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Fireteam LifeStyle: Destiny Alpha Impressions – Confidence in the Wastelands

June 27, 2014 Written by Chandler Wood

Destiny

Welcome to the first-ever “Fireteam LifeStyle” column here at PlayStation LifeStyle! Fireteam LifeStyle is a periodic feature in which PSLS team members discuss their experiences in multiplayer games in both a conventional and casual manner.

The wastelands of a ruined Earth grow quiet as the Destiny alpha fades into memory. Four PlayStation LifeStyle guardians gather at the tower to share their thoughts on their adventures. This first in-home venture into the world of Destiny has yielded some surprising things, both good and bad.

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Chandler: This is an alpha? I’ve seen final, release games that have looked and played worse! Upon initial inspection, I am extremely impressed, and even more so at the fact that Activision and Bungie are allowing this to be out in the wild instead of in an environment that they can control. It shows that they have a ton of confidence in the product that they are creating, and rightfully so. On paper, Destiny takes so many cues from other games, but in practice, it really holds its own. We’re given a taste of each of the separate game modes, which range from competitive, to co-op, to solo exploration, to a very MMO feeling hub world!

Before you get to jump into any of these however, you are given the opportunity to create your unique guardian. I have to ask our resident female guardian: As one who can spend more time customizing your characters than playing the actual game, how did you like the character customization, D’yani?

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D’yani: Oh, it was so satisfying. I like when there’s a ton of customization options. I don’t want to just have the same old female option that anyone can have. There were really cool style options that fit in with the Destiny world, and they actually do a good job of giving you a visual cue to the type of game world Destiny is. And the graphic design of the game is so pretty and clean! Very impressive. …though, Alex, I heard there were some things that you didn’t really like about the alpha?

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Alex: I agree with you, Chandler! It certainly didn’t feel like an alpha and seemed to be more polished than some games already out. When Bungie announced Destiny, I admit, I was a bit skeptical and thought it would be boring. Boy, how wrong I was. Playing the alpha completely converted me and — dare I say it? — made me think Destiny will be the next “big” shooter.

D’yani, I understand what you mean, but at the same time, I hope we get more face options and such for the final game. I did like the alpha, make no mistake about it. But I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to Peter Dinklage’s narration. I get it he’s meant to be the Ghost orb thing that’s following you, but some of the delivery just falls flat. Oh, and I tried PvP and I’m not a fan so far. It’s hard to play competitive MP when ranks and weapons come into play. And I’m not referring to cosmetic stuff or me having unlocked a weapon, either. I’m still confused as to how PvP works, to be honest.

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Dan-Oravasaari

Dan: Well, I think it will be a consensus about the quality of the Destiny alpha, as I have played more than my fair share of Betas and almost none have felt as well constructed. This does make me think that they are simply calling it an alpha so that they can release the beta under the pre-order deal they already launched.

Alex, I completely agree about the voice work for Ghost, which is one of the only real faults I brought up in my preview of the game. There just seems to be an unclear level of emotionality from the character, as it is neither robotic nor human enough, it is simply despondent.  As for multiplayer, I also didn’t find it that enjoyable, but I do think it will open up the experience in a way that many gamers have yet to have. The ability to earn your weapons by actually playing, and then using them to duel will give some life to the repetition, as long as they keep up the diversity of the loot drops.

Chandler: I loved the diversity of the loot and the length of the missions. The Strike on normal difficulty took myself, one of my PSN friends, and a random player that we came across (poor sap was trying it all by his lonesome!) about 45 minutes to complete, and there were some very sketchy areas where we were very lucky not to fail. It’s dangerous to go alone, and the ability to meet up with other guardians briefly to align our goals works to everyone’s advantage, especially during some of those more difficult boss encounters. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the PVP, but I will reserve judgement to see how it fits in with the complete experience. The fact that it is there is sure to make some people happy, and as we are the last hope for humanity, keeping as many guardians happy as they can is probably in Bungie’s best interests.

With an overwhelmingly positive evaluation of their early expedition, save for some hesitance on voice acting and how PVP fits into the mix, the four PSLS Guardians leave the tower one by one to journey back out into the desolation, hope in their hearts that they will each meet again when the Destiny beta opens on July 19. Though they may not have the same quests, their paths are sure to cross, resulting in brief journeys together, and no matter how brief the cooperation may be, they would love to cross your path when the Destiny universe opens to everyone in September.