THERE ARE FEW STUDIOS in the world with the gaming pedigree of Bungie. As the studio responsible for creating the first set of Halo games that helped make the Xbox the popular games console it has become, any new game from Bungie always garners significant attention, and this remains true with its latest title, Destiny.
Ever since Bungie unveiled Destiny, gamers across the world have been clamouring to get a look at the mysterious multiplayer shooter. Now, having had a sneak peak at the game running on Sony's next generation Playstation 4, if first impressions are anything to go by Destiny will certainly be worth the wait when it's released in September.
Jumping into the first few chapters of Destiny at a press screening ahead of the public Beta's opening, we found that while elements similar to those seen in Bungie's previous Halo titles remain, Destiny is a very different beast.
While Destiny is essentially a sci-fi first person shooter like Halo, it features a radically different setting and more evolved role-playing and multiplayer mechanics.
The role-playing elements are evident from the moment you launch Destiny and are confronted with its character creation system. Opening the game we were given a choice of Titan, Hunter and Warlock classes. Each class has its own set of specific skills and character progression trees that are tailored to suit a certain style of play.
For example, the Titan is a tank style character whose special abilities focus on engineering and firepower upgrades. The Hunter is a stealth and speed focused class, while Warlocks are mage-like characters that feature more powerful special abilities, but at the expense of things like toughness and speed.
While this sounds a little like previous multiplayer shooters, such as Borderlands, we found that the classes are far more sophisticated than competitors and there are significantly more customisation options included in Destiny.
Once we chose a class we then got to change how the character looked. Options include the ability to pick between basic human, awoken - space elf-ish things, and exo - robots, races. You then pick your character's gender before going on to choose one each of a set of preset faces, hairstyles and colours, and "markings" - tattoos.
Once all this is done you jump straight into the game's first mission, which introduces you to the game's core combat, exploration dynamics and story.