Strikes steal the show
The highlight of my time has been The Strike mission. This challenging quest is split into three parts with two bosses. It’s the most difficult mission that is offered, requiring teamwork and a competent game plan.
The Strike has a suggested level of six. I imagine high-level strikes will be the bulk of “Destiny’s” endgame content. These could be like an MMO’s raids. I look forward to seeing how Bungie makes each Strike unique.
Strikes implement the odd design choice of allowing respawns during boss fights. Allowing players to die and come back takes the difficulty out of the battle. Bosses are in Darkness Zones, which means the battle ends when all members of the fireteam. If, however, a player dies while the other members of the team are still alive, the downed player will respawn if the remaining players survive within 30 seconds. Players can be revived in this 30-second span, but will automatically respawn if nobody is able to get to them. There isn’t much of an incentive to revive downed players when they automatically respawn.
The Strike remains fun, but I hope some of these settings are tweaked before the final release.
Explore = fetch
Unfortunately, “fetch” doesn’t mean “cool” in this case. Explore mission means wandering around an area and looking for mini quests. These quests usually involve killing enemies and picking up items that are dropped. The beta randomly generates them, and there’s no end to them.
Explore will be the place to go if you’re having trouble with a story mission and need to grind out a few more levels. It’s not particularly fun, but it will serve this purpose well.
Exploration did hold another highlight: the random event. The screen dimmed, and a voice was heard that told us that our fireteam had to join a fight. A devil walker was dropped in the middle of the area, and all players in the area temporarily teamed up to fight for the common cause. We all had to destroy the devil walker in 5 minutes. We succeeded and were rewarded with XP. Unfortunately, we had all reached our level cap of eight, but it still gave a few minutes of camaraderie.
PvP - Crucible
I dabbled in the PvP arena called the Crucible. The only gametype available in the beta is similar to “Call of Duty’s” Domination mode. Three points of interest on the map must be controlled.
Gameplay within the crucible feels as polished as any strict first-person shooter, but there is an imbalance that commonly come with MMOs. Your weapons and gear from the game carry over into the Crucible. If you don’t have a solid arsenal, it will be difficult to excel on the battlefield.
The search for the golden chests
This beta holds treasures. There are five golden chests scattered throughout the different areas. These chests have rare armor and weapons, but the fifth chest holds a new speeder that has more speed and durability.
Bungie channels their penchant for hiding goodies in their games with these chests. They’re similar to the illusive skulls that could be found in “Halo 2” through “4.” The chests are pretty well hidden, but the fun journey to find them is worth it.
I’m not sure what I’ll be spending my remaining time doing in the beta. I suppose I could log more Crucible matches, but I’ve been having more fun exploring the other areas of “Destiny.” I hope they add more areas before it gets pulled, because it’s summer. What else am I going to play?
Sadly, the “Destiny” Beta will be down for the next two days. The fact that I’m upset by this means the game has been a lot of fun. I should be glad the beta has such limited content. It looks like this is going to be a huge timesink when it finally releases in September.
Here are some more screens from my journey.
(The crew standing together before a match in the Crucible)
(Back at the city, I met the King of Hyrule. He likes to live dangerously.)
(This guy had a similar haircut, so we danced.)
(Lots and lots of dancing.)
(Then we got on the roof of the building, and more joined in.)
(The party never stopped.)
(I lost purpose when that dance party ended...)
(But the fight had to continue. It was time to move on to The Strike mission.)
(Wave two of the Strike put us up against a Devil Walker, which is a walking tank with six legs.)
(This thing takes a while to take down. Shoot the legs first.)
(So close to taking it down. That last sliver takes a while.)
(We got him.)
(Time to move forward.)
(Into the Devil's Lair.)
(Looks like Tomb Raider in here.)
(The final boss of The Strike is Sepiks Prime; a floating orb of death.)
(The Sepiks prime targeting me.)
(It appears I'm out of ammo.)
(The team worked hard that day. Caught this sweet shot of the Prime exploding in mid-reload.)
(There wasn't much left to do after that.)
(Aiming down the sight of my new weapon after hitting level 8)
(Then we went hunting for the five gold chests with some help from @Eric_Guimond)
(The fifth gold chest gets you a new speeder with more durability and speed.)
(So we did what anyone does with a new ride.)
(We went joy riding.)
(Sleep deprived, we found a fan that launched us into the air, and had the time of our lives.)
(Lots of time spent with this fan.)
(So all in all, the Destiny beta was a huge success.)