The Average Gamer

E3 2013: Destiny Preview

Destiny - VistaBungie, the once-darling developer of Microsoft and launcher of Xboxes surprised everyone by revealing their first Destiny gameplay footage at Sony’s E3 2013 press conference. But is Destiny better than Halo or just Halo Reskinned?

Watching the E3 gameplay demo sparked my interest in Destiny, more so than any other Bungie game to date including the original Halo game which had completely un-drivable vehicles, a stupid last level, iffy enemy AI but some really cool levels. On the surface Bungie may not have strayed too far from their Master Chief roots – Destiny is, after all a first person shooter – but a shooter that takes place in a huge and always-online universe.

First though, watch the gameplay demo in which multiple Bungie developers guide you through a series of beautiful environments, fend off swarms of aliens with some cool looking weapons and take part in a huge multiplayer battle (called a player event) against a giant alien beetle-like creature.

Looks good, doesn’t it?

Inside the huge Activision booth at E3, seven Bungie employees lay in wait to show off Destiny to a smaller and more captive audience, including me. This was a most definitely a hands-off demo as the lead guy – I’ll refer to him as Mr B from now on – informed us. On the plus side a bit more of the in-game world was revealed to us.

Destiny is a seriously beautiful game. Every onscreen moment oozes out that lovely Bungie gloss found in all the good Halo games (i.e. 1 and 2). Everything from the onscreen logos, startled flocks of birds flying into the sky as you progress through Old Russia with your mates. Everything is slick, smooth and polished.

Mr B promptly goes off the press conference script and starts to show us just how big Destiny’s version of a post-apocalyptic Planet Earth. Away from the ginormous walled city that gets explored later in the demo I get to stare thousands of feet down a biblically steep rock face and across a vast wasteland that stretches far into the horizon.

Mr B confidently assures us that what you can see, you can explore. To help prove his point he lobed a grenade off the cliff face. I sat there, transfixed to the screen watching this little dot plummeting to its doom; if doing your job and exploding can be classed as doom.


Mr B smiled, turned around and went off with his Bungie mates to go and shoot some space dudes in the face during the rest of the carnage filled demo which looked even more beautiful closeup. Ok, Bungie, you got me. I want to explore your damn world now, populated with its huge player events where people get together to blow shit up. A world full of giant spaceships, breathtaking lighting effects, explosions, magic powers and stupidly huge guns. A world where your floating AI is this snarky, unhinged little bugger, that appears to be helping you but is probably secretly plotting your ultimate downfall (like cats).

I hope that Destiny is a lot more than a giant online lobby of mindless, repetitive PVP shooting matches. I want to explore and go on adventures and uncover just how the planet got itself into this ravaged state. Like the silent cartographer level from Halo but on a planet-wide scale. Bungie seemingly has created both an epic world and story.

I saw glimpses of what was underneath the bombastic FPS exterior with the avatar configuration screen and weapon upgrades, but I want to know more. I hope they can fill this world with the kind of action, community and player engagement that’s going to keep you coming back for more because on the face of it, Destiny could be one hell of an adventure.

Destiny is due for release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014.

Destiny - The WallDestiny - Flamey