Destiny (video game)

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Destiny
Destiny box art.png
Video game box art
Developer(s) Bungie
Publisher(s) INT Activision

JP Sony Computer Entertainment

Designer(s) Joseph Staten[1][2]
Artist(s) Christopher Barrett[3]
Writer(s) Joseph Staten
Dave Mongan[4]
Joshua Rubin[5]
Composer(s)
Engine
  • In-house engine[7]
Platform(s)
Release date(s) INT September 9, 2014[8]

JP September 11, 2014
(PS4 & PS3)[9]

Genre(s) Action role-playing
First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Distribution Optical disc
Download

Destiny is an online persistent world first-person shooter video game in a "mythic science fiction" open world setting.[10] It was developed by Bungie and published by Activision as part of a ten-year publishing deal.[11] The game was released on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4,[12] Xbox 360, and Xbox One[13] video game consoles on September 9, 2014.[8]

For a start, Joe Dougie has emphasized that the universe of Destiny will be "alive." Events may happen in-game that are not necessarily controlled or planned by the developer, which will help to create a dynamic developing experience for Bungie and a dynamic playing experience for gamers. The game's style has been described as a first-person shooter that will incorporate massively multiplayer online game (MMO) elements, but Bungie has avoided defining Destiny as a traditional MMO game.[14] Instead, the game has been referred to as a "shared-world shooter,"[15] as it lacks many of the characteristics of a traditional MMO game. For instance, rather than players being able to see and interact with all other players in the game or on a particular server—as is the case in many conventional MMO games—Destiny will include on-the-fly matchmaking that will allow players to see and interact only with other players with whom they are "matched" by the game.[14]

Destiny incorporates a new game engine that allows global illumination and real-time dynamic lighting to occur together. In addition, Bungie's goal is that Destiny will natively render graphics at 1080p on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.[16] Although Bungie confirmed that the Destiny Beta for Xbox One would not be running at 1080p, their goal was to have that version 1080p at the time of launch. The PS4 Destiny Beta will be running in 1080p.[17] An innovation in Bungie's "hopper" technology, which has been the backbone for Halo's matchmaking system, will allow better player matchmaking in order to create a more natural experience in either cooperative or competitive multiplayer modes.[18]

Destiny players will be given the opportunity to create a character, choosing both a race and a class. Unlike choosing a race, choosing a class has a distinctive effect on how Destiny is played and on character development. Each class has its own 'focus', which is a special ability that can be used in co-op missions and competitive matches to turn the tides in the player's favour. These focuses' abilities can be offensive, defensive, or buffing (for the player's three-man 'fireteam'). The most effective ability of a focus is called a 'super,' which is a skill move that a Guardian can use in battle. Each super has an upgradeable skill tree.[19]

Setting[edit]

Destiny is set seven hundred years into the future in a post-apocalyptic world. The setting follows a prosperous period of exploration, peace, and technological advancement known as the Golden Age.[20] In a universe where humans have spread out and colonized planets in the Solar System, an event known as "the Collapse" saw the mysterious dissolution of these colonies, the end of the Golden Age, and mankind teetering on the brink of extinction. The only known survivors of the Collapse are those living on Earth, who were saved by "the Traveler," a white, spherical celestial body whose appearance centuries before had enabled humans to reach the stars.[21] The Traveler now hovers above the last safe city on Earth, and its presence allows the Guardians — the defenders of the City — the ability to wield an unknown power, only referred to as "The Light."

Upon mankind's first attempt to repopulate and reconstruct after the Collapse, it is discovered that hostile alien races have occupied mankind's former colonies and civilizations and are now encroaching upon the City. The player takes on the role of one such Guardian, and is tasked with reviving the Traveler while investigating and destroying the alien threats before humanity is completely wiped out.

Characters[edit]

Destiny centers on the journey of the Guardians, the last defenders of humanity, set to protect Earth's last city. Guardians will be divided into three distinct races: Humans, Awoken, and Exo. Humans are described as being relatable, tough, and uncomplicated. Bungie drew its inspiration for the Human race from the military, and the character designs and aesthetics of the Spartans present in their Halo franchise. Awoken, described as exotic, beautiful, and mysterious, were inspired by fictional depictions of elves, vampires, ghosts, and angels. Exo are described as being sinister, powerful, and tireless. Exo were inspired by the undead, Halo's Master Chief, and the eponymous character of The Terminator.[22] The playable races will be purely cosmetic and will have no effect on the game mechanics of Destiny.

