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Bungie aims to redefine genres a second time with ‘Destiny’

Bungie aims to redefine genres a second time with ‘Destiny’
Bungie aims to redefine genres a second time with ‘Destiny’
Bungie aims to redefine genres a second time with ‘Destiny’ (photo courtesy of VG247.com)

Bungie’s upcoming shooter Destiny has been something of a mystery to players not on the inside of the walls of development. The game appeared to have aspects of MMO, mixed with shooter, mixed with other traits of similar genres. Bungie had stayed somewhat mum on defining what slot the game would fit in to.

E3 2014 changed all of that, with exclusive gameplay, a public alpha and plenty of info to help players define what their experience would be like in the upcoming shooter. Bungie also took the time to sit down, exclusively with Examiner.com, to help iron out some of the details regarding the highly anticipated title.

Destiny looks to blur the lines of what a single player and multiplayer experience is defined as within the game world. Players may be exploring the world, collecting loot with buddies, when a spider tank will drop in and attack randomly. While these “Public Events” are something Destiny will be known for and feature heavily, Bungie is still tweaking and tinkering the final rules for the modes.

Tom Sanocki, Character, Cinematic, and Technical Art Lead for Destiny, spoke to us about player limits.

The exact amount of players [that we will allow] in the public spaces is something we are still trying to figure out.

“We’re still tuning that as we finish off the game and find that optimal balance,” Sanocki continued, “The idea is you’ll find something that feels live, vibrant and interesting. You won’t feel a low.”

Sanocki also wanted to be sure that players know Bungie’s history of listening to the feedback garnered from community events like the beta and full release will not be changed with the new release. “We embrace all of that [feedback],” Sanocki said, “The beta is going to be the second step toward launch, and when we launch, we’re hoping to take all of that feedback and use it to create a great launch for our game.”

Competitive multiplayer is a huge focus for Bungie, as Halo redefined and helped standardized multiplayer shooters. Destiny aims to deliver a diverse and rewarding experience. Balance being a key pillar for Destiny’s multiplayer, team numbers and total players being is concern for some. Bungie does want to ensure a unified vision across all modes is achieved.

For competitive multiplayer, the largest team size is 6v6 and that’s an intentional design decision. We decided to do that because that is the best way [we can demonstrate] the style of competitive multiplayer [we want]. This way everyone has a role and feels they can contribute.

“With competitive multiplayer, we have a number of game modes spread across a number of maps on a variety of different planets,” said Sanocki.

One of those modes detailed by Sanocki, called Patrol, has players fighting for control on alien planets. “Patrol has three points on a map, players will need to capture them and hold them,” Sanocki noted, “defeat your enemies and you’ll receive bonus points the longer you hold them. The rewards afterwards will be used to upgrade your character.”

Those rewards gained during and after Crucible matches as well as out on your own, come in the way of weapons, armor, and pieces of flair for your Guardian. Each of those will affect your stats in a typical MMO fashion. Your inventory, however limited, can be stretched across the three total characters you may hold. Sanocki stated that the Tower, the game's main hub area, will serve as a storage point for your overflow or valuable items that you want to share with your characters.

That vault is shared among all of the characters on your account. It’s a great way of sharing gear that one character doesn’t need with one that does," Sanocki said.

Playing with others or playing alone is the core choice held within Destiny, and Bungie is clearly showing that Destiny isn’t best played one way or the other. It’s best played the way you want to play it.

“We want them to make it their hobby, and folks will be able to play it as intense or casual as they want,” Sanocki stated, “Whatever activity you choose, you will get rewards for it and you’ll be able to use that to build your character.

If you choose to play competitive multiplayer all the time, you should do that and you’ll have a wonderful time. If you’re a casual player and you’re not big into shooters, you can spend more time in The Tower, you can explore, picking up missions as you go along, and [your experience] will be low-key."

Not many games currently out, or coming out before Destiny offer as much open choice between the competitive, cooperative, and single-player aspects of a game, without offering a clear option that was designed with forceful intent. Destiny looks to not only change those conventions, but smash them with a gravity hammer, as Destiny is your game to play, your way.

The Destiny Beta begins for PlayStation console users on July 17, with Xbox consoles to follow on July 23, concluding days later. Players should sign in beginning now to register, redeem their codes and select their console to play on via Bungie.net. Destiny will hit shelves and day one digital release for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 on Sept. 9.