Home Gaming How Destiny’s alpha won me over

How Destiny’s alpha won me over

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Destiny

If you spent any less than half an hour with Destiny’s alpha, you would have written it off as yet another uninspired, flat and boring shooter. I very nearly did the same. When the alpha started to the dulcet tones of Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister telling me all about the wasteland the Earth has become, I very nearly fell asleep. His vocal performance is unusually wooden, and un-endearingly dull. As the voice of the Ghost, the not-quite-as-sexy as Cortana AI that accompanies you through the game, it’s a voice that you’ll be hearing for much of your time in Destiny. I was unimpressed, and bored. But I soldiered on, and ended up losing a weekend to a mere fragment, a tiny sliver of the game.

Destiny First Look Alpha_20140616111754

Before becoming acquainted with Peter Dinklage’s Ghost on a level 3 mission on Earth, I created my character. All three of the game’s characters were available to choose: The Hunter, your general shooter class; The Titan, your Tank and the Warlock; the shooter equivalent of the magic user. Drawn to the promise of being able to hurl offensive and deadly magic from my fingertips, I naturally chose the Warlock. It’s a choice it seems many others made, because every second person I met on my adventures had made the same one.

Back to the mission. For the first one, I went it alone, for a number of reasons. I’d like to say that it’s mostly so I could test how Destiny would play as a primarily single player game, but really it’s because I just wasn’t in much of a mood to have to interact with other humans online. From the get go, my magically set to level 3 Warlock was outfitted with some decent gear, along with primary and secondary weapons; a semi-long range assault rifle of sorts, and some or other gun that worked very much like you’d imagine a shotgun to work. I could not, however, shoot stuff from my fingertips; that ability would only come once I’d levelled up sufficiently. I could, however, toss out a grenade that sucked away enemy health in a purple spinning vortex.

DestinyAlphagameplay

Ghost told me to run off to some or other satellite-dish adorned building, to vanquish some or other evil there. I summoned a Star Wars-like speeder out of thin air, and proceeded to do exactly the opposite; I instead went to explore Destiny’s environments; a barren wasteland of broken buildings, destroyed vehicles and other bits of detritus. I went everywhere but where I was supposed to, encountering enemies hidden in pockets of fallen structures.

Neat. I then did the mission as intended, taking out the guards in front of the building before making my way up to a room filled with Destiny’s version of The Flood, The Hive. I levelled up, gained the ability to hurl devastating bolts of magic – even if they did take what seemed forever to recharge. Eventually, I demolished the flying wizard I was meant to. It was a decent enough experience, not much removed from just about any other shooter. I knew the game had to have a hook; I was yet to find it though.

Destiny First Look Alpha_20140614190930

Mission accomplished, I set my course for The Tower, which is this particular brand of MMO’s version of a guild hall, I suppose. There I was able to buy and sell equipment, read messages, and pick up bounties; such is the wont a Guardian of the Galaxy. The next available mission was an explorative one for level 4 and above. It put me in a new section of Earth, filled to the brim with the sort of minor quests that MMO’s are littered with; Collect 6 of these pointless things; shoot 7 of these – you know the type if you’ve played just about any RPG. The difference here is that I joined other to do it, and even though it was a grind-fest to level up my character sufficiently to take on the game’s Strike level, it was a lot of fun just potting about with others, chatting about nonsense and shooting just about everything that moved. This level allowed for fire teams of up to 3 characters, so three of ran about, doing missions and generally just wasting time.

destiny_gameplay_screenshot

And then the epiphany happened. It came courtesy of a giant spider tank that dropped in to the level, accompanied by an announcement that I’d just joined a public event. Now, instead of just my two buddy guardians, I was instead accompanied by many more, as we all worked together to reduce the multi-legged metal beast’s health, little numbers raining off of its head to show the damage slowly being chipped away. The enemy vanquished, my party resorted back to a group of three as we continued to grind our way to higher levels. It was fun, and I became just that little bit more convinced by the game, especially since I’d levelled up more and could now melee enemies in to nothingness.

