The PC beta has hit, I’ve played it, but what did I think?
I already went in to a fair bit of detail about the Destiny 2 beta and the changes between the first game and this one, when it was on console a few weeks back, so I’m only really going to focus on the PC specific things, i.e. how it performed, what kind of issues there are etc…
Cautious optimism was what I felt with the PC version. We’ve seen before when ‘ports’ to PC haven’t been treated as well or when different teams have been working on different versions and they’ve not quite hit the optimisation one might expect. But I have to say that Vicarious Visions seem to have done a stellar job.
The Destiny 2 PC beta let players try out the opening mission (I’ve now played through it five times), a Strike and two multiplayer modes with a one map for each, so it’s basically the same as the console one apart from a different map in the casual multiplayer mode.
For reference I have a GTX 970, i5 processor and 16GB ram and 144hz monitor.
Performance wise I thought the game was excellent; I was playing on mostly the highest settings and was getting a solid 90fps the entire time. I didn’t notice any serious dips in at any time, no matter how many explosions were going off around me. The game played buttery smooth the whole time and I have to say the difference between the PC version and console version is quite frankly very noticeable. I sank over 400 hours in to Destiny 1, so I’m not averse to playing it in 30fps – in fact I will still be getting the console version of D2 as well as the PC version. But going from console to PC makes such a difference; movement feels so fluid and much faster. Aiming feels a lot snappier, as you might expect.
I will admit I struggled with the console version in PVP, to say I was rusty was an understatement, but my very first game on PC I felt at home, comfortable with what I was doing and quite frankly, I was wrecking. Normally, I might put that down to the fact that I’m used to playing on PC now, but it would still take me a little while to get used to a new game. Not with Destiny 2.
It’s not all rosy though, there are still a couple of issues I noticed. Firstly, and quite a minor one, is that some of the key binding seems a little odd, and the fact that you can’t add a second option for bindings is slightly annoying. Secondly is the in game chat, it seemed like you either have to have it switched off or on and it stays on screen almost all the time. The chat box didn’t seem to fade out like it does in Overwatch and at times I felt like it was getting in the way or distracting me.
It also seemed like a lot of people were initially getting problems when trying to connect although that wasn’t something I encountered. There are obviously going to be a few more issues, but I didn’t really encounter anything else, but if you want to check out what else has been identified you can have a read on the Bungie forums here.
One of the most prominent issues is probably the aim assist when playing with a controller, and the fact that you can get programs that makes your computer think you’re using a controller when you’re in fact using mouse and keyboard. You’d therefore still get the bonus of aim assist even though you’re using your mouse and keyboard to play. This will essentially give players a huge advantage in PVP game modes, so let’s hope that gets sorted out.
I got to play the Beta with friends on PC, something that didn’t do when playing the Xbox beta and it instantly took me right back to the main reason why I loved playing the first one so much. The game is just so much more enjoyable with friends, you can have a laugh, mess about, go off and explore, check out things together, be badasses together, die stupidly together it just ramps up the fun of the game ten fold. The co-op adventures in Destiny is the main draw for me and with Destiny 2 it seems just as fun, plus we can now make clans!
Overall the PC version of Destiny 2 felt very solid and I was really impressed with it through out. For me, it’s the go to version if you have that option. If not, the console version is also great too.