13 days to go, friends–Destiny is on its way to rob us of sleep, sunshine, and sadness. Today we’ll take a peek at the two matchmaking modes that Activision’s next shooter will offer players, one cooperative and one competitive.
Strikes are missions that, depending on the level and familiarity of the three-person fireteam, can take anywhere from 20 minutes to well over an hour of time to complete, and this is likely to increase as Bungie adds Strikes to the Destiny playlists via DLC and weekly events.
During the Beta, players were offloaded into a battle zone between two factions of enemies—the Fallen and the Hive—and fought their way through several objectives that were similar to those featured in the other game modes. After the final fight, each member of the participating fireteam received gear as they did when they completed story chapters, and then returned to orbit.
This game mode—the strongest that the Beta offered from a technical and cooperative perspective—boasts real challenge, as respawn rules become increasingly stringent and coordinated teamwork becomes necessary in order to finish efficiently, if at all. We played this event several times with several different fireteam arrangements, and the party build that made the event most manageable was that of Hunter/Titan/Warlock, allowing each class’ advantages to limit the other class’ shortcomings.
This warrants Bungie’s earlier claims that the game’s focus on cooperative play would in no way be harmed by the all-but-certain popularity of the Crucible, and those less interested in competing than cooperating (as is true for us here at the Unending Backlog) wouldn’t see their rewards limited in any way. In our trips through the Strike, all equipment rewards at the end of each time through the strike were of equipment scaled at least the level of the characters we were playing at the time, and some were even above the levels of our characters.
On the competitive side of Destiny, the Crucible and its competition was perhaps the most familiar element of the first person nature of the “shared-world shooter”; the one available competitive mode, Control, shares a great deal of its structure and objectives with Call of Duty’s manic ‘Domination’ mode, in which players rush to claim waypoints that contribute to their teams’ scores. Here, though, the gameplay of Destiny really shines, as while its quality in the single-player and cooperative elements is good, the balance the game strikes between all play types loses nothing in the transition to a competitive arena.
While I was playing, I observed that the players that were winning did so with familiarity and skill within the rules of the game, and not on equipment, class, or level. Teams that worked together were successful, and those that did not struggled. This promises the kind of inclusive playing grounds that have made Call of Duty so successful, and it comes as no surprise that Activision’s involvement in Destiny’s development has seemingly lent the same advantages to Bungie’s new game. If the Beta was the test that Bungie wanted it to be, the Crucible will be a very busy place for a very long time.
Multiplayer modes offer players a chance to team up with or compete against their friends, and Destiny will in no way be short of that. Both the Strike and Crucible game modes offer a lot of options for gamers of any sort, and both are certain to be regular visits for Guardians in their quest for both loot and challenge. We are looking forward to seeing what Bungie has for us when we team up for the first time on September 9th.