Destiny 2 (Beta) (PlayStation 4) Preview

By Drew Hurley 23.07.2017 2

Review for Destiny 2 (Beta) on PlayStation 4

When it comes to sequels to major games, companies are looking to attract a few different types of players. First, and obviously, are the fans from the first game. The developers will definitely want to keep these people happy. This usually consists of introducing new features, which take on board feedback from the first game, and keeping key gameplay elements that were well received. Next are the lapsed players. These need to be shown something that makes them remember what they enjoyed and again potentially address feedback that turned them away. Finally are the new players. It's off-putting to try and join in with a game so late in its life where all the long-time players are so far ahead, but a new instalment means a fresh start. Destiny 2 is under two months away, and the beta is here to try and attract all of these people. How does it do?

This beta serves not just as a demo for the gameplay that fans can look forward to, but also as an introduction to the story. Upon starting the beta, the player is thrown into a new war with a fresh enemy. The Last is destroyed by a devastating new force of the Cabal, known as the Red Legion, and the opening story plays out this dramatic battle, all culminating in the light being stolen from the Traveller, changing everything about the Guardians and their Ghosts. It's a great use of the very familiar locale of the Tower, trekking through the destroyed hallways of the plaza and the flaming ruins of the hangar, with plenty of little Easter Eggs for the eagle-eyed and blasting the heads off "Space Turtles" along the way. This is possibly the best part of the beta, and hopefully the opening chapter of an epic story.

During this opening sequence, it's interesting trying to feel the differences between this and the original game, and so far there's nothing really that makes it stand out. It feels like more of the same… but there is a strange little irregularity here. The jumping seems worse. The cool smooth moments of double jumping and blowing enemies apart in the descent is gone. It feels rougher and it's a very noticeable loss. Hopefully, this is a problem relegated to just the beta, and the full version will bring back this little but special detail.

Screenshot for Destiny 2 (Beta) on PlayStation 4

After the brief introduction to the new story, there are three options available for players to experience what Destiny 2 has to offer: two types of PVP style multiplayer and one PVE Strike mission.

Starting things off with the PVE, the Strike mission needs a lot of work - in both the gameplay itself and the level design. There are numerous platforming style elements, which can be very frustrating when teamed up with players who seem to repeatedly fail at them over and over again. Then there is the actual combat. Maybe it will be better in the full version, but at the moment, the PVE feels completely unbalanced, with enemies feeling like massive damage sponges - and the boss characters are even worse. The only good part about this Strike was the multi-phased final boss, who at least gave a little challenge in the mechanics instead of just being another damage sponge.

On the PVP front, there are two options available: a "Control" type match and a "Countdown" type match. Here is where the weapons feel more balanced. Perhaps that is why they feel so underpowered in the PVE, because they have been specifically tuned to the PVP. The Crucible is now focusing on 4v4 matches, which really emphasises a need for teamwork and everyone understanding and playing their role. These matches show the strength of the game is still in the combat. The shooting mechanics are fast, fun and addictive, making for dynamic battles.

Screenshot for Destiny 2 (Beta) on PlayStation 4

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, Bungie can make a lot of changes before this hits. The PVP experience is enjoyable, but the PVE feels very lacklustre, and many of the promised or hoped-for changes are completely absent. The biggest problem is that this just feels like yet more of the same… Maybe that's enough for hardcore Destiny fans, and maybe it's a wise choice from Bungie, which doesn't want to alienate fans who appreciate the Destiny formula, but there's not enough to set this apart. This is only a glimpse, though, and one that Bungie says is quite an old build. September isn't far away, and perhaps something much grander and more remarkable will be in the final product.

Developer

Bungie

Publisher

Activision

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Very interesting read. Worrying about the mechanical differences you mentioned, presumably that will be addressed? 

I was hoping for really significant changes for Destiny 2, I bought the original game at full price very early on- but quickly got turned off by various problems and just gave up on it after the content rollouts and issues around those. Honestly, it just depresses me to see Bungie make a universe so similar to Halo, yet (judging from the last) so lacklustre in terms of story and the way in which that feeds the universe.

Nothing seems to drive Destiny in that regard, and I get that's a different challenge for multiplayer game's like this- but a powerful story was such an integral part of what made the original Halo series so amazing. I recall a documentary about the first game and it sounds like there was a sprawling epic original story, which was gradually stripped away for.. reasons unknown to me. 

I bought the original from day one but I'm a lapsed player, I lost the love. It's hard to explain the mechanics issue. I had to switch between this and the first over and over to try and understand what it was... it's hard to explain. The jumping is completely different, the shooting seems... a little different? It's just a feeling where it seems off.

Very interested to see how it changes in the final version.

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