The next mission though, the Strike. That’s what sold me on Destiny completely. The equivalent of an MMO raid, the alpha’s Strike mission was the hook I’d been looking for. It pit 3 of us on an impossible set of tasks, one after the other, to infiltrate and kill things within The Devil’s Lair. Wave upon wave of enemy; encounters with more of those dastardly spider tanks – only now we were a team of just three – forcing us to work together as a single unit, lest we all die and have to restart at a checkpoint. Unfortunately, that’s something that kept happening, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that my team wasn’t at all balanced – we were all Warlocks, trying to take on things from afar. We died, a lot. When we finally finished the level though, some two and a half hours later though, the satisfaction and sense of reward was palpable – each of us convinced we needed more Destiny in our lives.

Destiny First Look Alpha_20140616112705

Whatever it is that Bungie says about Destiny, there’s no mistaking that it has the hallmarks MMO, though it’s more of an MMO-lite. Strike teams are smaller than your average MMO’s rad party, though the public events make up for that. Perhaps “shared-world” shooter is the right epithet.

The gunplay feels more like Borderlands than Halo, but that sci-fi series’ DNA is unmistakable in its aesthetic. Destiny’s PvE – the story missions, strike levels and general exploration – is wonderful; there certainly seems to be a lot to do, and if the alpha is any indication, Destiny may well end up being everything Bungie promises it will be.

Less successful is the Gauntlet, the game’s PvP element. The bit that I played was standard FPS multiplayer fare; two teams of 6 capturing points and shooting each other, hardly removed from a standard Halo multiplayer match or even Titanfall without the giant mechs. Or the fun. I don’t intend on spending too much time in PvP. Some will probably love the PvP, but it’s just not for me.

I wasn’t sure I’d like Destiny. There’s too much hype, I’m fond of neither shooters nor MMOs. I enjoyed my time with Destiny far more than I had anticipated; once I’d levelled my Warlock to the maximum level 8 prescribed by the alpha, I started it all over again as the Titan, and then after than as the Hunter, trying each to find the most comfortable fit. And yet, by the time the alpha was over I still wanted more.

Last Updated: June 18, 2014

86 Comments

  1. Jonah Cash

    June 18, 2014 at 14:16

    I did not speak one little word to anyone in my at least 20-25 hours of play time!! The PvP was excellent for me, the difference between the two maps was huge!! The Rusted lands map was tight where the combat was mostly close up, and the moon map had a bit more space where you could use those star wars speeders to not just get from A to B quicker but they also had fire power. The bigger speeder had rockets and the small one had turrets. But as a player you didn’t feel completely helpless against them, especially if you climbed into one of those big anti tank turrets!!
    I played the Strike with 3 strangers that I was paired with, we quickly understood each other strengths and weaknesses. The game kinda force you to work together whether you want to or not, we revived each other quite regularly!!
    My time with Destiny was more than what I expected and I will definitely get the game and tell all who will listen just how cool the Alpha was. And if that is just a small portion of what is to come then the game is going to be better than what Bungie says!!

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 18, 2014 at 14:19

      See you soon!

      Reply

      • Jonah Cash

        June 18, 2014 at 14:42

        We will definitely have to play this together!! Then you can hear my Aiden Pearce raspy voice :-)!!! I haven’t seen many of the prices for the game at the shops, but PSN has it up for R650. I am thinking of buying it on PSN, not like I will want to trade this in in a year or two’s time… I am still thinking!!

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 18, 2014 at 14:50

          Same here, depends on how quickly I finish WD and Wolfenstein

          Reply

    • KingKappie

      June 18, 2014 at 14:23

      I agree 100% with every thing you mentioned, this game will be my one and only game for the next year

      Reply

      • Jonah Cash

        June 18, 2014 at 14:25

        If they don’t charge a yearly sub then R650 is just dirt cheap!!

