempt to play Destiny

8:45 pm my wife takes a bath

9:15 pm Daughter passes out

9:30 pm Go upstairs where I rub my wife’s feet and back…she passes out shortly after

Weekend Update: I have watched Frozen 3 times already…

Later Gamers/Dads,

Nick

Destiny Alpha Impressions

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.

 -Later

Nick