E3 2013: Destiny First Look Preview – The Final Frontier
Written By
View author's profile

And we thought Halo would be too hard an act to follow. After our first proper look at Destiny in action at E3, it looks like Bungie could well succeed in topping its greatest opus, which on the strength of one gameplay demo that wasn't even hands-on, might be a really stupid and foolhardy thing to say. But to hell with it. Destiny looked utterly fantastic on every conceivable level.

Before E3 and Destiny's gameplay demo, a lack of footage and screenshots in favour of concept art and ethereal, intangible ideas, meant we had relatively little interest in the game. The sci-fi setting looked somewhat derivative and we expected just another first-person shooter. Now Destiny is well and truly on our radar, showing that Bungie's ambition is definitely not in short supply here. And while words like 'ambitious', 'grand' and 'innovative' are easy to throw around along with every other hyperbolic word in our big journo's dictionary of positive praise, there's no other way to really describe our first look at Destiny.

As the action opens amid the arid wastes of Old Russia, you get your first glimpse of Destiny's antagonists, the multi-limbed Fallen, as they clamber over burnt out rusty cars stretching far into the distance. This is Earth, but not as you know it. It's out of the rubble and ashes of this apocalyptic world that you'll become “a legend in the making”, playing the role of a Guardian in Destiny's expansive connected online world. Unlike Halo's Master Chief, you're a hero with a face in Destiny, although you'll spend most of your time keeping your visage concealed inside a funky helmet.

Bungie's Destiny debut looks incredibly sharp and detailed, transporting us to a decaying, but imposing vertiginous steel wall on the outskirts of Old Russia. Riddled with gaping holes where entire sheets of rusty sheet metal have succumbed to the ravages of time and weather, the wall is just like those burnt out cars inhabited by skeletons; deserted, abandoned and foreboding. There's still a great deal of mystery surrounding Destiny's story, but that in itself adds to the game's appeal, the promise of discovering more and delving deeper into how civilisation fell.

Everything seemingly revolves around the mysterious Traveler, a city-sized orb that silently hangs in low orbit above Earth. It brought about a so-called 'Golden Age' for civilisation as it spread to other planets including the dunes of Mars and jungles of Venus, and now humanity's last city remains beneath the immobile Traveler, protected by its shield. You play as one of the guardians of the city, fighting outside threats like the Fallen on Earth and the Cabal on Mars. It sounds like the makings of a rich and intricate universe, something that Bungie has become well-versed in with Halo.

Destiny will take you from Abandoned Earth to the moon, Mars and Venus, but for this E3 demo we're shown a sliver of what Earth has to offer, taking us through the decaying Old Russia wall and into its rafters, where the lighting is something to behold. Deploying a Ghost Drone, you're able to shed light on the wall's creaky innards, as the glowing orb rises through the criss-crossing steel girders and shafts, projecting glimmers of bright light through the gaps. It's a startling early glimpse of what next-gen consoles can do as far as creating immersive and engaging environments is concerned. It's exciting stuff.

Throughout the entirety of the demo, we're teetering on the edge of our seat, hypnotised by what's unfolding on-screen. At its core, Destiny is a first-person shooter, but its MMO structure promises to deliver so much more. Imagine Borderlands-style co-op and loot on the most epic scale imaginable, and you're almost there.

Besieged by Fallen Dregs and Fallen Vandals alerted by the Ghost Drone's light, we get to see Destiny's robust-looking gunplay, as enemies actively seek cover and attempt to retreat when they're injured. A Fallen Vandal makes a break for it and tries to escape the fracas, only to be stopped in his tracks by a critical hit to the head from your pistol, while your co-op buddy does some crowd control keeping the grunt-like Dregs at bay, as the stronger more proficient Vandals attempt to outflank you.

As well as raining rifle fire upon enemies, your character also has a special ability, as illustrated by one Guardian's fireball. The camera quickly pans out to third-person view as he leaps to the air, throwing a blue ball of energy into the throng of Fallen enemies. Hadouken. Boom. Knifing enemies with melee attacks is also an option when things go close-quarters, a tactic that probably won't be all that effective against Fallen mini-boss, Rixis the Archon Slayer, who's been biding his time hiding in a large tunnel at the back of the decrepit industrial building.

Leaping from the darkness of the hole, Rixis wields a big gun that can decimate your health if you're not careful. Sliding to a safe spot, you can blast away at Rixis, lobbing a few grenades his way to bring him down. With the fearsome Archon Slayer slain, you're free to pick up the loot he leaves behind, which in this case is a Thunderlord rifle, a chunky elemental lightning weapon that packs a punch and has its very own upgrade tree.

Emerging into the cold light of day on the other side of the wall, a Public Event shows Destiny's MMO objectives at work as you're joined by a whole group of players of various classes, whether it's Hunters, Warlocks or Titans. An explosion on the horizon heralds the arrival of a Fallen dropship, which ejects a Fallen Devil Walker along with some reinforcements. Together you and your team can work to tackle the spider-like mechanical monstrosity, with the Public Event tasking you and the rest of your buddies with eliminating all of the targets. Chipping away at its armour, the level 20 walker soon succumbs to fireballs and bullets, and as you're able to keep your team at full strength by reviving downed friends, taking on the Fallen looks like a blast.