        Reply

        • KingKappie

          June 18, 2014 at 14:26

          i know there will be DLC’s that is just the world that we live in but not once i have seen that there will be pay to win or a monthly fee

          Reply

          • Jonah Cash

            June 18, 2014 at 14:29

            And to think they will support the game for 10 years, that is R6.50 a year!! And even if they have decent DLC for R300 I won’t mind paying it. This might be the game where I buy DLC for the first time ever!!

          • KingKappie

            June 18, 2014 at 14:32

            definitely, i looked at the new elder scrolls and the game is broken and you have to pay monthly! Bungie relay got some thin nice going here the game is not out yet and im one of there biggest fan boys out there

          • Jonah Cash

            June 18, 2014 at 14:34

            Also a fan boy right from the start!!

    • Guild

      June 18, 2014 at 15:37

      I agree 100% I spent about 20 hours just playing as a Titan. First through the PVE and exploring everything then hitting up PVP. The Alpha made me preorder the game and sign up for the Beta. I’m hooked and will be spending a lot of time playing this. Only thing is, I wish I could keep some of the gear I found. Plus I’m still looking for answers on what “Grimoire” is useful for? I got 450 of them.

      Reply

      • Jonah Cash

        June 18, 2014 at 15:39

        I got 350 of them and also no clue what the hell they do!!
        But yeah I will be losing tons of hours into this game!! I am also going to miss my little fella, and the shotgun I found was also effective against you Titans!!

        Reply

        • Guild

          June 18, 2014 at 15:48

          I had 2 styles of play for the PVP. My secondary was a uncommon sniper I picked up which was semi-automatic and usually a 1 shot kill. Worked like a dream on the moon. Picking other guardians off, especially the double jumpers was fun. My primary was an uncommon semi-automatic which did a ton of damage usually did 1-3 shots to kill. Then my favourite was the legendary launcher I found. Full automatic. I was just waiting for the signal of “heavy ammo in bound”. Lot of fun playing PVP. And I didn’t feel any lag.

          Reply

          • Jonah Cash

            June 18, 2014 at 15:50

            I also had no lag at all. The game ran like a gem. You had some truly cool guns there!! But as I said lower down the Titans felt a bit overpowered, which probably means I will try Titan class in the beta 🙂

          • Guild

            June 18, 2014 at 15:53

            Nice. I think I’m going to stick with Titan class. I know I should try the others but the Titan was so much fun. They power slam netted me a few multi-kills.

          • Jonah Cash

            June 18, 2014 at 15:56

            That power slam killed me sooooo many times in the Rusted Lands map!!! Mostly at flag B where the building is just behind it!!

  2. Kromas

    June 18, 2014 at 14:16

    And yet that is how I felt about many many many MMO’s. The main problem with many “MMO’s” is they tend to not have a high value on end game.End game keeps your player base and anything less than awesome difficult mass group events tend to skew the game greatly. This can even be seen by WoW. Every expansion gets easier and every expansion the player base drops rather significantly. OH well.

    Also no PC so meh. 😛

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 18, 2014 at 14:18

      I’ll never understand PC snubbing.

      Reply

      • Kromas

        June 18, 2014 at 14:19

        Cause we pirate everything …. apparently.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 18, 2014 at 14:22

          Has to be something else as well, something isn’t right. I mean look at the Watch Dogs issue with the graphics. It almost seems like the industry wants the new gen to gain some ground at least before they show PC love again.

          I mean why else release GTAV for PC only now alongside with the PS4 and XBOX One? They could have done this last year already.

          Reply

          • Kromas

            June 18, 2014 at 14:24

            PC’s don’t get a huge fanfare and an E3 stand so we tend to be forgotten. I really don’t complain cause Bioware,RSI and CDPR still love us.

          • Spathi

            June 18, 2014 at 14:27

            Mmm, not so sure about Bioware anymore…Hopefully the new DA can redeem them.

          • Kromas

            June 18, 2014 at 14:32

            ME3: Citadel DLC redeemed them in my eyes.

