Although we have already detailed at length how Destiny's initial promise and finished product didn't fully align, that isn't stopping gamers from trying to uncover just what happened with Bungie's latest game. Some do it because they hoped the game would be better, while others find the story of a game changing its identity one year out from release fascinating.
Whatever the case, a new Destiny investigation has popped up that tries to make sense of the game's changes. Specifically, this YouTuber uncovers some surprising evidence that further suggests Bungie made some last minute changes to their game.
In the video above, coreRoss pores over the early Destiny marketing material, highlighting details that were part of Bungie's initial pitch but are not in the final game. For example, coreRoss discovers that Bungie's initial plan with weapons didn't require farming materials and it wasn't bound by a level restriction.
Other interesting tidbits from the video include a proposed progression of planets in the story, which may have been Earth, Venus, Mars, and then the Moon. This is obviously not the progression in Destiny's retail product, but a beta tester for the game also claimed that the Moon was the final area at one point in development.
There are also some shots from early trailers that reveal Mercury as an in-game area. It's possible that Mercury is part of an upcoming DLC expansion, but at one point in time Destiny was touting the planet as part of the core experience, and not just an area for The Crucible.
The video is an interesting look at how the marketing evolved over time, but for those who might want to watch a 17-minute video here's a solid overview of its content:
These are my main highlights but more in the video.
Out Here in the Wild - Official Destiny ViDoc
22 Aug 2013 - 1 year before release
0:38 "You can go from Earth to Venus to Mars to the Moon, to Saturn"
2:01 Thunder Lord. Talents points needed, different description and unlocks
4:13 Mercury is shown
Official Destiny Gameplay Reveal Video
3 Jul 2013 - 1 year before release
7:16 Weapons have no level requirement, only weapon levels. A weapon you get at level 1 is just as effective as a weapon at level 20. This means every weapon is a viable option. Meaning you can use any gun you prefer. Giving you a huge selection. Also this means you can receive amazing weapons even exotics throughout your playthrough from start to finish even on low levels, its a smart way to do loot.
7:15 Thunderlord. Glimmer, Weapon Kit and Talent Point needed for upgrade. No upgrade materials. Maybe get talent points for using the weapon? Much more interesting upgrades.
11:22 Talking to speaker. Different layout on the Tower, we see a different area behind the characters.
11:31 Queens brother asks, "Why is the city breathing down my neck", located on earth. Different voice actor? Seems like a different character too.
11:44 A view of Saturn's Rings rendered in game.
11:46 A ship with Dead Orbit logo.
Official Destiny E3 Gameplay Trailer 0:15 Larger view of tower, different layout. Tower has armed guards.
1:53 Saturn rendered in game (looks beautiful)
Destiny PlayStation 4 Official Announcement
20 Feb 2013 More than a year
1:11 Strike boss fight, room layout is different.
1:24 The Reef playable area. Fallen (guard) to the left, but player's do not have guns. Not under threat, a vender area similar to the Tower? Area is well polished, looks beautiful (will appear in DLC?)
Reveal Trailer - Official Destiny ViDoc: Pathways Out of Darkness
17 Feb 2013 - More than a year before release
0:59 Mobile App, New Chapter on Venus: Story
Book 1, Chapter 3
Gain Favor with the Queen
Venus, Shores of Time
"Help the Crow loot the Academy archive"
Each with chapters?
The Crow character was first mentioned in a Reddit post detailing an alternative story that was dropped. A new story was created.
1:19 Main Menu
-The City as Home location
-Chapter 3 Shores of Time
-Bounty with a One Week Cooldown
-Strike Random playlist
-Raid is Depth of Darkness, similar in name to the DLC name The Dark Below
-Faction Wars, PvP
3:11 Different tower layout, armed guards
3:24 The Reef, created in game. Fallen guard patrolling (a well polished area, more than a year before the games release)
3:42 Lush forest, unknown location. Player visible lower left (this area is not as polished)
Ultimately, we may never know what happened between Destiny's public unveiling in 2013 and its release in September of this year. Something clearly changed between then and now, but whether that was always part of Bungie's plan, or if some last minute changes forced them is hard to discern.
Personally, the game as it stands now feels like whole portions were gutted, and a ton of padding was put in its place. Using light to level up, requiring ascendant materials for gaining said light, and limiting specific portions of the game to once-a-week – it all seems designed to stretch things out.
Perhaps when the first DLC, The Dark Below, hits in December we will have a better idea as to Bungie's bigger plans. We know that the expansion includes new Strikes and a new Raid, as well as some new gear, but if it only adds back to the repetition that would be disappointing.
Were there any elements of Destiny that you were surprised to see not in the finished game? What do you think changed during development?