Discovering the Destiny of Bungie
A new gameplay trailer for Bungie’s newest IP Destiny was featured during Sony’s E3 Press Conference, and Activision also took the opportunity to deliver live action demos of the game in private demonstration booths.
Below you can find a personal first-hand account of the footage and how it helps shape Bungie’s Destiny.
“Your character is a legend in the making.”
Those words rang true during Bungie’s Destiny E3 demo, delivering a substantial–yet teasing–offering that just served to whet your appetite.
The lone Guardian dropped onto the dusty ground, exploring the wasteland of Old Russia. We were introduced to two of Bungie’s key players, who teamed up to tackle the unknown rigors of a nearby abandoned facility.
They exchange quirks, displaying some of Bungie’s familiar humor, and move on, showing off Destiny’s impressive environments and backdrops along the way. It reminds one of the mixed verdant hills and dusty ridges of planet Reach.
Our travelers enter the darkened facility, and this is when we’re introduced to Ghost; he’s a very 343 Guilty Spark-esque floating monitor that has his own personality traits. Ghost lights up the innards of the fortress, and our team is met with the first opposition.
They’re small fries, easily dispatched with a few well-placed shots from the game’s high-tech weapon arsenal–but they serve a purpose nonetheless: to show off the game’s dynamic action-packed combat.
In Destiny, Bungie has found a way to make use of all their previous Halo training and adapt those sharp skills into a brand new IP whose scope is original, but it does feel very much akin to a Halo game.
Our team dispatches of the high-tech enemies easily, making use of what appears to be class-specific superpowers along with their firearms. The FPS mechanics are fluid but their style also seems gritty, reminding one of a very sci-fi Borderlands slash Halo game that’s infused with MMO type gameplay.
The MMO elements weren’t really present: this was an intimate offering, but it did expose a few lesser known elements of the game’s combat, including Public Events and boss battles. The players worked together to bring down a rather intimidating boss, taking it down to receive randomized loot–which also varies and apparently the weapons have specific abilities and elemental affinities.
Our players continued through the facility, trekking into the daylight once again. Their troubles have only begun, however, as a titanic spacecraft crashes through the atmosphere, an intimidating spectre that threatens to blot out the sun. The massive ship enacts on of Bungie’s Public Events, which seems like randomized events that take place in regular intervals throughout the game.
The footage coincides with Bungie’s recent statements concerning Destiny’s living, breathing universe:
“Bungie has emphasized that the universe of Destiny will be “alive”. Events may happen in-game that are not necessarily controlled or planned by the developer, which will help to create a dynamic developing experience for Bungie and a dynamic playing experience for gamers.
The game’s style has been described as an always-online first-person shooter that will incorporate massively multiplayer online game (MMO) elements, but Bungie has avoided defining Destiny as being in-kind with traditional MMO games”
The ship dropped an equally huge armored automaton, and our team of Guardians received some back up to take it down…
And that’s where Bungie’s presentation ended, and snippets on campaign footage rolled, showing insight on the game’s main story–but it still essentially keeps the authentic Hero’s Journey archetype that solidified the Halo series.
The demo footage did in fact adequately represent the title in many respects, giving players a first-hand look at a new varied co-operative experience. The FPS action was very fluid, and everything happened in real-time with no lag. The Guardians used their special powers–which may be class specific, but Bungie wasn’t exactly talking while the firefights happened.
The enemies looked quite brutal, but many of them used weapons that looked and fired as if they were straight out of a Halo game. Grenades were present, and we were treated with a look at one of the most powerful assault rifles in the game, along with a smattering of rocket blasts.
The Guardians themselves were quite visually appealing and really brought out that signature sci-fi flair that has been present in Bungie’s repertoire since their release of Marathon for PC. Each character was different and was equipped with impressively sleek armor, making each player’s in-game Guardian varied and different.
The demo was showcased via PlayStation 3 (most likely PS3 since the PS4′s firmware is new-ish–but it may have been presented via PS4 as the graphics were crystal-clear and appeared to be in 4K resolution).
One of the most impressive things–besides the distinct FPS action, skill sets and randomized loot–was the environment interactions. During the Public Event when the massive cruiser soared to the Guardians, it crashed through distant buildings and spires that stretched through the clouds, reducing them to smoldering rubble. To see these kinds of real-time interactions is impressive to say the least, and the new generation of gaming seems to be ushering in a new way to interact with in-game environments.
With Destiny, Bungie aims to encompass a new blend of MMO and FPS genres–and based on the presentation, they seem to be well on their way…even if the game is quite similar to their previous mega-hit sci-fi FPS franchise.
The Bungie representatives also said that they would have much to share in the next coming months. For now, be sure to check out the official E3 trailer below, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as more information comes to light.
Destiny is slated to release sometime in 2014 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. For more information please visit the game’s official website.