Bungie has announced Destiny, a persistent, online, Massively Multiplayer First Person Shooter. It seems a bit early to announce a game that won’t be available for at least another 10 months and probably a year, but Bungie felt it was the right time.
I have my doubts, even this early on, about whether Destiny is something to even pay attention to at this time. I strongly feel that rather than get pulled into the hype cyclone, gamers should take a “wait and see” approach even considering a “trusted” developer like Bungie.
Destiny, more than a disc in a drive™
In the official Press Release for Destiny, Bungie president Harold Ryan actually said, “Destiny will draw players into a world filled with mystery, action, and adventure, but most importantly, Destiny is more than a disc in a drive, it is a living social universe filled with other players.”
Seriously? That’s actually a part of your pitch? I am honestly not aware of a time when we considered games simply “a disc in a drive” or “a cartridge in a slot”. I hope that a multi-million dollar game amounts to more than a piece of plastic and metal inserted into another piece of plastic and metal. But what troubles me is that this was considered part of the marketing materials. As if somehow, this is a selling point. If you are reaching this deep for selling points that this is what you come up with, I am not sure you have anything worth selling.
Bungie isn’t the Bungie they used to be
When Halo: Combat Evolved launched on the original Xbox, it was the darling of the masses, the killer app. I fell in love with Chief, Cortana, and those charming little grunts.
After Halo: Combat Evolved something changed, particularly Bungie. They lost some key team members and more importantly, they seemed to lose their vision. The Halo 2 shown at E3 in 2004 wasn’t the Halo 2 promised to gamers in print magazine reveals, and the Halo 2 at launch missed out on features shown at E3. They had great ideas on paper and no apparent way to realize them. Only with the launch of Halo 4 did some of Bungie’s missing Halo features appear (universal sprint), and that game under a different company.
Destiny = Halo without Master Chief?
All we know about Destiny is what we’ve been told. But is anyone else seeing a mild Halo resemblance here? Men in high tech personal armor fight humanoid aliens bent on the destruction of the Human species, pushing the Humans to their last refuge, Earth. There are likely even more parallels to draw, but we don’t have much more to go on.
Of course I realize that Halo doesn’t have a monopoly on the Sci-Fi shooter genre. But since Halo is easily Bungie’s best known work, it would seem that they would want to differentiate themselves from the Halo pigeon-hole and show that they can diversify. Unless they can’t diversify, in which case go with what you know.
By the end of Bungie’s run with Halo, it was apparent that they were tired of the franchise and the characters. As early as ODST, they seemed to be bored of Master Chief, hence the possible reason why they built two entire Halo games without him (ODST and Reach).
Maybe Halo was always supposed to be about more than MC, and Microsoft wanted more Master Chief face time, but Bungie wanted to explore larger narratives, less focused on individuals in the struggle against overwhelming opposing forces and more about humanity as a whole. If so, then good for Bungie to tell more of their story without the confines of the Halo license and it’s characters. Still, it seems like Bungie has become a cover band of themselves. We’ll have to wait a bit to see for sure.
Pretty Destiny Concept Art and 1920×1080 Wallpapers