We explore some of our favorite captured moments within the skies of the Destiny beta.

Destiny Beta 20140726171405 The beautiful skyscapes of Destiny

Destiny‘s skyboxes are gorgeous.

There are times when I can’t find the words to correctly describe the visual splendor on my screen. If you’ve played the Beta–and you probably will since it’s now open to the public–you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Destiny Beta 20140725171811 The beautiful skyscapes of Destiny

There are times when I simply sit upon a streelamp or a nearby rock outcropping to just stare at the brilliant sky, reveling in the majestic glory of the stars. When I first played the Alpha and saw the eerily serene glow of the aurora borealis swirling across the frozen skies of Old Russia, I knew that Bungie had found a way to capture visual magic.

This sense was reaffirmed every time I saw a sunset turning igniting the horizon, or a rank of passing clouds wreathed in outlines of gold fire.

Everywhere you turn, every time you look up, there’s beauty.

Destiny Beta 20140724101042 The beautiful skyscapes of Destiny

Bottling the magic of the stars

To aptly describe the experience, I’d have to say it’s a lot like walking into a great piece of artwork. Instead of a flat canvas we see a living, breathing world that spreads as far as the eye can see. It’s as if some unseen giant is painting a new masterpiece on the canvas of the skies every few minutes, creating unique vistas and breathtaking horizons with easy grace.

In many ways the skies of Destiny are like our world, with a molten sun and a bone-white moon, but it has that distinct promise of something more, something different. Something beyond our world.

Destiny Beta 20140724105950 The beautiful skyscapes of Destiny

We can only imagine the marvels that await us in the skies of Mars, or Venus–the skies of Old Russia alone have been a feast for the eyes on every level.

Sky-gazing is a profoundly personal experience, one that kindles a true sense of awe and mystery. The amazing skyscapes embrace the true soul of sci-fi: that delightful blend of wonder, mystery and fantasy. We’re shown environments that aren’t just generic backdrops to Destiny‘s frenetic shooter action–in many ways the visuals define the game by adding a true sense of immersion.

Although we’ve captured quite a few of our favorite visuals in the Destiny Beta, it stills feels like we’ve just scratched the surface of the game’s incredible skyboxes. Come September we’ll be able to go beyond the stars to see alien vistas and strange expanses, but for now, we’re just Earthbound misfits.