After playing the Destiny 2 PC beta for countless hours, I felt I had seen everything there was to be seen in the beta build, and when I logged off for the final time, I felt satisfied. I was mostly impressed with the Destiny 2 PC beta, but I found several problems that ranged from “this can easily be patched into the final version” to “how the heck did this get approved by anyone.” Now, before I continue, I need to get this out of the way: I never played Destiny. Shocking, I know, but at the time I didn’t have an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4. I had spent all of my money on a gaming computer — a decision I still stand by — and couldn’t afford those consoles and thus couldn’t play the game, which is why I was ecstatic to learn that Destiny 2 will be released on PC. So, I am coming into this beta with absolutely no history or knowledge of the Destiny franchise aside from (less than stellar) reviews from YouTube critics such as I Hate Everything and Angry Joe. With that out of the way, let’s begin this review proper, shall we?
The first thing you’re probably wondering about the Destiny 2 PC beta is how well the game runs on PC. Is it well optimized? Well, I’m happy to say yes, it most certainly is. I own an MSI GT72 2QD Dominator laptop with an i7-4720HQ CPU, an Nvidia GTX 970m graphics card, and 12 GB of RAM. My laptop’s no slouch, but it isn’t exactly a beast. I bought it back in 2015, but my laptop has proven itself to be quite a capable gaming computer time and time again, especially with optimized games such as Destiny 2. I was able to run the game on high settings (although, when I first booted up the game, the settings defaulted to a mix of high and medium) with no noticeable dip in framerate. The only time Destiny 2 lagged or dropped frames is when I exited the pause menu, entered a level, or died, and even then the lag lasted for maybe half a second, which makes the game far more optimized — and better looking — than Mass Effect: Andromeda. That’s impressive, especially since Andromeda has higher system requirements. Kudos, Bungie, you have made the leap to PC more unscathed than most developers.
During my playthrough of the Destiny 2 PC beta, I used a wired Xbox 360 controller. I know many gamers use a mouse and keyboard when playing PC games, but I grew up with a controller, and it feels more natural to me — plus, my ring and pinky fingers are rather stiff, so any control scheme that only relies on my thumb, pointer, and middle fingers is preferable. Now, tangent aside, I found nothing wrong with the controls in the beta. They are responsive; the button mapping is very similar to most other FPS games, and players who don’t like the button layout can change it in the options menu. However, while the controller layout functions as it should, the Destiny 2 PC beta doesn’t have a tutorial to explain the controls. I had to discover on my own which button reloads my gun, which one swaps guns (it took even more experimenting to discover I had to hold down that button to switch to my power weapon), and so on. Moreover, the same applies to the controls during super moves. The first class I tried was the Warlock, because its Dawnblade subclass’ super move lets players fly around in the sky while wielding a flaming sword of pure badassitude. That shoots fire. While awesome, during the opening level, I thought the super move was limited to only flying and raining down fiery death on enemies like a space wizard version Overwatch‘s Pharah; I had no idea I could also dodge mid-air and lob a grenade while the super move is active. The same goes for all the other Titan, Hunter, and Warlock subclass abilities and super movies. While I don’t mind when games refuse to hold players’ hands, I find tutorials necessary when controls are not universal between classes. Is it too much to ask for a tutorial to tell me the Hunter’s Gunslinger subclass can throw an exploding knife, especially when the button that throws the knife is also tied to every other class and subclass’ melee attack?
Speaking of classes, I played each class and their two available subclasses and feel no one class is more powerful than the others, even though I prefer Warlocks because, again, bad ass space wizards. Each class plays like a slightly different breed of FPS game, with the Titan class performing like a modern military shooter character who prefers to be up close and personal, the Hunter feeling ripped out of a 90s FPS and excelling at long distances, and the Warlock being somewhere in the middle with the ability to float like a butterfly and sting like a nuclear-powered bee. While I wish each class had abilities outside of a double (or triple) jump, hi-tech grenade, support skill, and super ability, I like that no two abilities felt the same. However, some abilities have a bit of a learning curve; grenades that deal damage over time are not meant to be used against mobile enemies, but I believe the ability with the biggest learning curve is (warning: rant incoming) the Voidwalker Warlock’s Blink ability. It’s cool on paper, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Unlike other jump abilities that give players an extra boost to height, Blink teleports Warlocks, but I had no idea how to control the ability. Was I supposed to look in the direction I want to teleport? If so, that would imply I had to look up to gain extra height, which would be a death sentence in platforming sections since I would have to take my eyes off the platform I’m aiming for. Furthermore, unlike other jump abilities, Blink doesn’t seem to let players alter momentum, which makes platforming sections even harder, but for all I know I was using the ability wrong. Either I’m missing something, or Bungie might need to rethink the mechanics behind Blink.
