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There is no denying that Bungie’s newest project Destiny is a beautiful looking game. The E3 showcase demo flaunts the graphical capabilities of the next gen systems, and some eye candy is an immediate plus in my book. Yet after viewing the gameplay footage, the question of whether Destiny will be the next big hit title remains elusive. The aspect of the game I question is its originality, for it seems to borrow several ideas from other titles, but does it bring anything new to the table?
What exactly is Destiny? Is it an MMO, an FPS, or a mixture of both? According to Bungie, Destiny is at its roots an FPS, with elements such as skill trees and questing that resemble a traditional MMO format. After reading this description and watching gameplay footage, it seems that Destiny resembles three games in particular: Halo, Borderlands, and Defiance.
Halo vs. Destiny: It is not surprising that Bungie would draw influences from one of the greatest selling franchises of all time for their next big project, and in a sense it’s a smart move on their part. They’re sticking with what they know is successful, and I understand that, yet I am only pointing out what seems to be a lack of originality on their part. As I point out the similarities I find, I will show at what part of the E3 demo that they become apparent (Video attached below).
1.) The first thing I noticed is that the characters that you can choose from all bear a resemblance to the symbolic icon masterchief, particularly in the look of their armor. What sets them apart from the look of the Spartan is the addition of cloaks and accessories on top of their armor, which I feel is only there because of the “wasteland” environment that has been showcased in the Destiny demos. Without the additional exterior clothing, the characters look very much like the slimmer and more agile Spartan in Halo 4, especially the Titan class. I am sure that there will be a wide array of options to personalize your character and make him/her unique as you progress through the game, but again, I am only going by what the demo has shown.
2.) The E3 footage showcased some of the gameplay mechanics that Destiny has to offer, and during sections of this footage I couldn’t help but notice that one of the enemy types (5:16-6:00) looks nearly identical to the Promethean Knights of Halo 4. Granted these creatures have 4 arms instead of 2, the enemy models are still extremely similar. Another enemy type (5:00-5:09) in Destiny bears resemblance to the Promethean Watchers of Halo 4, who are often present when the Knights are around. I truly hope that when the game releases there will be a variety of unique baddies to fight, but from what I have seen so far I am skeptical.
3.) From 6:03-6:07, the player can be seeing throwing a grenade at the “Promethean Knights” which reacts in a similar fashion to the pulse grenade in Halo 4.
4.) The last thing I picked up on came near the end of the E3 demo, when the two players emerged outside once again. Off in the distance you could see a large aircraft causing a disturbance, and as it came closer I thought I was looking at a Covenant ship from the Halo series. I might be nitpicking on this one, but I just couldn’t help pointing it out. (9:27-9:40)
Borderlands vs. Destiny:
1.) One of the most appealing factors of Borderlands was the mindboggling amount of guns that were available in the game. The developers boasted that the combinations could create over 1 million unique guns. When Rajeev Nattam, who works at Bungie, was interviewed he said that “Destiny has more weapons than all the Halo games put together – squared and then squared again”. If you calculated this the number would be up there with Borderlands’, and while I am extremely happy to hear of the mindboggling weapon variety, I’m still waiting for Bungie to show me something new.
Defiance vs. Destiny:
1.) Defiance is one of the first games to surpass the challenge of creating a server base, massively multiplayer console game. This is what Destiny aims to do as well, and considering the game is in capable hands I am sure that it will do much better than Defiance, which was plagued with glitches and lag. Since an mmo console game is so rare to come by, it's definitely a positive aspect that Destiny shares with Defiance.
2.) Destiny boasts a living, breathing world in which events and fights occur at random. Near the end of the demo, a bulky machinelike creature is dispatched from a mysterious aircraft, and the player and his party are tasked with taking it down. I believe that these mini bosslike enemies will appear throughout the entire game, and will be deployed from some aircraft in a similar fashion to the one we see in the demo. Defiance has something very similar to this, except the developers refer to the events as "Arkfalls," in which big baddies are meant to be taken down with a collaborative effort. (Once again, Destiny looks like a new game with used features.)
For all the criticism I have given Destiny, the game still shows a lot of promise. Graphically, it is stunning, and I think it’s safe to say that the shooting mechanics are going to be top notch considering it is Bungie making this game. I'll be buying this game for sure, but I couldn't help but to point out the resemblances that Destiny bears with other hit titles.
Am I overanalyzing the similarities to other games and asking for too much? Do you think Destiny will be able to stand out amongst the wave of next gen titles? Tell me what you think in the comments section, I would love to hear from you guys!
Thanks again for reading my post it means the world to me. Happy gaming everyone!