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Destiny the Game: Everything You Need to Know

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 23 comments
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It's hard to avoid Destiny. No, not your fated path in life, but Destiny, a long-anticipated first person shooter that's shaping up to be one of 2014's biggest games. Whether you're a gamer or not, chances are you've caught wind of this epic sci-fi title, which publisher Activision spent a whopping $500 million to develop and promote.

Destiny is developer Bungie's first new title since creating the iconic Halo series, and it has all types of gamers and critics buzzing. The game just hit store shelves, so here's what you need to know before you enter the battle.

What Is Destiny?

Destiny is a sci-fi first-person shooter that borrows elements from a variety of other genres, such as adventure games and massively multiplayer online RPGs. You can create a custom character, explore planets, unravel a story, team up with friends and compete against the world.

MORE: Destiny Review

What's the game's story?

Destiny's story revolves around a futuristic "Golden Age" in which a mysterious moon-sized sphere called The Traveler helps turn distant planets like Venus and Mars into livable worlds. Humanity quickly colonizes these areas, until an ancient enemy of the Traveler traces the enigmatic structure back to Earth and all but destroys it. 

Destiny

Destiny casts you as one of the Guardians, a group of soldiers who defend Earth's last standing city and wipe out the planet's enemies across the solar system.

What are the character classes?

Destiny offers three character types: Titan, Hunter and Warlock. The Titan is your all-around soldier, focusing on sheer power and thick defense. Hunters are agile fighters that sneak around with a blade, while Warlocks use mystic, magical powers that bring the Jedi Knights of Star Wars to mind.

Who are you up against?

Destiny has four main enemy races. The Fallen are four-armed footsoldiers, while the Hive is a group of zombie-like Moon dwellers. The Vex are robotic warriors, and the Cabal class consists of hard-to-kill heavy troopers.

What modes are there?

There are tons of ways to play Destiny. Story missions let you and your friends unravel the game's narrative, while Strike missions are contained co-op challenges that task you with bringing down an enemy base. Explore mode lets you revisit previously completed areas, where you'll gather resources and tackle side missions.

MORE: 'Destiny' and Platform Exclusivity: Why It's Gone Too Far

If you want to take on the world, the Crucible offers a variety of competitive, team-based multiplayer modes. Ready for a break from all of that shooting and slaying? You can hang out in the Tower, which is a third-person social area where you can buy weapons and upgrades, take in the scenery or dance with your buddies (yep, you can really do that).

Once you've maxed out your character past level 20, you can participate in periodic, MMO-inspired "raids." Raids in Destiny are sprawling (we're talking a few hours) co-op missions that task you with teaming up with five friends to bring down difficult foes and earn rare rewards in the process. There's no random matchmaking system for the raid portion of the game, as Bungie wants players to team up with Guardians they know they can trust.

Can you play alone or offline?

While you won't always be playing with other people, Destiny requires an internet connection to play. Bungie designed destiny to be a living, breathing open world, which means you'll often bump into strangers when you're tacking story missions or exploring a new planet. While this adds to Destiny's dynamic, it's certainly not for the type of FPS fan who wants to play a contained, offline solo campaign.

Is Destiny anything like Halo?

Destiny and Halo are both first-person shooters set in fictional sci-fi universes. They both offer a mix of story-based and competitive gameplay. They even both give you a robotic companion to aid you on your journey; Halo has the iconic A.I. assistant Cortana, while Destiny features the Peter Dinklage-voiced mini-robot known simply as the Ghost.

While Bungie's knack for crafting rich sci-fi action experiences is apparent in both franchises, Destiny and Halo are vastly different when it comes to the overall package. Halo games typically have a structured campaign mode with a separate multiplayer mode, whereas Destiny is an always-online experience that seamlessly blends the two while adding in MMO-inspired features like the Tower. Most Halo games cast you as series protagonist Master Chief, while Destiny is all about crafting your own Guardian.

When does Destiny go on sale?

Destiny is available now for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4. You can buy the game here

Can I upgrade my PS3 or Xbox 360 copy to a PS4 or Xbox One copy?

Yup! Through Jan. 15, 2015, you can upgrade your digital Xbox 360 or PS3 copy of destiny to a new-gen version for Xbox One or PS4 at no charge. After you've bought a digital copy for one of the older systems, you simply log in to the same PlayStation Network or Xbox Live account on your PS4 or Xbox One and download the new-gen version of the game. This transition also works for any Destiny add-on content, including the Expansion Pass. For more information on the Destiny Digital Upgrade, check out Bungie's breakdown.

