E3 2013 Preview: The Seamless Shared-World Fun of Destiny: I Just Wish I Could See More Of It

By Masoud House

June 19, 2013

Ever since Destiny was announced, I’ve been curious about what Bungie had in store for us gamers. As a PS3 owner who has only ever played the Halo series for brief moments, I had no idea what to expect. Then I heard about how Destiny was being made to be a shared-world experience, where players can drop in and out of missions seamlessly in a large sandbox environment and tackle the narrative alone or with allies. Top it all off with gorgeous graphics, a new unique world and tons of freedom, and Destiny was already making as many waves as Halo has done before. Finally at E3 2013, I was given the chance to see a hands-off demo of what the game has to offer, but unfortunately, Bungie didn’t show us anything we haven’t seen before.

By that, I mean exactly what I said: that’s not a snide remark on the likeness of FPSs to one another or a bland world with a lack of character, but just the truth. We were shown an almost identical presentation with an almost identical script to the one seen by everyone during the E3 2013 PlayStation conference.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that what we saw wasn’t authentic. With rumors airing around E3 by journalists that some of our presentations were being run with video clips and not true real-time footage, it was nice for Bungie’s presenter to take a moment to ignore the mission at hand, and show us the wide expanse of territory behind us. “Old Russia,” as we know it, was not just a pretty backdrop, but a large, open world. To prove his point, he shot a blast far off in the distance over a canyon to show just how far it goes. And far it went. He reminded us just how much this world would become its own living, breathing ecosystem when he said, “Nothing’s going on today. But tomorrow, there could be a mission out there, waiting for you and your friends to jump in and explore on your own time.”

Soon afterwards, the second developer in line jumped in, a spaceship literally dropping off her character within seconds to join our host. From then on, the demo followed much like before, with the presenter playing as a Warlock Class character who explores the facility with his Hunter partner in tow. When they reached a particularly dark area, he unleashed his “Ghost,” a small ally that illuminates the room around you and can perform small tasks. During this time some humorous lines were spoken, but I couldn’t tell if it was coming from the Ghost or the presenter’s character. But soon the Ghost had turned on all of the lights in the area they were in, which in turn attracted a string of enemies.

Combat was just as you saw in the Sony E3 press conference. The two players coordinated their attacks in front of us, covering each other’s backs while running and gunning against a few enemies. Just like the E3 conference, we saw the two take on a mini-boss enemy that resulted in the death of the presenter’s partner, and just like the E3 conference the presenter resurrected his partner and then scavenged the loot of their fallen enemy. This gave him a Thunderlord gun, and gave her a sniper rifle with a net attached to its scope.

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Just like the E3 conference.

This of course led to their escaping the wall, and being joined by another player, just before a second team comes in and they all take on the “Devil Walker” boss.

Destiny looks fantastic: it seems to run well, play well, and combine Bungie’s experience with the Halo series with the teamplay, looting and exploring aspects of Borderlands. I just hope that we too can explore more aspects of this universe, whenever more information about the game will be revealed.

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Masoud House

Born and raised in video games and "geek culture," Masoud has been bred off of fantasy worlds his entire life and doesn't see anything wrong with that. He loves RPGs (especially TRPGs), sandbox games, the sci-fi genre, dieselpunk, art deco, and anything that allows him to create. Having graduated from John Jay College with a degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing, Masoud hopes to one day pen the same novels, comics, movies, and video games he enjoys escaping into when the real world gets too boring.

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