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Bungie MMO – ‘Destiny’

Bungie are best known for their legendary series of Halo games, and many a night have I spent playing their multiplayer; it is this aspect that is being developed in Bungie’s new title, codenamed Destiny (previously, Tiger). The game will be published by Activision, which as raised some eyebrows, the main concern being that the game will befall ‘Call of Duty syndrome’. However, it is way, way too early to be making such speculative criticisms of a game that is still very much in its infancy.

Destiny will be a series of MMO FPS games set in space. Public court documents and legal files submitted by Activision stipulate both community management, server maintenance, beta protocols and a subscription-based payment method; all of which are common features in MMOs. To date, gamers haven’t ever been given a real MMO FPS, there have been attempts to be sure, one cannot forget the failed Korean foray into these murky waters, Huxley. Huxley had so much promise, a fully functional MMO with deep character customisation and skills, yet it could not break through the Korean market, and was placed unceremoniously on a guillotine in 2010.

The first game in the Destiny series, proposed to be akin to Halo in story-progression and arcing (which we know that Bungie is more than capable of achieving), is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2013 on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3; with rumours abound, mainly through digging and mining contracts for information, that the series will make the jump to the next-gen consoles as soon as possible. The second game in the series has been stated to be arriving on the next-gen playstation and xbox, as well as making its début on the PC.

So, what the heck is Destiny? A statement on Bungie’s website gives little in the way of solid information;

“So, yeah. While we’re not ready to show you what we’ve been working on, we can reconfirm that we are hard at work on our new universe. We can’t wait for you to see it. See you starside in 2013.”

Other than an MMO FPS, the game purports a whole ‘new universe’ which hopefully means that Bungie are moving away from the Halo universe. I think I’m correct in saying that Halo has a very distinctive universe, with highly specialised architecture, races, weapons, locations and even in the story. This new universe offers Bungie the chance to basically start over from scratch, to implement all the crazy ideas they had whilst developing Halo, but couldn’t implement due to restrictions placed upon them by the very universe they created. The sheer level of detail in the Halo universe speaks volumes of the capability of Bungie to develop such a beautiful, interactive and, more importantly, a memorable universe. There are parts of Halo: Combat Evolved that have stuck so solidly in my memory due to the precision of level creation, the deep story telling, the characters that you actually care about (Sgt Johnson!), and how all these elements and more combine to make the Halo series an intense and indelible experience.

Currently, there are a only a few concept images available to depict the visual aspect of Destiny, and nothing regarding how the combat will work. Although these concept images do offer a glimpse into the world of Destiny, Bungie are creating an entire universe, meaning that the visuals should be as diverse and wondrous as those witnessed throughout the Halo series, if not more so with access to more powerful technology. All we have so far are the confirmed release dates schedule, so watch this space for more information about this seemingly awesome game series, a leviathan that can, hopefully, rival the Halo series and be just as an incredible experience.