Last night the studio released a slice of the information that an eager community has long been waiting for. Talk of the new IP - Destiny - started to seep through to the public via mainstream outlets last year, but fan sites have been speculating about the new franchise since details first emerged in Halo 3: ODST.
There's been a lot of speculation flying around, and now some of that can be put to bed, as we've now got a clearer idea as to what the new series will entail, both in terms of story and scope. It's a project on an unprecedented scale: a series built from the ground up to be huge. Bolder than anything undertaken by the studio before, bolder than perhaps anything attempted by any studio before, ever.
The Ten Year Plan
Bungie hopped off the good ship Microsoft after the release of Halo: Reach, handing over their sci-fi shooter to fledgling studio 343 Industries. Their first effort, Halo 4, was warmly accepted by gamers, but for some it felt hollow, at least compared to the games that preceded it. Bungie's talent for innovation was replaced by a 343's need for stability. Whilst we may see more innovation from the series in the future, Halo 4 was all about continuity, about reassuring fans that the series would remain quintessentially Halo.
The lack of forward steps made by 343 Industries has left the door open for Bungie to once again demonstrate exactly why they're the masters of innovation, and why Halo became a behemoth of the gaming world. There's still plenty of legs left in the sci-fi shooter genre, and this wildly ambitious project hopes to demonstrate this unequivocally.
After leaving Microsoft behind, a ten year deal was signed with Activision. The deal will obviously see the transition to next-gen consoles later this year, and maybe even another hardware cycle further down the line. This bold new IP has been conceived with continuity in mind, Bungie are taking a ten year journey with Destiny, and they're inviting us to come along for the ride.
A Brave New World
The setting for Destiny is certainly compelling, perhaps even more so than that of Halo. It's to be set in a post-apocalyptic future, one where humanity rests on the brink of extinction. The time of Destiny follows on from a golden age where Humanity had spread out across the solar system, only for unknown forces to try and stamp them out of existence.
The Traveler, a mysterious Moon-sized orb settles above the planet Earth, offering sanctuary and strength to those who flock to its protection. Civilisation begins to reform underneath its watchful presence, and a city is born, where the species is able to once again gather its strength before eventually taking to the stars once again.
Exploring their old stomping ground, Bungie's vision of Mankind discovers that we're no longer alone, with several aggressive species living on our doorstep, controlling what once was ours. Destiny is the story of Humanity's ongoing struggle against these outside forces, as our species seeks to reestablish themselves in their seat of power.
In this war-torn future players will assume the role of a Guardian of the last remaining city on Earth, and according to Bungie we'll be able to "wield incredible power." Magic. Combat will take place across a multitude of combat hotspots, with players returning to The City, a "third person social space to refuel, repair, and rearm."