With less than a month until the launch of Destiny, developer Bungie is likely in a furious race to the finish. As the company has said multiple times before, this is easily their most ambitious project to date, and getting to launch requires a monumental effort.
Still, while Bungie might be tweaking the finer points of Destiny right up till launch, the main product is seemingly complete. And in celebration of that, we have a launch trailer for the game above.
Although the trailer doesn't give too much away, it does highlight two of my personal favorite things about Destiny: the visuals and the music. Obviously, it is with a heavy heart that I bring up the music, considering Marty O'Donnell is no longer with Bungie, but even during the beta his work stood out to me as something pretty special.
Alongside the launch trailer, we also bring a hodgepodge of Destiny news focused on everything from the game's level cap to its raid system. The quotes come courtesy of Eurogamer, who sat down with Director of Production Jonty Barnes and Lead Concept Artist Jesse van Dijk during Gamescom last week.
Even though a lot of the interview covers features Bungie has detailed at length before, the developers did have a few new things to touch upon or tease. Barnes briefly mentions Nightfall Strikes but never actually explains what those might be. We know Strikes are instanced experiences meant for 3-player fireteams, but it's unclear how a Nightfall Strike might put its own spin on that idea. Besides perhaps being set at night.
The Bungie devs also briefly skirted around raids, which we know are a significant component of Destiny but have very little information about. Like Designer Luke Smith, Barnes and van Dijk stressed the difficulty of Destiny's raids and why they are built specifically for 6 friends (no matchmaking).
"When you think about raids, it's very much about playing different roles to try to get through. It's very difficult. But if you think about it in terms of two fireteams that are coordinating, the idea of six people coordinating with their different aspects, and the way they're designed - which you'll see later that I won't talk about - all those things combined made six right. Getting a group that's big enough to commit to spending a period of time until they were successful, rather than having somebody jump out and everyone have to struggle to get another player, was actually the sweet spot. It was very much about that three-player dynamic I described and the sweet spot of doing raids with six. More isn't always better."
Other highlights of the interview include potential teases for Mercury, a planet that is featured in the Crucible multiplayer but is not part of the campaign. When talking about Mercury the devs are careful to say the locale is not included with Destiny's Day 1 content, leading us to believe it might join the fold further down the road. We know that Bungie already has at least one expansion planned for Destiny, The Dark Below, so perhaps Mercury is part of a future piece of DLC.
And finally, Barnes and van Dijk further explained the soft level cap of 20, which can be extended through Motes of Light. As they reveal, going beyond 20 is about making a well-rounded Guardian, fitting their abilities for a variety of situations.
"You get towards 30 through Light. But it also changes in the kinds of things you get. You go broader when you think about the arsenal you have, or the armor you choose to pick. You get very specialized in terms of the damage types you want, because you're going to need to care a lot more about, have I got a real good thermal weapon for going into this thing that's one of the nightfall things I'm not allowed to talk about"
All told, there's clearly a lot to cover for Destiny, but it seems like Bungie has done a solid job thanks to their Alpha and Beta tests. It wasn't really until we want hands-on with the game that it's true intent came into focus, but now that we have, and have heard more about systems like raids, we're eager to play more.
Do you plan on buying Destiny? What about Destiny are you most excited to learn more about on September 9th?
Destiny releases September 9, 2014 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina for more Destiny updates.