Since Bungie parted ways with Microsoft and the Halo series it created, their work has been shrouded in mystery. For Bungie fans, this has been a period of anxiety and uncertainty, for all we really know is that they're working with Activision to create a new multiplatform franchise dubbed "Destiny." Recently, some concept art was leaked from the game, and definitely has me excited. It isn't clear what the origin of these images was, but they don't appear to be meant for public consumption. Stuff like re-purposed art and lack of branding show that this is true concept art - only meant to convey a wanted style and feeling to developers, publishers and marketers of the game. Bungie seemed to confirm the authenticity of these images with a post on their website stating, "Go ahead. Take a peek. It’s alright. We weren't quite ready, but we will be soon...", along with the picture above. Hit the jump to see the rest of the pictures from the leak as well as some more thoughts.
We start things off with a futuristic looking complex of massive proportions. Something about the architecture, possibly the bland color pallette and angled walls reminds me of the Mass Effect series. The little bit of greenery atop the roof reminds me of my first view of the Presidium in Mass Effect.
Bungie proved that they could "pull off" space battles with the Long Night of Solace mission from Halo: Reach. Although it was very simple, the sequence succeeded by providing players with a refreshing change of pace that was a lot more fun than what other action games try: quick time events, escort missions, chases, and minigames. Long Night of Solace was great, but it lacked the meat of a full fledged space combat sim. With more variation in pilotable ships and enemy types, a fairly big piece of Destiny could very well be space combat.
Next up are some characters on the ground. All the revealed character designs have me very excited to see what kind of roles you'll be able to play in the game. It looks as though there is a big variety of armor and costume elements available. The style evokes a combination of many different titles, including Star Wars, Fallout, and Halo (specifically the Forerunners). This image also shows a blue orb surrounding the characters, which immediately made me think of the Bubble Shield from Halo 3. It could be a different ability affecting the area, or possibly just an artistic flair.
People have pointed out that this image takes a lot of inspiration from promo materials for the cancelled Command & Conquer: Tiberium. The soldier and weapon are basically identical, actually. This just enforces that these images were indeed a leak, and not meant to publicly promote Destiny.
Sometimes an object is only impressive or interesting because of its sheer scale. Stuff like the Death Star or a Halo ring only leave you in awe once you realize that they rival planets in size. Destiny's own take on the giant orb instantly reminded me of the Didact's Cryptum from Halo 4. I'm guessing that this is just an unfortunate coincidence, as Bungie has nothing to do with the development of Halo 4 and the prominence of the flying sphere.
This piece of art proves one thing: superfluous capes are freaking cool. If Master Chief had spent the Halo trilogy running around in a cape, I probably would have thought it was ridiculous, but the soldier in this image completely pulls it off. Also of note, the soldier in the background to the left could easily be mistaken for an imperial trooper from Star Wars.
Dystopian science fiction games often suffer from having a very boring and bland color palette. Overgrown ruins are a great way to inject some color into a scene without sacrificing the intended tone. Bungie has some of the best environment artists in the business, so I expect these vistas to be equal parts stunning and eerie.
Another vibrantly colored image hints at character diversity and customization. Taking on some baddies cooperatively can only be made more fun if all your friends are wearing matching neon capes and helmets.
These leaked screenshots already have me salivating for this new property, even though they weren't even intended for release. I can't wait for Bungie to release more details regarding Destiny. To stay up to date on new announcements, be sure to bookmark Hex19.com. Thanks for reading!