Bungie’s Destiny will redefine everything you thought you knew about first-person shooters. The game comes from the same company that already redefined the entire genre when they released Halo: Combat Evolved back in 2001. Now, 13 years later, (yes it has been that long, and yes you are that old), the Destiny beta has arrived on our digital doorstep, and here are the three stoned thoughts we had from it.
1. We need fan fiction to fill in the holes
The approach that Bungie took towards sci-fi in Destiny is admirable: humans walk on Mars and notice a giant orb called, "The Traveler" hovering over the planet. The Traveler ignites a new renaissance in history. Mercury turns into a garden planet, we start colonizing Mars, the human lifespan is tripled and weed never needs to be ground up, it just politely breaks apart on request.
Everything seems to be splendid, until some mysterious force destroys the entire galaxy during this Golden Age, leaving only one last remaining city on Earth of which The Traveler hovers over like that creepy guy in the corner at your friend’s keg party. Destiny fails to tell us where it’s from, whether it’s alive, or if it’s responsible for the two races of aliens that live on Earth. Of course this is when the gaming world needs those fan-fiction writing nerds to fabricate some overly-complex history about Destiny’s universe so we can sleep at night.
2. Stop biting from Star Wars
Within minutes of playing Destiny, even the novice sci-fi fan will be looking around for a LucasArts logo hidden somewhere in the main menu.
Destiny operates on an archetype of light struggling to defeat the dark side, much like Star Wars. Players start the Destiny beta in a deserted wasteland, not unlike the planet of Tatooine, and each player has access to their very own hovering speeder bike to traverse the landscape. Even the clothing used in Destiny seems to be that bizarre neo-desert hipster look popularized in the Star Wars franchise. Heck, there’s even a class you can play that uses "the void" to control the physical world with your mind -- although "the force" just rolls off the tongue a tad cleaner.
3. The interface is so sexy that it may make you pregnant
If Destiny’s sleek user interface was a chick on Tinder, everyone would swipe right and hope to whatever god they believe in that it’s a match.
Everything from the letter spacing to how each menu uses parallax to present information is downright stunning. You’ve never felt this cool playing a game, and most of that can directly be attributed to its science-inspired art deco aesthetic. Accessing your character’s inventory and stats is non-invasive and all information is accessible without having to redundantly navigate with button clicks. The left analog stick is used as a free-roaming cursor while in any menu which surprisingly reduces the level of frustration that we see with persistent first-person games. It’s really that beautiful, just trust us.
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