If you've been playing the Destiny beta non-stop for the past four days, then you probably won't know what to do with yourself now that it's taking a two day break for maintenance purposes. It's a good thing, then, that I'm writing these diaries the day after events have taken place, which hopefully means that those withdrawal symptoms won't start kicking in just yet. These ongoing features have already covered character creation, exploration, and competitive multiplayer, so what's next on the agenda? Why, it's good old fashioned shiny loot of course.
There's no question as to whether Destiny will be a game of gigantic proportions, but it's the loot system that'll be responsible for keeping many players coming back for more. Like open world RPGs or MMOs, there's always a promise of more power thanks to better and better equipment that you can gain in numerous ways; you might find a deadly new rifle just lying on the ground after putting down a few Fallen, or you may end up receiving a lovely new pair of boots as part of a mission reward.
What arguably sets Bungie's creation apart, however, is its accessibility. This isn't a title where you're going to spend minutes at a time trawling through a weapon's statistics and comparing it to the other five that you've hoarded in your inventory; you simply open up your character screen, move the reticule to the relevant equipment slot, hover over the item that you want to compare, and hold down R2. In an instant, you can see all of the stats that matter and how they measure up to your currently equipped gear. It really couldn't be easier.
Relive Our Destiny Diaries
- Day One: Why Wouldn't You Want to Be a Robot?
- Day Two: The Exploration of Old Russia
- Day Three: The Crucible Presents Push Square vs. The World
And this accessibility is mostly thanks to the release's incredibly slick and hassle free user interface, which works a bit like a PC setup, where you're using the left analog stick to position the pointer. Icons are big and easy to click, everything's presented in a very neat and tidy manner, and ultimately, it's just about as intuitive as you can get in a game that boasts RPG elements like this.
It's the acquisition of loot that proves to be more of a challenge. As previously mentioned, there are a few different ways that you can nab some new gear, but most will no doubt be picking up glowing, er, loot crystal things from defeated enemies. These little shining drops are colour coded, much like the equipment itself, based on rarity. Common items that have no special attributes are clear or white, uncommon pieces are green, rare gear is blue, and legendary equipment is a mighty purple. Since the beta has a character level cap of eight, you'll mostly be finding loot of the common and uncommon variety, but even with this limited look at the stuff that's on offer, it still feels brilliantly fulfilling when you see that glorious green engram drop to the ground after a viscous battle.
Of course, the problem with the level cap is that you'll frequently find gear that you can't equip yet, because it requires a character level of nine or ten. It's a pretty clever way of getting people excited for the full game, though, especially when you begin to realise what weapons of mass destruction will be on offer when you reach higher levels – just think of those devastating shotguns and salivate.
You can also get your hands on some better gear at the hub-like Tower, but it's not just wearable bits and pieces that you'll be purchasing from its vendors. Along with ships which you use for interstellar travel, you can also buy a new Sparrow – the hoverbike which you can ride while out and about exploring Old Russia. It's looking like these vehicles boast better upgrades as you fork out the cash, with pricey sparrows in the beta sporting specific hard-turn brakes that make taking tight corners a breeze. It'll be interesting to see how fleshed out the futuristic bikes will be in the full release, but there's no denying that racing through the dusty wastelands just makes me dream of a WipEout game on the PlayStation 4.
All in all, hunting down rare loot in the beta proves to be an addictive time sink, and without that level cap in place, I'm extremely eager to see what goodies we'll be able to get our sweaty palms on come September.
Have you found any good loot during your time with the beta? Do you have a favourite weapon? Use this downtime to reflect on how much time you've wasted looking for stuff that might not even carry over into the full game in the comments section below.