          • HisDivineOrder

            June 18, 2014 at 15:13

            This is Bungie. They’ve lived to snub the PC. For a while, they snubbed PC’s because they were “Mac developers.”

            Then they snubbed PC for Xbox.

            Now they snub PC for consoles in general.

            There’s a very real anti-PC vibe over at Bungie. It’s certainly not Activision because they basically port everything they have to anything that’ll run anything they make that even remotely appeals to a PC gamer.

          • Mark Treloar

            June 18, 2014 at 16:27

            Because the developers are paid to make them timed exclusives so that they can maximize profits on theirs systems. The problem is PC doesn’t fall under an umbrella company that can be approached, or is willing to pay for exclusive content. Best advertising that GTA V ever has was the PS3 exclusive console. Sony put so much advertising out there it would have been difficult to ignore GTA V’s release. If we were to start a Kickstarter and raise enough money I bet we could get Rockstar to give us the next game as an exclusive, that is assuming we wont be outbid by Sony or Microsoft.

          • Hammersteyn

            June 18, 2014 at 16:38

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 18, 2014 at 14:29

        It’s da munnay. PC versions are cheaper than the console ones, and a lot of people would probably buy the PC version seeing as it’s an FPS. They’ve already upped the PC prices a lot, but I’d throw a shit fit if they tried to charge the same.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 18, 2014 at 14:33

          I’ve been to a LAN recently(shocking I know) and I know how we argue that console hardware is cheaper, but you can buy a PC for cheaper than a console. Not one PC out of the dozen I cost any cheaper than a PS4. Which leads me to believe most people spend more money on their rigs than the cost of a PS4.

          Now if the games cost as much as the console version there would be real trouble.

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 18, 2014 at 15:02

            It’s not difficult to build a decent PC for around the same price as a new console that’ll run everything perfectly well. You just have to make some allowances like not buying a case for R1k & being okay with medium/high. The people who insist on ultra for everything ruin it for everyone else, and it’s overrated anyway lol.

            Only reason I even spend more than I really need to is because it’s fun for me & I only want the one platform anyway.

          • Hammersteyn

            June 18, 2014 at 15:12

            But that’s the same reason every single PC gamer will give.They don’t need to spend that much cash on hardware, they just do.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 18, 2014 at 15:26

            My PC is my baby & I want my baby to have nice things 😀

          • Mark Treloar

            June 18, 2014 at 17:13

            It;s not a reason. If you are an enthusiast you really do want the new stuff and if you could afford it you would have 2 systems. One with AMD tech the other Intel, and simply because we enjoy tinkering as much with the hardware as we do playing games.

          • Hammersteyn

            June 19, 2014 at 07:41

            Tinkering with hardware? You should have seen these rigs these people had. Now I love in a small town but my word All of them had two graphics cards at least. Ram varying from 8 to 32 GIGs. HDD space to backup NASA(just kidding). Maybe it gets addictive. One you start upgrading you can’t stop.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 18, 2014 at 15:02

            That’s what I meant, the games, not the hardware.

  3. Hammersteyn

    June 18, 2014 at 14:17

    When I remember I have yet to preorder this come payday
    http://images-cdn.9gag.com/photo/a3YX9Mr_460sa_v1.gif

    Reply

  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 18, 2014 at 14:20

    Great. Now it sounds like something I would like to play, but I can’t. Thanks a lot ;P

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

      June 18, 2014 at 14:21

      ^This

      Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      June 18, 2014 at 14:21

      It really was a great Alpha!! And I hope all can play it!!

      Reply

      • KingKappie

        June 18, 2014 at 14:36

        For an Alpha the game was not rely broken i found one or tow bugs but nothing that broke the game

        Reply

        • Jonah Cash

          June 18, 2014 at 14:37

          I also didn’t find many bugs, had the odd guy disappear on me in PvP but that happened maybe 3 times!!

