Well, I’m going to say it now, because I will say many times later. This has Halo written all over it, from the play style, atmosphere and graphics style. You could basically swap your Guardian for a Spartan and you wouldn’t tell the difference, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bungie made Halo into a franchise that is known across ALL gaming platforms despite being an Xbox exclusive. People have spent hard earned cash to buy an Xbox, just so they can play Halo. One thing that stands out for me with the series is the atmosphere of the game. It reeks of Epic. To the beautiful open worlds, the awesome balanced vehicle gameplay and the music. It all comes together for an experience you just can’t forget. Big shoes for Bungie to fill and expectations are very high, possibly higher than any other game in the history of gaming.
The Alpha open to us is small, very small. In fact possibly not even 1% of the size on offer when it reaches shelves on September 9th. But what it does do is allow us to build excitement and experience what to expect later this year. The single story mission set in Old Russia is not overly memorable, but ticks the right boxes. Starts with an open environment later moving to dark and confined tunnels with the added scare factor and lots of enemies to shoot along the way.
People expecting a twitchy COD game, this may not be your cup of tea. Even the smaller enemies will require you to reload between targeting the next. These aliens DO NOT submit after a few flesh wombs, alternately you are the perfect definition of the word “bullet sponge”. Made famous by….. oh yes Master Chief. There is cover, but there is no time to use it except to quickly refresh that mag and carry on blasting. Enemies will come at you thick and fast and this is what makes the Halo style of play so entertaining. Its non-stop and relentless. The only down time is traversing a few corridors or walking over the next ridge to find more things that need shooting.
Where is does differ from Halo is the grabbing loot aspect. With tons of armour and weapons on offer, customisation is at the heart of this title. Separated into levels of a rarity, but acquired fairly so a lvl 3 noob does pick up the BEST gun in the game within the first 10 minutes. It’s this Borderlands aspect which is something I am not accustom too, but has me waiting to play this more than anything this year. And I’m loving how the numbers ping from the enemies, you instantly know if what you’re hitting is making a difference and encourages you to find its weak spot.
People writing Destiny as a Halo clone are correct. Many aliens in Destiny resemble ones from Halo’s universe and there are countless other factors too. This is where I was slightly disappointed with Destiny, I was expecting a Halo clone and to the letter. I noticed a lack of vehicles; I love the Warhog driving around even if it was with a Computer AI. There was also no atmospheric music that makes the game seem less EPIC and memorable. There’s no denying the game will be a success, with so much to explore, see and do. You constantly find yourself going off the beaten track with the hope of a rare weapon or armour. I did find some very tough aliens on my travels. Okay I died very quickly without making a dent in their health bar. But that cemented what I had read about everything being open and you can wonder into areas far above your level and experience. And you know it works, I what to go back there when I’m a higher level with friends to kick there arse.
The competitive multiplayer was better than my expectations, first there were vehicles to drive and blast away in. This makes me hope they are in the main game too. With only 6v6 players it played on a smaller scale of Halo. But all your loot and alibies carry over from the main game. This however, could be its downfall later. One guy was running around with a pistol and blasting EVERYONE with one bullet. In a game that even shotguns take multiple goes to down players so this was very overpowered. But this is an Alpha, plenty of time to sort balancing issues. Secondary and special Ammo needs to be collected in the match, so there’s no rockets flying everywhere to, a big plus.
As a whole it was pretty much what I expected. I have no problem giving up on COD and Battlefield this year to get decent play time with it. Its success will I think be down to your experiences with Halo. Xbox owners may very well pass on this having already played a very similar game before. Other platforms it will be a massive success dependant on people trying something new and getting out of the twitch cover shooter we now all expect and play. It will be a massive game, but I think any game following Halo will struggle. But who better to try than the people behind Halo in the first place.