Destiny Unfulfilled

Remember BorderHaloLands, more commonly known as Destiny? You might recall I have mentioned it before. Well, yesterday was the first day of a press junket and the overarching narrative is… not good, with Kotaku and Destructoid basically calling it boring. They also called it rather amazingly detailed and lush and beautiful. And barren. And lifeless. And populated with level 2 mobs with health bars that you shoot to power your rechargable super-skills. Yeeeeaaahh.

There is a mega-thread on Reddit if you want more sources and commentary.

What’s kinda funny to me are the understated dangers of game design, at least when you let the hype train roll along just a tad too long and it misses it’s station. In just about every article I’ve read on Destiny, unfavorable comparisons are being drawn between Destiny and Titanfall. And why not? Both are next-gen sci-fi shooters trying to establish new IPs. The problem is that, like it or not, Titanfall pretty much ate Destiny’s lunch before he even got to the cashier. Just look at these developer quotes in the Polygon article:

 “The way we like to think about it, is not everybody is going to want to play Destiny, but everybody is going to be able to play Destiny if they want to,” Parsons added. “We’ve made significant improvements to the way players are going to play. People are surprised at how quickly they master the controls and get up to speed and having a great time.”

“It might not feel new compared to some of the other things that have come out recently, like Titanfall,” said design lead Lars Bakken, who added that there are changes, like free-floating double-jumps that can last for a long time. “But we’ve been prototyping for a long time and we’ve created experiences that you’ve never been able to experience before in the previous games that we’ve made, especially because it’s inherent to your character.”

I mean, I laughed at the design lead sheepishly trying to draw a parallel between the now-genre-defining wall-running parkour of Titanfall and his own game’s “long-lasting double jumps.” And then I felt sad for them. Because how were they supposed to know? As I mention in the comments yesterday, I was all gung-ho for Hex to the tune of an $85 Kickstarter pledge right up until Hearthstone came out of nowhere – 3 short months later – and pretty much flipped the proverbial design table. Now I feel like anyone coming out with a digital TCG that requires you to spam-click “Pass Priority” a dozen times a turn is basically Dead On Arrival. Hex has moved on to beta recently, but I’m not even sure I have the alpha client still installed. Why bother?

In any case, the word on the street is still that there won’t be any PC version of Destiny. The reason?

Parsons also said creating and releasing a PC version of Bungie’s shared world shooter would not be as easy as many believe, because all versions of the game connect to the same persistent video game world, which itself extends to multiple platforms.

“It is not nearly as simple as you think,” he said. “It is one central world no matter what the platform, and so that requires lots of intensive thought.

Err… okay. It sorta sounds like they’re implying that people on a Xbone can play with people on a PS4, but I’m relatively certain that that’s not actually going to happen. Just like the chances of me considering a purchase of this game. But good luck, Bungie, all the same. You’re going to need it in this new environment, especially considering you’ve already got the next 10 years of this IP all planned out. If Destiny 2 doesn’t have wall-running, you’re going to be in for a bad time.

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Posted on April 29, 2014, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I only dropped $50 on Hex, but I came soooo close to requesting a refund before the April 1st deadline. I probably should have. I do have the beta client installed but I haven’t launched it and don’t feel any particular desire to.

    It just feels like all the cool features they promised (PvE, double backs, mercs, equipment, etc.) haven’t had any work done on them at all yet, while five months of alpha have just given us glacially slow progress on a really, really boring PvP game.

  2. I only put down $20 on Hex. I’m still waiting for the Campaign, though Hearthstone is heading down that road too so Hex may still fall short. The Pass Priority thing is just awful. I was hoping that was a break point of sorts for debugging during the Alpha and that it would go away at Beta or Launch. It’s still there so here’s hoping it disappears by Launch.

    • Magic Online has it, and it’s pretty much the only way to handle the nuances of “the Stack.” Hearthstone avoids all this by not having Instants, which felt like an omission at first, but now? Seems rather brilliant.