Players will be able to choose a "class" to go alongside their race. There are three classes available to players in Destiny: Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans. Hunters are a reconnaissance class meant to be reminiscent of the classic "bounty hunter." Bungie cites as influences Star Wars's Han Solo and classic characters from old Western films such as Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name. Warlocks combine weapons with special powers from "the Traveler," and are meant to be a form of "space wizard." The Warlock class is influenced by the Star Wars series's Jedi Knights, The Lord of the Rings series's Gandalf, and The Matrix series's Morpheus. Titans, which favor heavy weapons and melee attacks and are intended to be reminiscent of the classic "future soldier," were inspired by Bungie's own Master Chief from Halo, Stormtroopers from Star Wars, and other "space marines" from science fiction.[23] Players are accompanied by Ghost, a robot AI voiced by Peter Dinklage.[24]

Throughout the game, players have to combat aggressive aliens who have occupied the Solar System. There are four separate races in the game, each occupying different planets. The Fallen are an insectoid race of nomads who scavenge ruined settlements on Earth, the Moon, and Venus for resources. The Hive are a macabre race of ancient aliens who have created massive underground settlements beneath Earth and the Moon's surface. The Vex are semi-organic androids who are attempting to seize control of Venus and Mars by turning them into their machines, which they have already done to Mercury. Finally, the Cabal are a military-industrial empire of massive amphibians who have established massive fortifications on Mars. Every race utilizes different strategies and weapons in combat. The Fallen possess cloaking and short-range teleportation technologies to increase their mobility. The Hive use superior numbers to overwhelm their opponents in close quarters while more elite units attack from a distance. The Vex utilize hard-light shields and teleport units of infantry into the battlefield en-masse. The Cabal rely on heavy armor, ballistic shields, and jump packs to combat players. All of these races are hostile towards each other, as they can also be observed attacking one another in-game for territorial dominance.

Development[edit]

The first known reference to Destiny was shown in Bungie's 2009 game Halo 3: ODST, in which a sign on a wall read "Destiny Awaits" and showed a picture of Earth with a mysterious orb floating nearby.[25] Though several vague statements by Bungie employees in interviews and presentations from 2010 through 2011 were interpreted to be Destiny references, the next overt references to Destiny were not shown until Bungie's August 2011 20th anniversary documentary, O Brave New World, in which appeared several early environment renders, an environment editor named "Grognok," and a brief shot of actors performing a scene with motion capture equipment.[26] At that time, the game was still known by its original code name Project Tiger, a term used by Bungie co-founder Jason Jones when discussing the game in August 2011.[27] The game later became known by its working title Destiny.

On May 21, 2012, a publishing contract between Bungie and Activision was published by the Los Angeles Times. The contract originally had been entered into evidence under seal in Activision's lawsuit against former Infinity Ward employees Jason West and Vincent Zampella, but was later unsealed by the judge in that case.[28][29] The contract outlined an agreement between Bungie and Activision to develop and publish, respectively, four Destiny games, with the first to be released in the second or third quarter of 2014.

Initially, claims made by Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick suggested that the development budget of Destiny was around $500 million; however, it was subsequently denied by Bungie's COO Pete Parsons, who stated in an interview that the game's development cost is not even close to the bloated estimate.[30]

The first public details of Destiny were leaked in November 2012, revealing concept art and plot details.[31] Bungie supplemented the leak with the release of further details, whilst expressing regret that details of an upcoming video game had once again been revealed before their planned release.[32] In describing Destiny, Bungie's lead writer Joseph Staten stated that the studio was approaching the game with the intention of "building a universe" that would "take on a life of its own."[33] Further information became available in February 2013, when Bungie released a video documentary revealing information on Destiny and some of the core ideas behind the game, including the company's "seven pillars" philosophy, identifying the seven underlying elements of the early development process that they adopted to make the game appeal to as wide an audience as possible,[20][34] with particular emphasis on making the game accessible to casual, novice gamers and dedicated fans of the genre alike.[10] The game was first confirmed to be released on PS3 and PS4 at the Playstation reveal event on February 20, 2013. Bungie also revealed that both the PS3 and PS4 versions will receive exclusive content. They later confirmed that the game will be released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.[35]

Also revealed were plans to incorporate social media into Destiny, allowing players to remain connected to one another even when offline. With the in-game universe being in a state of perpetual change, Bungie is exploring the potential of using a mobile phone application to update players about new quests and inform them as to what their friends are doing in-game.[10]

On May 24, 2013, A decision was made to sign the game for Sony. Originally a Microsoft exclusive, Marketing director Tim James contacted Sony Corporation for a cross platform compatibility contract, along with a game license for disk production.

On October 1, 2013, Bungie and Activision announced that players who pre-order Destiny on any platform at select retailers will receive an exclusive nine-digit code to gain access to the beta version of the game. Additional beta codes were also sent out randomly on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter during the week starting on October 20.[36] A total figure of 4,638,937 unique players participated in the game's beta, according to Activision.[37]

On March 20, 2014, it was announced that Bungie would use Faceware's motion capture technology on Destiny.[38] On April 11, 2014, Bungie terminated the employment of its long-time composer and audio director, Martin O'Donnell.[39] Initially fans were concerned that the absence of Martin O'Donnell would affect the in-game music of Destiny, however, Pete Parsons of Bungie later confirmed that Destiny's music was already complete and that O'Donnell's absence would have no effect on the development nearing its completion.[40]

