Destiny 2 Beta Impressions From a Destiny Newbie: Part 2

I’m starting to get the appeal.

Once my technical issues were dealt with, I was finally able to complete the first solo mission. It’s a doozy for sure, tasking you with destroying the shield generator on a giant enemy ship. Afterwards, we’re introduced to what seems to be the big baddie, though I’m sure there will be more twists and turns in the final game. It left me wanting more, which I have a sneaking suspicion is exactly what Bungie intended.

Beating the first mission opens up the Crucible and Strike options. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m about a 1 in preparedness to go into the PVP Crucible, so I figured a kinder, gentler Strike would be a better way to start.

Well, “kinder” is accurate. Paired with two other Guardians, our mission was to infiltrate a Cabal dig site. Your teammates are everything in a Strike — if they get hurt, you back them up; if they die, you revive them. It felt good to have someone on my team for a change.

“Gentler” is a stretch, though. As difficult as the first story mission was — and it got pretty difficult by the end — the Inverted Spire, as this Strike is known, is intense. Destiny’s verticality comes much more into play here. At times, it almost feels like a platformer. Leaping across chasms, double-jumping to distant platforms, it’s all very, very cool. My squadmates and I took on wave after wave of Cabal soldiers, and I must say, we pretty much crushed it.

Did I stumble headfirst into a huge group of enemies, get killed, then have to sheepishly wait for a teammate to revive me? Maybe. (Definitely.) But I was able to help them, as well, which, as a typically solo video game player, felt pretty cool. Respawning without being revived is about 30 seconds of waiting, desperately hoping everyone doesn’t die all at once. But waiting to revive gives you a chance to follow your squadmates and see how they’re doing. It didn’t do much to improve my self-esteem, but it’s entertaining.

When it came time to take on the boss, some giant robot the Cabal had unearthed who had the ability to make the ground disappear for some reason, the three of us finally met our match. Once all three of us were down for the count, we all respawned just prior to the boss room. The second time, we were successful. Bungie should be commended for making a multiplayer boss encounter that feels so incredibly epic. Challenging, without being impossible.

I’ve gotta say, playing the Strike felt good. I actually felt like a contributing member of the team. I’ll admit, my feeling of success was dampened a bit when I saw the rankings at the end and realized I’d only accomplished about a third of what my squadmates had — I don’t even remember seeing that many enemies! — but it was still a lot of fun. If every Strike is like this, then yeah, I do think I’m starting to get the appeal.

Okay, so tomorrow, ready or not, I’ll take on the Crucible. Wish me luck.