Things We’re Stoked For: Bungie’s Destiny – By Gavin Muirhead

After years of patiently waiting, Bungie has another super-game on the way, Destiny. Will this be the next Halo? We hope.

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The world of online gaming has about five months left to enjoy life as it currently sits, once Bungie and Activision release Destiny for the Xbox Infinity and PS4 the world will flip upside down and Orcs will rain from the heavens, Cats and dogs will be friends, and the USA will have a balanced budget… Ok, maybe I’m dreaming on that part.

What is most certainly, and thankfully, not a dream is the fact that Bungie has spent the better part of the last three years working on its follow up to arguably the best gaming franchise of this generation – Halo Editor’s note: Not true, it’s easily a battle between Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto, Legend of Zelda, and Bioshock. Halo, as a matter of fact, doesn’t even crack the top ten, but, I digress, back to your article.

Halo, we all know it, and we love it, and constantly wish for more. When Bungie announced that it was stepping down from the Halo world and    focusing on other things in 2009, after the release of Halo: Reach, gamers the world over freaked out. Myself included. Bungie was able to bring an amazing world to life in Halo, and when they announced their involvement coming to an end and it was being passed on to 343 and Microsoft, we collectively thought – “you’ll be back.”

Back they are. No, not with another Halo title. This year we will finally get our hands on the hugely anticipated Destiny. Set in a post-apocalyptic time on Earth, Destiny brings the typical “save the world” game to new heights through a massive and self adapting world that can literally change at will and do things the developers wouldn’t even control. I like to call it a First Person, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Shooter Game.

From early views it seems to combine a huge, highly adaptable, infinitely  adapting planets based in our solar system – Venus, Earth, Mars, and The Moon. Each planet brings different challenges and environments, and a myriad different races of alien and human beings, with The Moon being a part of “The Forbidden Zone”, a sort of no-man’s land of danger and intrigue. Like Burt Reynold’s mustache.

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As a Guardian, you are tasked with protecting the last bit of human Earth left. The survivors of Earth have taken refuge under a mysterious object known as “The Traveler” that hangs shallow in the  sky above a city built beneath it. Legend says The Traveler sacrificed itself to save the people of Earth, and as it died it froze in time just above the Earth, where it remains as a shield for the last bastion of humanity’s saftey.

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As mankind has been reduced to a shadow of its former glory, our history left scattered across the solar system like ruins of an ancient empire and unknown enemies closing in from all angles, our only chance for survival is to fight. The Guardians are exactly that, heroes and warriors tasked with the ensured survival and rebuilding of mankind. You choose your class of warrior out of the three launch classes – Warlock, Titan, and Hunter – each with unique abilities ranging from tactical advantages, to wielding the mystical powers of the Traveler itself.

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Depending on your play-style, and your background in gaming, you may choose to be a Warlock and exploit the knowledge of the Traveler they’ve gained over countless years of study and practice in whatever the Traveler possesses. Warlock doesn’t sound like your style? The Titan seems to be the obvious choice for those who like to ‘Spray an Pray’ with the best of them. Like the good old days of Halo, built tough with the heart of a true warrior, dying for your cause is all in a days work.

“What if I don’t like either of those styles?” you passionately bemoan from behind your monitor, gripping your juice box, or whatever liquid sustenance you require. Have no fear, the Hunter is here. The Hunter class seems to cater to the “Assassins Creed” crowd, creep around and play the side of the “Good/Bad Guy” to meet your objectives, things are not always cut and dry, wrong and right, you walk the line and live in the grey-areas to ensure the survival of the human race.

The Guardians seem solid at this point, which means that only a solid group of evil doers can be queued up and ready to rip apart any human in their path. Keeping with the Bungie theme of obvious Halo inspiration, let me introduce The Fallen and Cabal.

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The Fallen are an obvious homage(Ed note: Lazy repeat) to The Covenant of Halos’ past, vocal and often clumsy, the Dreg are the general enforcer of The Fallen, and the only ones with two arms, while all other Fallen races have four. Leading t The Captains, a Fallen Captain is a formidable opponent, with the attitude of a Roman gladiator  and the desire to crush all who are seen as beneath them, they live to ensure Earth falls into the hands of the Fallen.

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Remember “The Flood” from our beloved Halo? The Cabal seem to fit that bill pretty well, even though it is still early and we are five months from release – the information Bungie is slowly leaking out gives us more and more hope of an interplanetary disease race that destroys and devours everything it comes in contact with.

As time goes by we will be updating everything with new information, and images from the upcoming E3 conference.

At such an early time in the life of Destiny, we still don’t know as much as we would like too, and have yet to see any official game play footage outside of the snips shown in February at the half-assed PS4 debut, but that doesn’t really matter now does it?

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Bungie is the type of studio that puts 130% into a project, building dream worlds that are stunning to behold and even more captivating to explore and interact with. Activision, on the other hand, has been known to pump out Call Of Duty games at record paces, which can be disheartening for purists like myself who think greatness takes time. Luckily for us, Activision is just publishing the game, and does not have any hands in development or design at all. Bungie will retain all the rights to this game, its property, characters, everything will remain in the capable hands of Bungie Studios. Where Halo went to Microsoft in the end, and ultimately into the hands of 343 from there. Bungie seems to have learned its lesson from its previous relationship with Microsoft, and will keep Destiny all to itself – as it rightfully should.

Keep it going Bungie, we will be watching you.

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