So, we all played and loved the Destiny Beta, right? Well, I certainly did, even if it didn’t instantly whisk me away. Sure, the game is pretty, but before it opens up, it’s a pretty standard shoot-kill-loot sort of genre.
Don’t worry though, it opens up pretty quickly. Once the first few missions are done, the map suddenly gets filled with objectives and neat dynamic events, the likes of Guild Wars 2, which is an amazing reference to have. At some point, a giant spider tank dropped from the sky and as I waited for reinforcements from other fireteams, I realized I would die in vain. That thing can take a few hits. Not even a super charged attack could dent it. It had me for lunch and I just had to stand there, taking it like a BDSM fanatic.
Spider bro did not screw around.
Surprisingly enough, the competitive aspect held me longer than the free-roaming events for additional loot. Tight maps with 6 versus 6 make for some hectic control point fights. With a neat grenade and some special skills, it’s hard to let go of a round, once it’s over. Character enhancement that keeps running during these fights didn’t hurt either. Getting loot and having that progress is even better, though that system felt a bit esoteric at the moment.
Still, there are irking moments in Destiny as well. In particular, it has some technical design issues, which isn’t something as forgiving as auxiliary elements, like terrible dialog that came from the moon. Its worst point of aggravation so far is the field of view (FOV). For those unaware of the term, due to a lifetime of Halo shooters and PC-less life: 1) I pity you, 2) FOV is the spread on the screen that mimics the full line of vision your character has. Think of it as your own set of eyes, minus the peripheral sight. That wouldn’t translate that well to games anyway, at least not in a consistent manner. Humans have about 100 degrees of front view. Destiny has what seems like 20 or 30; it’s ridiculously small. Like, if there’s a doorway, that’s just about all you’re seeing up close. It’s that narrow. For reference: You need about 60 degrees, just to be allowed to drive. Limited FOV with no means to broaden it out are the only thing that kept me from playing more. It felt like getting stuck in a tunnel sometimes, so I had to quit after a while.
Other things I noticed that broke my concentration of enjoying the game were the stupid ragdolls. Granted, when done well or periodically, it’s quite hilarious. In a game that otherwise seems to take itself quite seriously, at least visually, it’s just dissonant. Here you are, fighting off a legion of bloodthirsty aliens in a walled off area. Slime on the walls is grossing you out, incoming fire is pinning you down, incoming aliens are making you panic; then you blast one and it flies off like an inflatable tube man caught in a whirlwind. The two atmospheres don’t match. It looks preposterous.
Lastly, shadows may also need a tune up. In some parts of Destiny, there are darkened corners that receive some light from outside sources, to create epic set pieces. You move forward and suddenly your shadow cascades you across the cave like some sort of god. That’s the idea, at least. Still, these shadows are so extremely low in resolution, their block form makes it seem like the shadow play in Destiny is comprised solely of pixel art. It is laughably bad, to the point it’s arguable if the game needs to bounce off any shadows at all. It’s a giant game with a lot of players, I get it, but if your technical vision is sound everywhere else, having one point being so ridiculously behind is detrimental to your full product. Even by other game standards that sort of nonsense isn’t acceptable. I’d be much happier not periodically catching these square artifacts on walls as I zip by. It’s distracting.
These were all taken for my personal Instagram channel to drive the cruddy aspect home.
Granted, I played on a Playstation 3, so it’s not the most optimal choice out there, but that’s a platform Destiny has been made available on. All platforms should work appropriately. If it only works on the most recent devices, then there’s no reason to launch on other platforms. That’s just insulting.
Luckily, these problems aren’t alarming, at least not yet. Given every other aspect in Destiny has been up to par or better, ironing out design issues should still be possible. It’s not like the game is designed around a 20 degree FOV. At least, let’s hope not. It’s a pain in the ass to only see three aliens at a time in a full room.
One thing I wasn’t expecting: I am super ready for Destiny. People are complaining that there isn’t enough content yet. I think it’s doing just fine. My Warlock wants to blast more people in the face. I’d love to hear what others felt about the Destiny Beta. It looks like a game where you could have some neat stories from different accounts.