For a developer that has amassed a considerably large fan base, developer Bungie has done an outstanding job of keeping quiet about their forthcoming project Destiny. Outside sources, on the other hand, have not been as kind to Bungie, revealing many key elements of their highly anticipated project with publisher Activision.
At several points throughout this and last year there have been leaks ranging in severity, but most of them have been extremely cryptic in nature, and failed to reveal anything substantial about the game. The most recent leak, however, nearly blows the lid off Destiny and was complete with early looks at concept art for the game. Thankfully, as a show of good faith, or maybe because they felt it was time, Bungie has come out to reveal even more official Destiny concept art, which further fleshes out some details from the leak.
Since most of the information comes by way of an ad agency document, which ended up in the hands of IGN, the wording is focused more on selling the game as a product and not necessarily detailing its many features. Nevertheless what is contained within the document sounds intriguing.
First up is a pretty detailed account of the game world, which focuses on Earth several hundred years from now, an Earth that sits in the shadow of an enormous circular spaceship called 'The Traveler.'
“Our story begins seven hundred years from now in the Last City on Earth, in a Solar System littered with the ruins of man’s Golden Age. A massive, mysterious alien ship hangs overhead like a second Moon. No one knows where it came from or what it’s here for, but only that it’s our protector. Meanwhile, strange, alien monsters creep in from the edge of the universe, determined to take Earth and the Last City. We are young ‘knights’ tasked with defending the remains of humanity, discovering the source of these monsters and — eventually — overcoming it.”
IGN suggests that based on the major "sales pitch" of the game that Destiny would have a much broader appeal than Halo. Moreover, the game's universe and set-up as an ongoing series is intended to invoke comparisons to Star Wars. Bungie's Jason Jones even calls it a "mythic adventure."
As far as the gameplay is concerned, there's still quite a bit of mystery on that front but the document does suggest rumors of Destiny being an MMO might prove true. After that rumor surfaced Bungie dismissed it, but at the very least there seems to be some sort of cooperative element to the proceedings. Both this document, which uses the phrase "social at its core," and an earlier Destiny leak both cite gameplay that evokes comparisons to an MMO, so we're not quite sure what to think.
It’s also worth noting that Destiny — thought to initially be a code name or placeholder — may, in fact, end up being the title of the first game in the series, as a new image and password-protected URL suggest. Moreover, that image (seen above) makes mention of the PS3, even though Activision's deal with Bungie — the one leaked after the legal battle between Activision and ex-Infinity Ward members Jason West and Vince Zampella hit a fever pitch — revealed Destiny would be an Xbox 360 and Xbox 360-successor exclusive for the first two titles. Perhaps a deal has been worked out with Sony to allow Destiny to release in closer proximity to the Xbox release than we were initially led to believe.
And then, of course, there are the images, which have a very distinct art style to them — one that is unlike anything we have seen from Bungie, or arguably any developer, for that matter.
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There are still some Halo-y details in the game's concept, and a few of the character designs are reminiscent of Star Wars, but ultimately this game looks rather unique. And if these images are meant as inspirations for game, it's hard to even tell what genre Destiny will fit into.
With more questions raised than answers delivered, what we do know is that the four main games in the Destiny series are still planned for 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 releases, with "expansion" titles planned for each intermittent year all the way up to 2020. It's certainly an ambitious plan, but apparently Bungie has it all worked out.
Though it has yet to be confirmed, it is also believed that Destiny will receive the Spike VGA reveal treatment when their 10th annual awards show airs December 7th. So stick tuned for (hopefully) more information then.
What do you think of the first extensive look at Destiny? How does the game world and potentially MMO gameplay sound to you?