Not only have PC gamers been left to deal with the sad news that Bungie’s new sci-fi FPS/RPG mash-up Destiny will only release on consoles, but Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners were also disappointed last year when it was confirmed that the game’s beta would be available on PS3 and PS4 first, with this PlayStation beta release month later confirmed as July 2014.
To herald the upcoming arrival of this beta, Sony has released a new featurette titled “Destiny: Everything You Need to Know,” or alternatively, “Destiny: Rewriting the FPS Rulebook,” which showcases some of the game’s more interesting gameplay elements. This includes optional random encounters with other players, the ability to double jump, and special abilities for each of the three available player classes.
Although we’re still hoping that Destiny will be a pleasant surprise, nothing in this featurette indicates that Bungie is “rewriting the FPS rulebook.” The variations on the double jump and the gunplay have been brought over from the Halo franchise, with several critics who previewed the game commenting on how much it felt like playing Halo. The Titan, Warlock and Hunter are essentially the same warrior, mage and rogue that have appeared in every RPG since RPGs began. Much of what’s been shown – especially the different classes’ special abilities that inflict high damage – looks strongly reminiscent of Borderlands.
The blending together of single player and multiplayer (something else that was done in Borderlands) also seems like it could potentially undermine Destiny‘s central premise that the player is the “Chosen One.” While running across other parties of heroes being controlled by other players is a cool idea, it’s somewhat at odds with the narrative that has been promised. It would be like playing Skyrim and meeting an entire group of Dovahkiins, all of whom think they are the savior that has been prophesied.
The main problem with Destiny right now is its marketing; Bungie is making lots of promises and then failing to back them up with anything concrete in what they’re showcasing. Ostensibly there’s nothing wrong with a game that simply takes the best elements of other games and blends them together, but if that’s what Bungie is doing then it’s a mistake to market Destiny based on claims of innovation.
Activision needs to find a better selling point for Destiny, and the publisher needs to do it fast; the game’s budget is estimated to reach a record-breaking $500 million, which means that an awful lot of copies will need to be sold (or a great many microtransactions made) just to break even.
Destiny releases September 9, 2014 for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.