T.A.O. of Destiny: Gameplay Reveal trailer

On July 3rd, Bungie released a new Gameplay trailer for the forthcoming game Destiny. This trailer is mostly a cleaned up, more deliberate variant of the gameplay demo that was shown live at E3, and it was also released in HD. They order of players have been mixed up, and the main narrator takes a bit more time to describe what is happening on the screen. Still, there is plenty that isn’t described, so let’s a look at what was overlooked. First, the official gameplay trailer:

As stated, this trailer is mostly a re-release of the E3 demo, so I will be taking the liberty of glazing over a few of the less significant features. For instance, the opening scene displays a lush new world with fantastic lighting coming through the clouds. This is a perfect example of processing power of the next-gen consoles, and should be pretty self evident. Also, you can refer to my previous post breaking down an earlier trailer for more info.

However, I do like the touch at 0:53 where they state the date as “EARTH: Many years from now”. Nice job not putting up an actual date! This way we won’t have to deal with all the “Back To The Future” posts about  “THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE!” or “WHY DON’T WE HAVE HOVERBOARDS YET!?!?!” later on. Seriously, thank you for allowing our minds to fill in this part of the fiction.

An interesting touch occurs at at 1:00. When that time comes, there is a quick change in the music and we see a definite line come from the right hand side of the screen which is immediately followed by a graveyard of bombed out cars. A quick close up of one of the rusted out sedans, and we see a skeleton still in place with vines growing up the window frame.

FallenCaptain
4 arms, 2 swords

A few mostly unseen figures bounce off the roof, and we slowly pan up to some armor clad boots of a Fallen armed with a sniper rifle. It watches an airship of human design pass overhead and rallies it’s comrades to head in the same direction.

1:33 we see our first glimpse of the walled city, referred to as “Old Russia”. The airship comes to a hold just outside the wall, and allows a Hunter to drop off. Naturally, the Hunter sticks the landing and allows the camera to pan to the side letting in a lens flare to top off the pose of lone badassery.

1:50, we hear the first words out of our narrator, Joe:

In the world of Destiny, you’re a legend in the making. A Guardian of the last safe city on Earth. And today, we’ve come here; Old Russia. And I’m gonna meet up with some of my friends and together, we’re gonna explore the wild frontier on the other side of that wall.

After making our way through the car graveyard, we hear the rush of an engine. at 2:29, we turn to the left just to see our good friend Darla drop in to the game, both metaphorically and literally. At 2:31, we’re even greeted by a friendly hand wave. Aren’t people in Post-Alien-Apocalyptic Russia so nice? After a brief casual exchange, the plan is for Joe and Darla to fight their way through that giant wall and meet up with yet another friend, Josh.

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_2-49
Welcome to Old Russia

As they make their way to the wall, 2 things to note:

  1. There’s a cyan bubble above Darla’s head with the number 5 (character level?) in it, and is flanked by her gamertag.
  2. Darla is controlling a Guardian of the Warlock Class
  3. Ammo count, shown both at the bottom left and on the gun itself
  4. Quick silhouette of the gun type (Assault Rifle) and a faded shadow of other gun (Pistol)
  5. Two icons of usable abilities.

A brief pan upward to take in the state of decay at 2:58, and we’re off to enter the wall.

As we pass through the hallways, we get to a scene where the only light available is coming through the slanted windows to our right. Since the windows are angled groundward, they’re not letting in much light. At 3:33, Joe asks Darla “How we lookin’? to which her reply is “Getting dark”. At this point, we see one of the Hunter’s abilities “Ghost”, where he is able to let loose a small hovering bot which then illuminates the hallway as a glowing orb.

As we continue on, we hear a new voice making a few snarky comments about the scenery. Apparently, our Ghost is capable of speech and has a sense of humor. At 4:04, we get to “the end of the line”, and our Ghost notes that we need some more light in order to find a way across. Then, there’s a moment of casual conversation where it requests that you “Hang tight” while it “finds some stairs”. As it drifts away, it begins to make a few more snarky remarks but is reduced to muffled ramblings as it leaves an audible range. It then follows the metal walkway and drifts up a few lights of stairs, eventually finding the appropriate circuit breaker or switch box to finally turn the lights on.

