The creators of perhaps the most successful video-game franchise to date are back with an ambitious plan to create a ‘shared world shooter’ that will expand over the course of the next decade.
The first instalment of Destiny, the sci-fi action follow-up to Halo, is expected to arrive late this year or early 2014 and Bungie, the game’s creator, has started to spill the beans on what gamers can expect from its upcoming offering.
Bungie has teamed up with Activision, the independent video-game publisher behind the successful Call of Duty and Skylanders series, in a 10-year deal that will see the studio create a whole new franchise based in the Destiny universe.
Details of Destiny were officially unveiled yesterday at Bungie’s studios in Washington. On its release, the game will be available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and likely will cover the next generation of both these consoles expected to be announced this year.
Like Halo, the story of Destiny unfolds in a distant future where humankind is battling for survival against alien species throughout the solar system (which in this game includes armoured aliens built like rhinoceros, creepy insect-like creatures and time-travelling robots). But Destiny is set to change the game for first-person shooters with a new concept for play.
The idea of a ‘shared world shooter’ borrows key traits from a first-person shooter and MMORPG to create something Bungie believes to be unique (and not quite an MMOFPS). Play takes place in a persistent online world (requiring a constant internet connection) where players can encounter both computer-controlled characters and those controlled by other players.
In-game missions may require the help of another player to complete them through co-operative play and there will also be a competitive mode with team-based challenges. However, where Bungie claims Destiny will differ from an MMO is that the worlds won’t be packed with thousands of other human players and it won’t require a monthly subscription.
A video teaser of the game released yesterday shows no actual gameplay footage but is laden with impressive concept art and provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a game six years in the making.
Players take up a role as a guardian of Earth in the game. There are three classes of guardian – Titans, Warlocks and Hunters – and each have their own special powers and strengths. Deep character customisation will be available in Destiny and players’ characters will grow more powerful over time depending on their accomplishments.
Players will be able to interact with other players (both human and computer-controlled) in a communal hub called the Tower. Here, players can take on missions or get new weapons and armour by purchasing from another player or the in-game store, adding an in-game revenue stream for Budgie.
There will also be a mobile app for iOS that will give players access to game information, letting them view objectives and challenges and communicate with other players.
Destiny can be pre-ordered online via www.destinythegame.com