Hands-On Preview: Destiny
While visiting the Activision booth, I had a date with Destiny (pun intended). This is Bungie’s hotly anticipated first-person shooter, so I wanted to see if it lived up to all of the hype that it was getting.
We were led into a room which was called “the freezer” that had three wall-mounted monitors and some fog coming from the ceiling. A PR guy gave us an introduction but he was interrupted by a robot which popped up on the monitors. It told us about how Destiny is a next-gen first-person shooter and how it will provide a unique experience for every player due to its emphasis on customization.
After the robot’s speech, we were then led to the main room where we got to play the game. I picked up the PlayStation 4 controller and selected my load out. The loading screen had six spaceships flying in unison to a moon. These ships contained me and my team mates. Upon landing on the moon, we were given our objective: to capture and hold certain targets across the map. Yup, this was classic capture the flag type stuff.
At first I decided to stick close to my team. I’ve never played this game and I’m not very good at first-person shooters so I felt it was best to not wander too far. As we went to a flag, I messed around with all of the buttons to get a feel for them. For the most part, Destiny controls like a modern day shooter. The standard configuration for running, reloading, aiming and shooting will feel familiar to those who regularly play these games.
The map was fairly large but easy to navigate. There was a good mix of wide open areas and small places. Getting around could be done by running but I found it more fun to use my jet pack or use one of the many vehicles (which were equipped with weapons).
We played two matches and both of our teams were more or less evenly matched. After a while, my team started to branch out in order to capture more flags. The enemy didn’t make our task easier as they used a lot of vehicles to destroy us. We then started doing the same thing and that’s when the tides turned, somewhat.
While my character was mostly a shooter, he had other abilities as well. If foes got too close to me, I unleashed a giant force blast that could kill them. This blast requires skill though and I had to slightly aim in order for it to connect. This worked in my favor since I’m not the greatest with a gun.
There was a lot that I liked about this game. Even when I died I was still having fun. The controls were super tight and responsive. Shooting felt nice and I loved traversing using my jet pack. The game looked gorgeous and even though it took place on a barren moon, there was a lot of color in the environment. This game may be coming out on last-gen consoles but it felt kind of next-gen to me.
I had a mild interest in Destiny before this but after spending some time with it, I really want to sink my teeth further into it. The competitive mode that I played was a blast but I know that I’ll enjoy the campaign and co-op modes even more. The variety of modes that will be in the final game and the amount of content that will be in it tells me that Bungie is trying their best to make this a game for everyone.
Another date with Destiny is most definitely in my future.