I will try to keep this article relatively short. That's cause not much changed from the Alpha to the Beta with some few exceptions, but also cause you probably played the Beta yourself. Now I was among the lucky few ones to get access to the Alpha and immediate access to the Beta on PS4 as soon as it launched so I can say that's I've played Destiny for 60+ hours.
Is it any good? How it plays? How do the weapons feel? How it looks? What's so special about it? These are all questions I've answered in my Alpha impressions so go check it out. Here I'm gonna focus on the new things and tweaks that Bungie made from Alpha to the Beta and with that let's go through the list.
First off the biggest change was the story. When you started the beta, you started directly on Old Russia with Ghost, voiced by none other that Peter Dinkleage, talking and giving out story bits that didn't quite made any sense since there weren't that much backstory or built up to that point. In the Beta, they changed that. The game gives out details about who you are, what is going on and what you need to do. Sure, you didn't learn a lot and you're left with even more questions that before, but remember that this was only a snippet of what's to come in September. You learn more about the Traveller, what it is and what are you to it, what happened in the universe, who are the bad guys etc. The foundations of this grand and vast universe are already here and I am super stoked to see what Bungie has in store for me when the game finally releases early September. So yeah, get excited b*tchez!
The second thing I wanted to touch upon is the tweaking of some of the weapons. In the Alpha the weapons were just fantastic. They felt great, dealt a great deal of damage, but they were slightly OP. In the Beta they tweaked, or at least it felt that way for me, most of them. For example some of the fully automatic AR have some crazy recoil that make them quite hard to control as you can see in the short video below.
Another weapon that I felt it was nerfed was the shotgun. Don't get me wrong, at point blank the shotguns are a freaking bazooka and will blow to smithereens even the level 10 Hive Knights, but, again, they kinda increased the recoil. When you shoot a shotgun the crosshairs moves a lot vertically and that's normal when you think about it, but here it doesn't go back to the initial firing position. The sticky aim assist also appeared to receive a nerf. But all this doesn't mean that the gunplay was any less fun or something like that, in contrary it made the game that more fun and challenging especially on the competitive multiplayer side.
Speaking of multiplayer, I didn't see any drastic change apart from the matchmaking being way faster than it was in the Beta. Maybe they fixed it, maybe since there were many more people in the Beta it worked faster, I don't know but I am glad that it's better. We've also got two new maps to play through, one set in Venus and the other one set in Mars. I played a lot on the Venus one and I must say that it was extremely well designed, it had a nice flow to it, it wasn't to big nor to small, it was just right. As for the Mars one, I didn't get to play it although I played multiplayer for like 40+ hours. This was because of the new Iron Banner event Bungie held at specific times. It ran for like 2 hours at a time to what appeared random times that unfortunately for me was like 3AM everytime so I can't really speak much for the Mars map. Sure I finally played some Iron Banner matches, 3 or 4, and I didn't really understood the difference between it and the Crucible. The only thing that different was the loot I got at the end of the matches, some high level weapons that I couldn't use and a unique ship to use. Other than that, to me the modes felt the same.
What else felt different in the Beta? The Earth missions were the same ones I played in the Alpha, but with more story this time around. Another thing that was quite nice to see was that the Old Russia Explore Mission had a ton more variety of small missions that kept me busy for quite a while. However the biggest thing or surprise that happened during the Beta was the Moon mission. Bungie released this mission as part of the test to see if the servers would hold...they held and OMFG how fantastic the Moon was to explore. The mission was not the interesting thing here so I kinda didn't complete it immediately as many people did. Instead I decided to explore the Moon and the dark secrets it held. Dark caves, giant craters, interesting and intriguing pillar formations and the incredible Hive underground temple/base. Now if you complete the Moon mission it ends with you reaching the Temple of Crota and fighting off some hordes of Hive and that's it, you only get a glimpse of the temple itself. But if you went all the way back around like I did and descended down the Moon surface, you would find all sorts of beautiful and crazy constructs filled with (human?) bones and remains, sacrificial altars, catacombs and caskets and large groups of badass Hive enemies to fight. It was just a fantastic area to explore and from what I saw where many paths were closed down by giant doors, when the full game releases it might get even bigger.
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As for the visuals and artstyle and how f@cking beautiful and sharp everything looked or how fantastic the frame rate was even during intense firefights or the super fast loading times when compared with the ones in Alpha, I would need around 1000 words more to describe everything in details, but I am not gonna bore you, just watch the screenshots and videos. Oh and if you are one of the console war fanatics know that even though the Beta on the Xbox One was in 900p in contrary to the 1080P of the PS4, from 2-3 meters away there wasn't any big difference between the two, so just shut the f@ck up!
So that's about it, the Beta was just special and it ran and felt great, like a badass demo that got around 4.6 million players super stoked for the full game. I am one of those people, that cannot wait till September arrives so I can have a bloody great time to find out what my Destiny is!