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_4-51
Battle HUD

4:46, Unfortunately we are not alone in this wall, and as soon as all the lights come on our Ghost announces “We’ve got trouble!” and we see a few flying drones and Fallen making their way towards us. A quick statement from the Ghost to let us know that it’s “Coming back” to us confirms that the Ghost is a fully functional AI with some self-preservation coding. At 4:48 the first battle officially starts. As it turns out, the Assault Rifle has a 3 shot burst. From this screen shot, we now have some new info to look at:

  1. Name of the enemy. In this case, “Fallen Shank”
  2. Health Bar. Bright Red = Remaining
  3. Number 3 inside a Red box. In regards to the previous number 5 by Darla’s Guardian, it would be safe to assume this is in fact a level indicator. Thus, both Guardians and Enemies will have levels.
  4. Ammo Count. We started at 27, and we are now at 24. Thus, 3 shot burst.
  5. Radar. Interestingly enough, it only shows the position of our fellow Guardian, and not the enemy.
Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_5-00
Futuristic-Magical MIRV Grenade?

As this battle continues, we see a bit more of how these encounters will progress.  The Fallen have since passed to a side corridor and are coming around the bend (2). at 5:00, we see Darla throw out what looks like a grenade (1) and bursts in to 7 glowing orbs grouped relatively close together. Pushing through, we see more fallen coming from every conceivable direction; from the original corridor, new doors to the right, and even down from the ceiling!

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_5-09
Knife Slash!

5:09, we get to see what the Hunter uses as his melee attack: a short survival knife. This is important instance, since this shows that although the knife is not listed as one of his primary weapons, it is still available for close range combat. Also, he does not use his gun as his melee attack (as with Halo) suggesting that it will be the same regardless of whatever weapon is currently equipped. Will it be class specific (as in Borderlands) or will this be treated like a side-arm and you can equip different melee weapons later in the game?

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_5-39
“Clockin’ head shots like they’re going out of style”
~Don’t Make Us Kick Your Ass – F.S.R. w/ Spit Yo-Yo Mafia

A few more reloads later, and we’re mopping up the last of the fallen. As the last “runner” falls back, we see Joe line up a shot with the revolver for a headshot. At this level of gameplay and for this type of game, it’s basically expected that headshots count as critical hits, but it’s always fun to see the word pop up above the fallen Fallen, just to confirm it.

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_5-52
Skills and Skill Cooldown

And just when you think the Fallen have fallen, we see a whole new batch of them appear behind a door. Joe quickly switches to his Assault Rifle to zoom in with the scope, but then opts to use one of his abilities. Again, it looks like a grenade that is thrown, but it jumps up in an orange flare (1) and we see the earlier noted icon (2) begin a cooldown delay.

Destiny_Gameplay_FireGun
Warlock fire-blasting the Fallen

This display of abilities continues on as they mop up the remaining enemies. First, Darla charges up her gun with some kind of fire elemental that greatly increases it’s damage rating. Her gun begins to emit a wispy orange glow the the bullets light up similarly as she takes out the Fallen with one shot apiece. She is able to get 3 shots off with this ability with her pistol before switching weapons again. Not sure if this ability has a time limit or if it is canceled upon switching weapons.

Destiny_Gameplay_ForceThrow
Force Throw? Ha-du-ken? Either way, BOOOOOM!

Not to be left out of the ability demo, Joe demonstrates the other ability his Guardian has. This time, the camera briefly pans back from the 1st person view to a 3rd person, leaps in to the air and lets loose a forceball in to a pair of fallen further down the stair. This power sets off a considerable explosion and has a longer cooldown than the previous.

