A Quick Destiny Primer for Anyone Who's Been Living Under a Rock

Catching up on the headlines.

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Have you heard the news? Destiny, Bungie's long-awaited follow-up to the Halo series, will be launching in just a few short days. In fact, we'll be live streaming it until our eyes explode this coming Monday. But before then, we thought you might like to catch yourself up on some of the biggest Destiny news to hit the Internet over the last few months. You know, just in case you've completely cut yourself off from modern society. Ready? Here we go!

Here's a video showcasing content exclusive to PlayStation versions

The video provides our best look yet at the full map, which is arguably the most substantial of the PlayStation-exclusive content, provided you're interested in competitive multiplayer. Along with the map, buyers of the PS3 or PS4 versions will also get additional armor and weapons; you can see an overview of all of this in another recent video that Sony released. This content will be exclusive to PS3 and PS4 until at least fall 2015, when it may also be released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Here's how to choose the class that's best for you

There are a number of ways in which Destiny takes cues from massively multiplayer online role-playing games, but its class system is not one of them. While MMORPGs are often designed to all but require parties to have a balanced assortment of classes in order to succeed--healers, tanks, damage dealers--Destiny is not aiming for the differences between classes to be quite so important.

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Above: We unbox the $150 Destiny Ghost Edition.

Why Bungie wants the end-game content to kick your ass

Destiny's six-player raid missions are going to be so tough that you'll likely need to access a walkthrough on the Internet to help get your squad through to the end. That's according to Bungie design lead Luke Smith, who says that the game's raid missions were purposefully designed to not give players much information or direction.

This is what our own Kevin VanOrd thinks of the competitive multiplayer

More interesting, however, are the three-on-three modes, starting with Skirmish. Skirmish mode resembles Control, but revives are turned on, so your teammates have longer respawn timers, which in turn demands a lot more coordination among team members than Control typically requires.

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Above: A quick look at how Destiny looks running on Vita.

Why Bungie won't let you trade items with other players

"Once you earn them, the various Guardians under your account will be able to trade them," the studio explained further. "But weapons belong to the players who acquire them through action and bravery."

Why the public beta didn't result in any major changes to the game

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that, with the game just over a month way, Bungie won't be completely revamping it. If you weren't a fan of something like the game's structure or gunplay, you'll have to hold out hope that things will be changed in one of the yet-to-be-announced sequels coming as part of the studio's 10-year deal with Activision.

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Above: Kevin and Shaun explain why they enjoyed the Destiny alpha so much.

You can explore the world of Destiny in Google Street View

A week prior to the release of Destiny, Activision is trying something different to promote Bungie's new first-person shooter. Today it launched Destiny Planet View, a website that allows you to tour areas from Destiny with a Google Street View-esque tool.

Bungie doesn't think you'll ever really finish Destiny

"And as we said before, [there are] endless amount of hours of fun in the Crucible," Deej said. "Until you've kicked every single ass that plays this game, you haven't finished. And once you have, someone else just bought their first copy. So, fresh meat, Christmas noobs."

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