Though ultimately we’re talking about a game about running around shooting things, it’s probably the biggest game release for a new IP, ever. It’s also the newest new IP (I’ll probably expand on that in a moment), it’s arguably the most anticipated game in recent memory (though GTA V and Diablo, among others, might disagree). And in a couple of ways, Destiny is also something of a grand experiment.

Release Date: August 9, 2014

Consoles: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Rating: T

First off, lets address the ‘green’ elephant in the room, the 500 Million dollar price tag for this new shiny franchise. Now, it’s been carefully worded that the cost is ‘developing and promoting’ so its inflated to cover all the advertising they’re doing, but that’s pretty absurd. This is part of what I was getting at with the experiment… though I suppose I could have just as easily said ‘gamble’. That’s a lotta shekels. It also says a lot about their intentions.

I mentioned this is the ‘newest new’ IP. Yes, new IP’s happen all the time, but the odds are stacked against them. Likewise big new titles do appear and stick, games like Borderlands are a good example, but it’s during that rarest of opportunities, the launch of new hardware, that a studio and their title have real shot to cement themselves into popular culture. A fine example of this was Bungie’s last offering, Halo, and it was probably the game that defined a generation. So they’ve got the pedigree and more combined experience than I’d care to quantifty, but nobody has ever put that much into anything, much less an unknown quantity without some market presence. This would be the gamble. A calculated risk really, and I think they know what they’re doing.

Taking place in a world where human civilization expanded until the bubble popped, the galaxy is filled with the ruins. Mankind now exists in a single city, protected by The Traveler, cosmic visitor and galactic body. Squatting above the last human civilization, the great spherical Traveler, once the source of our grand expansion, now protects what’s left of us as we try and take back what once was ours. The galaxy is filled with realms reclaimed by nature and alien races (who don’t think much of our kind). What follows is a world that is very much built upon the legacy of Halo, and looks it. Like Forerunners, Halo was a world changing event, shaping sci-fi shooting as we know it. Only fitting then that there be a resemblance, they share DNA. It also looks brilliant, but then, the bar is set fairly high and would we expect any less?

Details are still a bit thin on the ground, but the experience is meant to be very player defined. Choosing between three classes and three races, everything (they’re saying) is customizable. Owing at least some of its design to RPG elements, and some to the open and expansive realm of the MMO, loot and gear play a big roll, as does social interaction. Public events promise to transport players to major hub events that blend into the experience seamlessly, or not, as you like. Likewise skill trees and arsenal combinations are very personal affairs, customized to a particular set of tastes, this culminates in ‘Supers’ fantastic powers enabled and enhanced with time and effort. It’s just another example of something that sounds and feels new, one of many that I’m sure await once you dig into it.

Destiny, much like Project CARS did, doesn’t feel so much like a self contained portion of consumable game product, but more like a destination. With titles like these developers are putting up digital real estate and selling tickets to a massive persistent theme park (or, that’s the theory). And that persistence thing , as in, world changes over the course of the game, in more and more frequent intervals until It’s happening in real time. That is the direction we’re headed, and when the game can evolve and grow on the fly, people will come to it, not the other way around. That’s what Bungie and Activision would have us believe with Destiny, though just how this is implemented remains to be seen. With Destiny, they are trying to create something more than a brand, but a bright and shiny spot on the digital landscape. Call it a gamble, a calculated risk, social experiment, better believe there are a lot of eyes on Destiny, and there’s going to be a lot of hands on it too. Will yours?

Destiny, the next chapter in Bungie’s and game development’s history, is available now for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4.

Play it, and let me know what you think: put a mini review in the comments below!

 

A firm believer in "you have to get old, but you don't have to grow up," I've been an unabashed lover of nerdy things for a good long while and don't plan to stop anytime soon. With experience on both sides of the video game, both as a consumer and a producer, and a love of the written word, I've managed to combine all three right here with the Plug-in blog