The Destiny 2 Beta was the second time I was able to get some hands on time with Bungie's follow-up to the first part of their supposed ten year dynasty. Within the beta, at least initially is a look at the opening campaign mission along with a Strike against the Vex and two multiplayer Crucible missions. Starting with the story first, the narrative immediately opens with a different tone. Things are much darker and the tower is essentially falling apart after an attack. This new mysterious foe has come to strike a direct hit to what's left of humanity. The mission not only introduces this darker theme, but also presents us with a dangerous new foe that aims to harvest the light.
It felt like a completely different experience compared to the first game which I found rather lackluster with its narrative. I'm not however going to get too excited as I've learned from getting hyped over the first entry and am purely intrigued at the current moment. I was impressed with the visuals as the world does look much better than the first game which did look fantastic for the time. There are so many more smaller tweaks for atmosphere from extra particles effects to a more vibrant and large scale world.
While the initial mission story didn't exactly show off the open space that was familiar during the original Destiny, the Strike certainly did. Before that, I did want to mention that the ship players venture to in that mission had hallways that were very similar to the Covenant ships in Halo which was interesting. There's actually a fair bit of things within the game that give off Halo vibes. The Strike was setup against the Vex to give players an idea of how things have changed. While the Vex are usually deadly, it seems the new enemies are also a threat to them. This leads way towards multiple factions having conflicts at once while we move between them or directly attack.
It should create some interesting scenarios during gameplay and provide additional options for how situations can be tackled. After knocking out some Vex troops, hopping across large floating pillars we eventually fought a giant modular monster. It was an interesting fight with multiple layers of conflict and hopefully other Strikes also do something dynamic. The Strikes were a big part of my complaints in the first game as it just felt completely repetitive to do them in order to get gear.
The multiplayer aspect of the beta gave us access to two multiplayer levels. The first is what I played while at E3 which is a Search and Destroy type battle. Players have essentially a single life per round since revives were long and they either defend or destroy objectives. The game flows better than Search as everything it carried between rounds and it feel strategic. I'm interested in seeing how this plays out on multiple maps instead of the human city district level that is currently available.
The second mode was one where we aimed to control points in a Domination style. The map seemed as though it was of Vex origin and very small in design. I wasn't at all a fan of it though that mostly falls upon the very poor spawn system. I don't recall having this issue in Destiny, but here it was bad. You'd spawn in front of an enemy, beside them or randomly to the side. It didn't make any sense as you weren't being grouped up and I couldn't believe how bad it was. Gameplay did feel balanced here, it just needs to have a better sense of positioning players properly.
Read our Destiny 2 E3 Preview
View our Destiny Hub