Earlier this week, the beta for the highly anticipated Destiny 2 was released. There is definitely much excitement to be had with this upcoming sequel as the original Destiny’s player base has grown tremendously since it’s initial release. I for one have been very optimistic for Destiny 2, and now that I have gotten some good time in with the beta, here are my impressions.
One thing to keep in mind is that this beta isn’t some huge experience like the original Destiny beta was. This is more of a demo than an actual beta, as players get to select the class of their choosing, and from there they play the opening Homecoming mission, one strike, and then two multiplayer matches. The one thing the beta clearly shows is how smooth and fun the gameplay is, but let’s be honest, anyone who’s played the original game already knows it will be top-notch. That was never a concern for anyone. It would have been nice to get just a little taste of how the open world will work or the new adventures, because this is where the true “sequel-ness” of Destiny 2 is supposed to shine, but I digress. I still had a blast with Destiny’s excellent gunplay and here are some of the changes in Destiny 2’s gameplay.
Tweaked Inventory Slots
Destiny veterans will notice a slight change in the weapon inventory. The original game had Primary, Secondary, and Heavy as the weapon slots but the sequel has decided to change it up a little. The first slot is Kinetic, which is a fancy name for your standard weapons. Second slot is Energy, which is essentially standard weapons that have some sort of elemental damage type on them (solar, void, or ac). The final slot is for Power (basically changed the name from “heavy” to “power”) and these are for all those one-shot weapons such as rocket launchers, shotguns, and sniper rifles. I am slightly disappointed that sniper rifles are considered a power weapon as this means ammo will be less frequent. I still welcome the changes though as each slot still has it’s own ammo type. In theory, I could have both a solar and kinetic hand cannon to constantly switch between, each using it’s own ammo type. I’m completely okay with this!
New Weapon Types
There a few new weapons added to the mix this time. We now have SMGs, grenade launchers, and miniguns (still classified as auto-rifles). These new weapon types definitely gave me a better edge in combat. Unloading a minigun into a damage spongey boss’s face is as satisfying as it sounds. I have to say the SMGs are my new favorite type. While many of them have terrible recoil, the fire rate makes it so much fun. I did end up finding an SMG with a lot better recoil and I was immediately in love.
New Class Abilities and Supers
Aside from the new Supers that each class, there is also a new ability for each class, which comes in form of a defensive power. Like grenades and melee, these abilities have a cooldown. For example, the Titan can summon a little force field to block incoming attacks, and the Hunter can do a slick dodging roll. These small but welcome changes are worth it, but overall, most of the HUD still remains the same as the original.
Each new subclass has some pretty sweet Supers that made me feel like a complete badass. The Warlock’s Dawnblade lets players summon solar blades to throw down on enemies with full force. The Titan’s Sentinel subclass basically turns players into Captain America by summoning a shield that disintegrates enemies with full force, and also giving the player one chance to throw the shield as a boomerang at an unsuspecting enemies face! Then we have the Hunter’s Arcstrider (my favorite) which summons an electrical staff. Playing as the Arcstrider, I felt as if I was a mix between a Sith Lord and Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones by the way I was doing all these constant flips and quick attacks. Like the original Destiny, the class you choose does not have a huge impact on the game, and it’s mainly the Super ability that makes a difference. I am still disappointed that we are not getting a whole new 4th class, but hey, maybe Destiny 3?
New Crucible Match Type
Now this is by far my biggest disappointment that I experienced in the beta. There is a new Crucible PvP game mode called Countdown. This is one of those match types that has rounds and each player is given one life per round. When playing as a defender, the goal is to prevent the opposing team from arming one of the two charges. If one charge is detonated, the attacking team wins the round. If the defending team eliminates all the attackers though, then they win. Personally, I was not a fan of Countdown. The one life per round style only works for certain games in my opinion, and Destiny’s quick on your toes gunplay doesn’t mesh very well with this style as kills are too often and spontaneous. I’m all for an “attack or defend” PvP mode, but the one life per round isn’t the right way to go for me.
The original Destiny had a very big beta that I was a fan in the beginning, but once the game was released, I hated the beta as I realized I had to play all those hours over again. Destiny 2’s beta is strictly to show gameplay and it seems Bungie is sticking with the “Don’t fix what ain’t broken” approach. I am glad they did not go the same route with this beta, as it still leaves much for anticipation this coming September. Destiny 2 will still have the best gunplay first person shooters have to offer, but let’s hope the final game delivers on all the changes to the open world and narrative.
Destiny 2 is slated to be release for consoles on September 8th and then October 24th for PC.