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_6-25
Rixis, the Boss Battle

6:18 As the last of the Fallen falls in defeat (ok, I promise that’s the last Fallen pun!) we see a massive tunnel/pipe to the upper right of the screen. Naturally, this is the entry way for one last Fallen, which happens to be a big one. As it leaps in to the room, Darla’s Warlock is sent flying off screen, we see a few new items displayed:

  1. Revive Orb: By interacting with this orb, we’ll be able to revive Darla. However, this is an intense boss battle, so we may have to wait until it’s defeated before having enough time to do so.
  2. Interact button: In this case, rather than her level being displayed in the cyan bubble, it’s the square button. Apparently, they’re playing this on the PS4 for this demo.
  3. Golden Name: Rather than a generic enemy type, this baddy has a name and rank associated with it, and is in gold lettering. In this case, we need to kill “Rixis, Archon Slayer”
  4. Along with the Golden Name, we see that his level is, uhhh, “skull”. Well, that can’t be good…

A little evasive manuevering and a well placed flare grenade later, Rixis is defeated and we can safely get around to reviving Darla. Once Darla is back in the game, Joe mentions that it’s time to grab their “loot”. The use of this term is significant, since it is a term typically associated with games where many different weapons and armor are available and may be stored as some home base for future use, such as Borderlands, Diablo, and World of Warcraft. In this case, Joe picks up the “Thunderlord” which turns out to be an “Exotic Heavy Machine Gun”. But before getting in to that, let’s take a closer look at 2 other screen shots:

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_7-15_Avatar
Avatar and Inventory
  1. Looks like we get the first look at Joe’s Gamertag, being Deckard-BNG
  2. Menu Items are listed across the top of the screen, including “AVATAR”, “INVENTORY”, and “SETTINGS”
  3. Some more Guardian info, specifically his class: “Male Human Warlock”, an icon of a fist holding a lightning bolt (akin to Halo’s Emblems?), Experience level of 7, and “Winter Moon” in grey text underneath (Faction?)
  4.  As the player scrolls around the screen, you’ll see this update to let you know what is currently being editted. Right now, it’s “Primary Weapon”
  5. These icons show what guns are currently equipped and available. In this screen shot, we see that the 3-shot burst rifle that was being used is called “Viper P3”. Along with this, there are several other bits of information, including the weapon level (70), weapon type (Superior Pulse Rifle) and a brief description (A solid, accurate……)
  6. Here is the newly picked up Thunderlord. Not that the background for this weapon is gold, while the background on the weapon icons above are purple (as is the background color for the info box)
  7. Armor pieces. Looks like we have helmet, gloves, body, belt, and boots. Again with the color coding, we see purple and green. If we are to follow a similar color coding as in Borderlands, are the green items of a lesser rarity?
  8. Finally, we get to see what our Guardian looks like fully suited up.

Now that the Avatar page is out of the way, we then take a look at the Thunderlord itself:

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_7-22_Gun Info
Weapon Skills
  1. Name and type of gun: Thunderlord, Exotic Machinegun
  2. Weapon Stats: 200 Weapon Level, followed by ratings for Accuracy, Stability, Handling, and Magazine Size
  3. Flavor text, just to add a little something something. Here it reads: Even in the chaos of the Gap, one could make out its thunderous fire leaving a sea of Fallen in its wake.”
  4. Side profile of the gun itself
  5. Category of weapon: In this case, “Heavy Weapons”
  6. Skill Tree: Looks like each weapon will have it’s own skill tree that you can level up through. in this case, we see a series of 9 different levels that the player can upgrade through. There are also 2 additional icons shown on the screen, to the upper left and lower right, that are not linked with the rest of the chain. Perhaps these are additional skills/traits that can be upgraded, but have no logical alignment with the rest?
  7. Skill info box: Here we have the info for each individual skill. From the top, we have the Skill Name (Gathering Storm), Skill Description (With every kill, the fury of the weapon builds, granting bonus damage for a limited time), Skill Requirement (Glimmer, Weapon Kit), and Talent Point. Fun!

