Embrace Your Destiny
Destiny is the new IP from game developer Bungie, and it is what they have been silently working on for the past 4 years since parting from Microsoft and their massively successful Halo series. Not only is Destiny their new game, it will be the only thing they will be focusing on for the next decade.
Through Boldness to The Stars
Destiny is a shared world shooter. “It’s the first time I’ve heard of a shared world shooter”, you might say. And that is exactly what makes Destiny worth talking about.
In the distant future, humanity conquers the solar system, setting up colonies as far out as Jupiter. Then one day, something came out of the blue and wiped us out. What survived of Humanity is thanks to the mysterious orb-shaped object called the Traveler. It made its last stand, low above the Earth, and saved us from extinction. many years later, we have reorganized our civilization and are ready to venture back out in the wild black yonder of space, only to find that the solar system we had once claimed has been overrun with many different alien races. These alien races seem to have only one thing in common, and that is the shared desire to stamp out the Human race for good. You play as a guardian of Earth: one of Humanity’s last hope.
Destiny is next-gen many levels. The fact that its on Xbox One and PS4 doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what I mean by “next-gen.” This game is so forward thinking and into the future that it has created a new sub-genre of gaming; one that I hope will one day be a standard with these types of games. Destiny is a living, breathing world that will constantly change and evolve as you play. The sky, for instance, isn’t just a pasted on skybox, its alive with dynamic light and shifting clouds. It all helps immerse you fully in this awe-inspiring vision of the future.
You begin the game similar to most MMO’s by customizing your character and picking their class. But that is where the similarities end. You do go through the game leveling up and attaining new abilities and traits through a skill-tree system, but its done in a very natural, almost passive manner. The abilities you gain never feel out of place or necessarily game changing, but only naturally and subtly enhance your play-style. You can choose between three character classes, and they are all designed to complement they way you play a shooter. First there is the Titan. As it may sound from the name, a Titan is not afraid of getting in close. Your abilities better suit you to get in close and distribute massive amount of damage. The Hunters are the space-cowboy gunslingers, specializing in ranged weapons; perfect for those sniper-types. They also specialize in stealth, making them ideal for distracted targets. The Warlock is an interesting addition as they specialize in enhancing their attacks with magic and higher defensive skills like quick shield regeneration.
The core of the game is a seemingly single-player campaign. There is a rich story here, and you get to explore the solar system as you learn about this amazing new universe. Destiny will take you from a dystopian post-apocalyptic Earth to the creepiest version of the Moon you’ve ever seen. You’ll spend time on the harsh desert surface of Mars and travel to the lush jungle paradise that is terraformed Venus. You play through these missions and can be silently joined by a few other mysterious companions that are out to do the same. You can opt to party up and reel the benefits of the tactics and strategy you gain, or join even more players in seamless public events that will randomly crop up during your mission. In addition to single player, there are also 3-player strike missions that will let you team up with a couple buddies to take on hordes of enemies. Just wanna play multiplayer? Fight each other, showing off your hard earned gear, in intense PvP Crucible battles. This is most reminiscent of classic Halo matchmaking, complete with different game types and objectives. It seems like this is where the game really takes off. Its designed to take your experience further after you complete the main campaign, ensuring days upon weeks upon months of continued pownage.
Speaking of gear, it wouldn’t be a Bungie game with a plethora of signature weapons. At first I was weary of the way they decided to break down your three weapons, but I have to admit, after playing for a few hours in the public beta, it all now makes perfect sense and I’m completely sold.
In Destiny, you get 3 weapons slots and they are broken up into Primary, Special, and Heavy. Primary weapons are the go to weapon of choice. Its your blue-collar, hard working DPS. You primary weapon can range from Auto Rifles, to Hand Cannons, to Pulse and Scout Rifles. Special weapons are just that: special. The are your trusty sidekick, your secret weapon that is designed to be there the instant the flow of battle shifts. These weapons range from shotguns, sniper rifles, and fusion rifles. These weapons are where you start to define your style of gameplay more. Are you more of a safe camping sniper-dude or an in-your-face, run and gun, shotgun to the face kind of gal. Set your favorite special weapon by your side and surprise the living daylight out of your foes. Finally we have the Heavy Weapons. This is your Hail Mary, your final judgement. This weapon class has very limited ammo that is hard to find and will either be a kind of machine gun, or a rocket launcher. heavy weapons deal massive amount of damage over a small course of time, but they might just be what you need to change the tide of battle. All of the weapons are awesome and have unique names that give them their own personality and help separate them from the rest of your arsenal. You gain weapons from shops, loots, and a few other unique ways and nothing is wasted. There are no fillers in the equipment department, and Bungie thankfully doesn’t subscribe to the more is better philosophy that can plague many MMO-style games.
When you think about it, Destiny seems so natural— so obvious. There is definitely some impressive stuff going on behind the scenes to make this game a reality. The term “silent matchmaking” send shivers down my spine at the very concept. To see it actually implemented is what will take Destiny to new heights. The very idea of me being cornered by high-level mobs, getting a glimpse of my own mortality as my shields flash red, only to be saved in the nick of time by another fire team that I didn’t even know was there is just so entirely bad-ass.
When you have nothing but absolute passion for what you do it shows. Every bit (pun intended) of this game is oozing with an attention to detail that rival few other end products. The presentation is top notch, the artwork is breathtaking, and the gameplay is tight and implemented with an incredible sense of purpose. My relatively brief time with the beta build of the game left me reassured and confident. It also left me with an emotion I was not expecting: pride. I was proud to be playing the game. Proud that a game that I had been following, admiring, and looking forward to for almost 2 years now has grown into this very polished product.
The most exciting part of Destiny is that this is just the beginning. Bungie has not only dedicated their entire company to this franchise, but have planned out a massive 10 year journey. Albeit this will be accomplished with an undoubted plethora of sequels and DLC, buts it good to know that there is a grand vision for universe they’ve created. Furthermore, Bungie is no slouch in the story and lore department, so we can rest assured that Destiny will be the incredible franchise we all know it will be.
I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this game and can’t wait for it to come out this September. There so much more to this game that I’m sure I’ll geek out on in later posts. I foresee this being one of the only games I’ll be playing (with the occasional stint of Minecraft here and there) for years to come. If you need any more convincing, watch their first ViDoc below. For those of you on board, see you starside.