|System: Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
At E3, we got a chance to take a guided tour of Bungie’s new sci-fi shooter, Destiny. The development team demoed the game live in front of a theater, showing off the new features the game has to offer.
The demo started with a quick trailer that showed the vast landscape of future Earth. The camera focused on many dilapidated cars and vehicles with human remains strewn about them. The camera then went into first-person view where the team showed off that everything we saw so far was being rendered in-game. It was impressive because everything looked like an FMV at that point. The lighting system was outstanding, showing beams of light cascading through the clouds.
Destiny puts you in the role of a guardian of the last human city on Earth. The demo picked up in the ruins of Old Russia. The demo then proceeded to show what we saw during the Sony press conference. Two characters traversed the ruins of the city, using their abilities to light the way and overcome their foes. One thing that was noticeable in this guided demo that wasn’t necessarily noticeable on stage during the press conference was the moving-overlay UI over your allies’ masks. Several new abilities were shown, including the ability to enchant your weapons with elemental effects, create AOE explosions, fire what appeared to be homing projectiles, and trap your opponents in a vacuum of space while unloading on them.
Weapons in Destiny each have their own specific tech tree filled with abilities to unlock. The only weapons shown had linear trees, but apparently, branching trees will also be available. Skills and abilities seem to be tied to the weapons themselves, changing when you change your weapon. While the game does appear to have a static character level, these don't actually appear to affect the abilities that you learn from weapons at all.
However, weapons are locked to certain classes, and classes do seem to affect what characters can do in and out of battle. At the demo, the Warlock class seemed to be mostly about support and long range attacks. It had abilities that buffed its weapons and worked toward scouting. The Titan was shown briefly and it is assumed to be a tank. It appeared to have the ability to create a huge AOE explosion around itself and it used weapons such as rocket launchers and other heavy artillery. Unfortunately, much of its abilities still remain unknown. The developers themselves were playing a class that appeared to specialize on assault. This was the class that fired special projectiles that caused the AOE and homing effects that we talked about earlier. Later on, we saw classes that specialized in melee (an extremely mobile class), and classes that seemed to deal heavy explosive damage. Unfortunately, none of these classes were commented on at the demo.
A “public event” started shortly after the team decided to stop comparing their guns. Essentially, this is a scripted story event that anyone can join in on. So, even if you play the game in single-player, you will find several different users joining you during these events. It appears as if player levels for public events are actually somewhat restricted. The highest level character we saw in this event came in at level 20, while the rest of the characters hovered around level 15 or so. It’s assumed that the game will immediately make appropriate decisions on matchmaking when public events occur.
This was the end of the demo that was shown at the press conference. Unfortunately, the team didn’t have a lot of time to answer questions beyond what we saw, but they did answer a few. The game can be played completely offline, if you so desire, though it’s recommended that you take other players along for the ride. While the team wouldn’t comment on other locales in the game, they assured us that the game world is absolutely massive, one of the biggest we have ever seen. We will be able to travel all around the destroyed earth and discover the remnants of a shattered humanity, even before we get our first legendary gun.
Destiny is easily one of the most promising titles coming out of Activision and Bungie. It feels like a combination of Borderlands and Halo, combining all of the best aspects of a co-op RPG-style shooter with the sci-fi heavy-artillery feel of Halo’s competitive modes. Keep your eye on this one. We sure will, and we will bring you more information about Destiny when it becomes available.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: June 13, 2013