E3 2013: A Look at Bungie and Activision’s ‘Destined’ Newborn

Many may find Bungie and Activision’s new first-person thriller known as Destiny to be a hybrid of the Halo and Call of Duty series respectfully, but a closer look at the game will show you that what may seem like a regular shoot-em up can also be a delving RPG; what may seem like a mix of Master Chief and Modern Warfare can also harbor Street Fighter-like on the fly online matches and the ‘loot’ of the Borderland universe.

Destiny is all these things beautifully wrapped in a delicious burrito roll, except less gas upon consumption. The back story behind the game is a familiar one. Earth had been struck by aliens, rendering the world to succumb to its lowest of the low, threatening its life to the core and without mercy. After being rescued from this penetration by an orb sitting below the planet dubbed as “The Traveler,” survivors of the great attack take arms and violently retaliate to take back their home. As one of “the Guardians,” you join up as well.

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During the E3 gameplay reveal, the Bungie developers described the game as a free open world of the “last safe city on earth,” with several explorable continents and venues to be revealed. During the event, the devs assumed their positions as  3 of the 4 classes available—the machine-gun Hunter, the marksman Warlock and the powerful Titan. Each handle different types of SMG’s, Sniper Rifles and Rocket Launchers, however there was not much word of whether or not classes and weapons could be interchangeable. The weapons themselves also seem to be upgradable and customizable, an intriguing system that Bungie didn’t get to say much about. From the looks of the gameplay, however, each gun had their set of skill trees, layered with abilities that go all the way to the top of a very revealing and highly satisfying perk. These trees indicate that there might be a level-up system with the weapons that players can use.

Their appearances fit their name well. Warlocks and Titans have such an authoritative aesthetic about them, but the former seems to wield a more broad, huskier look than the latter. Hunters seem more slender and sleek, which could opt for some agility perks should Bungie implement them into the final version. What wasn’t shown very much was the last of the four classes, which is said to be a Vanguard. The class unfortunately wasn’t shown.

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However, what the devs did show was one of the playable areas of the game “Old Russia,” which certainly held its post-apocalyptic feel, filled with scattered ruins and dark indoor hideouts that many bad guys take shelter in. As players quest out to “get over that wall” an orb, which served as a waypoint tracker, was shown during those dark areas. The “Ghost” orb seemed to have a mind of its own as it hovered around and illuminated the room, spouting out witty humor and poise with its English accent-computerized speak. Your bright, smart aleck friend also warns the team when things are getting down and dirty.

The combat system looks just about the same as any other, but it’s fast paced and thriving. Enemies, dubbed as “The Fallen” look ghastly and mean, but also enticing in their human-like design and offer some rough push back with their laser attacks, assistant hoarders and melee strikes. Destiny also seems to include some fierce boss fights as well.

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Destiny has a drop-in, drop-out co-op system in which your friends join the ride with you, but the online capabilities don’t stop there. The game also seem to take pride in its “Public Event” feature, in which various Fire Teams head to the battle field for mass killings of enemies on sight as well as each other. Whether or not this features serves as a random online experience that coincides with your co-op and single player gameplay remains to be confirmed, however I like the idea of having something go off at a moment’s notice, only to be sucked into an online match that could further help me on my quest and help me power up my rankings at the same time.

The re-hased story doesn’t really intrigue me much, but the fun that surrounds it deserves a second look. With special DLC content already announced and a release slated for the XBOX One and PlayStation 4 in 2014, I’m excited to see some more maturity and experimentation as more development is released, because with what we have now, the game has the makings for a generic shooter. However, I’m hoping that more information regarding the development of this title will unveil some more eclectic, organic and original ideas never done before in any FPS.