by Brian Robbins

Without a doubt one of the biggest games of this year’s E3 was Destiny, the first new IP from Bungie in over a decade. None of us knew what to expect as we all waited in line to enter Bungie’s private theater. We were showered with swag such as T-shirts and stickers but the three hour wait still seemed like an eternity. Guess what? It was totally worth it. Bungie’s Destiny is going to blow our socks off when it gets released next year, and I for one can’t wait to start the adventure as soon as possible.

Destiny is almost like a first person shooter/ MMO. It’s not really a MMO though because there are limitations to how many players are in one area but basically you’ll never be alone. It’s fair to make the comparison that Destiny plays strikingly similarly to Halo, Bungie’s most notable work– just the way the characters move, interact and look harkens back to the glory days of Halo: Combat Evolved.

While the demo we were shown was the same one from Sony’s press conference, the Bungie team made sure our experience was a little bit different. They interacted differently while they played the demo, and showed us the vast environment where Destiny’s characters will play. What Destiny really gets right is the sense of atmosphere: it truly feels like a living, breathing online world. This is probably the biggest compliment you can make to a massive multiplayer game like this one.

Along with the gorgeous environment, the gameplay is also a beauty queen. Again, if you’re familiar with Halo, you’re sure to feel right at home with Destiny. The grenades again seem like unique tools of destruction, the guns are of course very original but also there are the Guardians’ (the characters you play as) special abilities. In the demo we got to look at, the Bungie play tester jumped in the air as he unleashed a powerful Dragon Ball Z like fireball on an enemy tank. Needless to say, it was very pretty.

Speaking of pretty things, the game looks great. The environment seems to draw you in with vivid colors and impressive effects. The character models look beautiful and the way they interact with the world seemed very seamless. One of the most impressive things in the demo was when a massive enemy flagship descended into the world’s atmosphere. You could see the wind rushing around the characters and the level. Destiny will definitely push the current generation of consoles and even make the new Playstation 4 and Xbox One sweat a little.

It’s interesting to see Bungie finally get something new to work with. I’m sure they were delighted to stretch their creative genius with a new franchise. It seems like they’ve made quite the commitment with Activision though; Bungie will be working on Destiny for at least four titles. We’ll see if people will get a little exhausted with the franchise but I seriously doubt it. Bungie seems determined to keep updating the game and deliver a living breathing world.

One thing that was in question is of course the game’s identity. It’s hard to explain just what it is, especially to my friends. The best way I could sum up Destiny was as a crazier and bigger version of Borderlands. Some people might disagree with me but I found they were pretty darn close to one another. Both are loot based shooters, mostly open world and were mostly driven by the cooperative interaction with fellow players. Although I heard Destiny will have some sort of PVP and that excites me.

I strongly believe Destiny will become another huge video game franchise. I’m very interested to see what other reveals Bungie will make until release. It’s confusing that game is also launched on current systems like the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Will the Playstation 3 players interact with Playstation 4 gamers, only with toned down visual settings and vice versa for Microsoft players? There are still a lot of questions– we’re still quite a ways off from release so I’m sure they’ll be answered soon. Out of all the games I personally checked out at this year’s E3, Destiny was my personal favorite. I literally can’t wait to get my hands on the game next year and hopefully my friends will feel the same way.