Amid all the announcements about used-game policies and hardware pricing, one of the other highlights of Sony's E3 press conference was finally getting the chance to see Destiny in action. Sure enough, Bungie's new game looked fantastic. One day later, we just had the opportunity to see the demo a second time behind closed doors and managed to pick up on a few details you might have missed in last night's gameplay debut.
We're Pretty Certain Peter Dinklage Is Your Robo Buddy
At one point, the player-controlled Guardians find themselves exploring a pitch-black hallway in dire need of some light. Fortunately for these intrepid explorers, one of the players came equipped with a floating orb companion named Ghost. This little guy not only acts as a beacon in the darkness, but provides some cheeky commentary to boot. But listen closely, and you'll hear a familiar voice. Bungie wouldn't confirm this, but we're fairly certain Ghost is voiced by Peter Dinklage. In other words, Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones might just be your floating robo buddy. Now that's a casting decision we can get behind.
The Weapon Names Are Delightfully Ridiculous
After the players defeat that first boss-level enemy, a hulking beast dubbed an archon slayer, their reward is a loot drop consisting of a couple of rare weapons. One of them is a slick blue light machine gun glowing with electrical energy called the Thunderlord. The other? A sniper rifle that has clearly seen better days, patched together with all manner of makeshift repair methods. Naturally, the name of this gun--as relayed by Bungie itself--is "Duct Tape Fixes Everything."
The Enemy AI Is Very Adaptive
Onstage, there was a big shootout that required the two players to take out a group of Fallen, those creepy four-armed aliens who leap about while brandishing not one but two swords at a time. What we saw in this second playthrough revealed an interesting detail about how the group AI of these enemies might function. Basically, the two players manage to carve through the entire enemy onslaught save for one remaining Fallen. Rather than surrender himself to certain death, this enemy decides it would make a whole lot more sense to hightail it out of there and thus preserve his own life. Yes, enemies can actually sense their odds dwindling and act accordingly. Sadly for him, the Bungie rep playing the game let this poor chap think he'd succeeded in taking the coward's way out just before popping him in the head with a pistol for a critical hit.
Sure, Destiny is hardly the only first-person shooter to employ this type of adaptive enemy AI--but it's always refreshing to see an action game that recognizes that enemies can be a whole lot more interesting when they're not simply flinging themselves into certain death for the sake of the player's enjoyment.
So That's What Bungie Meant by a "Hopeful World"
When we took a trip up to Bungie a few months ago to hear about the ideas driving this new franchise, one of the most frequently repeated phrases was this concept of a "hopeful world." We weren't really sure what to make of it at the time. How does hope play such a central role in a ravaged vision of earth where the few vestiges of humanity are caught in a perpetual struggle against all manner of nasty aliens?
Now things are a lot clearer. Take one look at the opening shot from that Destiny demo, and you'll see what they meant by a hopeful world. The glowing sunset, the trees dotting snowcapped hills, the mountains towering in the distance--Bungie's penchant for creating gorgeous atmospherics is present here more than ever. Humanity may have been pushed to the brink of extinction, but the Earth is making a pretty convincing case that this is a place worth fighting for.
For more on Destiny, be sure to check out GameSpot's live stage demo.'