First-person shooters have become the norm in an industry that’s hungry for something fresh and new, but Bungie is aiming to innovate the all too familiar genre in a big way with Destiny. One way that the developer and publisher Activision plan on doing this is by intricately weaving multiplayer into the core gameplay, and while that's an interesting prospect the game will also feature a standard competitive multiplayer mode that falls in line with other shooters.
One of the main appeals of Destiny is the campaign, but Bungie is aiming to recreate the adrenaline fueled shoot 'em up moments it established with the Halo franchise. This mode is titled Crucible and it interacts with the main story by allowing players to take their created characters onto the battlefield and pit them against others in a heated war.
The demo presented to us at E3 kicked off by allowing those entering the impending fray to choose their class, weapons, and abilities. After selecting a class (I went with the Warlock) players are sent into a standard lobby for some 6-on-6 combat. The one odd thing about this lobby was that it used a cursor that resembled a mouse's arrow and allowed players to go over the tags of those waiting on the match.
There were two maps playable in the demo: one took place on earth, while the other shipped gun-toting heroes to the moon. Capture the points (rebranded as Control) was the mode of choice, and once Destiny booted up I found myself in a rundown factory of sorts that had been completely leveled by some unknown force — leaving nature to slowly begin taking it back. It was filled with small spaces and enclosed areas that made it perfect for camping or obtaining cover in the middle of a firefight.
While this location was fun for the close-quarters combat is pushed on users, the real treat came from venturing to a map located on the moon. That's right, players will engage in lunar warfare within the Crucible game mode. Ditching the cramped layout of the aforementioned Earth-based war zone, the surface of the moon is much more vast and allows players to hop into vehicles that are laying about the area. There are also bases scattered about that will gave those on foot a place to hide from the player-controlled machines and turrets that are eager to vaporize them.
If all the vehicles are taken, Destiny will allow users to summon their own personal vehicle. This ride resembles the Landspeeder from Star Wars (dubbed the Shrike) and it allows gamers to zip around the map at blistering speeds. The only drawback is that it can't fire weapons, so mounted players are simply speeding targets for enemy players on foot ready to unleash a barrage of lead and bad intentions on the vehicle.
The purpose of selecting these two levels for the demo was obvious: Bungie wanted to showcase the variety in level structure and scale. The devs wouldn't talk too much about how many additional maps would ship with the final game later this September, but assured me that there would be an ample amount of additional battlefields revealed at a later date.
While the maps themselves and the gist of the Control game mode were made immediately apparent, the special powers of each class weren't explained with all that much detail. As I previously mentioned, the character I played with (and managed to rack up a nice 12.0 K/D ratio with one round) was the Warlock. I was able to equip an assault rifle with additional fire damage to my hand-picked warrior, and there were several powers mapped to the L1 and R1 buttons of the PS4 controller.
I could instantly disintegrate foes with a force-like push or launch a purple, energy-emitting grenade that would drain the life force out of anyone that walked within its radius. There are plenty of other armaments and abilities that can be unlocked and equipped as well, which has the potential to really change up the experience from other entries in the genre. While the multiplayer demo was limited, it's just a glimpse at the stockade of content that awaits.
Those that are familiar with standard online shooters will feel right at home within Destiny's Crucible mode, but it's only the tip of the iceberg that awaits fans in the full game. Stay tuned to Game Rant for more news on the co-op aspects of Destiny.
Destiny will arrive on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4 on September 9, 2014.
Follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.