It’s funny isn’t it? A game that was once shrouded in complete mystery and frustratingly secretive has finally come into the light, surprising even the most skeptic of gamers. Bungie has crafted quite the framework for a franchise that can potentially reshape the landscape of online shooters for this new and promising generation of powerful consoles. With its tight and responsive controls, an overarching story-line that resonates throughout the game, a dynamic yet seamless co-op experience, as well as an impeccable touch of polish, Destiny is looking to set a mark that won’t be easily surpassed. Now, I do understand that all of this may sound like pure hyperbole especially given the game is only in Beta form, but it’s not hard to see what Bungie is trying to do and just how well it’s working so far.
What is the go-to online shooter for this current generation? Is it Call of Duty? Is it Battlefield? Will be it Halo 5 when it launches next year? Or has it already arrived with Titanfall? Every game is different and there’s no doubt a scenario where all of the former are number 1 online shooters in someone’s book, but there’s going to be that one game that everyone will collectively play. It happens every generation; Halo 2 was the premier online shooter for its generation and Call of Duty owned the online space this past generation. I truly believe Destiny will be the next franchise to take the torch.
When you look at Destiny, it’s fairly easy to mistake it for a generic FPS with online aspects draped in a sci-fi setting. It’s the reason the game didn’t have many positive first impressions when it was first unveiled; it’s a huge universe that just cannot be summarized on a screenshot or a five-minute walk-through. You have to step into the world and take in the beautifully vast vistas. You have to lose yourself in the painstaking details of your guardian’s wares and the state of your ship. And you have to immerse yourself in the growing culture of dancing comically after a tough battle or having a sit-down with your fire squad as you plan your next assault. It’s a connected, living, breathing world that Bungie has constructed and you have to be there to experience it.
One of the first things that greet you when you start the Beta is the sweeping score by longtime Bungie composers Marty O’Donnell and Mike Salvatori. It welcomes you with a haunting sense of adventure and intrigue that just grabs you and never lets up. Halo fans should already be used to the great music in Bungie games and Destiny is no exception. This time, Marty O’Donnell is collaborating with the great Paul McCartney, who brought over his own bag of tricks including sounds and assets from Beatles album, Revolver.
I know it’s only a Beta. We’ve only received a small piece of the pie but it’s so reassuring that I wouldn’t be surprised if pre-orders take a dramatic hike between now and the end of August. It’s a game that looked skeptically ambitious at first but we’re only now seeing the seeds being planted. This is a game that will be sticking around for the long haul so get ready to start seeing Destiny stuff everywhere for a very long time. There is an almost unbreakable trust in Bungie’s pedigree and know-how that you can already bet the house that Destiny will be supported and updated relentlessly to ensure a lasting impact on this new console generation. It’s a tall order for Bungie but we can’t wait to see where they go with this.