Bungie's next shooter is taking a dramatic and ambitious turn away from the standard first-person model we're used to. In our recent visit to Bungie's studios, we took a look at the upcoming persistent, open-world FPS, and gathered a few details on the backstory and gameplay. It's called Destiny, and it's definitely not what you expect.
Activision and Bungie have entered into a 10-year deal with the new IP, so the developer has every reason to go big. Destiny promises to be extensively larger than any project the developer has done before, and judging from what they've shown of this massive undertaking, we can't help but be incredibly excited. Here's everything we know about Destiny.
It takes place in the future
The events of Destiny won't take place in a faraway galaxy, but it will be set in a time far into the future. Far enough that human settlements on the planet Mars are considered ancient. Far enough that humanity's best days are behind it. Destiny picks up after a period of great war, in which the human race was nearly annihilated by an unknown aggressor. Luckily, a mysterious figure known as the Traveler came to the rescue and sacrificed himself to save humanity and repel the threat.
Now the Traveler's ship, called the Sphere, hangs in the sky and protects the last remaining city on Earth, granting power to the city's warriors--which is to say, you. As a Guardian, you'll have access to the Traveler's technologically advanced weapons and powers, and you'll use them to explore the hostile wastelands of the solar system. (The whole solar system? More on that soon...)
The world is big... really big
The setting of Destiny isn't confined to just one planet. In addition to a decrepit, post-war Earth, players will be able to travel to other planets and locations within the solar system. You'll be able to explore ancient human settlements on Mars, spelunk derelict ships adrift the rings of Saturn, and visit acid lakes on Venus.
Bungie even showed us some confounding images that were a little more out there, like a fleet of floating obsidian pyramids and a serene, grassy field split apart by trenches. Although we didn't get to see many of these locations in-game, the environments that were shown had impressive lighting and expansive vistas. Confined, linear environments appear to be out, and open areas, ripe for adventuring and eye-opening views seem to be in.
You'll create your own story
Bungie has placed a huge focus on the player's ability to choose their own path. Destiny's story was compared to a series of books, each with a beginning and end, that encompass an overarching primary narrative. Think Game of Thrones, except with spaceships and aliens instead of incest and dragons.
Though the details are vague, it seems Bungie wants players to create their own stories through interacting with the world, observing their environment, and engaging in intense action sequences. This is a stark contrast to Halo's style of storytelling, which asked players to follow a trail of breadcrumbs to advance the predetermined narrative. Adventure and discovery will dictate what you know about the world.
It's a "shared world shooter"
Destiny will have first-person shooter elements attached to a wide-open, persistent world, much like you would expect to see in an MMO. The entire game has been created with a co-op focus in mind, but not the make-an-Xbox-Live-party-and-join-my-game kind of co-op. Instead, think of it like a random encounter in Thatgamecompany's Journey.
As you embark on your adventure, you'll encounter other players in "public areas." They will seamlessly enter your world so you can join groups to tackle a raid event, travel together, or not even interact at all. Bungie has promised that the number of characters that will show up in your world is design controlled, so don't expect to see hordes of online players crowding up a combat zone like you would in an MMO. But they have also said that in social areas like The City, you'll be able to mingle with other players and gamble for gear.
You'll customize your own character
Destiny doesn't have it's own version of Master Chief. Instead, players create their own heroes, which they will grow through a persistent progression system. So far we've been shown three character classes players can choose from: Vanguard, Hunter, and Warlock. Each is equipped with abilities bestowed upon them by the Traveler.
The progression system hasn't been revealed as of yet, so we're curious to see if Bungie will integrate character levels like traditional RPGs. We do know that each character class will have specific armor types and be able to pick up various types of weapons.
Each class is unique
Though details are slim, we gathered the basic details on the Vanguard, Hunter, and Warlock classes. The Vanguard appears to be the heavy armor-bearing assault class that carries assault rifles and shotguns. From what we saw of the Hunter, the class wears a lighter armor and carries sniper rifles and SMGs. The Warlock harnesses the power of the Traveler, enabling him to blast enemies with magic-like fire abilities in addition to carrying intimidating hand-cannon pistols.
Bungie said that more character classes have yet to be revealed. Judging by the look of the character class' armor and abilities, we're wondering if the MMO's holy trinity (tank, healer, DPS) will have a place in Destiny's combat.
There are several enemy factions
You'll more than likely be facing off against half a dozen different enemy factions throughout your adventure. That's just based on the variety of enemies Bungie has already talked about. First, there was the armor-plated "war rhinos" called the Cabal. This faction carries massive shields, drive tanks, and crush their enemies with squad-deploying dropships.
Then there are the spider pirates called the Fallen, which you may recognize from the first released images of Destiny (see above image). Players will also encounter time-traveling robots called the Vex, and, of course, there will be some type of space zombies who cruise around the galaxy in mile-long tomb ships.
There'll be a ton of loot to hunt down
There's no telling if the game will play with random drops like you see in the Borderlands games, but players will be able to grab new and unique loot from raids and missions. Players can also customize their character's look with a variety of armor sets and weapons they purchase or find around the world.
The unique assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, and pistols you might find after raiding a Cabal stronghold have exotic looks and names. Some weapons have intimidating monikers such as Thorn or Pocket Infinity, while others take names like Super Good Advice. Bungie looks to be infusing a lot of personality into their equipment, no doubt in an effort to give a sense of ownership to the player's character.
Vehicles will be a big part of the gameplay
As we mentioned before, players will be able to travel from planet to planet, and the primary mode of transportation will be your own spaceship. There seem to be multiple ship classes. While describing player experiences, Bungie mentioned that one character earned his sleek scout class ship by competing in Destiny's multiplayer while another player earned his by completing a series of bounty hunting quests for an unknown Queen of the Reef.
Players were also described as being able to mount land-based vehicles like the hover bike (pictured above).
Bungie is creating a massive world with extensive lore, impressive environments, and intimidating enemies. And it's all going to be integrated into a sophisticated co-op system, with emergent gameplay and live events after release. Are you ready to jump into Bungie's next shooter? What are you excited about? Anything giving you pause? Spill it all in the comments below.
And if you want more on Destiny, check out our < a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/destiny-concept-art-analysis/" target="new">concept art breakdown and see our RadarReacts for the announcement.
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