Bungie’s Destiny – The Persistent Sandbox Shooter We’ve All Been Waiting For

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Destiny is set to be a game unlike any other before it.  Bungie claims promises that this is a game that only their studio can pull off.  Destiny is going to be a first-person shooter set in a persistent open-world sandbox;  Bungie calls it a “shared-world shooter” and it sounds amazing.

Destiny takes place in the distant future after humanity has long since colonized the far reaches of space.  Humankind is all but extinct at this point due to an attack by an unknown source.  The only reason there were any survivors at all was due to an entity called the Traveler, an enormous sphere (think small moon) that now hangs directly above the Earth where it sacrificed itself to save humanity.  The humans rebuild under its protection and eventually venture out to reclaim their homes only to discover they are not alone.  Many different species of aliens now reside where the humans once called home and they want to eliminate humans for good.

Bungie has stated that there has been a huge emphasis on social and cooperative play since day one.  Destiny is set up to be constantly matchmaking you with other players in the background so you’ll consistently run into other people during play.  A good comparison was made by Destructoid in their preview write-up.  They mentioned that the cooperative play seems to be a lot like Journey in that you’ll constantly come across players during your travels that can potentially aid you in ways you’ll be eternally thankful for.  The design director for the game recalled a mission he experienced with another player where the two of them were getting their collective behinds handed to them; out of nowhere, another random player came along on a hoverbike and saved them from utter destruction.  That’s pretty awesome!

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Six-player co-op play will be in at the very least, but Bungie won’t state how many more players you can group with or how many can be seen on-screen at once.  Also, like it was previously stated, social online play is a big factor.  Bungie will also be releasing an iOS App for Destiny that will allow you to see stats, connect with other players, and receive notifications of things to do within the game.

Bungie/Activision flat-out said that Destiny is not an MMO, but the one draw back for some people is going to be the fact that it will be an always-online game.  That means that even if you choose to play by yourself, you will be required to have an internet connection, and possibly XBL Gold for the 360, just to play.  For most people, that won’t be an issue since a lot of players are online anyways; I do imagine that it will still alienate a good amount of potential players though.

Destiny has apparently been in development since 2009 and one thing Bungie has focused on is “creating a connected and cooperative world that players want to be in” according to Destructoid.  They have designed the game to be appealing to all sorts of player types and skill levels.

In terms of development technology, Bungie has worked tirelessly to redesign and improve upon their networking tech.  With matchmaking happening behind the scenes at all times, it’s pertinent that it be fluid and seamless to give the best experience possible.  One thing that will be interesting to see though will be how Bungie handles servers.  Will players have to choose from multiple servers upon game startup or will players all be based on a single server a la EVE Online?  Hopefully they’ll have an option to turn off the matchmaking to appease players with an “other-players-screw-up-my-game-by-being-stupid” mindset.

They were initially hoping for a 2013 release and now it looks like it won’t come out until 2014.  I believe that if anyone can pull off a game like Destiny it’ll definitely be the fine folks at Bungie.  They made huge innovations with Halo and I think they’re fully capable of redefining the genre once more.  This is definitely a game to keep an eye on!

Source and pictures: Destructoid

The author of this article was Justin Champion.

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PlayStation 4 to Stream PS3 Games

The rumor/announcement comes from sources of the Wall Street Journal “familiar” with the plans of Sony regarding the PlayStation 4.  The report claims that the streaming of current PS3 games will coexist with games on optical media sold through traditional means.

This rumor seems plausible since Sony acquired the streaming company Gaikai last year for the tidy sum of $380 million.

It’s expected that Sony will officially make an announcement on the subject during their event on the 20th.

Source: WSJ via Joystiq

Nintendo Direct Tomorrow at 9AM

For all of you diehard Nintendo fans out there, Nintendo will be having a Nintendo Direct presentation tomorrow at 9am EST.  The Nintendo of America presentation will focus on upcoming 3DS and Wii U games, according to the Nintendo Direct splash page.

Hopefully, we’ll get some more juicy information on the new Zelda and Mario games!  Also, with Nintendo holding a presentation tomorrow (2/14) and Sony holding one on 2/20, I wouldn’t be slightly surprised if Microsoft jumped on the presentation bandwagon and made a presentation offering of their own.

Link for Nintendo Direct.

