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Feature: The PS4 Destiny Diaries - Day Three: The Crucible Presents Push Square vs. The World

Posted by Robert Ramsey

We honestly weren't that bad

If there's anything that a modern game needs, it's a competitive multiplayer mode that's usually shoehorned into a single player title and treated like a second class component. Fortunately, Bungie is somewhat adept at crafting a solid online shooter, and it's clear that the studio's experience bleeds into Destiny's player versus player mode known as the Crucible.

Spanning a couple of maps plus a couple more during yesterday's Iron Banner event, the Crucible can act as a way to let off steam after hours of exploration and co-op madness – or prove to be a massive time sink if you're a competitive kind of player. Much like other popular shooters, finding your feet in the online matches is relatively easy, and for the most part, the whole mode feels accessible. Tied into the game's world almost as a sport that Guardians compete in for honour and glory, things can get pretty heated in these six on six battles. But how did the Push Square team fare when going head to head with other beta users?

Throughout the course of the day, I joined up with all of your favourite writers, including reviewers Ben Tarrant, Alex Stinton, and Simon Fitzgerald, along with video editor and very funny man Ben Potter. Even the elusive Sammy Barker managed to play a few rounds with his brothers in arms, and for the most part, we didn't do too badly.

Relive Our Destiny Diaries

Diving into Control – the only playable mode in the beta – the objective is to capture and defend three points across the map. The need to hold these positions creates a tense tug of war where the action is usually found in and around the conquerable locations. This also means that you won't spend minutes at a time running around trying to find someone to melee in the back of the head. It's a safe creation, then, but there's no denying that the maps on show are very well designed and full of varied choke points, open areas, and corridors to suit almost anyone's style of play.

You'll be taking the weapons that you've carried through the story and co-op missions, but their damage is capped in order to maintain a balance. And, even in its beta state, the title seems to do an impressive job at keeping the opposing teams balanced when it comes to player levels, which in turn assures that you'll all be fighting with roughly similar powers and skills. I must have played a good thirty or so matches, and surprisingly, most of them ended up being extremely close affairs where my team either won or lost by a very small point margin.

Being a team based mode, you'll definitely have a better chance of victory with some sort of communication going on, and opposition that split up in order to find their own way around the map usually take a beating because of their refusal to work as a unit. Having people in your fireteam means that you can see their names hovering around the battlefield, which really helps you keep track of where your allies are when you've just respawned a moderate distance away.

So, I know what you're thinking: who's Push Square's whipping boy? Well don't worry fellow writers, because I'm proud to say than none of us did badly enough to be named and shamed. That said, we did encounter a couple of matches where we ended up on separate teams, presumably because we didn't group up into a fireteam beforehand, and instead opted to simply join in on a friend's game. This did cause some hilarity, though, as fusion rifle extraordinaire Simon Fitzgerald slowly became my arch nemesis after disintegrating me more times than I could count.

Speaking of powerful weapons, there is perhaps some need for a touch of balancing. For a beta, there's definitely a good sense of order when it comes to overpowered or broken armaments, but there's no doubt that some styles of play will net you a lot more kills than others. For example, waiting around corners or sprinting from place to place with a shotgun is a relatively easy way to rack up points, while one shot sniper rifles were the cause of more than a few fits of rage, especially in a game where you have a reasonably large amount of health.

Of course, I can't ignore the Iron Banner event, in which you entered the Crucible armed with your own set of gear, no balancing applied. It's safe to say that anyone who wasn't level eight and sporting a decent set of equipment was quickly taken care of, and this system does raise some questions about how it'll play out in the full release. I can definitely see this mode becoming a go-to component for maxed-out Guardians, but it could just as easily become a place where very, very easy kills and wins are gained due to lower level players trying to get their hands on some rare loot.

