Destiny 2 Beta Impressions - Hard or Soft?
First off, screw pre-order beta access. It doesn't help anyone and it's a scummy business practice! That being said, I didn't pre-order Destiny 2, so I had to wait to get into the open beta. The fact that they extended that two days helps prove the fact that this is something Bungie needs to have more people play! Let's move on.
I played the beta on my Xbox One S, as I just can't stand the dualshock controller for FPS. The other important bit of info, is that I played a crapton of Destiny. Too much I must say. I am a loner, so most of my time was spent in PvP. I really enjoyed the "loot" aspect of the game, and since there isn't much story there...I spent at least 100 hours in the game, and got all the expansions. I only played as a Titan though, and never played a single strike. I have a lot of experience, just...not what everyone would say is common. Let's dive in.
First things first: this beta is made for players who already have Destiny experience. Either that, or they didn't put in much effort to ease new players in. The game isn't complicated by any stretch, but it's the opposite of hand-holding. They put in a much bigger effort into the story presentation compared to the first Destiny...but that's like stating a hungover effort is better than none at all. It is good when comparing to the first game, but most FPS that have a single player component are still better. I know that isn't the game's focus, so kudos to Bungie for listening to fans on this. The mission objectives are already more varied than the entire first game. The sense of awe is better, bolting you onto an enemy ship from inside a friendly one. It felt like it was straight out of a Halo campaign(the first three). It was a satisfying beginning, and if the entire campaign can keep up, you will feel more attached to your guardian by the end, so that's a great thing.
Onto what's really important: the gunplay. I love Destiny's gunplay. The movement, the objectives, the average life spans, the weapon variety, the way the guns handle, it was all just very satisfying. Here in Destiny 2, it all feels very familiar, which is a relief. It might be too similar for some. Hell, if I started playing this drunk a few months ago, I could have believed it was the first Destiny. Here are the changes in the gameplay:
Shotguns are now power weapons
Matches are now 4v4, instead of 6v6
The powers are different for the characters
Powers take a lot longer to recharge
Kinetic weapons that feel like chainguns are primary weapons(at least for Titans)
I don't count the maps. Everything else feels the same. The loot drop, at least for now, is random, and placement doesn't matter. Of the changes listed above...I like that there are new powers. Thankfully this is a beta, so Bungie has time before September to make changes. The online play is still as smooth as before, even over Wifi. I doubt that they will change the player limit unfortunately, but other things can be balanced.
Overall, I am satisfied with the beta. It is pretty much what I expected. Bungie didn't really take many risks, they are playing it very safe. It's a smart move, considering how financially successful the first Destiny was. I don't think Destiny 2 will win over many new players. This is what the first Destiny should have been. Unless the campaign is very extensive, I can't imagine there being many new players. I hope the entire experience is polished, it will definitely make it worth the asking price. You better either really enjoy the gunplay for PvP, or have lots of friends for strikes, or this might not be the game for you. I'm really looking forward to September 6. See you in space.