Will Destiny affect the video game industry as much as Halo? “Yes, definitely. We are going to advance the genre.” says Bungie COO Pete Parsons.
Bold words. Still, if a company could make lightening strike twice its Bungie. Destiny’s success (or failure) is going to hinge on its community and Bungie are experts at growing and nurturing a loving (and active) fan base. This time, they have the added bonus of Activision (with its bags of money and huge success of the newly created Skylanders universe) backing them. You’d be crazy to think they won’t succeed. The reality is, they cannot afford to let it fail.
Destiny is ambitious. This much is obvious. A constantly on-line, shared world FPS with an easy learning curve for newcomers but deep enough for the old hands, that features emergent game play, loot drops and travel from areas of a future Earth to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Oh, and it’s going to be on current-gen too. Did I mention that it’s a decade long cycle, featuring biannual sequel releases with major DLC drops in between? That too. Given Bungie’s history, you can safely bet on seeing tie in novels, comics, figures, anime films – the works. This has to be huge.
Bungie have stated that they see their new franchise as the next Star Wars. I’m going to tell you know – I’m excited. This is the kind of venture that can only be achieved in the video game medium and if, IF, Bungie pull it off there’s a good chance they’ll have a game changer on their hands. Again. As a 30-year-old gamer I’ve grown up the emergence and maturing of video games and with the Star Wars movies, games and novels being the greatest thing in my childhood (then becoming one of the biggest let-downs!) I’ve always been mesmerized by fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time. All of these things have been a huge influence in my life. Destiny looks like it’s going to bring all of this together and take it to the next level.
We’ve all had that moment in Halo multiplayer where the shit really hits the fan. You’re frantically escorting your team member or flag across the map, suddenly to find yourself ambushed. Shit. You try to take a few down, jumping out-of-the-way of gunfire, looking for an escape. Suddenly, a warthog charges into your enemies from over a ridge – salvation! It felt like a lifetime but only 5 seconds of intense gameplay carnage has passed. Imagine THAT as the single-player in Destiny – it’s what Bungie are aiming for. The campaign is geared towards a co-op experience, even playing solo, as other players can drop into your game at any time to get you out of a fix. Imagine Dark Souls where everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Details are thin on the ground at the moment and this has caused disappointment in some quarters. Can you blame Bungie? Sure, it would have been great to see some in-game screenshots and footage but this is still a long way off. At this point Bungie and Activision will manage the information flow exactly how they want. Aspects of Destiny were leaked well before Bungie were ready and they won’t want that to happen again. Like I said before, this “Star Wars surpassing saga” is “too big” to fail.
What’s clear is that we’re in for a hell of a ride. Bungie are aiming for a true next-generation experience, the like we’ve never seen before (don’t be surprised to see the current-gen version disappear or become much lower key as Activision have stated Destiny won’t be released until 2014) and if you were never a fan of theirs or of Halo – keep your mind open. Bungie are taking a massive leap with this but believe it’s their Destiny to succeed. Will you take the plunge with them?
– Dave Green ( @davidpgreen83 )