The lights are on
Most video game studios hire talented freelance composers to build their soundtracks for them, but not Bungie. Martin O'Donnell is a full-time employee with Bungie, and the only people who have been with the studio longer than him are those who started the company. If you’ve played any of Bungie’s Halo games, you know that the soundtrack is one of the most defining elements of the series. For Destiny, O’Donnell has created a whole new soundtrack that heightens the cinematic intensity.
The Destiny presentation showcased lots of visual aspects of the game, including glimpses of the engine and plenty of concept art. For O'Donnell’s section of the presentation, he showed a PowerPoint slide with his name and title, and then turned off the projector, dimmed the lights, and played snippets of the soundtrack. Hearing Destiny’s music was one of the highlights the event. You can still hear some of O’Donnell’s signature flourishes, like the use of choruses and human voices, but Destiny’s soundtrack is distinct from Halo’s. It abandons the heavy percussion focus in favor of a theme that seems to mix John Williams’ best science-fiction work with O'Donnell ‘s memorable violin riffs. We heard optimistic soft tracks presumably written to highlight successful missions, as well as combat music that offered a sense of high seas ship battles. The stirring tracks easily live up to O'Donnell ‘s excellent reputation of knowing how to tell a science-fiction story with music.
What will Destiny call home?Bungie says Destiny is coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and made no mention of next generation consoles or PC. Bungie said that it makes console shooters, so playing with anything other than a controller seems unlikely. The game also has a mobile component. Though details were minimal, Bungie showed off a Destiny app for iOS that allows players to send and accept invitations to play, as well as customize their Guardians.
The Hopeful Apocalypse
Video game worlds often showcase bleak post-apocalyptic worlds. Games like Fallout and Gears of War feature dark worlds where characters don’t know what the future holds, and some don’t want to know, preferring to focus on the present. Destiny may take place after a major global disaster, but everything from the concept art to the soundtrack represents a hopeful world where humans are doing more than surviving – they are fighting for the future. This is part of Bungie’s plan. It wants to create a world that is inviting and interesting and appeals to all gamers, even the “impatient and distracted ones,” says project director Jason Jones.
Bungie has yet to showcase Destiny’s gameplay, but it has established an interesting world and laid the foundation for the expansive narrative. The studio wants to show it can add more to its legacy than Master Chief, and they’re going all in on Destiny. “We hope you’ll agree – it’s really crazy,” Jones says.
For more on Destiny, check out this documentary from Bungie.
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This game looks good, but after what they said about wanting to be similar to Star Wars and the actual similarities between the two, it almost seems like it takes place in the Star Wars universe.
I'm fairly impressed so far. It looks great and I love the concept behind it. It definitely has peaked my interest and I can't wait to see more.
I. Want. This.
im excited for the game, but im not so happy about leaving master chief in the dust.
looks awesome, except for the whole always online part and it's basically a console mmo thing. If it doesnt off offline play then my desire for this game has been drastically reduced... sorry bungie. I know your trying to overhaul the gaming universe and whatnot, but please dont do it at the expense of those of us without a stable internet connection. Thanks...
I will definitely be following this one. Go Bungie!