Bungie’s Destiny – What’s Different from Halo
“Destiny” is perhaps one of the most anticipated games of the last ten years, in no small measure because famed “Halo” developer Bungie is at the helm. “Destiny” has been selling well since being released September 9th; CNet reports that “Destiny” has already broken $325 million in sales. Best known for the massive success of the “Halo” franchise, the game developer is hoping to show gamers something unique, and here are the ways “Destiny” is different than “Halo:”
Bungie has changed dramatically as a developer in the 13 years since the release of “Halo.” The differences in gameplay are subtle – players can greatly customize their particular warrior in “Destiny,” allowing them a freedom of experience that “Halo” never approached. Whereas the universe of “Halo” is about the strength of organized forces, “Destiny” is about the will of individuals coming together to fight a common foe, and this aesthetic is reflected in the RPG-esque character customization features. At its core, there is no “Master Chief” character that the narrative follows – “Destiny” is about players crafting their own unique story in an open world.
Presented as a shared-world shooter, these cooperative play mechanics and character customization features have much in common with MMORPGs such as “World of Warcraft” or instance-based dungeon crawls like the “Diablo” franchise. While these types of experiences are hardly new to the PS4 crowd, Bungie promises that “Destiny will be something that everyone can pick up and enjoy. No stranger to speaking narratives, Bungie has developed a new myth that draws heavily from the world of RPGs.
The core mechanical difference from “Halo” to “Destiny” is the inclusion of classes. Called the Warlock, the Titan, and the Hunter, each of “Destiny’s” three classes has a different skill tree with multiple options for advancement so players may direct the course of their character’s career as they level up. U.S. Gamer presents the idea that “Destiny” is a better “Borderlands,” featuring all of the drop-in play and co-operative elements of “Borderlands” with the streamlined shooting mechanics of “Halo.” While there isn’t anything mind-blowing about adding RPG elements to a first person shooter, Bungie has made an interesting shift in the mechanical aspects of shooter-gameplay by making the instance-based event supplant the death-match arena as the main focus of gameplay.
When competitive play does emerge in “Destiny,” it is carefully scaled to remain enjoyable, a problem that often plagued MMOs. For example, when a player joins a competitive multiplayer match, their weapons are scaled up or down to match the average of other players. This complex method of balancing means that players who are at higher level or better equipped will lose much of the PVE edge when they choose to fight other players, allowing gamers who just want a frantic death match once in a while to compete against those who have subsumed themselves in the campaign mode.
At its base level, “Destiny” is familiar territory for anyone who has played “Halo.” You still spend your time running down hallways, fighting in giant facilities, and killing aliens, but that’s actually a good thing. Bungie not only released the game for both next-gen consoles, opposed to Xbox exclusive Halo, they’re learning how to take an old formula and evolve it into something that pleases its fanbase while exploring new territories in design.
About: Peter Biu
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