Okay, the summer has been going past in a really fast pace (sorry for not blogging), and all I can say is that wow, Xbox One's release in Finland is coming closer and closer.
Of course, as it happens, the first game I'm buying for One specifically will be the one I actually know least about. Bungie's Next Big Thing. Destiny.
I have a policy that I really don't touch demos at all, and tend to stay in media blackout about upcoming releases as much as possible. The previous beta I participated in was the Halo Reach one, and that was only because, well, it's Halo, why the hell not. So I actually wanted to participate in the Destiny beta, but I thought that was only available on next-gen consoles. Nope, there was an open beta on 360 too.
And what did I get out of it? I certainly didn't expect that campaign was out there, I expected multiplayer only. But then again, Destiny blends multiplayer coop and singleplayer so well that this stuff makes sense. I liked the whole single fluid environment aspect of Destiny. I think that competitive multiplayer is actually hindered by the whole character customisation thing and I hope there'll be a loadout system of some description.
The only BIG gripe about the campaign? The enemy AI feels stupid and dated. Halo games did an incredible job with AI and really created an impression of a living battlefield, the enemies just had a mind of their own and a lot of shit was happening. There's usually nothing convoluted about Halo levels. They're just structures where events are taking place, and you can easily imagine why the enemies are there and what they're trying to accomplish. Think of the first level of Halo: Combat Evolved: most of it has Covenant fighting the troops aboard the ship. Instead of acting like cannon fodder for you and standing around, the Covenant is getting busy, fighting the troops, looking for things, sweeping the area. They only become cannon fodder when they notice "oh shit, the Spartan is here - that's a pretty big threat, let's kill him".
Destiny? Well, unfortunately, the whole experience feels more like Call of Duty than Halo. Enemies appear. They shoot at you, but that's useless, you're behind some strategically placed cover. You shoot back. Aside of the outdoor sections, the indoor sections feel a little bit more like shooter levels and less like structures with purpose.
If I were one of those grumpy people, I'd say "dammit, 343i may have been courting CoD fans with Halo 4, but they never stuck that shit in the fucking campaign. BUNGIE, HOW COULD YOU?", but I'm not going to. The levels were meant to be played in drop-in multiplayer. The AI isn't busy fighting player-friendly AIs because there's none. I suppose the AI would feel better if the random passers-by would be mixing things up all the time, but in a totally solo environment, formulaic tube-shootery shall ensure.
So, some of the missions felt a bit tedious as a result. Go there, shoot shit, yawn.
However, I'm very happy that Halo's ass-kicking factor and variety of approaches is totally there, at least most of the time. Weapons are pretty good. I died surprisingly few times. Aside of the fights, I had fun. The world is well designed and intriguing. I like the customisation.
In short, I had fun, despite of the problems. I'm totally looking forward to Destiny on Xbox One, but that said, I think I'm looking a little bit more toward Halo: Master Chief Collection and Halo 5.