This generation we had the titanic struggle between Call of Duty and Battlefield for control of the modern military shooter crown. That's not really true, I think we all know it was a pretty one-sided conflict. Regardless, it's always nice to have alternatives. But while that fight looks likely to continue between those two coming into the next generation, the fight between the passive multiplayer, pseudo-mmo, sci-fi shooters will involve two new IP: Titanfall and Destiny.
And at this point they both look pretty appetising. Titanfall looks like the more accessible of the two, looking essentially like Call of Duty, but with jetpacks, mechs and parkour. Destiny, though, Destiny looks to be something on a whole other level. Activision claims that the new effort by Halo originators, Bungie, "features an unprecedented combination of cooperative, competitive, public, and personal activities seamlessly woven into an expansive, persistent online world”.
The game is being designed to be a persistent online universe populated with other players. All the various destinations will have smaller areas called Public Spaces where solo players or even small co-op teams will seamlessly cross paths and play dynamic missions. These dynamic events are optional, but will reward those that participate with unique,but awesome loot.
Destiny has three unique classes for players to choose from, each with their own custom looks and abilities. Bungie describes the three classes thusly:
The first Titans built the Wall, and gave their lives to defend it. Now, you stand in the same high place, steadfast and sure, protecting all who shelter in your shadow. You hail from a long line of heroes, forged from strength and sacrifice. Our enemies may be deadly and merciless, but so are you.
The Titan corresponds to the RPG stock character, the Fighter. They are, in terms of FPS thinking, probably the most conventional of the classes. Aim gun, shoot bad guy is the approach to take with the Titan. As the name suggests, they are covered in armour and designed to resist damage.
Hunters once prowled the wilderness and wastelands, taking big risks for even bigger rewards. You’re no outlaw—at least, not anymore—but making your own luck has always meant bending the rules. Your unique brand of daring and ingenuity is needed now more than ever.
As their name would imply, the Hunter is all about the quiet and long-range kill; the sniper rifle being their signature weapon, lends credence to that. The class favours stealth and unconventional engagements. So while they can just shoot someone in the face, they excel at guerrilla tactics, hitting hard, but more importantly hitting quickly.
Warlocks have long studied the Traveller, mastering some of its arcane energies. Its true purpose still remains a great mystery, but discovering truth has always driven you into the unknown. Now, our enemies are the only thing that stands between you and the lost wonders of our Golden Age
Think mage, wizard or eve Jedi. Warlocks will be specialist in unconventional techniques. If the skills and abilities Bungie designs for the game, don't involve pulling a trigger, then chances are that it's Warlock skill. Halo or COD players coming over to Destiny will likely find the the Warlock the toughest character to get to grips with, since their skill sets will likely lean toward support status in larger engagements, a role that players of those games aren't accustomed to doing. Battlefield's Medics, or even Engineers, will probably find Warlocks to be a natural fit.
Ultimately, though, the idea behind utilising a class system in the game to begin with, is to foster a sense of reliance among players - in other words, Bungie is trying to build a living, growing community. The game does have a single-player campaign mode that will reveal more of the lore and story of the Destiny universe, but it's no accident that all the game's levels have a Public Space that seemlessly links different players games together for unified combat mission. Speaking to Game Informer magazine, Destiny’s community manager David Dague said that the team was "excited that this game takes place in a living social world. I’m excited that different heroes will be able to blaze their own trail through this rich story. And I’m excited that gamers will be able to have chance encounters with each other in social spaces and see the way that their characters have been customized and ask, ‘Where did you get that?’ This game will have infinite replayability because it’s different when you play it with different people.”
The whole conceit behind Destiny is to allow players to think they're playing grand space epic where they are the hero, but then slowly peel back the fact they are actually a smaller cog in a much grander epic. Destiny is basically puling a Journey, giving players from all over the world an opportunity to work together, but without losing that sense of being the central character in their own story.
There's tons more info about the game in the recently released Vidoc below.
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