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Destiny: First PS4 Hands-on Details

Sid Shuman's Avatar + Posted by Sid Shuman on Apr 28, 2014 // Senior Manager, Social Media

Having spend several hours with a pre-release version of Destiny on PS4, my sense is that Bungie’s vision is no less than a complete rethink of how multiplayer shooters work. Destiny is a deconstruction and reconstruction of a genre that has languished in sterile matchmaking lobbies for far too long.

If you don’t have a particular agenda, Patrol is a good place to start. The Patrol structure is deliberately relaxed and freewheeling, with locations covering a large swath of exterior and interior spaces. You can hunt for beacons to trigger side missions, or just blast enemies, collect loot, and explore at your own pace. Patrol missions seem to vary considerably, tasking you with everything from collecting uranium to interrupting mining operations and assassinating enemy leaders.

Destiny for PS4

From time to time you’ll cross paths with other Patrol players, sometimes in the form of dynamic “social events” that pit you against a bigger challenge. It’s always optional: Tag along with the new guy, or hop on your hovercraft and make for the horizon? As in thatgamecompany’s Journey, it’s your choice. Patrol’s fluid, effortless matchmaking makes the overall Destiny experience feel distinctly social, with other players drifting in and out of your game.

Strikes are far more directed affairs. These cooperative missions have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Many conclude with a climactic boss battle and showers of multicolored loot. Strikes are designed to be highly replayable and present a prime source of quality gear, so expect them to be popular come September.

Destiny for PS4

Destiny for PS4Destiny for PS4

I played one Strike set early in the game called “The Devil’s Lair.” As my partners and I picked our way through the carcass of a sprawling facility in Old Russia, I swapped between my primary weapon (an accurate pulse rifle) and my special weapon (a head-melting fusion rifle) depending on the situation and surroundings. When the going got tough, I deployed my heavy weapon — a rocket launcher — to lay waste.

Strikes represent a microcosm of Destiny’s co-op gameplay design mentality, with each of the three Guardian classes filling a signature role in the fight. Hunters are nimble heavy hitters that inflict big damage at medium to long range, while Titans veer more towards the tank role. Warlocks serve as heavy artillery, obliterating enemy mobs in violent explosions of Void energy.

Each class boasts a specialized grenade type and a distinctive Super ability (with variations for both) that’s triggered by pressing L1 and R1 simultaneously. Otherwise, the classes differ from each other in minor ways. Any class can use any weapon equally well as any other class, for example.

Destiny for PS4

Speaking of which, Bungie’s mastery of weapon design is on full display here. As you open caches and slay baddies, you’ll collect armfuls of new weaponry that offer unique benefits and drawbacks. One auto rifle might fire blisteringly fast but suffer from limited range and a tiny magazine; another might fire slowly but far more accurately. There are an array of shotguns and sniper rifles, too — we’ll provide more details in another post later this week.

Though the arsenal is diverse and dynamic, Destiny’s guns aren’t procedurally generated; each is hand-tuned by a Bungie weapon designer and has a role in the overall armory. You’ll be able to further customize your weapon by adding mods or leveling it up with consistent use.

After playing several hours of Destiny, it’s hard not to be excited. The game is a visual knockout, and so far the gameplay fundamentals feel rock solid and, critically, fun. And yet, Destiny’s greatest charms may lie in its potentially gamechanging approach to online matchmaking.

There’s still much to learn about Destiny. The competitive mode is set to make its debut at this year’s E3 2014, with a beta release set for sometime in the indeterminate future. Whatever happens, September 9th suddenly feels painfully far away.

//Add Your Own

38 Comments   9 Replies

1

+ Mercenary09 on April 28th, 2014 at 11:18 am said:

Great write up Sid! I’m looking forward to playing this on PS4 later this year. I suspect we’ll hear about the Beta announcement at Sony’s press conference in June.


