Fulfill Your “Destiny” and Get on Board with Bungie’s Massive New Hit
It’s July 22, 2007, sometime during that awkward time of the way, way, wayy too early morning when everything in the world should be asleep, except for those literal early birds who rise with the first rays of the sun. The time of day when no human being in their right mind should be awake. But I am. And I’m bawling my eyes out.
Sure, I’m eighteen years old, and sure I’m only reading a book. But it’s not just any book. On the surface, the initial tears burn my face because Dobby has just died. Then I begin to worry that my eyes might start to bleed soon because I’ve been reading for four? five? six hours straight? I had burned through roughly half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The tears REALLY started to come when I randomly realized without processing the information while it was happening, that the magic-infused midnight release party I giggled my way through the previous night was the absolute last one I would ever experience. Mine was the generation that grew up with Harry and bumbled into adulthood at the same time he did. I wept because Bellatrix Lestrange killed Dobby, one of the most earnest and likable characters in the whole series. I wept for my dwindling childhood (I was set to go away to college that following September). But above all, I wept for the fact that I would never, ever, be this excited for a book to come out ever again. That kind of youthful exuberance was forever dead. Sure, sure, there were several more movies to come. But it’s just not the same. Sitting in a packed movie theater is hardly an intimate experience. Being the only person awake for a square mile at five in the morning because you’re reading IS.
If you read many of my articles then you know I like to take the long way ’round to getting to my eventual point. Well, here it is: I don’t get excited for things any more. I used to get super excited for books and then Harry Potter ended. I used to obsess over video games, but then Final Fantasy began to suck and Mass Effect 3’s ending was less than desirable. And I used to get excited for movies, yet…who are we kidding? I still get wicked excited for movies. Here we are, Monday, September 8, 2014 and I am genuinely, maddeningly excited for Bungie’s new game: Destiny. And you should be too. Here’s why:
Destiny is an ambitious venture, and a risky one at that.
The tale begins several years ago, when Bungie announced in 2011 that it was giving up the Halo franchise. Rights for Halo were handed over to Microsoft, who would exert its dominion over a new company, 343 Studios. As a rabid fan (yes, rabid) of the Halo games, I felt like pulling my hair out. Why would they abandon their baby, their masterpiece!? Well, they were playing at a long game. Halo loyalist designers jumped over to 343 to continue fresh takes on the world of Halo, with some healthy amounts of success with Halo 4. Meanwhile, the folks over at Bungie began focusing all their energies on this:
Destiny at its simplest is a fusion of the First-Person Shooter (FPS) with the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). Popular FPS’s include the likes of Call of Duty and, of course, Halo. But MMO’s gain their infamy from games like World of Warcraft. If you were to try and compare Destiny to other games you might be familiar with, it is pretty much Halo meets Mass Effect, with extra emphasis on online co-op, traditional matchmaking games, and even MMO “raids” as they are called. The fact of it is: nobody has ever tried incorporating all of this into one game. Destiny is one of the most ambitious feats of game development to date. And if early reviews, pre-order sales, and the buzz surrounding the beta are any indication, then they did a really, really good job.
Halo 2 and Mass Effect 2 stand as two of my favorite games of all time. And here we have the makers of the former, thriving in a FPS sci-fi combat system that has character customization and mixed unit tactics of the latter. Can you get any better than that?
In Destiny, you choose one of three archetypal classes that are fairly familiar for anybody who plays these types of games: the Warlock (Mage), Titan (Tank), and Hunter (Assassin). They can all obviously use guns, but their weapon specialties vary, as do their respective melee attacks and special powers. Check out some more detailed guides here.
Once you make your character, you can march out into the world and play a very intricate storyline, detailed in this promo video. You’re never alone, however. Whether through online matchmaking or through a party with your own friends, you’re in this fight together. You can explore and reclaim territory from evil aliens in our solar system. For these, teams max out at three. You can pummel other characters in traditional online multiplayer with much larger group sizes, and in the aforementioned raids, up to five of your friends can join you to take down massive baddies. Pretty cool, huh?
If you haven’t heard of this game or don’t know much, I implore you to do your research, and join me in playing what will undoubtedly be one of the best games of this year. I am beyond excited, and you should be too.