At E3 2014 on June 9, Bungie announced an alpha version of the game for PS4, which was open from June 12 to 16.[41] On June 17, 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment announced that Destiny will be released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan, meaning that the game won't be released on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One in that country.[42] On June 26, 2014, Bungie confirmed that Destiny was rated "T for Teen" by the ESRB[43]

A public beta version of the game was released on PlayStation consoles on July 17 and Xbox consoles on July 22. Before the beta closed on July 27, it attracted around 4.6 million players.[44][45] During Sony Computer Entertainment's Gamescom 2014 press conference on August 12, 2014, Bungie announced that the first expansion pack for Destiny, titled The Dark Below, would be released in December 2014.[46] On August 23, 2014, Bungie and Activision confirmed that Destiny had gone gold.[47]

On September 2, 2014, Activision revealed that an exclusive item would be available for those who bought Destiny and pre-ordered Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.[48] On September 5, 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment announced and released a trailer about an exclusive mission for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 versions. The Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions will receive the mission sometime in late 2015.[49] That same day, publisher Activision announced that those who buy the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions digitally will be able to download their respective next-gen version at no additional charge.[50] The offer will be available until January 15, 2015.[51]

Paul McCartney wrote and performed the game's ending song, Hope.[52][53]

Soundtrack[edit]

Destiny (Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, C Paul Johnson, & Paul McCartney
Released September 26, 2014 (2014-09-26)
Genre Classical
Orchestral
Ambient
Video game soundtrack
Length 2:18:48
Label Bungie Music Publishing

Destiny (Original Soundtrack) is the official soundtrack for the video game, composed and directed by Martin O'Donnell, co-written by Michael Salvatori and C Paul Johnson, and with contributions and input from Paul McCartney (of The Beatles fame). Released digitally on September 26, 2014, the soundtrack contains 44 instrumental songs from the game.[54][55] The soundtrack marks Martin O'Donnell's final work for Bungie, after years of composing for the Halo franchise, as well as several games before that. In addition, McCartney wrote and recorded an original song inspired by the game, which he plans to release as a single later in 2014.[56]

Production[edit]

Early in Destiny's development, O'Donnell was contacted by Pete Parsons (current Chief Operating Officer of Bungie), and was asked to begin writing music for the game. At the time, Destiny was still in its infancy, as it lacked any gameplay material for O'Donnell to score music to, so instead, O'Donnell began creating music based solely on the games ideas, stories, and artwork.[57] By February 17, 2013, over 50 minutes of the soundtrack had already been recorded with a 106-piece orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London.[58] O'Donnell gave the early pieces of music to Bungie in hopes that they would foster inspiration within the development team.[59] Unlike the Halo series, where pieces of music were only 2-3 minutes long, Martin has stated that the soundtrack for Destiny has no time restrictions, with the pieces clocking in "as long as they need to be."[60] O'Donnell collaborated with Paul McCartney on the soundtrack for the better part of two years, as they traded ideas, melody samples and themes back and forth.[61]

On April 11, 2014, before the soundtrack was released, Martin O'Donnell was terminated without cause by the board of directors at Bungie.[62] This caused concern as to whether this would affect the game, however Pete Parsons stated that Martin's work on the game had been completed prior to his termination, and would appear in the final product.[63]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS4) 77.17%[64]
(X1) 78.19%[65]
Metacritic (PS4) 77/100[66]
(X1) 78/100[67]
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 8/10[68]
Eurogamer 8/10[69]
Game Informer 8.75/10[70]
GamesRadar 4.5/5 stars[71]
GameSpot 6/10[72]
GameTrailers 8/10[73]
Giant Bomb 3/5 stars[74]
IGN 7.8/10[75]
Joystiq 4/5 stars[76]
Official Xbox Magazine 8/10[77]
Polygon 6/10[78]
Hardcore Gamer 4/5[79]

Bungie halted pre-release reviews due to the fact that they felt the game should be graded only when its social aspects were operative and populated with "thousands of gamers" in order to give a proper assessment.[80]

Destiny has received generally mixed reviews. While its graphical quality, gameplay and sound design have been praised, it has received criticism for its repetitive mission design and poor, vague storytelling.[78] GameSpot likened the game to a "black garden", describing it as "a multiplayer shooter that cobbles together elements of massively multiplayer games but overlooks the lessons developers of such games learned many years ago"; however, the game's competitive multiplayer modes were praised for carrying on Bungie's expertise from the Halo franchise with well-designed maps.[72]

GameTrailers gave a generally positive review, but also criticized the weak story and uninspired game locations. However, they did praise the graphics as well as the rush the combat can provide the player.[73]

On September 10, 2014, Activision claimed that Destiny was the most successful new gaming franchise launch of all time, as the game shipped more than $500 million USD to retail stores and first-parties worldwide.[81] As of September 17, 2014, there have been over 11 million gameplay sessions within North America.[82]

Destiny sold 91,277 physical retail copies on PS4 and 49,503 retail copies on PS3 within the first week of release in Japan, placing second and third place respectively within the Japanese software sales charts for that particular week.[83]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]