Destiny’s “First Look” Alpha has come to an end. Well, sort of. Announced at Sony’s E3 press conference last week, the preview was exclusive to PlayStation 4 owners who signed up for a code. Many of those who applied wound up getting invite and, after a fairly hefty download, launched themselves into Bungie’s hot new shooter.
I did think of writing an in-depth preview, going over just about everything I could glean from my few hours spent in Destiny. With Stefan’s preview last week, however, and some impressions from Tuffcub tomorrow, this wasn’t really necessary so instead I’ve bullet-pointed 14 key you need to know about the game:
- It’s developer Bungie’s first crack at a new IP since splitting with Microsoft back in 2007. Before Destiny, the acclaimed studio had worked on every Halo game, right up until 2010 with the launch of Halo: Reach.
- Destiny is best described as a Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter, or MMOFPS for short. While travelling the games’ open-world environments, you’ll come into contact with other friendly players.
- It definitely feels like a Bungie game. From enemy designs to the feel and flow of gameplay, Destiny creates a middle ground between Halo and Call of Duty.
- At the same time it’s clear to see where else Destiny draws its inspiration. Respawning mobs of enemies, random loot, and social hubs all herald from MMORPGs such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft.
- The Tower is where players can go in between missions. Here they can socialise and trade with vendors as well as collect bounties and turn in missions.
- Player characters in Destiny are referred to as Guardians, humanity’s last hope against invading alien forces.
- Vehicles are a core part of the game and can be summoned just about anywhere. Again, the feel and motion of these are reminiscent of Bungie’s Halo days.
- There are three races to choose from. These include Human, the ghost-like Awoken, and mechanical Exo. None of them offer any sort of gameplay advantage.
- Titan, Hunter, and Warlock make up the game’s three classes. Though they each have different abilities, they still share the same pool of weapons.
- At any time players can travel to The Crucible, an arena in which Guardians face-off against one another across a variety of modes. Here, you can earn experience and points to spend on legendary gear.
- Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage lends his voice to the game, making an appearance as AI companion Ghost. This is an essential tool in the Guardian arsenal that displays objectives, summons vehicles, and can return players to orbit.
- Even in alpha we can see glimmers of Destiny’s endgame. For those new to the MMO scene, this refers to what players get up to once reaching the game’s level cap.
- There will be inevitable comparisons to Borderlands. Though very similar in structure, Destiny clearly has more to offer with dedicated player vs. player modes and an entire suite of enhanced features.
- Destiny will launch on September 9th for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. Sony has partnered with Activision to deliver all DLC on PlayStation platforms first.
Even in its current pre-launch state Activion and Bungie are clearly onto a winner with Destiny. From its gritty sci-fi setting and fluid gameplay down to all the MMO gubbins, it’s a welcome distraction from your everyday online shooter and one that should appeal to both casual and hardcore fans of the genre.