Opinion: Destiny Alpha and Battlefield Hardline Beta
By Daniel Hickey
I got to spend a little time post-E3 with the Destiny Alpha and the Battlefield Hardline Beta, both on the Playstation 4. I know it's a little late, but I thought I would share my experiences with you, internet. "Why?" you ask. Because I care, and because you people are awesome.
I was welcomed to the Destiny Alpha by a campaign level. It was overall solid, despite some much maligned dialogue miscues. I will be approaching the story with a wait-and-see approach come September 9, but there were some really good moments of suspense that show the potential this campaign possesses. The multiplayer, named The Crucible, definitely mimics the formula used for the Halo games. Maybe it was nostalgia, but I just didn't seem to enjoy it the same way I did with Halo. The maps were a bit more open, and the weapons were less inventive and diverse. The innovation, however, could be found in the cooperative play. Having players seamlessly--and I mean SEAMLESSLY--integrated into co-op play is an impressive feat for the console platform. There was no lag time, no load screens, no hiccups. The side missions were both challenging and ridiculously fun. All of it was with strangers. So I can't wait to play this game with friends.
Public events are literally impossible to complete on your own. They are pretty challenging even with help, but it makes completing them that much more rewarding for you and your friends. Don't be afraid to do a little jig together once you finish one. The social hub is a third person, well, hub to change everything customizable about your character. It's a large, sprawling layout that will seem a bit inconvenient if you need to talk to someone far off and are in a hurry. Graphically, it was what you may expect from a cross gen game. I know it's in the alpha stage, but it looked like every other cross gen game I have played so far: A definite graphical upgrade, but you know it could be so much better. Overall, based on my time with it, I have it on my short list of must-have games coming this fall.
I could have sworn Destiny was the beta, and Battlefield Hardline was the alpha. Graphical glitches and lag plagued my time with this one. There was a time or two where I glitched inside of a building and had to redeploy because I couldn't get back into the action. Had this been any other game, I would have 100% wrote these off as normal beta glitches. However, given the issues Battlefield 4 (which I am henceforth going to call Battlefield4whenitworks, because it's a whole different game when it works and when it doesn't) had, I can't in good faith look at these miscues without being a bit skeptical. I do think this game is taking a lot of flak for allegedly being "DLC"; it's being put together almost entirely by Visceral, therein making it VERY different from Battlefield4whenitworks. I can see where the frustration comes from, though. It feels very similar to Battlefield4whenitworks multiplayer, and even for a beta, it felt a bit shallow. I know I'm being a bit of a Negative Nancy about it, but it certainly wasn't all bad. The team size is half of Battlefield4whenitworks', but the maps are disproportionately smaller, making for some epic, frenetic firefights. It's not nearly as vehicle centric, which I believe made past Battlefield games a bit imbalanced at times. The vehicles were stout obstacles, but could be taken out with a couple of cheeky RPG shots.
The whole "cops and robbers" premise is an admittedly cool twist on the war-torn backdrops of Battlefields past. The game mode I played most was Blood Money, where you and your team raid a gigantic pile of money in the center (and raid some dead comrades and foes :P). You take it back to your own armored truck and guard it so the other team doesn't, you guessed it, raid it. Altogether, this is a promising new entry in the Battlefield franchise, but I will not be buying it for at least a few months. Even if you are a hardcore Battlefield fan, I would wait at least a week before purchasing this title. Battlefield4whenitworks is finally coming together, and there will be plenty of guinea pigs who buy this at launch that you can hear from about the relative quality of the game (and whether or not it, yunno, actually works). EA has not earned back my trust yet, and I hope they haven't earned back yours. If/when they do though, I will view them as heroes for bringing us awesome, dare I say, unmatched multiplayer FPS happiness.
Let us know if you had similar or different experiences with either of these, and if you are looking forward to playing either of these this fall and/or beyond. Happy Gaming!--DLH
You can follow Daniel and his famous ways in Twitter @DanJapan7