Destiny 2 Beta Observations

Ned Jordan
In Short
What we learned about Destiny 2 from the beta.

As we get closer to the game's September 6th release date, the Destiny 2 beta is now upon us. This is not a full game beta in the sense that the whole game is opened up to you, though. In fact, what's available for the beta is essentially the same as what was available for play at the game's world premiere event and E3 ' the campaign's opening mission, the Inverted Spire strike mission, and the new Countdown Crucible mode ' with the addition of access to Control matches in the Crucible. However, there's new insight in Destiny 2 to be gained after spending a few hours with the beta, even if you were lucky enough to get your hands on the game at one of those aforementioned events. I'll focus on what's new in the beta in this feature, for a more comprehensive look at the Destiny 2 gameplay revealed so far, I'll refer you to my hands-on article from the reveal event. I played the beta on the PS4, but your experience should be similar on Xbox One.

When you start the beta you'll be given your choice of class to play, Titan, Hunter, or Warlock. There are no customization options available and you'll start out with a level 20 character with a 200 light level. In fact, you'll end with a level 20 character with a 200 light level as all character progression is disabled in the beta. You won't have to agonize over your choice for too long, though, as you can go back and choose to play one of the other classes later.

Once your character choice is made, you'll be treated to the story's opening cinematics before being taken right into the first campaign mission. The first surprise in the beta comes from the mission itself in that it's longer on both ends than what was available for play before. There's more action before you make your way to the battle in the Tower Watch in which you fight alongside Zavala. It was also a surprise to see other players join in during that battle as I was expecting to play my way through the entire mission on my own. The mission also continues past the early ending point I reached the last time I played the mission, all the way to what appears like will be the actual end of the mission when the game ships. I don't want to spoil anything specific here, but the ending is pretty dramatic, especially for anyone who's spent time playing the original Destiny game. I'm really curious as to where the game will take the story from there.

Once the mission is completed you'll find yourself in orbit in your ship. I have to say that I was really impressed with the details, coloring, and lighting effects on both the ship and the planet below. Destiny 2's graphics are not held back by the need to support the last generation of consoles and it really shows. You'll only have three navigation options at this point, the strike and two Crucible modes, which are unfortunately presented as three icons as the game's map remains hidden in the beta. I covered the Countdown mode and Inverted Spire strike before, so let's have a look at the Control mode.

All Crucible modes in Destiny 2 are 4v4 team matches, so naturally Control made the cut from Destiny. There are some changes in place, though. First off, each team begins the match already in control of the zone closest to their starting position, with only the mid-map Zone B up for grabs. Also, you no longer have to neutralize an enemy zone before capturing it, it will go straight from enemy control to your team's control. And it doesn't matter how many players you have occupying a zone, it will take the same amount of time to capture it.

With the changes to the weapons slots in Destiny 2 - kinetic, energy, and power - comes a change to the periodic heavy weapon ammo crate drops from Crucible matches in Destiny. Power weapon ammo stations are attached to walls at various points in the map, and they become available at a much faster rate than the ammo crates appeared in Destiny. There's a new catch, though; only one player gets ammo this time. It's now pointless for teammates to hover over the same ammo station unless one of them is there strictly to provide covering fire. Also worth noting here is that sniper rifles are a power weapon in Destiny 2, which means that no one will be able to play a sniper role at the start of match, and that sniper ammo will also be in short supply. While on the topic of short supply, recharge rates on abilities is a lot slower in Destiny 2 Crucible matches. In the matches I played I only had access to a grenade or two with each life and had enough time to charge one super per match.

There's more information on the HUD during Crucible matches in Destiny 2. The status of all players on both teams is represented by banners across the top of the screen, along with other game information appropriate for the mode such as the current score or zones held. Maps now have named sub-areas, and the name of the area that you're in is listed below the radar, aiding player coordination during matches.

That's a quick look at what's in the Destiny 2 beta, check it out for yourself and come back and share your impressions with us in the comment section below.

Destiny 2

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Transmitted: 8/7/2022 6:44:04 PM