Other upgrades include Accuracy, Ammo, Stability, and the top skill “Rolling Thunder” which grants explosive rounds. What’s not discussed here is if the Armor Items will have similar trees associated with them.  One can hope!

As we give the new gun a test, we note a few things: excessively long reload time, a barrel magazine typically associated with massive ammo capacity, and the thing is puling with electrical sparks.

We also get a quick look at Darla’s new weapon, a sniper rifle. We don’t get to see any of it’s specifics, and she claims that the gun is called “Better than your’s”. Har. Har. Har.

Nerd Rage Note: In the E3 demo, the Sniper’s name was referred to as “Shut up and get behind me”. NO! THAT’S NOT HOW SNIPERS WORK! The Sniper is supposed to stay back and pick off the far targets from afar while the Attack Gunners and Tanks take out the more immediate targets. YOU! YOU WITH THE SNIPER RIFLE! YOU GET BEHIND THE GUY WITH THE HEAVY MACHINE GUN AND PROVIDE COVER! I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE MAKING UP FRIENDLY BANTER ON THE FLY! GET IT RIGHT!

End Nerd Rage. I rage because I’m jealous of your job perks.

Now with the boss battle over, the 2 Guardians make their way though a ventilation tunnel and in to the wild. Note that there are now 3 weapon silhouettes shown in the HUD. Take a moment to take in the view, and we see our friend Josh (level 11) and he’s got a rocket launcher that was “Raised by wolves”. Possible Roman reference, or just more competitive banter? Either way, it has a fairly ornate design to it’s aesthetics.

Destiny_Gameplay_HUD_9-23_PublicEvent
Enter the Public Event

8:57 We hear a rumble in the distance, the sky darkens, and suddenly a drop ship warps in to view! A little more rumbling, and we see another major feature of the game: Public Events!

  1. The “Big Boat”
  2. Drop Ships
  3. Public Event Notification, with the name: Fallen Assault

Immediately after the ship passes, we hear Josh say “We’ve got our fire team. Let’s follow them in.” As we sprint (Note altered weapon grip while sprinting) towards the public event, we see a new message appear across the top, “JOINED PUBLIC EVENT: ELIMINATE FALLEN TARGETS”, confirming that the battle is ON!

Public Events: These will be optional battles in which you and your immediate party will have the opportunity to play a part of a much larger battle. As seen, additional fire teams will join to aid in fending off the attack. With this addition, Bungie and Activision are blurring the lines between co-op gameplay and full on MMO

The first few fallen are taken out fairly easily, but soon a “Devil Walker” (Level: “Skull”) drops and the real fight begins. By 10:15, a second “Fire Team” enters the arena, and this time they are level 20. The battle continues, and we see parts of armor begin to break away from the Devil Walker, confirming location specific damage. As more armor pops off, we see what looks like a glowing section of the Devil Walker’s core, and Joe yell out “Light’em up!”

Unfortunately, the Devil Walker is able to recover in time to keep fighting the Fire Teams. Some more strategically placed shots, and Joe is able to leap skyward (Hunter special skill?) and line up a “Coup de Grace”, Starship Troopers style.

The remainder of the trailer contains a few clips of previously discussed enemies, environments, and weapons. Notable scenes here include the diplomats discussing the coming war, and a blue-gray skinned man with a  strange reverberating voice claiming to be from “The Wild”. I guess not everyone lives behind the wall.

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Weapons and armor will be of varying strengths
  • Character Levels
  • Weapon and Armor skill levels
  • Vast and varied environments
  • Optional Public Events

There is still much to learn about this game, and even more will become evident upon release and what direction the game progresses in future releases. In the mean time, this and other trailers and podcasts are all we will have to go on.

As of publishing this, there are 3 confirmed classes: Hunter, Warlock, and Titan. There have been rumors of a 4th Vanguard class, but nothing has been confirmed.

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