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The hype train derailed: EW's 'Destiny' journal, pt. 3

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Destiny has been out nearly a week now, and EW is putting the futuristic shared-world shooter through the paces in our ongoing journal. This is the third entry; read the preceding posts from Joshua Rivera and Jonathon Dornbush.

Big picture, Destiny doesn’t live up to the hype. How could it? Bungie’s first non-Halo game since 2001 and first title with mega-publisher Activision cost a reported $500 million to develop and market (those gargantuan wraparound ads in Times Square can’t be cheap). The studio promised great things, so naturally expectations were sky-high. Alas, add it to the list of much-hyped 2014 releases such as Titanfall, Infamous: Second Son and Watch Dogs that have disappointed by merely being good, not great. (Well, except for Watch Dogs, which doesn’t even qualify for “good.”) The PS4 and Xbox One have been out for nearly a year, and people are still looking for a reason to justify dropping $400–$500 on a new system. Destiny probably isn’t it. After all, it’s available on previous generation hardware, and while it doesn’t look as pretty, it plays the same. So it doesn’t live up to the massive hype.

But my bigger concern is that it doesn’t even live up to Bungie’s Halo games. READ FULL STORY

I get by with a little help from my friends: EW's 'Destiny' journal, pt. 2

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Destiny is, by most metrics, the biggest video game of the year. If you’ve read our primer, you know why it’s a big deal. But is it any good?

EW will be investigating that question in an ongoing Destiny journal. This post is the second entry—read the first entry from Joshua Rivera here, and continue on for more thoughts on Bungie’s new shooter.

9.12.14: To the beta and back again

I’m of two minds in my experience with Destiny so far. So far, I’ve had an absolute blast with the minute-to-minute gameplay. Bungie knows how to make a shooter, and whether in story missions or competitive matches, the gunplay shines through. But as I journeyed through the game’s story missions on Earth, levels I had already played in the beta, demonstrated the one major sin I was worried Destiny would commit in the early going—the lack of a driving force foryour Guardian. READ FULL STORY

Darkness bad, go shoot it: EW's 'Destiny' journal, pt. 1

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Out this week, Destiny is, by most metrics, the biggest video game of the year. If you’ve read our primer, you know why it’s a big deal. But is it any good?

That’s a tough nut to crack. 

Destiny is an online game that promises to grow and change, one that doesn’t really take shape until people are actively playing it. And so in lieu of a traditional review, several EW writers will be documenting their journey through the game. Think of it as a journal meant to give you a perspective on the game over time.

Sound good? Let’s go. 

READ FULL STORY

'Destiny' has 'most successful new video game franchise launch' ever

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Destiny is a big investment for Activision, the publishers of video game juggernauts like Call of Duty and Hearthstone, and the company hopes the title from the makers of Halo will pay off. While the company has yet to release concrete numbers about how the game sold during its first day on the market, Activision has released some promising news about what success may be in store.

READ FULL STORY

'Destiny': Everything you need to know about one of fall's biggest games

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The onslaught of fall video game releases officially kicks off today with the arrival of Bungie’s Destiny, which debuts for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Published by Activision, the shooter is being touted as the next big franchise, and the industry has taken notice—almost no other major release is scheduled until the end of September. With several weeks to keep players’ attention, Bungie has the difficult task of not only hooking players for the fall season, but, as their plans indicate, for several years to come.

So why is Destiny such a big deal, and does it have a hope to succeed? Let’s dive in and find out, Guardians.

READ FULL STORY

Explore the universe of 'Destiny,' streetview-style

Want a sneak peek at the worlds you’ll be shooting through when Destiny comes out next week? Know how to use Google Maps? You’re in luck: Destiny Planet View is an interactive web app that uses Google technology to map out three of the planetary locales to be featured in the new game from Bungie, the creators of Halo.

On top of flipping through screenshots and hype videos, Destiny Planet View also has some backstory sprinkled throughout. There might even be a few Easter eggs hidden away in there. There is also more to come, apparently: a cursory exploration of the Moon yielded a few points of interest that were currently filled with placeholder videos. Will Bungie use Planet View to hide away tidbits that are relevant to the full game? Who knows—but it’s worth a look. See what you find.

Lance Reddick talks 'Destiny,' and making sci-fi 'more mainstream'

If you pick up Bungie’s highly anticipated new game Destiny this September, you might hear some familiar voices on your journey across the universe. The voice cast is stacked with actors from much-loved TV shows like Firefly and The Walking Dead, lending their voices to a number of characters players will interact with in Destiny’s sci-fi universe.

One of those actors is Lance Reddick, of The Wire and Fringe fame. Reddick voices a character named Commander Zavala, who will give players who choose the game’s Titan specialization their marching orders. It’s not Reddick’s first video game role — he’s voiced characters in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand and a forthcoming adaptation of FutureDude’s Parallel Man comics — but it gives the actor an opportunity to be a part of a new sci-fi world, a genre he has a lot of affection for.

“I feel like there’s so much potential to do great storytelling in sci-fi,” says Reddick, in a call from the set of the upcoming Amazon series Bosch. “I feel like it’s becoming more and more mainstream.” With analysts projecting that Destiny might make up to $900 million, Reddick–along with his costars—might be a small part of pushing sci-fi further into the mainstream.

The full celebrity voice cast is as follows:

Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) – The Ghost

Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) – The Exo Stranger

Nathan Fillion (Castle) – Cayde-6

Bill Nighy (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) – The Speaker

Lance Reddick (Fringe) – Commander Zavala

Lennie James (The Walking Dead, Snatch) – Lord Shaxx

Gina Torres (Serenity, The Matrix Revolutions) – Ikora Rey

Peter Stormare (Fargo, The Big Lebowski) – Arach Jalaal

James Remar (Dexter, Django Unchained) – Executor Hideo

Erick Avari (The Mummy) – Master Rahool

'Destiny' preview: I can see your 'Halo'

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It’s been nearly four years since Bungie’s final Halo game hit shelves. Halo: Reach was an oddly somber blockbuster prequel that didn’t even feature series protagonist Master Chief, so it seems like maybe Bungie was already tired of Chief after Halo 3. After parting ways with Microsoft, Bungie inked a 10-year deal with Call of Duty publisher Activision to create brand-new, reportedly very expensive worlds. After churning out five Halo titles in nine years, the studio understandably wanted to try something different — which makes it all the more curious that its forthcoming Destiny feels so similar to Halo. READ FULL STORY

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