Destiny Awaits: Why I’m Glad I Missed The Alpha And Beta Tests

I’ve never played Destiny. I know, that doesn’t sound like an earth-shattering statement just as “I’ve never played Ocarina of Time” or “I didn’t enjoy Portal 2” does, considering the game’s not out until midnight, but with a closed Alpha and public Beta test both taking place earlier this year, it’s actually quite hard to find anyone going into Destiny unknowing and unspoiled as I am.

Unlike I used to do with some games, I’ve not been actively avoiding things about Destiny – it’s hard when you’re the editor at a site like this – but I have missed out on a huge chunk of Activision’s marketing, in the form of those Alpha and Beta tests. During the Alpha, I was running around the Los Angeles Convention Center and playing practically every unreleased game aside from Destiny at E3, and then as the Beta landed, I had just moved home and had no internet access aside from my phone’s 3G.

I did try to avoid Twitter and any conversations around the subject of the Beta, not because I didn’t want to know about the game but because I needed to hide my seething jealousy of everyone with a broadband connection.


So, here we are, on the eve of Destiny’s release and I’m getting very excited about playing the game for the first time. Tef has been playing it already – so he can review it for us at some point in the near future – and so far all he seems to have done is complain about completing the prologue for the third time. I’m really glad to be missing out on that, and to instead be about to enter a world of wonder and unknowns.

It’s not like I can’t imagine how it plays: I’ve seen streams, gameplay videos, and also played enough first person shooters in my life to know that I’ll probably be using the triggers to fire, face buttons to jump and interact, and then the sticks to move my character and my gun respectively. It’s also from the Halo developers, and I’ve played that so I can imagine some similarities there too. But it’s the same story for almost all releases, aside from the more uniquely controlled experiences that you see once in a while.

When you – assuming you’ve played one of the aforementioned tests – think of Destiny, you more than likely recall some of your favourite moments from playing it before, but when I think of the game, I can only imagine what lies ahead for me in this world. It’s all about looking forward rather than comparing to previous experiences.

Right now, I’m deciding which class to be so I can get into the game and play as quickly as possible, without spending loads of time choosing a class. I’m going for the Hunter, and aiming for the Gunslinger subclass. I don’t know what that means in terms of Destiny, but I know that’s different to what my friends are playing as – so I can support them, naturally – and that it seems to be the same style as characters I’d usually play as.


Previewing games is always fun: it’s nice to see a product still in-development and get a feel for how the final release will play, but when you get to release, you’re essentially playing a far more polished version of an experience you’ve already had. It may not be the same for Destiny, with its co-operative multiplayer approach, but from experience, I know that reviewing a game is always more fun; you can dig your claws right in and nothing feels limited or unfinished, and you wish you’d have never ruined that section by playing it before.

You don’t usually go to the cinema having seen a sizeable chunk of the movie already, do you? It’s true that movie trailers these days do like to share a bit more of the plot – and the jokes – than they should, but it’s nothing like seeing the end of the first act or a part of the mid-section and then anticipating everything up until that point. I think that’s the problem with these tests; they’re not unique experiences, and are genuinely large chunks of the game which you were going to play anyway.

So, at midnight tonight, I’ll take my first steps towards Destiny, and I’m genuinely excited to see what lies ahead. Perhaps more excited that I could have ever been having played at one or two of the opportunities we’ve had to play it before, but that’s just how I work; many others need that first-hand confirmation that something is good, whereas I’d like to have seen full reviews before release rather than anecdotes from people who had played a pre-release section, and wouldn’t have at all minded about playing it myself.

Still, it’s clear that – aside from too much of a push towards Sony – Activision have taken the right route in their marketing, focusing on high-quality trailers alongside the use of these pre-release tests to get people interested in a brand new IP, a task which can often be much more expensive and time-consuming. Whether you’ve played it or not, it’s easy to see that Destiny is going to be big.



  1. I don’t know whether I’d be as excited or not if I hadn’t played the Alpha and Beta – I enjoyed them both so much that it’s been the perfect length of time now that I’m itching to get back into playing. I can’t say I’m super excited for the prologue, but what comes after it is a huge unknown as I’ve avoided more recent news stories about the game.

    There’s definitely a swell of interest in it though, with two of my friends picking up a white PS4 at midnight with a third to come this week just to play it on PS4. My only worry is that the creaky old PSN can’t hack it… guess we’ll find out relatively soon!

  2. Don’t get too excited! You saw the Weview right?

  3. I tried the alpha and beta to gauge my interest, because I knew my courses this semester don’t allow for enough time to play… but I’ll definitely be buying Destiny in the winter.

  4. Never say never but Destiny didn’t really get my juices flowing… Might pick it up at a later date.. Oh and did you really not play the ocarina of time? You missed out there..

    • agreed. such an underwhelming experience in my opinion. It will probably do very well but there are much more interesting games to play at the moment.

      • I thought it was very dull – repetitive NPCs, even more repetitive A-B missions, and “new” missions continually re-used previous paths.

        I know others will love it, particularly people who will play it 4-player co-op and who like Sci-Fi, but other than those aspects it doesn’t appear to have an engaging story at all, its just another A-B open world RPG like Fallout or Borderlands, but in space. To me it’s surprising how this game has got so much hype.

      • I think it’s only 3 player co-op which is gonna suck for some people. I’m sure I read you can only have 3 players in a Fire Team anyway.

      • It’s just going to be a fun blockbuster game.

        Nobody will regard it as their favourite game of all time or anything but most players won’t regret their purchase.(Which isn’t true for Watch Dogs or Infamous SS.)

      • I love co-op and sci-fi. But so far Destiny has not impressed. Somtimes these new IPs take some time to really get into the swing of things though so we’ll see what happens with it.

    • No, I was just using it as an example of a shocking statement. It’s my favourite game.

  5. I’m so glad to see i wasn’t the only one who missed out based on a home move (although i think i win with 8 months of no broadband).

    It’s been a while since i’ve been so excited about a release, maybe the lack of access to either of the tests or shunning all info out of spite added up!

    You really should play Ocarina of Time though… Absolute masterpiece!

  6. Well I was going to buy this until I played the somewhat dare I say lacklustre Beta.
    Seeming all of my mates are getting a copy I may eventually buy a copy but think I’ll hold off until I can find a copy cheap, although I have a feeling by then the hype will wear off and a lot of people will already be bored of it & will have stopped playing.

    • That’s 3 copy’s in 1 sentence!

      • You know when you say a word too many times and it loses it’s meaning? I just did that, then re-reading your comment thought ‘copy’ looks like it should be pronounced copey :)

  7. I cannot wait for this. The beta was amazing and it’s something other than BF4 for me. I can finally put that down for a long time.

  8. I’m really looking forward to it, having the beta and alpha experience means I should be able to kick in pretty quickly, there’s a fair few of my mates getting the Ltd Edition so there shouldn’t be much fracturing when the first couple of expansions come out

  9. Wish I hadn’t played the beta as well. Because then I wouldn’t be quite so keen to get back to it, and the last 43 days probably wouldn’t have dragged so much…

  10. Really looking forward to it. More than any game in a very very long time. I played both alpha and beta. Alpha was very rinse repeat but the beta showed what this games potential can be in terms of fireteam play and online competitive. Loot, bosses, exploration, secrets etc etc.
    It appears to me the vision for this was so huge they have basically mixed up all genres into one. Hugely ambitious and seems to work beautifully.

    If people dont like it, fine. It certainly isnt softening my chubby for the postman in the morning.

    • Beautiful certainly is the word. Roll on tomorrow.

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