Questionable design choices aside, I have to give a shout out once again to Push Square user TOMBOY25, who has now been dubbed 'The Unstoppable'. Sporting another Exo Titan, I witnessed him tear dozens of opponents apart like they were made of wet cake, and in one match, he even managed to rack up a rather ridiculous 18 kill streak. Topping the leaderboards after almost every battle, it's safe to say that if your team is in dire need of a comeback, you know who you should be inviting to your squad.

All in all, Destiny's multiplayer is enjoyable and really quite addictive. It also helps that your progress in the Crucible goes hand in hand with the rest of the game, as you'll be able to take on player versus player specific bounties and earn powerful rewards that you can put to use outside of the competitive carnage. With the full release offering a bunch of different game types, I can see it becoming a very popular location for online shooter addicts – even if there are a few wrinkles that need ironed out before September.

Have you put your skills to the test in the Crucible? Did you come out in one piece? Tell us your war stories in the comments section below, and remember to check back tomorrow for day four of our Destiny diary.

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User Comments (16)



Kyroki said:

Really enjoyed reading this article, Robert! I haven't played any online multiplayer yet as I'm just playing as the three different classes and deciding which one I like best. Also, I'm curious to know what level will be the maximum level. Will it go as high as 50?



Dual-shock-spok said:

I suck at crucible!! It takes some getting use to. But I always suck online for a few games. Then I achieve an above average rating. Lol. Just as I started to get the hang of it, the darn beta started crashing on me!! Just my luck!!



Batman said:

This piece gave my ego a lovely massage. Enjoying these articles, Robert! Keep 'em coming!



get2sammyb said:

@iDangerMouse_ Considering how quickly you can get to 8, I'm thinking they may need to go higher than that. Having said that, there does seem to be a lot of awesome gear which is gated more by your performance in the Crucible/Exploration than mere levelling, so I'm guessing that will be the end game stuff, presumably.



k_andersen said:

I didn't take part in this adventure as an act of kindness to my fellow writers. If I had been playing you likely would have lost EVERY game, and it probably would have been entirely my fault.



Kyroki said:

@get2sammyb Yeah I have noticed that whilst I had been exploring. The game has teased me a few times when I decode the green things (can't remember what they're called) and it would give me a level 9 weapon or level 9 armour. Also, when does the beta go offline for maintenance, is it tomorrow?



SecondServing said:

One thing that seriously disappoints me about Destiny is the fact that the game is freaking 3 player co-op. That's a really awkward number, I'm used to 2,4, or more players co-op, but 3?!??

And it sucks because now my friends and I are going to have to split up! We had a 4 player squad planned, but now that idea's totally f**ked...this hype is totally killed for this game.

Oh well, I guess my friends and I wont be able to play this game together, except for when we want to play in the crucible.



ShogunRok said:

Thanks for the kind words everyone, I'll be keeping this series up hopefully until the beta reaches its end.



mitcHELLspawn said:

I was always looking forward to this game, but after spending much time with the beta I am absolutely psyched to get the full game in my hands. I can't believe how much content is in the beta, and it's not more than a tiny sliver of the full game. My 2 friends and I beat borderlands 2 from start to finish together and we had a blast, so I'm just imagining how much fun were going to have with this game. Attention to detail is great, graphics are great, game play is lots of fun, love all the skill progressions and gear choices given the list goes on. The only thing I wish there was more of is loot. But maybe it's just not as much because it's a beta. Hopefully the full game ends up with much more loot crates and weapon crates!



Reverandjames said:

I played some crucible, and didn't care for it too much, just seemed a lot like Halo, and considering the innovation that has gone into the main campaign and co-op, I feel that the competitive multiplayer is very 'by the numbers'.



Davros79 said:

I wish they included assassinations in destiny. I mean melee-ing is fine an all. But it would be cool if for instance if it switched to 3rd person(like it does for your super charged) when playing as a hunter to slit someones throat with ur knife, Fry someones brain as a Warlock or snap a players neck when using the titan.

assassinations/executions would be welcomed in this game!!

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