Now that Titanfall is officially here and first-person shooter fans have been battling in and out of mechs for a few weeks, it’s time to start looking forward to the next highly-anticipated new IP in the shooter genre. As the days continue to count down to the planned summer beta of Bungie’s upcoming sci-fi FPS, Destiny, we’re likely to hear more details about the cross-platform game.
As hype continues to build for Destiny — thanks to claims like Activision’s (the game’s publisher) that it will become the best-selling new IP in history — the hybrid action RPG/shooter continues to sound more and more ambitious. We’re not saying that the game won’t be a massive hit, but Destiny certainly will need to feature a lot of unique additions to the genre to stand out from the current pack. Bungie thinks that the character customization system is one of the many areas where the game will raise the bar for the entire industry.
Customizing an avatar is nothing new to gamers, but Bungie plans to turn the customization up to 11 by offering an ambitious (to say the least) number of skins, armor, weapons, and other items to mix and match. The company’s technical art lead, Scott Shepherd, spoke about the growing nature of the Destiny character creation system at one of yesterday’s GDC panels.
“We’ve seen the system get better and better the more content we add to it. This bodes well for a franchise we want to expand on for years and years.”
Shepherd explained that each character’s body is broken into four armor slots: head, chest, arms, and legs. Naturally, players will collect upgrades to equip in each of these slots as they progress through the game. The art team made it a point to combine functionality and aesthetic appeal with each piece of armor they created. Put simply, taking the time to upgrade your armor will not only make your character stronger, but also make you look way cooler.
The look and feel of the unique armor for each class will vary based on that class’ theme. The Hunter armor will reflect their scavenger lifestyle with capes torn to scraps and hazmat suit artifacts. The Warlocks will hide their armor beneath robes or cloaks. Lastly, the heavily-armored Titan class will wear tight-fitting suits of gear inspired by medieval armor.
The nearly limitless amount of customizations are a result of the mix-and-match approach to gear. By the time the game launches, players will be able to combine different gear to build the armor set of their dreams and then paint it up to their liking with the upcoming extensive decal and color dye system. With the help of those tools, more artistic players will be able to give their armor a custom flair to stand out in the world.
The ability to appear as a one of a kind character in a massive first-person shooter world is pretty appealing. Although not everyone comes to shooters for the role-playing features, it seems undeniable that they are becoming an important facet of the new generation of shooters. Earning XP, leveling up, and unlocking new weapons are already the favorite part of games like Halo 4, Titanfall, and Call of Duty for many players. Incorporating an RPG’s long-standing tradition of upgrading armor and wardrobe seems like the next logical addition.
Are you excited for the character customization options in Destiny or are you more excited for the game’s combat mechanics? Sound off in the comments.
Destiny releases September 9, 2014 for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.