Destiny's a game that we can't wait to get hands-on time with. It came away with our Game of the Show Award with good reason, as the potential it displayed far outstripped almost everything else we saw at E3 this year. Bungie's first multi-format effort could be the developer's biggest game yet, and the start of something truly special. Fusing co-op and competitive multiplayer with MMORPG sensibilities, first-person combat and third-person community areas, Destiny certainly can't be accused of lacking ambition and scope. Can we play it now, please?

Destiny is out on current and next-gen consoles in 2014.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #1 by beh1230
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 04:04:33 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I have been watching this game ever since Bungie had announced it. I was a little worried that this would turn into another Halo,(I played halo for many years and I got bored with it), but upon watching the E3 gameplay. I find myself get excited to play a game of this magnitude. An MMOFPS that I can really play with my friends, no subscription fee, and on a console that I play on. Count me in.

Forum Posts: 1685
Comment #2 by EMP
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 04:05:42 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Day One.

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #3 by RBREEZAY
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 04:07:52 PM
(-18Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
PS4 fanboy here

Forum Posts: 486
Comment #4 by plum
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 04:28:14 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@3 thanks for letting me know really wanted to know if you where :|

Can not wait to play this sounds and looks beautiful with a great story.

Forum Posts: 11678
Comment #5 by BiggD
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 04:29:57 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Most anticipated game ever. I love you Bungie.

Forum Posts: 78
Comment #6 by ALI27727
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 04:33:47 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Day One purchase for sure.

Forum Posts: 310
Comment #7 by CASCADEYOUTH
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 04:51:52 PM
(2Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
reminds me of Borderlands but more serious

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #8 by cheevo360
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 05:07:06 PM
(2Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Look so nice. I cannot wait for this. This going be lots of great things inside this game. Of course it is Bungie.

I believe Xbox One and Xbox 360 will be sells like crazy over PS4, PS3 and PC. You know because so many fans who played Halo series in past and hold by Bungie until after Halo Reach so I think Bungie's new IP game going madness sells on Xbox One and Xbox 360. :)

I just saying Xbox One and Xbox sells higher numbers then others by next year. I guess for now.

Look forward this game. Keep good works, Bungie!! :D

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #9 by MyNameIsWill
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 05:34:36 PM
(-2Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@1 It's not MMO

This really does look amazing and I will be getting it!

Forum Posts: 134
Comment #10 by Duds911
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 06:27:00 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Hmm, I don't think this is a Day One for me. Most likely a Day Two or Day Three, or possible even a Day Four, who knows?

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #11 by chuggadave2
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 06:30:34 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This is going to be awesome

Forum Posts: 117
Comment #13 by NeoSant
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 07:29:50 PM
(2Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@12 you again? I see your comments in every article saying nothing than that you are one of the PS4 fanboys... good luck with your console, stop that in this forums.

Anyway, this game looks amazing, the public encounters thing is awesome!

Forum Posts: 66
Comment #14 by BrownCrusader
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 07:36:31 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Can't wait! This game look awesome!

Forum Posts: 79
Comment #15 by Tankore
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 07:45:55 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I am still on the fence on about this game. The demo just seemed like Borderlands with a different art style, which is not a bad thing but not really that convincing to me either. Will have to wait and see exactly how the level progression works and how the MMO aspect plays in, whether it will be pure co-op or include pvp.

Forum Posts: 228
Comment #16 by Fozki Razormaid
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 07:49:09 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
It took a while to like halo
reach was my favorate halo
but i hope bungie is as good
it looks good

Forum Posts: 303
Comment #17 by ronnie42
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 08:24:41 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I'm really not sure about this, graphic's don't make the game, it's usually the art style, gameplay but so far I'm not really hyped but I'm not hating it either. Maybe I might have a better idea down the road.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #18 by dbdikillhaji
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 09:26:11 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
cannot wait. bunnies take my money and wow me!

Forum Posts: 1355
Comment #19 by Quid Squid
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 09:42:12 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Can't wait for this and already have it preordered, think this could fill the huge epic sci-fi themed hole that Mass Effects main storyline has left open for someone to take full advantage of.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #20 by Layzmaster
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 12:34:47 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I'd love to play a single player campaign and not have any "penalties" for doing so.

I might cancel my pre order and wait and see if the whole mmo-esque type game play is for me. I dislike playing competitive multilayer. You always end up pissed off because people are D-bags online. Sure play with friends, but I'm 24, lives have begun, friends have families and responsibilities. I think most of you understand what I mean.

So yes, I want my cake and fuck yeah I want to eat it too. Why else would you have cake?

*Insert Portal reference here*

Forum Posts: 30
Comment #21 by Astrex
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 02:11:45 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
just looks amazingballs!

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #22 by BIG TRIGG
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 11:35:48 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Ill take it !!!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #23 by JoeDKhenry
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 03:44:01 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I dont know about this game to me its not WOW!

just looks like halo/borderlands and a little fallout

Forum Posts: 208
Comment #24 by DeadlySinz86
Monday, July 08, 2013 @ 08:52:29 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Never liked Halo, but I'm really looking forward to this! Day 1 for sure!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #25 by Polecat
Thursday, July 18, 2013 @ 02:32:34 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This should be awesome with all the fun of Halo and personalised character development.
I just hope it's not centered too much on competitive play.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #26 by mattsomething
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 01:17:49 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
It would be nice to see this on the xbox 360, not jus the xbox one

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #27 by Kira067
Monday, August 05, 2013 @ 03:27:34 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This game is just huge.

You need to register before being able to post comments.


Game Info


US September 09, 2014
Europe September 09, 2014
Japan September 09, 2014

Related News