It's Destiny day out here in video game land and while Game Rant was not fortunate enough to go hands-on with Bungie's latest release, we have collected some of the more interesting tidbits circulating around the Net. On top of that, Bungie was nice enough to release a fairly substantial Destiny gameplay video (seen above) that highlights the same Strike mission featured during their demo.
But first, what's new. While Bungie was apparently fairly reserved when it came to both story and PvP details, they were, for the first time, willing to give gamers their first substantial look at Destiny's gameplay.
In a way, Destiny struck most press members on-hand for the demo as an experience surprisingly reminiscent of Halo, albeit with its own quirks. For example, the A.I. of the two enemy factions featured in the demo — the Hive and the Fallen — drew more than a few comparisons to the various Halo classes (e.g. Grunt, Elite, Hunter, etc.). As the video shows, some enemies charge headfirst at the player, while others prefer to stick to cover, thereby presenting a varied selection of combat opportunities, both offensive and defensive.
Similarly, Destiny's arsenal, or what was on-hand for the demo, was said to have the unique feel of previous Bungie efforts — i.e. the weapons all had a tangible weight to them. Bungie has always nailed weapon design so that shouldn't come as a surprise, and considering the seemingly endless amount of weapon variations/loot that is reportedly floating around the world of Destiny that should make fans happy.
As far as the particular mission, called a Strike, is concerned, the experience was apparently fairly straightforward and linear. For Strikes, players must team up with 2 other players, either online friends or randomly matched players, to take on these instanced sections. In fact, Strikes are apparently the closest Destiny gets to an MMO-like experience, as most Destiny's gameplay elements, according to Bungie, strive towards a cooperative or competitive, DPS-focused feel. Take the enemy health bars for example, which, despite having that very MMO-esque representation of a physical bar floating above the enemy's head, actually tick down based on what body part is taking damage. That's just one of the many ways Bungie is apparently bridging the gap between the MMO and the FPS space.
Although attendees did not get to go hands-on with it, Bungie did show off a brief portion of Destiny's Patrol gameplay, which is the more free form, story-focused experience that makes up the bulk of the game. When on Patrol, players can do any number of things, from group up with other players for exploring, participate in public events, grind out some levels solo, or just wander around collecting loot. It seems like Patrols will be Destiny's bread and butter, and as a result Bungie is trying to keep many of that experience's secrets guarded.
That said, there are a few other elements worth noting:
- Double jumping is class-specific. Hunters have a traditional, jet boot-style double jump, Warlocks have a "floaty" effect, and the Titan has your standard jetpack.
- The magic-based abilities seen in the footage are called Focus powers. Players accumulate Focus as they kill and when a meter fills they can then unleash different abilities. There are apparently a variety of Focus powers available, including a protective shield, a devastating AOE attack, and an electric "blade."
- Guardian loadouts consist of three weapons (two standard and a heavy), a Focus power, and grenades.
- There is a TON of loot to collect both for player's Guardian and their weapons. Players can share loot across their own three Guardian classes, but there will be no online trading/selling at launch.
In addition to this latest tease for Destiny, Bungie also promises that the game will be playable at E3 2014. That same showing is also rumored to include more details about competitive PvP multiplayer, which thus far Bungie has been keeping relatively quiet about.
Luckily, Bungie has been very forthcoming about one of the more important Destiny details: its release date. We've known for quite some time that Destiny is slated for a September 9th release date on current-gen and last-gen platforms made by Sony and Microsoft — no PC release unfortunately — which gives gamers plenty of time to sort out their pre-order plans. In fact, popular UK retailer GAME has announced their own pre-order exclusive for Destiny: an upgraded version of the Sparrow speeder bike that can be seen in the trailer below.
We're sure more retailers will pop up with their own pre-order exclusives in the next few months, so keep an eye out for more news on that. But, regardless of retailer, we already know that all pre-order holders will gain access to the Destiny beta later this year.
What do you think of the latest Destiny details and gameplay footage? What about the game has you the most intrigued?
Destiny releases September 9, 2014 for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.