          Reply

        • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

          June 18, 2014 at 14:38

          It seems your spell-checker is still in Alpha…

          😛

          Reply

          • KingKappie

            June 18, 2014 at 14:41

            probably, ek’s beter in Afrikaans

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 18, 2014 at 14:44

            Nou pra jy mos

    • KingKappie

      June 18, 2014 at 14:29

      HAHAHA sucks to be you i will get this day one!!! on my shiny ps4

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        June 18, 2014 at 14:33

        Same 🙂

        Reply

  5. Spathi

    June 18, 2014 at 14:22

    What a great read! Kinda bummed the game is awesome, really don’t want to invest in a PS4 yet 😛 Maybe the PS3 version ain’t that bad?

    Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      June 18, 2014 at 14:24

      I actually think the gameplay mechanics will work just fine on the older consoles, but the visuals is just mind bogglingly beautiful on the PS4… I found myself staring at the sunset…..

      Reply

      • Spathi

        June 18, 2014 at 14:26

        Ha, sunsets are the best way to show graphical prowess in games. I remember when I first played Oblivion, just sat and stared at the sunsets!

        Reply

        • Jonah Cash

          June 18, 2014 at 14:27

          I climbed on top of a building and went third person view with my hunter sitting on his ass and just stared… Man the game really looks incredible!! And Youtube doesn’t do it any justice!!

          Reply

          • Spathi

            June 18, 2014 at 14:28

            You’re making it worse. Please keep quite now 😛

          • Jonah Cash

            June 18, 2014 at 14:31

            Sorry man, I am just overly happy at how the game played. And I haven’t played many FPS games, so this was a complete surprise to me!!

        • Kromas

          June 18, 2014 at 14:31

          Pretty much this.

          Reply

  6. Kensei Seraph

    June 18, 2014 at 14:30

    After reading I have 3 questions (from least to most important):
    1. How was the Titan compared to the Warlock?
    2. How was the hunter compared to the Warlock?
    3. Will those of us who have been blessed enough to use keyboard & mouse be able to adapt to using a controller.

    Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      June 18, 2014 at 14:33

      My answers are on the PvP side:
      1. The Titan in all truth felt overpowered in the PvP battles, they don’t go down easily at all!!
      2. I think they are closer to power and defence.
      3. I don’t have the answer to that sorry.

      Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 18, 2014 at 14:55

      It’s the same as moving from eating with a knife & fork like a gentleman to eating with your hands. It’s uncivilised, but sometimes we must make allowances.

      Reply

      • Kensei Seraph

        June 18, 2014 at 15:01

        Haha.

        Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      June 18, 2014 at 15:01

      Titan sucked compared to the warlock. Hunter also sucked compared to the warlock. 😉 I like snipers and long range, ok? ;P

      For a long while, I was predominantly a PC gamer. I transitioned to console, for shooters, after a tough period that took a long time to get used to. But yes, it’s possible. and now I even prefer controller, even if they aren;t as accurate.

      Reply

  7. Dutch Matrix

    June 18, 2014 at 14:30

    Is… Is that Legion in the header image? And on the far right, is that Cobra Commander?

    Reply

  8. Miklós Szecsei

    June 18, 2014 at 14:38

    Oh man, that damn spider tank. ;_;

    Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      June 18, 2014 at 14:39

      I liked the Purple shooting sphere that followed the spider tank in the Strike mission!! I died many times!!

      Reply

      • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

        June 18, 2014 at 14:59

        Sepkis, or whatever the fuck it was called. That shit was TOUGH.

