Monday, February 18, 2013

Destiny is a Thing, Not Sure If I Care

For like two years now, we've been hearing about Destiny, the newest(? does that even count if we've literally been hearing about it for all this ti-oh, nevermind) thing from Bungie after their business relationship with Microsoft ended and they went independent.  Kind of.  Sort of.  Well, okay, they're just working for Activision now which basically just means that they can release games for non-360 platforms now, which they are taking full advantage of with Destiny by releasing it for....360 and PS3.  Maybe.  There are so many damn things making this story far more convoluted than it needs to be and it just makes it incredibly frustrating for someone who doesn't naturally come to this developer, this type of game, to actually find out information -about- this game that isn't mired in rumor and speculation.

To give you an idea - the rumors and stuff start on just what consoles this game will even be released on.  Nobody really knows at this point, because even though they said "PS3 and 360", since both the PS4 and the NeXtBox (I really like that name) are thought to be announced this year, with at least the former supposedly being released this year as well.  Depending on where you look, Destiny the first will release either this year or next, further obfuscating what should, in fact, be the easiest goddamn detail about the title.  Of course, it's not just as simple as two conflicting reports, because why would it be, since it's even more mucked up thanks to a mixing of rampant speculation and what amounts to common sense in the face of this sort of thing.

As I said, it's kind of common sense that they would want to get in on the next console generation on the start because, well, that means they'll be able to support the entire series on said console instead of really doing a whole lot of splitting beyond what's necessary.  The theory that says it's releasing this year still stays sound because, yes, even if it releases for PS3/360, it will also release for PS4/NeXtBox eventually in some updated fashion.  Mostly because, with a little luck, they could still release it on the latter two this year as launch titles, presuming both consoles do launch this year as predicted.  You'll notice I'm using a lot of 'maybe' and 'presuming' and 'if/then' and there's a very real reason for that which I will get into in a moment, though it's kind of obvious already.

What else isn't clear is just what in the hell the game is going to be, really.  Between concept art, about ten seconds of actual footage (?) and about fifteen minutes of pretentiousness, we really, honestly have not a single clue what the hell is going on here.  Destiny is aiming to be an FPSMMO Open, persistent-world first-person shooter that requires an internet connection to play, even single-player, because of the whole persistent-world thing.  Also I guess when you're playing single-player, you'll be paired up with co-op buddies who are also playing the game single-player.  But it's still totally single-player, you guys, and there's a single-player story and stuff.  Because it's not an MMO, you see, which doesn't have a single-player story so much as it has questlines that revolve solely around your character for your instance of playing it.  As you play, you presumably shoot things, pick up loot and, uhhhhhh.....shoot more things, which continues to mark the difference between it and an MMO, if you can't tell.

Without being cheeky any longer, I'm going to say that you might be wondering "Mogs," you wonder, "Mogs, you clearly don't have an interest in the game, so why are you talking about it?".  And it's a fair thing to wonder.  It's something that I wondered about for about four hours, staring at this window after committing myself to writing -about- it.  Because it is news, big news at that, so I felt like I should have some sort of an opinion on it.  At first, I didn't think I did.  I shrugged my shoulders and made a little hand gesture and looked around for something else.  "It's another Bungie game where you shoot things", I said.  "I didn't like it the first six times, and I hardly doubt playing in a different area that actually isn't a corridor stage will make a difference."  Then, though, then I came back to it.  I went, "Why -do- people care?"  And it's pretty obvious that the reason is that it's Bungie.

I surmised this after thinking it over for a long while.  I realized that, were this -not- a Bungie game, absolutely nobody would care.  Why would they?  This is nothing new, at all.  The concept isn't new, as there have been FPSMMO's already, some that have done it rather well, I would assume.  The scope of the game isn't really new since, aside from Co-Op being a thing, I didn't really see any real numbers being tossed about.  Yet, I'm just going out on a limb and assume the game is -not- going to have 256 players on the same wide map working towards similar or conflicting goals against one another like a certain other game already has done.  So what, really, does it have?  It has a pedigree of Bungie's name behind it whose big claim to fame is the FPS that would be King for a while, Halo, which was often praised for its mechanics and art direction.  Aside from that, there's really no reason to give it a second glance at this point.

Part of that is Bungie's fault.  A large part of it.  The real, really real, reason why I wanted to talk about 'Destiny' is so that I could go on record stating just how badly Bungie ballsed this up.  Flubbed it.  Fumbled.  Looked silly for.  Screwed the pooch.  Et cetera.

No matter how you look at it, Bungie's little press conference to announce Destiny formally was premature.  There is a such thing as timing, it is in fact something that exists, even though it is apparently something that Bungie does not understand.  Let's go by the things that -we-, the ignorant masses in the long run, know by this point.  We know that both Sony and Microsoft have made heavy allusions to big announcements which, we can infer, are new console announcements.  We've known this for a little while.  At least a month, I would say.  Time enough that, should we with our limited knowledge needed to -adjust- for said consoles, it would be possible.  We've known about Destiny, on the other hand, being a thing that exists for just under two years.  So, what I'm saying is that both of these things have been known quantities for a while even for we who don't really know a -lot- of the inner workings of the industry.

Now let us realize that whatever time we've had access to all these bits of information, Bungie has had more.  Bungie probably knew before any of us just about what to expect of the new consoles because they probably have had hands on dev kits for both.  None of this stuff was surprising, is my point.  So why, then, was it necessary to have a goddamn press conference two days before one of the consoles was announced?  In what galaxy does this make sense?  That's one of the key items into the smoky mass of 'what the fuck' in this whole mess of details and misinformation since it's just more wood, more fire to add to the pile to make it burn hotter and char longer.  Even if it's about staying 'independent' of either system in terms of exclusivity or extra support (which it's not), meaning they didn't want to piggy-back on someone else's announcement (Wednesday at the Playstation Meeting or Microsoft's E3), there was a better time for this.  Things could have been rescheduled.  And likely should since, well, maybe the game isn't even far enough along to show off.

What do I mean by that?  I mean people like Adam Sessler, who went to the Bungie Press Conference thing, saw about as much of it as we did, and you all know what we saw - jack shit.  He was instead told things with nice, cheap words, and then informed that he could not reveal said words until the embargo lifts.  So this jumped up, self-important Press Conference was for what exactly?  Nobody walked away from it feeling much the wiser about this game that has only existed in the 'someday' portion of our minds for under two years.  There has, in fact, been nothing to really -move- Destiny from this 'someday' portion of our minds because this concept art leaked like two months ago or something, we've known the preliminary contract dealings (which could have been altered) for a while now and we were shown and told nothing important pertaining to the actual game itself.  That, folks, is how you absolutely wobble something this big.

Nice, cheap words.

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