Posted on YouTube on February 17, the trailer for Bungie’s new game, “Destiny,” has grossed (at time of writing) over three million views. Bungie is the award winning creators of the Halo franchise, one of Microsoft’s flagship franchises for the Xbox and Xbox 360. Is this really a “new” IP, or did Halo’s Master Chief just hire a new make-up artist?
When I hear the words “From the creators of Halo and the publisher of Call of Duty” together in the same sentence, the only thing I can think of is those idiots who go “LOL TEABAGGED YA!!!” and the other idiots who are 10 years old and for some reason are playing Call of Duty, screaming into my ear piece for “spam hacking” or questioning my sexuality or whatever those little fucks say currently. Destiny…you may want to start with a better line then that on your web page. It doesn’t really give off a good vibe.
Once again from Bungie it’s a story about the human race down on its luck fighting aliens and being saved by one dude in some power armor. Can we just call it Halo? Might be easier on the old keyboard, if you know what I mean. Defeat our enemies! Reclaim what is lost! Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard that speech a freaking billion times. From Marcus Fenix to Andrew Ryan, it’s always something about saving the human race or taking back what’s lost and yadda yadda yadda. Big fucking whoop. If you want me to care about your plight, you need to make it likeable and relatable. Check The Walking Dead by Telltale for that.
“Unprecedented variety of FPS gameplay, including story, cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes combined with public and social activities.”
When I play a game, it’s not because I want to hear someone whine on Facebook about how someone killed them. I play a game for relaxation purposes, to experience a story crafted by talented professionals, to see the rich lands that imagination can bring us, not to post my new high score to Twitter. Who the fuck cares anyway? I certainly don’t. Anyone on my feed who decides to post their favorite kill cam–or worse, those “like if you remember this” pages–instantly gets deleted with extreme prejudice.
Alright, new rule time: unless it’s a purely MMO game, such as Team Fortress 2, or a social game like Draw Something, you’re not allowed to integrate social media anymore. I don’t care how much you like it. Driving people away from the narrative of a game just to share with friends is googly at best and the fucking end of gaming at worst. I’m talking to you, Sony. Fuck you and fuck your “share button.” I don’t want to share every goddamn second of my goddamn game with the masses. Portal 2’s climax would not have been anywhere near as significant if you could just press share and ruin it for other people.
This brings me back to Destiny and Bungie. Was Halo fun? Yes. Was it great? Eh. Did it need to tell its story in a bajillion pieces and parts? No. That was always the problem with Halo: it had so many goddamn contributions to the canon that it was near impossible to make a dent in it. You had the books, movies, games, music, audio logs, blogs, ARGs–the list is fucking endless! The games were fine. Bungie should’ve kept the series to just the first three and Halo: Reach, which I allow because it nicely closed the plot of Halo into one fine package. Halo: ODST, Halo Wars and Halo 4 were beyond unnecessary.
What’s with all the Halo talk in an article ostensibly about how much I hate Destiny? Well, Destiny’s launch video makes a point to mention how Halo lasted 10 years and Destiny itself might last another ten years. If it does–and I hope it doesn’t–I really hope Bungie maintains tighter control over the direction of the property. Bungie, you need to understand that pleasing fans is not always the best of ideas. When you do that, it’s called “fan service” and that’s not something you should ever do. Fans don’t often understand the intricacies of crafting epic video games such as Halo and sometimes refuse to acknowledge canon just because it interferes with their dream fan-fiction. I’ll be honest: while watching the Destiny teaser, half the time I thought I was just watching a reskin of Halo. I’m not sorry for that. A first person shooter about aliens in which you’re the only hope and you’re in power armor? I wouldn’t be surprised if Master Chief comes banging on my door with a cease and desist notice.
Look, Bungie…it’s not you, it’s me. Wait, fuck that–it’s entirely you. You have a bold opportunity with excellent financial and social backing to craft an entirely new universe that may be even more immersive than the last. Take advantage of it! You mentioned an evolving world, and that sounds fucking awesome. Destiny’s score sounds great and its concept art is beautiful. Please, please do something other than Halo again. You’re good and I know it. Remember Oni? That was the fucking shit. Make that again, or make an increasingly evolving world we can all explore. Now that is the kind of game I would go hardcore for!
In essence, unless it changes, get ready for: Halo 5: This time it’s not Halo (officially).