The competitive multiplayer Bungie created for the Halo series is generally understood to be one the tightest and most refined multiplayer experiences in console games, but the studio has elected to change things up with its new online shooter Destiny.
In an interview with Game Informer, Bungie multiplayer lead Lars Bakken (who was also the multiplayer lead for Halo 3) explained that Destiny's competive multiplayer will be much faster, with its characters significantly more lethal, compared to Halo.
"Definitely faster. If we are to talk about lethality, it's certainly more lethal than Halo," Bakken said. "When you catch a guy with his pants down, you can take him out really quickly. And that's not even including using a heavy weapon or a super to do that. But generally, your primary assault class weapons are going to do a little more damage than what he had in Halo."
In the Halo series, players--even novice players--could escape from a firefight without dying and live to battle again in another skirmish. But in Destiny, it's all about one character living and the other perishing, Bakken said, though he noted experienced players may still be able to get away.
"Combat resolution is fun, right? Getting into combat and having it end is fun; it's satisfying for both sides," Bakken said. "And it's not all the time. Good players are still going to be able to get away some of the time. But it's a little harder now."
Similar to the Halo series, players will have health and armor in Destiny. As your armor bleeds down, you'll tap into your health reserves. This health allotment is described as "low," though it will depend on class.
Regarding Destiny's multiplayer environments, Bakken said players should expect maps that adhere to the "Bungie philosophy" of design. These maps will include dynamic elements that will change an environment's line of sight "in a really cool way."
"I want the game to be fast and frenetic and fun and let players come at combat opportunities in a variety of different ways," Bakken said. He also reiterated that the progress you make towards building out your character in the campaign will carry over into multiplayer.
It stands to reason that a portion of Bungie's fanbase is interested in only playing multiplayer. For these people, Bungie has created unannounced systems that will courage them to play campaign, Bakken said.
"We're not talking about that yet. The interesting thing about Destiny is that you, because it is your character, and because you're doing all these other things, and because the way the world is put together, we want people to be moving around and trying these different things and there will be many good incentives."
Lastly, in a bid to create a more hospitable and inviting environment for players, voice chat in Destiny--across campaign and multiplayer--will be limited to your fireteam, Bakken said. Bungie has never done anything like this before.
"One of the things that we're doing for the first time ever in Destiny, we're taking a different approach to voice chat. We know that, not just in multiplayer, that in general, when you get into a game with someone that you don't know or someone that you've never seen before and may never see again, they have this power to completely destroy your entire experience and maybe ruin the game for you forever. And so what we're doing instead of having that...one in ten chance possibility of someone ruining your game, we're effectively saying you only have voice chat to your fireteam. And we're doing other things to let you communicate with other players, but it'll be interesting to see how people react to it, for sure."
Bakken made clear that so long as you enter a match or mode with your fireteam, voice chat among participants is enabled. However, in the case that you enter a match without the required number of players, you won't be able to speak with the match-made players.
Bakken pointed out that if you really want to buddy up with players you meet on the Destiny battlefield, you're still free to do so through traditional Xbox or PlayStation party chat systems. Overall, Bakken explained that Bungie's new voice chat system for Destiny was designed to create a more curated experience so players "won't have their night ruined."
Destiny officially launches for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 on September 9, 2014. Players will get a stab at the game in summer 2014, when a beta launches first on Sony platforms. For more on Destiny, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.