2

+ SiloEyes on April 28th, 2014 at 11:23 am said:

Nice read, can’t wait to play it myself! Actually falls on the day after my anniversary, so thanks for that Bungie lol

Hope to hear something about how to get into the beta if we wanna play digitally, on PS4, in the future ;)


3

+ AirMaxPenny on April 28th, 2014 at 11:35 am said:

Proof hype sells video games. Game is boring. Yes, Ive played it. Along with many others.


4

+ The_Bunn on April 28th, 2014 at 11:37 am said:

I’ts possible to get into the beta by pre-ordering in other venues. Are we going to see something similar on the PSN?


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    + Sid Shuman on April 28th, 2014 at 12:55 pm said:

    No word on this yet; we’ll keep you posted!


5

+ italodancemp3 on April 28th, 2014 at 11:44 am said:

Please bring it to Vita :)


6

+ Shiroyami on April 28th, 2014 at 11:47 am said:

The reason to get a PS4 right here, excellent hands on.


7

+ UC1993 on April 28th, 2014 at 11:52 am said:

Sid, thanks a for the update. I was hoping you were able to play it when you mentioned being at Bungie on the blogcast two weeks ago. I really want you to talk about it more on this Fridays show!!!


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    + Sid Shuman on April 28th, 2014 at 12:55 pm said:

    Oh yeah, we’ll be going in deep for sure! :)


8

+ DonArmageddon on April 28th, 2014 at 12:03 pm said:

Preordered and ready for the beta! Any more insights on PS4 performance? 1080/60?


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    + Sid Shuman on April 28th, 2014 at 12:56 pm said:

    No word here yet, but it looked (and ran) great. Definitely a looker.


9

+ Mipps_88 on April 28th, 2014 at 12:07 pm said:

Gunz Blazing!


10

+ oversevethousand on April 28th, 2014 at 12:17 pm said:

This game gets two blog posts yet Sony has yet to make even a mention of their deplorable actions towards Vita owners over the past few days? Come on.

Twice the commenting at least.


11

+ saab01 on April 28th, 2014 at 12:17 pm said:

Can’t wait until September


12

+ AizawaYuuichi on April 28th, 2014 at 12:19 pm said:

Appreciate the hands-on article, Sid. Really looking forward to this game. It seems to have that Borderlands-ish feel but on a much, much larger scale. Can’t wait for September to finally roll around.


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    + Sid Shuman on April 28th, 2014 at 12:56 pm said:

    Glad you liked it! And yep, it definitely has shades of Borderlands but the feel and universe are very different.


13

+ iREVOLTER on April 28th, 2014 at 12:23 pm said:

Looking forward to it! Thx for hands on, Sid ;)


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    + Sid Shuman on April 28th, 2014 at 12:56 pm said:

    Glad you liked it! Hit me up with any questions.


14

+ Amnalehu on April 28th, 2014 at 12:52 pm said:

I’m looking forward to the beta! My heart goes out to future sore thumbs everywhere…


15

+ tehkeemo on April 28th, 2014 at 1:00 pm said:

Oh man I’d love to get into the Beta by preordering on PSN. I just prefer Digital games over physical ones – hopefully you guys makes it possible to get into the Beta for us, users who preorder on PSN!


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16

+ DeeJ on April 28th, 2014 at 1:20 pm said:

Sid was one of the very first people from Sony to play Destiny. That was a long time ago, and with a very special guest. Now that he’s had his hands on a PS4 controller once or twice, he knows his stuff.

See you at E3, Sid.


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    + Sid Shuman on April 30th, 2014 at 10:10 am said:

    Hah, thanks DeeJ :) Loved what I played, can’t wait for more….


17

+ finaler on April 28th, 2014 at 1:24 pm said:

How many phases of beta will we have? Will there be any account resets during the beta period?


18

+ rufusmarch23 on April 28th, 2014 at 1:39 pm said:

will Destiny have split screen? The game looks great, thinking about getting when it come out.


19

+ strider367 on April 28th, 2014 at 2:14 pm said:

This is an updated Halo with new outfits and tricks. Bungie can’t changed their spots…


20

+ Josuey_de_PR_ on April 28th, 2014 at 2:18 pm said:

will Destiny run at 30FPS or 60FPS???


