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Destiny

2014.0909, 2014.0911 (JP )
Developer: Bungie Software
Publisher: Activision (WW), Sony Computer Entertainment (JP)


A senior Demonware employee recently participated in Bungie Day and wrote a blog post (since removed) about his hands-on time with Destiny itself, Superannuation found. The employee described a meeting in a theater to discuss "game story, factions, art, engineering, tool chain, graphics, audio, player investment mechanisms, player progression, UI, and web and mobile apps." And then he played Destiny.

"The game was up and down a lot, playing in a team of 3 we did manage to experience entering a zone to find other players already taking on the bad guys, it's cooperative so we helped out (mostly [name removed], I just died) before both groups went their separate ways," the employee wrote. "Which is a pretty cool experience, making you feel you are part of a much larger populated world.

"At the end of the day I was excited about the game, I like the feel of being in a large world with different destinations and the interactions along the way. It actually brought back a sense of exploration I recall from playing [Elite] many years ago, although there was no opportunity to shoot aliens in the face in Elite. I'm not fully sold on the appeal of being able to change the colour of a weapon, but I guess it works in China, and customization and individual identity is a big theme for the game."

The employee boiled down general comments from other attendees to, "It's still quite like Halo," and, "There is a lot of work to be done."


Bungie has emphasized that the universe of Destiny will be "alive." Events may happen in-game that are not necessarily controlled or planned by the developer, which will help to create a dynamic developing experience for Bungie and a dynamic playing experience for gamers. The game's style has been described as a first-person shooter that will incorporate massively multiplayer online game (MMO) elements, but Bungie has avoided defining Destiny as a traditional MMO game. Instead, the game has been referred to as a "shared-world shooter," as it lacks many of the characteristics of a traditional MMO game. For instance, rather than players being able to see and interact with all other players in the game or on a particular server—as is the case in many conventional MMO games—Destiny will include on-the-fly matchmaking that will allow players to see and interact only with other players with whom they are "matched" by the game.

Destiny will incorporate a new game engine that allows global illumination and real-time dynamic lighting to occur together. In addition, Bungie's goal is that Destiny will natively render graphics at 1080p on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Although, it was recently confirmed by Bungie that the Destiny Beta for Xbox One will not be running at 1080p, their goal is to have that version 1080p by launch. The PS4 Destiny Beta will be running in 1080p. An innovation in Bungie's "hopper" technology, which has been the backbone for Halo's matchmaking system, will allow better player matchmaking in order to create a more natural experience in either cooperative or competitive multiplayer modes.

Players will be given the opportunity to create a character, choosing both a race and a class. Unlike choosing a race, choosing a class has a massive effect on how Destiny is played and on character development. Each class has its own 'focus', which is a special ability that can be used in co-op missions and competitive matches to turn the tides in the player's favour. These focuses' abilities can be offensive, defensive, or buffing (for the player's three-man 'fireteam'). The most effective ability of a focus is called a 'super,' which is a skill move that a Guardian can use in battle. Each super has an upgradeable skill tree. Based on the Destiny Reveal ViDoC, it appears players will have the ability to create multiple characters of different species and classes.

Premise

Destiny is set seven hundred years into the future in a post-apocalyptic setting following a prosperous period of exploration, peace, and technological advancement known as the Golden Age. In a universe where humans have spread out and colonized planets in the Solar System, an event known as "the Collapse" saw the mysterious dissolution of these colonies, the end of the Golden Age, and mankind teetering on the brink of extinction. The only known survivors of the Collapse are those living on Earth, who were saved by "the Traveler," a white, spherical celestial body whose appearance centuries before had enabled humans to reach the stars. The Traveler now hovers above the last safe city on Earth, and its presence allows the Guardians — the defenders of the City — the ability to wield an unknown power, only referred to as "The Light."

Upon mankind's first attempt to repopulate and reconstruct after the Collapse, it is discovered that hostile alien races have occupied mankind's former colonies and civilizations and are now encroaching upon the City. The player takes on the role of one such Guardian, and is tasked with reviving the Traveler while investigating and destroying the alien threats before humanity is completely wiped out.

Characters

Destiny will center on the journey of the Guardians, the last defenders of humanity, set to protect Earth's last city. Guardians will be divided into three distinct races: Humans, Awoken, and Exo. Humans are described as being relatable, tough, and uncomplicated. Bungie drew its inspiration for the Human race from the military, and the character designs and aesthetics of the Spartans present in their Halo franchise. Awoken, described as exotic, beautiful, and mysterious, were inspired by fictional depictions of elves, vampires, ghosts, and angels. Exo are described as being sinister, powerful, and tireless. Exo were inspired by the undead, Halo's Master Chief, and the titular character of The Terminator. The playable races will be purely cosmetic and will have no effect on the game mechanics of Destiny.

Players will also be able to choose a "class" to go alongside their race. There are three classes available to players in Destiny: Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans. Hunters are a reconnaissance class meant to be reminiscent of the classic "bounty hunter." Bungie cites as influences Star Wars's Han Solo and classic characters from old Western films such as Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name. Warlocks combine weapons with special powers from "the Traveler," and are meant to be a form of "space wizard." The Warlock class is influenced by the Star Wars series's Jedi Knights, The Lord of the Rings series's Gandalf, and The Matrix series's Morpheus. Titans, which favor heavy weapons and melee attacks and are intended to be reminiscent of the classic "future soldier," were inspired by Bungie's own Master Chief from Halo, Stormtroopers from Star Wars, and other "space marines" from science fiction. The players will be accompanied by Ghosts, a robot AI voiced by Peter Dinklage.

