First person shooters just went next level: Destiny is the next-generation title developed by Bungie that'll have gamers chomping at the bit to get a slice of this shooting action when it lands in 2014.
Pocket-lint was on hand at this year's E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles, California, to witness a co-operative multiplayer gameplay preview in a designated theatre on the Activision stand. Charismatic Bungie team members had been playing the game all day long but remained eager to show off their title to a captive audience.
Set in the future, Destiny's storyline - the small amount we've come to see - is hardly a boundary breaker: aliens have landed on earth and everything's gone to pot. It's hard to be original these days, but who cares right? It's got aliens, lots of heavyweight guns and the environment looks jaw-droppingly gorgeous. This first person shooter sure looks set to give Halo a run for its money.
In former Russia we're shown a giant structure amid the desolate landscape that our protagonist gains access to. It's dark and dingy so a floating light orb is dispatched to illuminate the path. But here's where the first unexpected personable touch occurs: the orb talks; it has personality and humour that's akin to Portal 2. We didn't see that coming, but it brings a smile to our faces.
Destiny looks to be as charismatic a game as its creators are riddled with their own personal brand of humour. It's full of personality and human touches and doesn't always take itself completely seriously. But in the same breath it's one very serious game: full of armoured aliens and spaceships, the shooting combat looks like just the ticket for any FPS fan.
In one scene following the dispatch of a large group of aliens we see a giant ship break though the atmosphere in the distance, only to fly overhead in a movie-like moment that - thanks to the subwoofer under the seat in the theatre - was a truly draw-dropping gaming moment. It looked incredible as it blocked out most of the sun.
The weapons we've seen in the game range from smaller single-hand shooters to customised two-handed cannons, shotguns and other futuristic heavyweights. A talent tree of customisable and upgradable elements was shown off by the creators, but only briefly - and they wouldn't deliver full details on the process of upgrading and customising weapons and characters.
Multiplayer looks to work seamlessly too, with several characters playing live simultaneously through the game. Headsets on, the Bungie team chatted to one another in an over-the-top but ultimately entertaining in-character way. Tactical targeting of larger mechanical enemies - and we mean huge ones - and the right choice of weapons resulted in a quicker dispatch.
It's clear to see that these developers are passionate about what they're making, and we can see why: Destiny puts down the mark as to where next-generation, futuristic shooting games need to be. It seems to have everything: action, aliens, big guns, multiplayer, customisable characters, upgradable weapons and all the core gameplay any FPS fan would pine for.
But it's not that long list which has necessarily impressed us the most - it's the subtleties of the gorgeous environment, the tongue-in-cheek humour and gaming potential combined with all the aforementioned aspects which make this look like the first person shooter to gun for.
Destiny delivers some "wow" moments. It left a big impression on this year's E3 after being adorned with dozens of and one we anticipate will last.