The scene was set. Downtown L.A on a Monday evening, fresh from a day of exciting new announcements wrapped up into several Media Briefings. We were ready. A perfect end to a busy day, it was time to get hands-on with Destiny.
We were feeling quite special to be in attendance, as this was one of the first opportunities given to Press to play the eagerly awaited shared world shooter. We collected our Destiny wristbands and were escorted to the elevator.
We then ascended 30 levels; yes thats 30 levels, of a building. Ears popping included! Here we met our fellow Guardians and was greeted by Bungies Community Manager, Deej. Stood in front of a GIANT colourful fan, he gave us our briefing, and then it was off to our consoles to experience it first hand
We jumped straight into our character customisation. Were we a Hunter, Titan or Warlock? A Warlock focuses its energies into powerful magic attacks, whereas a Titan is the tank, forged from strength and sacrifice. We felt the Hunter was akin to our play style, built on taking big risks for even bigger rewards and relying on his trusty dagger.
Next up, our Hunters race; exotic and beautiful we opted for the Awoken, said to be mythical creatures within the Destiny realm. Cyborg, sinister and powerful sits with the Exo race that were created during the Golden Age but said to have since lost their memory. Finally, are the humans. Us uncomplicated, reliable humans.
The customisation menu is rich in choice, ranging from face structure, hairstyles and facial markings. Our Awoken Hunter had a make-over of light brown hair, a pale face, purple tinge lips and markings around his eyes. The menus were easy to navigate, ensuring that the player can clearly see the options available to them. Once we created our Guardian, we jumped straight into gameplay
We thought wed take guidance from Deej and get to grips with the world and controls before joining up with a Fireteam or causing havoc in a multiplayer experience. We entered the solo play option in the menus, and prepared ourselves for Destiny. The menu consists of a landscape of the world, here youll find The Tower, this is the home of the Guardians and a location where players can meet up and launch their own ships. Youll also be able to seamlessly enter The Crucible, a chance to show your competitive skills against other Guardians and finally, The Devils Lair, where youll return to Old Russia within a Fireteam.
Upon entering the world, the controls for our Guardian was easy to learn. Swapping out your weapon, reloading and even summoning a Sparrow vehicle was seamless. Our personal favourite being the latter, in a tricky situation? Summon your Sparrow! Need to make a sharp exit? Summon your Sparrow! This takes out the frustration of finding your vehicle and rapidly changes the pace of the game, whether in solo play or otherwise.
Nimble, swift and scheming our first enemies were the Fallen. Usually found travelling in packs, we encountered many spread across the Earth, a planet they see to be rightfully theirs. As we progress through our mission, we headed into the mountains to investigate the area.
The Fallen inhabited the surrounding landscape, and as we headed deeper uphill we got to truly experience the graphics in Destiny. The environments are impressive in their colour and scope, finding yourself a vantage point within the world definitely shows off just how vast this world is.
Upon moving deeper into the mountains, we were greeted by several Hive. The Hive are hostile creatures, with very specific tactics. The Hive Thrall specifically is zombie-like in their attack patterns and usually found in large groups, they will simply run at you. This mixes up the combat experience, and for us, a Hunter, is where our trusty dagger proved useful. However, all Hive must have a master and we met ours in a dark, dingy bunker within the mountains; the Hive Wizard.
The Hive Wizard positions themselves above the battlefield, ordering the other Hive where to attack. They are very defensive, in terms of high health and armour and youll need to gradually knock down their health as well as dealing with the Hive on the ground. We effectively used the cover system, hiding behind large objects, and seamlessly used our ranged attack weapons to fight off our foes.
Solo experience within Destiny is a viable option within the world. Although theres plenty to do in terms of the multiplayer side of Destiny, whether that be a raid or gathering a Fireteam to enter with, youll also find the solo experience doesnt fall short of the other experiences on offer. Although its evident that this is a Bungie game, its worth noting that the experience doesnt simply feel like an evolution of past Halo games, this isnt a new skin for an already existent world. This is a new experience, with new enemies, with bright ideas. Whether youre a hardened Halo fan, or simply an FPS enthusiast, theres definitely something here to delight.
This was our solo experience of Destiny; stay tuned for more news and features on multiplayer and how Fireteams work as we head to the E3 showfloor to get more hands-on with the shared world shooter.