I remember years ago when I bought an XBox strictly for access to Halo: Combat Evolved. I was an avid Playstation and Nintendo fan and never had an interest in using one of the worst controllers in the history of controllers on XBox. However Bungie, the studio behind Halo, was able to not only change my mind but went on to change gaming history for the world in the process. The Halo series carried Microsoft’s system into becoming a major player in the video game market over the course of the next decade with their final entry being one of my all time favorite games ever Halo: Reach. The series’ continuation remains an important part of the XBox ecosystem in the hands of 343 Industries. For the truly astute though, you may have noticed around the time of Halo 3: ODST that the next big thing was beginning to take shape for the Bungie studio developers. A sign on the wall in the game showed an orb approaching the earth with the words: “Destiny awaits”.
The wait will soon come to an end for Destiny.
Next week, Bungie and Activision will release the magnum opus in Beta to the Playstation 3 and 4 consoles exclusively July 17th. This gives Playstation users a definitive edge as the XBox Beta won’t begin until July 23rd. Playstation will reserve the exclusivity to expansion packs and DLC content through 2015 however. The game, some 10 years in the making and a budget of half a billion dollars, will be the biggest budgeted game of all time (replacing Grand Theft Auto V).
The game is set on an Earth where, after a grand “Golden Age” that centered “The Traveler”, has come to an end and humanity is on the brink of total collapse. The various colonies around the universe where humanity has explored have been overrun with aliens and hostile forces including Earth itself. From “The City” (the last city), players will assume the role of a “Guardian” who is engifted with “The Light”. Players will venture out and take back what was lost from the fall of the Golden Age.
What looks to be a total game changer is that Bungie is combining their knowledge of FPS (First Person Shooters) with MMO structure (like World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, or Wildstar) giving players a very active and open world of which to explore. There will be multiple game modes that will allow both solo players and social players alike to have an immersive play experience.
The game officially is due to be released in September of 2014, but players who have pre-ordered the game or gotten a beta code through Bungie’s various social media outlets will finally have a chance to experience Destiny in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, some details about the official release according to Game Informer this morning:
* The Limited Edition is $99.99 and gets you a metal case, an arms and armament field guide, novelty postcards, an antique star chart, an exclusive player emblem and ship variant, and access to both Destiny expansion packs
* The Ghost Edition will feature the above along with a as well as a Ghost model replica, featuring motion-activated lights and voice recordings from Peter Dinklage, as the voice of Ghost. This edition will also include a letter of introduction, as well as more novelty items from the Golden Age, such as pictures, patches, stickers, and more and will run $149.99
* The Digital Pre-Order will get some exclusive content as well but not the expansion packs themselves. Players can pre-order the expansions at $34.99 for the pair or pay the standard $19.99 each.
The big deal here to me is that Sony is dropping heavy cash on this to make it a premier Playstation grab. They want dibs on the perks that made the Call of Duty games a better buy on XBox 360. Destiny will no doubt be a huge game and given Bungie’s history and free reign to slow cook the game over the course of 10 years should spell the beginning of a tremendous new franchise and game experience.
Meanwhile, here is a preview of the Beta with game play footage via YouTube: