The Destiny 2 Beta has come and gone. We battled the Cabal in The Inverted Spire strike, and we went head to head against other Guardians in Countdown and Control. It was a tasty morsel, giving us a glimpse at what Destiny 2 is going to offer us in terms of PvE and PvP. Here are a few final thoughts heading into the last month before the game releases on September 6th (October 24th for PC).
In the Beta, Guardians had access to The Inverted Spire, a lengthy strike ending in a three-stage Vex boss fight with Protheon, the Modular Mind. You spawned in to Nessus, one of the new planets, and proceeded through battalions of Cabal. Most were red health enemies, but you did fight the occasional yellow bar Cabal. Your main objectives included taking out the Drill Site Security Officers, fighting through a few waves of enemies on a constricting platform, and traversing the drill site as massive horizontal drills circled the area chewing up more rock.
Overall, the strike was fun, challenging enough, and lengthy compared to strikes now. Most of the run-throughs took 20-30 minutes depending on the matchmade team you had and how adept you were with the weapons and perks. Also consider your light level was pretty much even with the recommended light, so you weren’t mowing down enemies as if your light was 100 or more over the enemies. If you had a chance, the area was large enough to go exploring, and there were plenty of spots to discover to showcase how open the world may be. Yes, there were “walls” to eventually stop you, but for now, we can relish the potential.
We also got to play the first mission of the game, “Homecoming.” Your goal was to fight through the Tower, then eventually turn off power to stop the influx of Cabal. This was a fantastic mission to start the game. Finally, we got the unique chance to encounter (however brief) well-known characters. One thing to hope for is that the cinematic story shown to us during this mission is a good indicator of the full storyline in September. (There was even on tear-jerker moment during one of the final cinematics).
PvP took time to get used to since we knew going into the Beta it would be vastly different from combat in the first Destiny. Vastly was the correct word. One of the major changes you should have noticed was the Time To Kill. It’s apparent Bungie is focused on gunplay, strategy, and teamwork in Destiny 2’s PvP. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Team shots were especially important to survive. So was controlling a push by the other guys or timing your peeking, shooting, and ducking. Often, there were moments where players couldn’t stand out in the open firing until one guy died. Shoot, duck for cover, try again were the ingredients of the day.
PvP was more enjoyable because of those reasons, though many of you may disagree with that. In either case, let’s hope Bungie doesn’t make too many “fixes” to the PvP sandbox before release day.
Countdown was a mixed reaction. While happy for the new mode, it’s definitely a team mode where communication, map control, and opponent awareness are important. Countdown is less for the solo, casual player than it is for the competitive one (hence, why it was listed under Competitive in the Director). Trials of the Nine is suspected to have this as its core mode.
Weapons and Classes
Without going over specific weapons, since there will be many to acquire in Destiny 2, here’s a quick overview of the weapons types:
- Auto Rifles: firing them felt smooth and in line with how they are in Destiny now.
- Hand Cannons: felt underpowered and the “ghost bullet” syndrome appeared more prevalent than ever
- Pulse Rifles: felt really good, especially the full auto ones. Controlling the recoil seemed easier.
- Fusions: the one fusion in the game was the best weapon to use and the worst weapon to get hit with. Great range, compact spread. Luckily, the power ammo economy made this fusion the gun to have and use and hoard that ammo.
- Grenade Launcher: found no useful way to use it in PvP
- Rocket Launcher: they were simply okay. Compared to having a fusion in your power slot, they were sub-standard.
The new Arc Strider was fun to use and will be a good replacement for Arc Blade. The Gunslinger wasn’t that impressive: The super seemed to empty far quicker (despite the 6 shots) than any super and this was disappointing. One of the more fun classes to play was the Striker with the new walls. The roaming super was a great change, but using the walls give you more strategy with this class. The Sentinel didn’t excite as it should have. Like most classes that you may not play a lot, this one will take some getting used to. The Warlock Dawnblade is powerful and was enjoyable to use, especially in PvP. The Voidlock was just as it was now.
One thing to note were the amazing sounds. They were much improved. Not that they are terrible now, but the deeper bass and the placebo of making the weapons feel more satisfying. Booming explosions and Cabal screaming when shot were cool to hear. If you have a great receiver, sound bar or pair of headphones, Destiny 2 will sound phenomenal all around.
Overall, you should be enthusiastic about Destiny 2. From the storyline, the missions and strikes, and balance to PvP and weapons, if it came out right now, Bungie would have an instant hit. Of course, the Beta was the game as it was a couple months ago, and we were told it’s a little different now. Cross your fingers the changes from now until Sept 6 (for consoles) will be minimal.
Destiny 2 releases September 6th for consoles and October 24th for PC.