Bungie revolutionized console FPS games when it released Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001. Now after the unveiling of their new franchise “Destiny” to be published under a 10 year deal with Activision, what do they need to do in order to create an even more successful franchise with a longer lifespan than the iconic Halo series?
More Complex Motivations
Halo took the tried and true “space marine” formula and managed to build a compelling universe around it that felt unique and fresh. Destiny will need to create an even more elaborate set of factions with more complex and diverse objectives than: “Military Grunts” vs. “Evil Alien Empire” vs. “Space Zombies”.
Each group had plenty of variety but their motivations were pretty cut and dry:
- A wants to destroy B
- B wants to destroy A
- C wants to consume the whole alphabet
Richer multiplayer experience
The latest game in the Halo franchise wasn’t developed by Bungie but Halo 4 by 343 Industries carries on the namesake and in doing so represents the direction in which the series is evolving. Halo 4 did a good job of incorporating the requisite perk based multiplayer system and weapon loadouts that have become a staple of any modern console FPS game with hopes of taking a nibble out of Call of Duty’s dominating multiplayer presence.
Although there is no confirmation that Destiny will require a constant internet connection, the implication seems to be that to get the most out of the game you will need to be continuously connected to their servers in order to allow other players to participate in your gameplay experience. The pros of having dynamic “real people” allies can quickly become outweighed by being constantly subjected to immature and shockingly racist/homophobic tweens.
Guns, Gear and Customization
Halo has many great weapons, each of them meticulously crafted to provide an optimum experience in both single and multiplayer arenas. However, when your crafting a game that will likely have you come across a plethora of people as both friend and foe it’s important to be able to build a character that is uniquely yours.
If every character in the game is using the same dozen weapons then the longevity of the game will suffer. I’m not saying that Destiny has to take the Borderlands approach and create equipment numbered in the “bazillions” but being able to modify your loadout will have to go beyond deciding whether to use a holographic or laser sight.
More Accessible Mythology
Covenant, Forerunners, Flood. Halo had no shortage of required vocabulary to learn in order to fully appreciate what was really going on within the game universe and Destiny will probably follow suit. It would be nice to be able to easily access this information without having to buy a series of tie-in novels, scour wikis or watch CGI/anime movies to get the most out of the experience.
I’m thinking Mass Effect style encyclopedia to the nth power?
Before Halo there was Marathon, a lesser known series of FPS games created by Bungie that helped define many of the mechanics we take for granted today. Using a mouse to look up and down and pan right and left for one. It also pioneered the use of in-game monitors to provide supplemental information to a player curious enough to explore the world’s underpinnings.
The Halo series by-and-large has been a run-and-gun affair with the environments existing solely as a series of static set pieces in which to host the action. It would be great if Destiny’s environments felt more “lived in” and provided more context clues about the world you’re inhabiting.
Though, I’m certainly not suggesting audio logs strewn about.
In case you missed it, you can watch the newest trailer which was released on Feb 17th to mostly positive reception:
What do you think Bungie needs to do in order to create a riveting new franchise that will keep players enthralled over the next decade?
Let us know in the comments below.