Destiny 2 Beta – Initial Impressions

Destiny 2 Beta Opens it’s server

On July 19, 2017 at 1am, Bungie opened early access Destiny 2 beta for all PSN Asia users. Expectedly most of us see the infamous codename Baboon on initial connections during gameplay due to other massive logins by other users at the same time.

The Titan Class Description
The Warlock Class Description
The Hunter Class Description

First signs of all things, the character movements have weight to them unlike its predecessor; the movements felt bulkier. The jumps performed by the characters felt like wearing an additional jetpack unlike Destiny. The revamped menu design is cleaner and has simple aesthetics. The first story stage sets have crispy fire design, better lighting, and dripping rain water dropping on your screen; even if you are on the PlayStation 4.

Sentinal skill tree… More to come

The drawback however is the control schemes, the X and O seem to have exchanged their roles respectively which is causing some confusion. In the past 3 years, I have been playing Destiny with X as confirmation and O as cancel; it’s a change that is not welcoming to old veterans in the series.

The ship

That’s a well rounded ship
The view ain’t that bad up here
This ship looks bulky

The ship design in beta is curvier, rounder (like a lady bug for warlock class) and different depending on the class you chose. The only difference is the way it’s flown, as it deep dives upon 90 degrees at the bottom; giving you a feeling of diving which is engaging in terms of immersive.

Weapons

Infusions for weapons

For the beta, weapons in Destiny 2 is pretty much towards a rustic look (Suros as well) whereby the logos has initial wear and tear. The good part about it is the sound design for the weapons has clanks and gears upon reloading and shooting. This makes it feel more down to earth rather than a semi futuristic feel. The ammo caches are small, compact and little blimp of light dropped by enemies instead of a big shiny box.

There are a few issues like how the sidearms feels bulky, boxy and may hinder your sight every time you take a shot. The submachine gun on the other hand has heavy recoil and throws off the aim. Getting the same type of weapons has no difference in perks (no more loot hunting), however there are empty mods incorporated into each gun which may add some uniqueness; potentially adding to customize your own guns instead with more shader options this time.

Snipers are now considered a heavy weapon (or power ammo) with limited ammos estimated around  6-7 bullets each, which feels more balanced in terms of initial play.

In PVP, Heavy ammo or power ammo are sticked to the wall with timers (before you can open it) but now it could not be a shared with your teammates. Speaking of power ammos, there are no rocket launchers one kill anymore or auto tracking rocket bullets (in the beta so far), the heavy ammo still depends heavily on your aim to kill the targets.

PVP

As mentioned above, the overall gameplay feels more slowed down now rather than a zergling rush with 6 teammates rushing every point of attack. The game demands more skill in using the guns rather than the gun perks.

As each PVP only allow 4 players from both sides, it really feels that team shot? is more vital than its predecessors. Grenades and melee feels underpowered this time and needs at least 2-3 shots in between to get the kill. Hence the further demand on more gun skill and team efforts. Therefore this is a more balance PVP experience, making it both challenging and satisfying. Additionally with 4 people, it’s far faster and easier to find a game.

Enemies in the story mode

New barriers to annoy you.

The enemy design such as the Cabal Red Legion offers more effort to take them down other than the head.
The shield holders have an additional skill whereby it can extend the shield further, leaving no room for shooting the hand or foot to stagger it. You however must shoot the middle shining part of the shield to turn it off instead. Psions in Destiny 2 act more like snipers rather than headless zombies chasing you, this in return adds more depth to the gameplay as closing the gap between them may cause them to use psion blast.

My light… MY LIGHT!!!

There are units which holds flames throwers as well which promotes shooting their back instead which will cause an explosion damaging nearby enemies as well. Did I mention above that they improve the fire designs and explosions?
Some enemies are fully armoured and chases you with a sword. This prompts you to change to a more penetrative bullet to kill them.

EXPLOSION (Insert Michael Bay quote here)

However some bosses with yellow and orange health feels more like bullet sponges now with more health and defense; reminding me more of the bosses in The Division. In my opinion, the bosses should have different parts to shoot at to reveal their weaknesses rather than sponges. I mean even the normal enemies seem more interesting to shoot at now.

Story mode engagement

Unlike its beta predecessors, the story this time and gameplay mechanics with the NPC’s in the battlefield feels more engaging. Although the NPC roles are limited in the game, this is a welcoming story engagement feature to the players. The antagonist as well feels more personal and comes directly face to face with you rather than coming from afar to destroy the world. It feels more down to earth in terms of storyline.

Strike gameplay

The Strike gameplay has a more different approach in terms of stage design and boss fights.
Previous Destiny Strikes has usually make the environment feel like a wide world. As you progress in the stage it slowly feels narrow like a tunnel, subways or a short design building. The formula is usually Large> Narrow> Narrow> Boss fights.

The New Strike boss… Photheon? Wait are you sure that not Antheon?

This time in beta the environment formula has changed into Large> Narrow> Large > Large dodging puzzles > Boss fights. The strike in beta this time hits a home run in terms of boss fights (sadly it is Protheon again) using  a few interesting mechanic:
A. Stage changes upon every lost life bar of the boss
B. Boss move around the stage to chase you down once it is left with 1-2 life bars.
C. Boss changes weapon once it losses its life bar
D. Boss will do an attack which causes the stage to shake once a while
E. Normal enemies spawn as usual
The Strike demands more teamwork as the boss fights feels more dynamic and engaging this time around, rather than its initial beta of juggling back and forth with aggros.

Overall, Destiny 2 Beta feels like a much better version of Destiny 1.5 with a much better balance experience and engagement with a sense of realism in a surreal world.

 

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