Now I’m done ranting, let’s talk about the levels gamers could play through in the Destiny 2 PC beta. Unlike other betas, players only have access to the opening level of Destiny 2, two multiplayer maps — each with its own game mode — and one “strike” level, The Inverted Spire, which is the equivalent of dungeons in most MMOs. Despite not being able to experience this game’s quest system, I personally found nothing wrong with any of the levels. The opening area helps set the tone for the game; the multiplayer maps are decent (I don’t play many multiplayer games, so I don’t know if they are good or bad by multiplayer game standards), and the strike map is a beautifully blasted battlefield, with one big exception. The big standout area of The Inverted Spire is this giant drill that continually bores into the ground, and players have to dodge the drill’s various moving parts and fight through waves of enemies to reach a particular area. At first, the drill looks intimidating, but on my first run I learned quite by accident I didn’t need to juke between different paths as I initially thought, but instead all I had to do was hug the wall on the upper level and I would not get hit by the drill. I don’t know if this is an intentional design choice or not, but I feel it’s a bit of a cheap strategy that doesn’t do the rest of the map justice. Also, while not a problem with Destiny 2‘s levels per se, I believe Bungie needs to work on Destiny 2‘s matchmaking program. Maybe I just had bad luck, but when I queued up for The Inverse Spire, occasionally I was placed in teams with absolutely no class balancing (i.e., everyone in the party was the same class). At least when I participated in multiplayer matches my teams were a little more diverse. Oh, and I have to praise Bungie for having the forethought of giving each class its own ship design, so I could easily identify whom I was teaming up with in the loading screen.
While most of my experience with the Destiny 2 PC beta was positive, I had a fairly negative experience trying to communicate with other players. When I joined the voice chat channel, I couldn’t hear anyone; I even double checked to make sure voice chat was activated, and indeed it was. As for text chat, nobody ever responded, but even worse, when I typed into the chat box and pressed enter, my name showed up in the chat box. My real name. Not my username but my real name, the name my mom always told me I’m not supposed to give to anyone on the Internet for any reason. Quite frankly, my complaints regarding voice chat are tiny compared to my problems with having my real name show up in a chat box. We have user names for a reason, Bungie, because not everyone who plays MMOs is a sane individual. Sometimes crazy people are online, and the last thing anyone wants is to give a crazy person his or her real name. Best case scenario, someone who gives his or her real name online is sent $500 worth of Domino’s pizza and is forced to pay the bill. Worst case scenario, they’re swatted. Seriously, I cannot stress this point enough; there is no legitimate reason for anyone’s real name to be made available for anyone to see in an MMO — ever.
Aside from a few hiccups — and the confounding decision to have my real name show up in a chat box — Destiny 2 is well on its way to being an excellent game. I wish I could have previewed other game aspects in the beta, such as non-strike levels, quests, and character creation, but so far I’m impressed. If Bungie includes tutorials, fixes matchmaking, and removes the option to display a player’s real name in the chat box, Destiny 2 will probably be better than the original Destiny, assuming Bungie doesn’t drop the ball on storytelling.
5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster
After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.
First time available on modern hardware
As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.
The visuals look better than ever
Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.
Quality of life improvements
While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.
The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.
The game is awesome
While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?
10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019
2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.
A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.
It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.
The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.
If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.
If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.
id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.
5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference
Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.
New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020
We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…
Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett
The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.
Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves
It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.
FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced
This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West
It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”
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