Bungie's Destiny a 'shared-world' shooter

New universe is first-person shooter for Xbox 360 and PS3 with elements of open-world sandbox and persistent world; will not require subscription.

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After years of secrecy, Bungie today officially announced Destiny , its first post-Halo project. A first-person shooter for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with elements of open-world sandbox and persistent world, Destiny is described as the world's first "shared-world shooter." And Activision has big hopes for it.

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"Very few games transcend their medium and their genre to truly become a part of popular culture; to belong in the time capsule as something that we can all share. And we believe Destiny could become one of those games," Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said, describing its title as the "worst-kept secret in the history of secrets."

Bungie cofounder Jason Jones said Destiny will be the ultimate first-person shooter and even something grander.

"If you enjoy shooters, Destiny is going to be the best game you've ever played," Jones said. "Destiny is Bungie's next great shooter and is set in an amazing new world that we're building. In Destiny, players get to build their own characters and grow them over time. We're really putting players in the center of the world and giving them control over their experience. From the ground up we've built this game to be social and cooperative."

Bungie and Activision are not yet talking release timing, but past legal documents said Destiny would ship first for Xbox 360 (and the Xbox 720) later this year, with a 2014 release for PS3. Could Destiny come to PC or next-generation platforms? It's plausible, but Activision would not comment.

"We're really putting players in the center of the world and giving them control over their experience. From the ground up we've built this game to be social and cooperative." --Bungie cofounder Jason Jones.

Though Destiny will feature a persistent world, the game will not carry a monthly fee. Hirshberg confirmed the publisher has "no plans" to charge gamers a subscription to play Destiny and would not got into further detail about the game's business model.

Destiny aims to break molds by throwing away the traditional playbook, including the idea of main menus, Jones said. In addition, Jones said everything that's fun to do is more fun if friends are around, and this is why Destiny's campaign will not be a solitary experience.

"Think about the gym, think about college; imagine those places empty. That would be crazy; no one would like that; it would be creepy. But that's the experience we've all had for decades playing these campaign games in a solitary way. That's not what we want," he said.

Playing solo is a "totally valid" way to experience Destiny, Jones said, though he argued it's more fun to play with other people. For more on Destiny, check out GameSpot's just-published extended coverage of Bungie's new universe.

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