Imagine this: You've made one of the most ground breaking, popular and innovative games of all time -- and all anyone ever asks is, what's next? It's a big question, but for Bungie, the creators of Halo, the answer is simple. They're going to reinvent the first person shooter - all over again. This; is Destiny.

Taking place 700 years in the future, Destiny is an epic. The Golden Age, a period of rapid expansion and conquest, has come to an abrupt halt. The human race is struggling to survive, helped by the mysterious celestial orb known as the Traveller. Their goal is to rebuild, and take back what was once theirs from those who have taken it. You see, the colonies and planets humanity call home have since been occupied; controlled by a hostile alien race who seek to wipe out the human way of life once and for all.

This story will be experienced from the perspective of three playable races; the tough and relatable humans, the exotic and mysterious Awoken and the sinister Exo. Players will also be able to choose from three classes – the titan, the hunter and the warlock. The inspiration for the Titan class comes from powerful sci-fi future soldiers such as Stormtroopers and Bungie’s own Master Chief. Hunters are a reconnaissance-based class with their roots in old Clint Eastwood movies. As for warlocks… Well; think Gandalf in space, with guns.

Destiny contains many RPG elements, including skill trees for weapons, character customisation, a levelling system and a new and interesting approach to looting. You won’t be throwing away decent weapons because your class can’t use them; anything you pick up will be appropriate for both your level and your character. In other words, your loot will be tailored to you and your play style. 

This is just one of the ways Destiny stands out from your typical MMO, and although it shares many of the genre’s usual features; Bungie prefer to call it a ‘shared-world shooter’. It all takes place in a persistent online world that Bungie claim feels ‘alive’. The world of Destiny encompasses a single player game, a co-operative game and a multiplayer; all at the same time. And while you can play on your own, Bungie are doing everything they can to promote the seamless co-operative experience that they’ve worked so hard to fine tune.

 

There are no lobbies, but its smart matchmaking system can pair friends together, group up strangers to form fire teams and then bring numerous fire teams together to take part in the huge public events – like the ones we got a glimpse of at E3. Those who have played Guild Wars 2 will be familiar with the huge dynamic public events; you can take part if you want to, but if you don’t, you won’t be able to reap the rewards at the end. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

Destiny’s matchmaking will go one step further than the similar systems we’ve seen in games such as Borderlands 2 or Journey. It works quietly in the background, to make sure it’s as unobtrusive in your game as possible. There’ll be no loading screens, and as you step into an area, you’ll be seamlessly matched with other players.

Competitive multiplayer will also make an appearance, but players will have to opt into it – you won’t randomly stumble into a game of Free For All when you least expect it. In making this world, Bungie have developed a brand new engine, including new lighting systems to properly show off the gorgeous setting that they’ve crafted. They’ve also filled this world with numerous locations to visit, random events and content that aims to keep the player coming back again and again – and what we’ve seen so far looks brilliant.

Destiny will be released at some point in 2014. Bungie haven’t given us a fixed date just yet, because they’ve said they’ll only ship it when it’s ready. And with a game of this scale, that looks this good, we definitely don’t want them to rush it out.

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  • Developer: Bungie
    Publisher: Activision