        Reply

        • Jonah Cash

          June 18, 2014 at 15:36

          My team took about an hour just to kill that purple bitch!! But that is what I get for teaming up with random people who are just 4 and 5 level!! But the 2 hours we played felt like 30 minutes max… I even had to run to the loo and leave my team mates for a little while 🙂

          Reply

          • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

            June 18, 2014 at 15:37

            I actually had guests show up while i was half way through. Had to keep telling em I’m not being rude, I just can;t attend to then /right now/ 😛

          • Jonah Cash

            June 18, 2014 at 15:41

            Me and my unknown cronies were all alone through the battle and we got our assess handed to us for a very long time!! But this game is going to be a console seller, PC guys will want in on the action!! I had my PS4 out of the box earpiece connected but on mute, I didn’t chat to anyone… And we all still understood what we needed to do, wait 30 seconds when you are the last guy left so that the others can revive automatically… Hahaha

    • KingKappie

      June 18, 2014 at 14:40

      did you do it in legendary mode that was insane

      Reply

      • Jaded_Reprobate

        June 18, 2014 at 15:10

        by the time i was finished with the devil’s lair on legendary… i was completely wrecked… can’t remember the last time a game of any sorts took up that amount of concentration…

        there was a collective sigh of relief from all 3 members in our fire squad

        Reply

    • Tauriq Moosa

      June 18, 2014 at 16:17

      Spider tank, spider tank, does whatever a spider tank can, can he shoot from a-ways? yes he can, he’s a spider-tank. Here comes….. the spider-tank. *insta-kill*

      Reply

  9. KingKappie

    June 18, 2014 at 14:38

    30 days till the Beta!!!

    Reply

    • Tauriq Moosa

      June 18, 2014 at 16:16

      eeeeeeeeeeeeeee

      Reply

  10. Ryanza

    June 18, 2014 at 14:48

    Lazygamer is sure pimping the hell out of this game. But it’s a Bungie game so it should be a good game.

    Later this year when Lazygamer does the same thing for Call of Duty, I’ll just…

    http://31.media.tumblr.com/68b363137fee6115597c717bade9f9d5/tumblr_mmmzjqA7kZ1snpc3lo1_500.gif

    Reply

    • Kensei Seraph

      June 18, 2014 at 14:53

      I can’t stop staring.

      Reply

  11. Dutch Matrix

    June 18, 2014 at 14:58

    4th Image of this article: Does Destiny have a Playmate of the Month shoot mode?

    Reply

  12. Consumer of Little Rabbits

    June 18, 2014 at 15:02

    Cant argue any point made here. I was simply bowled over. And this was still pre alpha. Its astounding. Really, the lads at bungie did good.

    Reply

  13. Wraith

    June 18, 2014 at 15:25

    Pre-ordering this, combined with the potential Steam sale starting tomorrow is going to leave my wallet rather sad…

    Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      June 18, 2014 at 15:42

      But your face happy!!!!

      Reply

  14. Sageville

    June 18, 2014 at 15:28

    So is it holy-trilogy required?

    Reply

  15. Rags

    June 18, 2014 at 15:29

    The Quarian looks lost.

    Reply

  16. Sk3tz0

    June 18, 2014 at 15:34

    This gonna be an awesome game.. I played much liek the author did.. except i’m #ForeverSP.. the PVP was fun, but i enjoyed the leveling and RPG elements

    Reply

  17. Tauriq Moosa

    June 18, 2014 at 16:06

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 18, 2014 at 16:10

      Is it wrong to imagine 70’s porn music playing in the background?

      Reply

      • Tauriq Moosa

        June 18, 2014 at 16:12

        No: That would be very accurate.

        Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      June 18, 2014 at 16:12

      We had a thing. It was a perfect moment for that time, but I’ve moved on. It’s not you, it’s me.

      Reply

      • Tauriq Moosa

        June 18, 2014 at 16:14

        You know what, I was saving a spot so that we could be on a Fireteam, but I’ve found someone who appreciates my Hunter for who she is.

        Reply

        • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

          June 18, 2014 at 16:15

          Well I hope you and your new Warlock are very happy together.

          Reply

          • Tauriq Moosa

            June 18, 2014 at 16:15

            Shut up – and how did you know he was a Warlock? Oh, yeah, EVERYONE is a bloody Warlock.

          • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

            June 18, 2014 at 16:16

            I NEVER LIKED YOU ANYWAY *cries*

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