Thursday, September 12, 2013

Destiny: Bungie's New Adventure (Why I'm Beyond Excited)

If any of you either know me personally of have followed this blog for a decent amount of time, it will come as no surprise to you that I have an impossibly large amount of love for Bungie and the universes that they weave. I wanted to write this article several months ago, but there was so little information known about the game that doing so seemed very counter productive to the point. Now, with the release of several Bungie ViDocs (Video Documentaries) there exists concrete information about the studios next adventure. The game is still in alpha and comparatively there is still very little known about the game, but still I think now's the right time to geek out about it.

A living universe to explore with art design straight from the gods.

This game is built for immersion from the ground up. The philosophy behind Destiny is for players to venture out into the world and tell their own stories, build their own legends. I love exploration in games, and it's something Bungie does very well. Even in the later more linear Halo titles, there were days where I would meander off the path and explore the expansive levels on my own. 

Not only is the game built from the ground up to be explored, it's built from the ground up to be played with friends, cooperatively. Let me paint a picture.

Post apocalyptic, yet beautiful and hopeful. 

You are on traversing the ruins of Old Russia on planet earth, you come across a great wall enclosing the abandoned city behind it. As you approach the ruins of the great wall, you see something in the sky.  A spacecraft flying towards you, breaking the invisible curtain of space. The craft curves upwards and someone beams down beside you from the ship. A friend. You venture together in the great wall and defeat the foul creatures who had claimed it. As you head out the other side of the wall you see something in the distance; an alien ship of unknown origin is headed right for the city. From all around the area, you see other players running to join the fight. No matchmaking, no menus, no lobbies. 

You will come across other players as naturally and as seamlessly as you would come across other people in your day to day life. This is something that excites me. To be able to be on my own journey and meet others and unite with other players for a common goal without loading screens or lobbies.

Anywhere you can see, you can go.

Let's say you're on your way to do a story mission, but something catches your attention, maybe you notice a fleet of other guardians ships flying to a particular location and decide you want to go where they're going. You can. A mountain in the distance that would in our current generation would be a 2 dimensional piece of background art? Nope. All playable space. I imagine that there are some boundaries eventually. The game can't go on forever, even with the next gens boost in power, but there's no question that Destiny's landscapes will be large and diverse. 

In Destiny we can customize our characters to our hearts content from our armor and weapons to our gender, class, race, and faction. We can customize our own personal aircrafts (although no word on wether or not we can fly them, but I'm gonna assume we can.) We can join in on public events, play raids, strikes, campaign, competitive multiplayer, or simply play in the sandbox of the games living and breathing world. 

While details on these other game modes are currently still under wraps, it should be expected that they will be every bit as fun as we can hope for them to be. While Destiny isn't exactly an MMO, it does have elements of it, which means the game needs to be connected to the internet to play it, which makes sense considering the game is designed so you run into people and public events are a large part of the game. Though you need an internet connection to play, no subscription fee will be needed, so fear not ye MMO faithful.

Mythic Science Fiction.

Bungie is fantastic at creating fascinating lore and rich sci-fi universes. So to see them drift a little into the realm of fantasy, makes me extraordinary excited. It's science-fantasy isn't something explored in many games, and hardly in any first person shooters, so the fact that Bungie is not only working with something familiar with but with something different, is a great thing. Destiny's universe looks to be something I could lose myself in for hours on end, and I look forward to doing exactly that when the game releases for Xbox One and PS4 sometime early next year. (My money's on a spring/summer release.)

I wish I could write more, but again, the game is still in pre-alpha, so Bungie is being very conservative with the things they bring to the public. However, since Bungie has stated so many of their promises with confidence, and they never break promises, it's safe to say that what is true today will be true when the game launches. They've been working on Destiny internally for about 6 years already, and they've been working on it on paper for about 9. A lot of planning is going into this game and it's looking better and better every time I see new information about it. 

This is in Halo 3: ODST which released in 2009.
Fun fact: this game will be amazing.

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