Throughout the game, players will have to combat aggressive aliens who have occupied the Solar System. There are four separate races in the game, each occupying different planets. The Fallen are an insectoid race of nomads who scavenge ruined settlements on Earth, the Moon, and Venus for resources. The Hive are a macabre race of ancient aliens who have created massive underground settlements beneath Earth and the Moon's surface. The Vex are semi-organic androids who are attempting to seize control of Venus and Mars. Finally, the Cabal are a military-industrial complex of massive amphibians who have established massive fortifications on Mars. Every race utilizes different strategies and weapons in combat. The Fallen posses cloaking and short-range teleportation technologies to increase their mobility. The Hive use superior numbers to overwhelm their opponents in close quarters while more elite units attack from a distance. The Vex utilize hard-light shields and teleport units of infantry into the battlefield en-masse. The Cabal rely on heavy armor, ballistic shields, and jet packs to combat players. While all races are hostile to players, they can also be seen attacking one another in game for dominance over the planet.

Development

The first known reference to Destiny was shown in Bungie's 2009 game Halo 3: ODST, in which a sign on a wall read "Destiny Awaits" and showed a picture of Earth with a mysterious orb floating nearby. Though several vague statements by Bungie employees in interviews and presentations from 2010 through 2011 were interpreted to be Destiny references, the next overt references to Destiny were not shown until Bungie's August 2011 20th anniversary documentary, O Brave New World, in which appeared several early environment renders, an environment editor named "Grognok," and a brief shot of actors performing a scene with motion capture equipment. At that time, the game was still known by its original code name Project Tiger, a term used by Bungie co-founder Jason Jones when discussing the game in August 2011. The game later became known by its working title Destiny.

On May 21, 2012, a publishing contract between Bungie and Activision was published by the Los Angeles Times. The contract originally had been entered into evidence under seal in Activision's lawsuit against former Infinity Ward employees Jason West and Vincent Zampella, but was later unsealed by the judge in that case. The contract outlined an agreement between Bungie and Activision to develop and publish, respectively, four Destiny games, with the first to be released in the second or third quarter of 2014.

Initially, claims made by Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick suggested that the development budget of Destiny was around $500 million; however, it was subsequently denied by Bungie's COO Pete Parsons, who stated in an interview that the game's development cost is not even close to the bloated estimate.

The first public details of Destiny were leaked in November 2012, revealing concept art and plot details. Bungie supplemented the leak with the release of further details, whilst expressing regret that details of an upcoming video game had once again been revealed before their planned release.[30] In describing Destiny, Bungie's lead writer Joseph Staten stated that the studio was approaching the game with the intention of "building a universe" that would "take on a life of its own." Further information became available in February 2013, when Bungie released a video documentary revealing information on Destiny and some of the core ideas behind the game, including the company's "seven pillars" philosophy, identifying the seven underlying elements of the early development process that they adopted to make the game appeal to as wide an audience as possible, with particular emphasis on making the game accessible to casual, novice gamers and dedicated fans of the genre alike. The game was first confirmed to be released on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 at the PS4 reveal event on February 20, 2013. Bungie also revealed that both the PS3 and PS4 versions will receive exclusive content. They later confirmed that the game will be released on Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Also revealed were plans to incorporate social media into Destiny, allowing players to remain connected to one another even when offline. With the in-game universe being in a state of perpetual change, Bungie is exploring the potential of using a mobile phone application to update players about new quests and inform them as to what their friends are doing in-game.

On October 1, 2013, Bungie and Activision announced that players who pre-order Destiny on any platform at select retailers will receive an exclusive nine-digit code to gain access to the beta version of the game. Additional beta codes were also sent out randomly on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter during the week starting on October 20. A total figure of 4,638,937 unique players participated in the game's beta, according to Activision.

On March 20, 2014, it was announced that Bungie would use Faceware's motion capture technology on Destiny. On April 11, 2014, Bungie terminated the employment of its long-time composer and audio director, Martin O'Donnell. Initially fans were concerned that the absence of Martin O'Donnell would affect the in-game music of Destiny, however, Pete Parsons of Bungie later confirmed that Destiny's music was already complete and that O'Donnell's absence would have no effect on the development nearing its completion.

At E3 2014 on June 9, Bungie announced an alpha version of the game for PS4, which was open from June 12 to 16. On June 17, 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment announced that Destiny will be released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan, meaning that the game won't be released on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One in that country. On June 26, 2014, Bungie confirmed that Destiny was rated "T for Teen" by the ESRB.

A public beta version of the game was released on PlayStation consoles on July 17 and Xbox consoles on July 22. Before the beta closed on July 27, it attracted around 4.6 million players. During Sony Computer Entertainment's Gamescom 2014 press conference on August 12, 2014, Bungie announced that the first expansion pack for Destiny, titled The Dark Below, would be released in December 2014. On August 23, 2014, Bungie and Activision confirmed that Destiny had gone gold.

On September 2, 2014, Activision revealed that an exclusive item would be available for those who bought Destiny and pre-ordered Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. On September 5, 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment announced and released a trailer about an exclusive mission for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 versions. The Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions will receive the mission sometime in late 2015. That same day, publisher Activision announced that those who buy the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions digitally will be able to download their respective next-gen version at no additional charge. The offer will be available until January 15, 2015.


Achievement Guide


Screenshots
Concept Art
Wallpaper
Other Images


Composers: C. Paul Johnson, Michael Salvatori, Martin O'Donnell

Paul McCartney wrote and performed the game's ending song, Hope for the Future.

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