Bungie Gives the Internet a First Look at their Upcoming Game, DESTINYA game news article
by Nick Boisson
I, for one, have been a big fan of Bungie since I got my original Xbox back in 2001. The Halo series has been a franchise that I had looked forward to for many years. And while I was not all too excited for 343 Industries' Halo 4 last year -- nor did I purchase it -- I have been oddly excited to see more about what Bungie is doing with their new title over at Activision, simply titled Destiny.
Beside some concept art they showed off last year, nothing has been said about Bungie's new game other than it being a shooter and multiplatform (the wonderful thing that can happen when you leave a publisher whose parent company has its own video game console). But on Sunday, February 17th, 2013, Bungie shared with all of us Internet dwellers a first glimpse of Destiny. And, boy, does it sound ambitious as hell!
In the video above, the team at Bungie discusses a lot of different aspects of Destiny that make it sound a lot like something that has has yet to be done with shooters. Hell, some of it even sounds like it may be something that we haven't seen in video games whatsoever. Let me take the time and break down a few of the claims made in both this video and in some other articles that have been popping up all over the web:
First, this is looking to be sci-fantasy. The Bungie team looks to have created a vast, sprawling landscape for their story. Not only does it have a fastastical premise (see video above), but your character -- and possibly many other characters in the game -- will have powers. We don't know whether these powers will be more like BioShock's plasmids or more like magic powers from a fantasy RPG, but we can rest assured that this will not just be Halo with different villains.
Destiny will also have a strong online component to it. The game may very well be played completely online, considering it has been said that Destiny will require a constant Internet connection in order to play the game. [My sympathies to those who do not have a high-speed connection, or possibly just an unreliable one.] So the question is: Is this going to be an MMO shooter? For those of you who do not know, "MMO" stands for massively multiplayer online. There aren't very many examples of MMO shooters out there in the gameosphere. The two that jump to mind are the PlanetSide series and the EVE Online spin-off shooter on PlayStation Network, Dust 514. However, PlanetSide 2 and Dust 514 are both free-to-play titles, which may be the only model to work for an MMO shooter (or any MMO game nowadays) since Sony's original PlanetSide failed miserably for Sony Online Entertainment. Now, we do know that Activision CEO, Eric Hirshberg, has said, "We have absolutely no plans to charge a subscription fee for Destiny." Great! But does this mean microtransactions? Does this mean that those who are willing to spend money in-game will have a greater advantage over those who can only afford to buy the game and maybe a few bits of DLC down-the-line? These are questions that need to be answered.
Bungie also showed a few signs that there will be a mobile component to Destiny; a way to follow your progress, talk to other players and maybe even make a few changes to your character on your smartphone or tablet. Personally, I would like to see what this could really do. The idea of keeping up with my game in the physical realm is something that I feel has not been done truly well yet in video games. And as our cell phones grow more and more intelligent, so should its interactivity with other digital realms we inhabit.
One of the parts I found most fascinating about the announcement was when one of the developers began talking about Destiny's world. Namely, that it is a living world where anything can happen at any time. In the ViDoc, one of the Bungie developers says about the world, "We are building something alive. It has a nature that we don't totally control. Things are gonna happen that we don't plan and that's amazing." I like to think of what they are trying to make as a shooter set in a Skyrim-like universe. If Bungie can pull this off, it would be HUGE; a bigger step than Far Cry was all those years ago. The very idea of a world that not only changes organically, but has multiple players experiencing the same change at the same time, is something that I would very much like to experience.
It was also announced that it would be available on the upcoming next-generation consoles, the already announced PlayStation 4 and the yet-to-be announced Xbox 360 successor. While Amazon may have pre-orders for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, it has already been said that the game will not launch in 2013. There is no way that this game will make it to today's console options.
The last thing I wanted to discuss was the timeframe that was setup a number of times throughout the ViDoc: ten years. Now, do they mean that the story will take form over multiple games in a span of give-or-take ten years as Halo did, or that the game itself would likely last ten years? With this game being an MMO, it could easily be possible for the latter option to be what was meant. Bungie could easily put out more and more DLC to make money as well as release physical copied expansion packs that just add to the experience (although, why do that when DLC is much cheaper to produce?). While I am certain that Bungie probably meant that multiple games will be made in this universe for ten years, I love the idea of a game that I purchased outliving my expectations. I supposed we'll see...
Now, I don't want to get all caught up in the hype of this game, but it is pretty hard not to. Even having not seen more than twelve seconds of gameplay footage (which could easily have been pre-rendered just for the video), the guys at Bungie make it hard not to look forward to whatever it is that Destiny will end up being. I, for one, will look forward to this game's futher development with great interest.
What about you? What do you think about Bungie's Destiny so far? Do you think you'll be picking it up? Let us know in the comments!
Pop culture geek, Nick Boisson, lives in front of his computer, where he is Section Editor of Comics Bulletin's video game appendage and shares his slushily obsessive love of video games, comics, television and film with the Internet masses. In the physical realm, he works in Guest Relations for Florida Supercon in Miami as well as a day-to-day job, which he refuses to identify to the public. We're thinking something in-between confidential informant and professional chum-scrubber.