Destiny 2 Beta — Hard Landings

As my fireteam and I made our way through The Inverted Spire, the sole Strike available in the Destiny 2 beta, I was surprised to find a number of quite breathtaking gaps which must be overcome to reach the Vex construct Protheon, Modular Mind. I shouldn’t have been surprised—it’s implied in the name, “The Inverted Spire,” after all—but it’s less the existence of these drops as the result thereof which made them stand out.

It was with a sense of déjà vu that I entered a metal ring that glowed with some non-specific energy and found my avatar flung across a massive chasm. I’ve encountered such apparatuses before in Battleborn which segment each of its Player-versus-Environment campaign missions into discrete sections delineated by similar launching pads. Those pads enable a swift ride to the next area, depositing the player character at a point of impact in defiance of gravity and kinetic energy. My player character barely survived my first trip through a launching ring in Destiny 2’s Inverted Spire, landing in a narrow tunnel with a grunt of pain and the faint beep indicating I was near death. My two companions weren’t as lucky; turning, I saw them impact into the cliff face above me, plummeting to their death, waiting to be revived.

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Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas — Derivation

It’s interesting to juxtapose Oceanhorn with another 2017 release, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a monstrous game which players and scholars will, spend the rest of their lives exploring. It is a representation of what The Legend of Zelda will look in the future. Oceanhorn is beholden to the series’ past: It looks a lot like The Wind Waker and plays a lot like A Link to the Past, but with the scale of a budget-priced indie videogame.

Oceanhorn is derivative and it knows it. It never tries to ascend higher than copying the well-worn Zelda formula, and I get the impression while playing that escaping the formula is anathema to its ethos. This is nothing less than a Zelda videogame made without the Zelda license. From this derivation, we get a glimpse into what another developer thinks of as the “essence” of Zelda. Breath of the Wild makes the statement that freedom of movement and the glory of discovery are what makes Zelda work; Oceanhorn states that respect for tradition and solid-but-predictable design is its true core.

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