The games industry is always fickle, but in recent times several companies have done the unthinkable. The first was the shakeup of Infinity Ward which saw a large number of key staff, including Jason West and Vince Zampella, leaving to form Respawn Entertainment who's shooter Titanfall was released recently on XBox and PC and was published by Electronic Arts. Then there was Insomniac Games who have always had Sony platform exclusivity on their titles but who just released the multiplatform Fuse, and have Sunset Overdrive going exclusively to XBox One soon.
While those two changes were massive for the industry there is one that tops those. That was the news that Bungie, the creator of Halo on Microsoft's consoles, was going multiplatform with Destiny. The game is due out in September 2014, being published by Activision, and is set to hit both Sony and Microsoft consoles simultaneously.
Destiny should be one of 2014's biggest games.
In Destiny you are a Guardian of the last city on Earth, able to wield incredible power. Explore the ancient ruins of our solar system, from the red dunes of Mars to the lush jungles of Venus. Defeat Earth's enemies. Reclaim all that we have lost. Become legend.
Destiny was initially touted as a MMOFPS however Bungie have since shied away from calling it that in recent times, and perhaps rightfully so as the game has multiple game modes and does not have a monthly subscription as was rumoured some time ago. While this game is indeed a FPS it does have multiplayer components with both co-op and PvP matches available and while you can create a squad of three Guardians in the main Fireteam co-op mode, you will also encounter other Guardians in the world, often needing to work together to take down larger enemies.
Visually Destiny impresses.
As with many good games these days Destiny allows you to customise your character not only visually but also with race (either Humans, Awoken, and Exo), gender (see, it's not too hard Ubisoft!), and also with different armor and weapons which affects your abilities within all modes of the game including campaign, cooperative, social, public, and competitive multiplayer. That customisation starts with the choice of three classes - Titan, Hunter or Warlock. The Titan class built the wall (no, not the same one as that in Game of Thrones!) and protected those behind it and specialises in heavy weapons, the Hunter Class once prowled the wilderness and wastelands and took big risks for big rewards similar to a bounty hunter while the Warlock class have studied the Traveler and mastered arcane energies and are similar to wizards or magicians.
Earth has been destroyed by war.
Just after the 2014 E3 Show Bungie held an Alpha test for the game which we participated in and it was a "breakthrough" moment for us. Prior to being hands-on with the title our viewpoint was somewhat mixed - just another generic shooter we though. But boy were we wrong. The world is gorgeous at every turn, enemies are numerous and pretty tough, while playing online provides a seamless, entertaining, experience. As quote on the Playstation Blog (read here the developers have stated that "We no longer have mission designers, but world designers, instead" and that is true as this game doesn't contain linear missions, but a large open-world map that contains numerous tasks to complete littered all around the world.
As with many games in this new generation Bungie are exploring options for a Smartphone App which will allow gamers to keep up to date with what is happening in the persistent world, including what your friends are up to. Expect to hear more about this close to release.
Where Microsoft certainly are beaten is with the exclusive content with Activisionand Bungie confirming that Sony consoles (the game is also hitting PS3) will have exclusive content, and also get first access to the Beta which begins on July 17, about a week before Microsoft consoles can join the fun.
Destiny is going to hit shelves on September 9.
From a technical standpoint Destiny looks like an gorgeously large title with a range of locations on offer. The PS4 version of the game will run at 1920 x 1080p with a target 30fps (and indeed with the additional GPU power for the XBox One since the removal of Kinect that system will also have the same specs). Bungie has also confirmed in a tweet that the PS4 is the lead platform for development of the game and given the number of games in which the PS4 beating out the XBox One technically, we may see a slight advantage to Sony's console.
Finally the developers confirmed in March this year that they are using Faceware's motion capture technology which Bungie previously used in Halo: Reach but has been used in other games such as NBA 2K14, God of War Ascension and Killzone Shadow Fall as well as feature films such as Godzilla and The Wolfman and TV series BoardWalk Empire.
Prior to playing the Alpha version of this game in June, to be honest, we were a little lukewarm on this title, but after playing the game for quite a few hours during the Alpha trial our anticipation has skyrocketed. We'll be keen to play the Beta which commences on July 17 for those that pre-order the game, but even now we can't wait to see the final game on September 9th.
Released in June 2014 this is the "Official E3 Gameplay Experience Trailer" which gives a great idea of what to expect.
Below is the "Official Destiny Strike Gameplay: The Devil's Lair" trailer and it's pretty impressive...