21

+ Sum-Mischief on April 28th, 2014 at 2:19 pm said:

Cant wait … me and my crew are so ready!


22

+ dark_angel69 on April 28th, 2014 at 2:38 pm said:

Man I envy you for getting your hands on it first. :( Send a special ticket my way please. I’d like to be next!


23

+ dark_angel69 on April 28th, 2014 at 2:41 pm said:

Oh hey I just got an idea. Seeing you played on PS4, maybe you could work a little magic and er….. live stream it. ;)


24

+ Matrix_Lion on April 28th, 2014 at 3:51 pm said:

Out of all the games coming out this year. This is the game I want most.


25

+ OnTheBus666 on April 28th, 2014 at 4:56 pm said:

This comes out on my girlfriend’s birthday… damn.


26

+ BigBadBob113 on April 28th, 2014 at 7:15 pm said:

Loved watching the new trailer today…can’t wait to grab some buds and start digging into this GOTY winner.


27

+ Kokocinski on April 28th, 2014 at 9:34 pm said:

Can I play with my buddies if they get the PS3 version and I play on the my PS4? Cross-gen style?


28

+ yungvestheking on April 28th, 2014 at 9:40 pm said:

Looking forward to playin this with my friends


29

+ StarvedSanity on April 28th, 2014 at 9:58 pm said:

Im not sure about this game yet. I never really cared for Halo, but i do love me some open-world co-op. As long as Activision doesn’t turn half the game into overpriced DLC like $2 for a weapon skin or $15 for each planet.


30

+ Seluhir on April 29th, 2014 at 5:32 am said:

If Bungie changes their mind and offers third person as an option… they can count me as interested. If not, well… it’s just another first person shooter to forget ever existed.


31

+ Welmosca on April 29th, 2014 at 6:35 am said:

Yeah it looks decent,might be a fun co-op…to be honest it looks like the type of game to wait and get on Plus IGC.


32

+ MarinoBrea on April 29th, 2014 at 8:02 am said:

I’m (still) quite hyped for the game, but that gameplay trailer didn’t do much for me. The level design was boring and the action was standard shootout fare. I expect to see terrain deformation, crumbling structures and more verticality. Also, the AI was quite dumb.


33

+ Rezznak on April 29th, 2014 at 11:21 am said:

for the love of God please tell me this has split-screen co-op. That would CEMENT my purchase. Playing this with two friends on the couch?! EPIC WIN!


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    + Sid Shuman on April 30th, 2014 at 10:11 am said:

    I’ll ask about this, I’m curious too


34

+ DragonDude502 on April 29th, 2014 at 1:45 pm said:

On the PS4, will this game require PS+ for online, since this game is ‘always online’?


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    + Sid Shuman on April 30th, 2014 at 10:10 am said:

    Yes, for mutiplayer – but you can play by yourself offline if you’d rather go that route.


35

+ israelpacheco89 on April 29th, 2014 at 4:47 pm said:

Thanks for this hands on Sid! Really looking forward to getting my hands on this game. Especially being a big Halo fan since it’s inception.


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    + Sid Shuman on April 30th, 2014 at 10:11 am said:

    My pleasure! I think you’ll like it :)


36

+ dragonvskira on May 1st, 2014 at 4:26 am said:

for the love of God please tell me this has split-screen co-op. That would CEMENT my purchase. Playing this with a friends will be a EPIC WIN!


37

+ DragonIrons on May 2nd, 2014 at 3:32 am said:

Thanks for actually answering #34′s question about Plus. Bungie wouldn’t even bother answering in their post the same day as yours.

As for the game….. if there’s no 3rd person like every other MMO I’ve ever known you can count me out as well. Seriously…. it’s not hard to shoot in 3rd person…. rofl


38

+ dragonvskira on May 8th, 2014 at 12:50 pm said:

for the love of God please tell me this has split-screen co-op !!!!!!!


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