New Stargate SG-1 Game In The Works!

Stargate SG-1: Unleashed is a new episodic game being released on the iOS App Store on March 7.  They say that an Android release will occur a month later.

Sally Malcolm is taking care of the story aspects of the game; she wrote the tie-in novels SG-1: A Matter of Honor, The Cost of Honor, and Atlantis Rising.  The original cast members have even signed on to do voice overs for the game.

Just like Blastr stated, hopefully it’s an episodic game more akin to Telltale’s The Walking Dead and not just an interactive CGI movie of sorts.

Definitely looking forward to this release!  How about everyone else?  I know there must be some Stargate fans out there!

Wildman Game Cancelled on Kickstarter by Chris Taylor

The action RPG was set to be crowd funded through Kickstarter, but it was cancelled today by Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games.  It was set to end on Friday and even though the Kickstarter was over half a million dollars short of its $1.1 million goal, he cites the reason for cancellation as wanting to focus more attention on Gas Powered Games.

Chris Taylor posted an update on the Kickstarter page earlier today giving everyone the bad news:

Greetings Kickstarters.

We have some news today. We are canceling the Wildman Kickstarter.

At this point, it makes sense for us to focus our attention on other ways to keep Gas Powered Games running. Unfortunately, we are unable to share any specifics in public. When we have news to share, we will be posting it on our site. If you want status updates, or if you want to continue discussing Wildman and/or this Kickstarter, please consider migrating over to forums.gaspowered.com.

We are profoundly grateful to those of you who backed this project and Gas Powered Games. Your passion and hard work put us in a position to write this exciting new chapter in the history of GPG.

He also posted an update video explaining that he has been looking for alternative ways to keep GPG afloat and he hopes that he’ll be able to bring everyone some great news in the coming weeks.

What a bummer!

Further Next-Gen Xbox Details Leaked!

A source in contact with Kotaku has revealed even more information regarding the specs and features of the Durango (next-gen Xbox) project from Microsoft.  This source is the same individual that leaked over 90 pages of PlayStation 4 development kit documentation.  It was also noted by Kotaku that the specs they were given weren’t just for the dev kits, they were also for the retail consoles.

According to their source and a previous report they made, the new console will come with a mandatory and upgraded Kinect sensor.  It must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to work.  This will allow developers to include the feature in all game development since it will be included with every console sold.  Another thing of note though is the fact that it will also have the ability to constantly “watch you”.  The new mandatory Kinect will have the ability to track six people in the room at all times.

The idea that the new Durango Kinect can track you at all times is a quite frightening one.  They could in theory charge customers for content based on a “how-many-people-are-watching” basis.

Kinect specs via Kotaku:

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This time around, as opposed to the Xbox 360, all Durango consoles will ship with a hard drive and the base size will be 500GB; don’t get too excited though, that storage will mostly be used for the required install of games upon the first disc insertion.  Good news, though?  That installation can occur while you’re playing the game; you won’t have to wait for it to first install.  Sadly, these installs are mandatory as the Durango games can’t access data directly from the disc.

Another nifty feature will be the consoles ability to multitask and run more than one game or app at a time.  The 360 can’t even do anything remotely close; if you want to use Twitter or Facebook on the console, you have to close everything and open it separately.  (It’s about time we’ll have that functionality with a console!.)

The Xbox 360 will not work with the Durango unit according to Kotaku’s source, citing the reason that Microsoft is using a “new wireless technology” in the Durango controllers.

There’s also talk of Microsoft trying to increase support for its Xbox Companion App by possibly using it in tangent with a phone or tablet; they would then possibly give it functionality akin to how the Wii U controller has both motion and touch capability.

Finally, according to the Kotaku’s source, the following are the final retail console specs and not the dev kit specs that have been reported in the past.  Enjoy!

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All of the information and picture content in this post was respectfully borrowed from the wonderful folks over at Kotaku.

Ultimate Game Collection Receives Bid!

I reported on a MASSIVE game collection yesterday being sold on eBay out of Milan, Italy. Today, that very collection has been reposted and has received an actual bid. It’s hard to tell if the bid is a legitimate one, but I will definitely be researching to find out.

I’ll be making updates here as I find out more information. Stay tuned!

EDIT:  As of 2/11/13, the second listing is completely gone as if it were removed by eBay.