Destiny Beta: if you like Halo, you're going to love Destiny

The game will cost $500 million to make and market over the next ten years

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The Independent Tech

While we all finished crying over the news that the biggest name in video games is now Kim Kardashian, Activision and Bungie were getting ready to release the Beta for much awaited Destiny, all part of the ‘final approach’ before its September 9 release.

Destiny, for the uninitiated, is a first-person shooter with MMO elements, character building, aliens…basically, all the stuff you want from a game. If you haven’t played the Alpha, the world is pretty simple: Earth is no longer ours apart from one city after the collapse and now you’re tasked with being guardian of the city and keeping out the aliens while we try and survive as a species - post alien invasion type thing, save the Earth type thing, shoot the others type thing.

Where you might have heard of Destiny before was with the worst bit of dialogue possibly ever becoming an internet hit. Don’t worry if you’re worried about hurting Bungie’s feelings, they happily cashed in with “That wizard came from the moon!” t-shirts that quickly became the best selling thing on their store.

 

But that piece of wonder will now be relegated to YouTube hits and referencing reviewers because they took it out. You do still get to have Peter Dinklage in your ear and with a much better performance than last time - when it was generally agreed that his voice-overs were “lacklustre”. As much as you might want to hear that line this is presumably what Alphas and Betas are for.

The game can sometimes feel too much like Halo (Bungie’s other big IP). You could go online and shoot your friends and fly around in vehicles - similarly to Halo.

“This place must have been beautiful before the collapse,” Peter Dinklage says to you at one point while you run through scenery torn up with abandoned cars and fallen airplanes, but it’s beautiful now, too. And the rest of the game, even the map pages, looks fantastic – images of the Earth with a huge white orb floating beside it should have told you something gorgeous was going to come out of this.

And though there are lines like “help me push back the darkness” that make you step out of the game and wonder who let that slip past, how many people read that and didn’t think that’s terrible, there are also moments that drag you in – near the beginning you’re told the children used to be told stories of alien races to scare them but now, “the children are scared anyway.” It’s stuff like that that keeps the game going and keeps you involved.

On first look, it didn’t feel enough like something completely new – though that’s not to take away from the game, which is actually pretty good, but when a studio has been hinting at a game for years and years you expect that to bring something revolutionary to the table, and that’s how it was sold to us. Customizing the main character is cool but it’s not quite revolutionary. Games like Halo are great because Halo is great, but personally, I'm not convinced this will change Bungie’s image as the studio that brought you Halo.

 

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