After leaving behind the Halo franchise that made them one of the top game developers on the planet, this fall Bungie will launch its next epic science fiction game franchise, Destiny. Or I should say “planned franchise.” The thought of the game not selling enough to spawn a series seems highly unlikely given the pedigree, but you never know. At any rate, Bungie has seven minutes of gameplay footage from Destiny, which you can see above.
Destiny is set hundreds of years into the future, after mankind has spread out throughout the solar system. Unfortunately, all of that was cut short by a mysterious event dubbed “the Collapse,” which damn near wiped out humanity. The few survivors live in Earth’s last city, sheltered under a massive alien sphere called “the Traveler.” It’s unclear so far if the Traveler is a ship or a being, but its presence allows the city’s defenders “to wield an unknown power” in defense of their home. Players will take the role of one of these Guardians, assigned to defend the last city against assorted nasty alien types who have infiltrated our home system and would like nothing more than to drop the “near” from mankind’s “near extinction.”
The footage looks fast-paced and fun, but you never can tell with a game until you actually get your hands on it. Destiny may be the first Bungie game I play all the way through, because I never could get into the Halo franchise, in spite of multiple tries. On paper it should have been right in my wheelhouse, but for whatever reason I just never cared much about Master Chief’s adventures. Destiny’s concept has me intrigued, and the mix of gunplay and powers makes me think of a first-person version of the Mass Effect games, with a dash or two of Borderlands thrown in for good measure.
Destiny is a bit of an experiment as well, since it’s a (deep breath) “massively multiplayer online action role-playing first-person shooter,” or just as a “shared-world shooter.” In essence, that means it’ll have the RPG elements many non-RPG games have been adding in recent years — the ability to advance and improve your character, lots of gear to upgrade, etc. — and it will include a multiplayer gameplay structure that falls somewhere between traditional MMOs and multiplayer FPS campaigns. You’ll get to choose from three character classes: Hunters (think Boba Fett or Han Solo), Warlocks (think Jedi), or Titans (think, well, Halo’s Master Chief). In addition to locations on Earth — including the ruins of the Russian Cosmodrome seen in the footage up top — the Guardians’ adventures will take them to the other formerly colonized worlds in our star system.
Destiny will colonize game shelves on September 9, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.