While coverage and gameplay demos for Destiny 2 have spurred excitement and seem to breathe some new life into the series, the beta doesn’t really show us anything new that was first promised.
In comparison to the first games beta, this one immensely pulls back the reins on how much content we are given to explore. The first beta had an entire planet’s worth of content. There were some story missions, a strike, some PvP and free roaming options know as “Patrol missions”. It was great, it really showed just what this game was and what we could expect.
In contrast, the sequel’s beta offered a single story mission, a Strike mission and two PvP gameplay options; a drastic difference in terms of content alone. To make things even less immersive, the characters we were given were generic ones, already levelled to 20 and complete with full legendary sets of armour and weapons!
Yes the ability to go into a beta fully pimped out was a nice feeling, but at the same time it took away some of the fun I had in the first one. Being able to just explore the world and grind if you wanted to in an attempt to reach the level cap of the beta was a great sense of accomplishment. At the same time I can understand not giving as much content out in an attempt to keep the hype and mysticism high.
Having said all that, lets discuss what we did get…
Well, we got a lot of the same Destiny we’re used to, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bungie continues to show it can make one hell of a tight shooter. The gameplay, as always, is on point and the controls are responsive. The new Supers are overly fun to use and the ability to assign whatever weapons you want is a smart improvement. Granted, you still have a “heavy class” weapon, but being able to switch between my hand cannon and assault rifle with the tap of a button, if I wanted to, was a nice change of pace.
The story mission we get is the first mission in the game, and delivers more story in that one level than the entirety of the base game. It was nice to see a noticeably stronger focus on story this time around.
The strike mission whisks us off to a foreign planet and delivers yet another satisfying experience. It was cool to see that more platforming has been implemented into more levels. The boss is a fun challenge as well. Vex hoards storm towards you as you try to take down the big guy while also dropping through levels. The final half of the fight involves dodging between pillars while trying to not jump into a lake of electricity, which added an extra layer to the impending threat.
Personally, I’ve never been much of a PvP guy, but the new maps were fun. PvP is still pretty similar though, its just smaller teams and more close quarter areas.
My biggest issue with the beta is there wasn’t nearly as much to explore and do. While that does in fact add to the hype and mystery of what the game might have to offer, its a little disappointing that we didn’t get to see all of the new features Bungie has been bragging about. One of the most exciting aspects of what they’ve shown is the new maps and dungeons you can stumble upon. These elements were absent in the beta.
Overall, the Destiny 2 Beta reminds us that Bungie has a solid shooter on the brink of release. The apparent emphasis on story is a nice change and as always the game looks fantastic. Hopefully, the full game continues to build on what we wanted from the original. Luckily we won’t need to wait for long, Destiny 2 drops worldwide September 8!