What ‘Destiny’ is (and could be) all about

It’s officially out there. Bungie, the creators of the much acclaimed Halo franchise, have officially unveiled their new IP. Titled Destiny, this new sci-fi foray aims to not only match the quality found in their previous games, but to surpass it.


Make no mistake, this is an ambitious project. Bungie has a 10 year plan in motion for Destiny that looks to have a major effect on console gaming as well as the mobile market. Not only that, every attempt to categorize it has been shot down as well. Is it a first-person shooter? MMO? According to the studio, it’s in a genre all on its own classified as a “shared world shooter” which combines elements of the aforementioned archetypes.

So, what is it exactly? What’s Destiny even about? Are Bungie in over their heads? How ambitious can this get? Let’s dive into what we do know and speculate on what this could all mean for the foreseeable future.

First off, the look of this game is incredible. There’s some rich diversity of settings on display in the above video ranging from dilapidated cities to snowy landscapes. Right off the bat, we are given the impression that this will be a game with some gorgeous environments to explore.

"Where's a space heater when you need one? Am I right?"

“Where’s a space heater when you need one? Am I right?”

From what we gather, some catastrophic event took place that likely spawned from an alien attack. You play as a Guardian who lives in the last human city that lies underneath a big floating sphere called the Traveler. This spherical entity apparently gave up its life in protecting humanity. The implications behind this or who the Traveler was is unclear. I’m already a bit confused how a moon-sized bowling ball acted as Earth’s savior. Being science fiction, I’m sure there’s some grand-scale explanation for it.

"The Traveler has come! Choose and perish!"

“The Traveler has come! Choose and perish!”

As said before, Destiny plans to be a beast of a game which combines elements from the FPS and MMO genres. My thinking automatically wants to think of something like a Fallout 3 or Borderlands type of experience. What Bungie has in store, however, seems to take that concept a hundred times over.

One aspect of the game that instantly grabbed my attention is the idea that you will always be online interacting with other players on a continuous basis. This can be both intriguing and scary at the same time. Server issues come to mind particularly after the dreaded Error 37 that occurred upon the release of Diablo III. Hopefully, Bungie will be able to tackle those challenges if and when they approach them.

This “always online” approach pushes the idea that players will be interacting with one another in a true living and breathing universe. That’s right, not world. I said UNIVERSE. You can visit cities like Chicago or travel to other planets such as Mars. Even the weather changes dynamically. It all sounds quite impressive and expansive which leads me to wonder just how much exploration will be involved. If so, there better be a quick and simple fast travel system added.

"You stay classy, Planet Earth!"

“You stay classy, Planet Earth!”

Exploring every crevice of the known universe is cool and all but what about me? What about my character? Based on what Bungie has revealed, there will be no skimping in building your own personal Guardian primed for combat.

There were three classes revealed with more expected to be added for the full release. So far, we have the Hunter whom I suspect will use stealth and/or sniper rifles. The Warlock will more likely than not be the prime “magic user” with full range of the powers available in the game. Finally, we have the Titan who seems to be your run-of-the-mill soldier class.

Guardian classes (from left to right): Hunter, Warlock, and Titan

Guardian classes (from left to right): Hunter, Warlock, and Titan

In true Bungie fashion, there will be vehicles you can use to get around the world and for combat. Expanding on this, though, will be space ships which you can customize and make into a de facto base for your character. I’m pretty excited about this aspect since I imagine your ship can be visible to other players which ought to visually display your space badassery via trophies and upgrades.

He could use an upgrade...

He could use an upgrade…

One quick thing I have to mention that makes me super giddy with glee is the fact Bungie doesn’t plan to add a subscription fee for Destiny. Past MMOs have failed primarily because of the monthly cost that tends to accompany them. Granted that this is not an MMO per se, it’s certainly the type of game that would include this.

There will also be the use of mobile devices via a Destiny app. Although not much has been revealed yet on this front, it’s expected that you’ll be able to communicate with friends, check your stats, and get updates on missions. It’s just another way to keep you involved in the game without even sitting in front of it. Those of us who plan to dive into this world ought to start kissing our lives goodbye.

This is your family now.

This is your family now.

Keep in mind that this will be the first game of what Bungie and publisher Activision hopes to be a mega-franchise. It’s exciting yet frightening because of the amount of pressure the studio must be feeling. Judging from the video and their past titles, a lot of them seem up to the challenge and excited to tackle such an enormous project.

The fact that Destiny will be on consoles, never mind the current-gen ones, is mind-boggling to me. Everything I hear and what I’ve seen leads me to believe that this would have been a PC exclusive. I’m concerned with the possibility that Bungie is painting themselves into a “Peter Molyneux-like” situation making promises that they won’t be able to deliver. If they do succeed, however, It could really cement the studio as the golden boy of the industry and first-person shooters in particular.

"If you build it, they will shoot."

“If you build it, they will shoot.”

Could it be better than Halo though? Those are some big shoes to fill but if anyone is up to the task then it’s the guys who created the franchise to begin with. Let us know your thoughts on this ambitious game in the comments section below!

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