Saturday, 14 June 2014

Bungie's beautifully bleak Destiny



During this year's PlayStation press conference at E3, PS4 owners were given the opportunity to sign up for Destiny First Look Alpha before next month's beta. On Thursday I received an invite code and dutifully downloaded the 6.7GB Alpha from PSN. Midnight passed by in a flurry of visual virtuosity...

With an alleged budget of $500 million dollars the weight of expectation weighs oh-so-heavily on this new IP. However, developer Bungie and publisher Activision may have a killer app to rival Halo and Call of Duty franchises!



Initial impressions are positive and the game only crashed once! Destiny looks beautiful, Killzone: Shadow Fall beautiful, and evokes Bungie's earlier opuses: Halo and Marathon. There's a Mass Effect and Phantasy Star Online vibe, which compelled me to create a human character in homage to Miranda Lawson. Incidentally, actress Yvonne Strahovski is deftly holding her own in 24: Live Another Day.

Is it me or is Peter Dinklage's Ghost bereft of emotion? The beloved Game of Thrones actor is no match for Cortana or EDI and at times he sounds sardonic, which may or may not be his intention. Just hear him say "It can't be... It's the hive!", without sniggering. Bill Nighy seems to be having more fun.

The Alpha is a teaser of what to expect this September. I played story mode, without so much as a tutorial or context, with several other PSN friends and random players joined in on the action too. Friendly fire is not a good tactic, in the midst of an epic battle, and I wasn't the one firing! Looting is addictive and brings Borderlands to the table amidst the Halo and Mass Effect design cues.

Looking forward to Destiny? Let me know in the comments below.