What are the differences between the versions of the game?

Based on users' experiences with the Destiny beta, the only difference between the current-gen (PS4, Xbox One) and last-gen (PS3, Xbox 360) versions of the game is visual quality. For reference, you can check out the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game side-by-side in the video below.

Destiny: PS3 vs. PS4 comparison

While Destiny doesn't support cross-platform play, you can carry over the same character across generations. So, if you start the game on Xbox 360 and eventually upgrade to an Xbox One, you won't lose any of your stats, weapons or upgrades.

Destiny is largely the same game whether you play on Playstation or Xbox, but those who own a Sony console get the jump on some downloadable content. At launch, Playstation gamers will have exclusive access to the Dust Palace Strike mission, the Exodus Blue Crucible map, the Monte Carlo assault rifle, Hawkmoon hand cannon, three extra spaceships and an extra set of armor for each of the three classes. This content is slated to come to Xbox platforms by the end of 2015.

While only the PS4 version of the Destiny beta is running in 1080p, Bungie confirmed in an interview with GamesBeat that the final game will run at 1080p and 30 frames per second on both Xbox One and PS4.

Will there be a PC version?

Bungie has yet to announce a PC version of Destiny. When speaking to Polygon, Activision Publishing CEO Erik Hirshberg called the game a "natural fit" for PC, but noted that the company's current focus is ensuring the console version is as polished as possible.

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. He looks forward to coming home to some Destiny. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico and on Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    fimbulvinter , July 25, 2014 12:58 PM
    If you play FPS on consoles I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but inaccurate aim ain't one.
  • 21 Hide
    razzb3d , July 25, 2014 5:53 PM
    If it's not coming out on PC I'm not interested.
Other Comments
  • -4 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 25, 2014 12:42 PM
    hmm i thought it was coming out for pc at the same time. oh well
  • Display all 23 comments.
  • 22 Hide
    fimbulvinter , July 25, 2014 12:58 PM
    If you play FPS on consoles I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but inaccurate aim ain't one.
  • 3 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , July 25, 2014 1:18 PM
    Quote:
    If you play FPS on consoles I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but inaccurate aim ain't one.


    Well, it's console, so inaccurate aim applies to everyone.

    Getting this so my PS4 can stop eating dust after about 4 months...
  • 9 Hide
    captainnemojr , July 25, 2014 3:21 PM
    $500 million and no PC version? With the new consoles' hardware basically that of a PC, this game could have easily been made for XBOX One, PS4, and PC only.
  • 21 Hide
    razzb3d , July 25, 2014 5:53 PM
    If it's not coming out on PC I'm not interested.
  • 0 Hide
    IInuyasha74 , July 25, 2014 6:41 PM
    Not my type of game so I kind of doubt I will play it anyways, but I wonder if they will have a Wii U release ever. It may not be up to speed of the PS4 or Xbox One, but its faster than PS3 and Xbox 360 so it should be able to run it.
  • 0 Hide
    das_stig , July 26, 2014 2:43 AM
    Of course there will be a PC version, they just have to update the bugs for the Xbox version before porting and recompiling the code. Does anybody actually code games for the PC these rather than just badly port a console ?
  • 2 Hide
    6R1M01R3 , July 26, 2014 12:16 PM
    It better come out for PC, game looks pretty good but ain't getting a PS4 only for that ;c
  • 6 Hide
    kyle382 , July 26, 2014 8:17 PM

    Quote:
    Of course there will be a PC version, they just have to update the bugs for the Xbox version before porting and recompiling the code. Does anybody actually code games for the PC these rather than just badly port a console ?


    yeah tons of developers do, my most anticipated is called "star citizen". check it out.
  • 1 Hide
    Gelid03 , July 27, 2014 6:00 AM
    Il happily get this on PC if it comes out else no.
  • -3 Hide
    eckmon , July 27, 2014 3:19 PM
    I did not pre-order, but my friends that did were super excited they will get access to the beta version as a part of the pre-order promotion. Now I am not sure if they will continue with their 'beta' access since the game is closing out beta tonight. That is bogus. Now, about me....I was very apprehensive about the game but had tons of my friends send me an invite when it was released two days ago. I finally downloaded yesterday and I am loving the game - albeit half the time, accuracy has been a major problem...only to come here and read they are closing out the beta tonight. What a mean unnecessary tease to those who are enjoying the experience and what a rude approach to the consumers who pre-orded with the hopes of having beta access that lasts more than 3 days. And...what is the point of PS getting the release for beta sooner than xbox...what all this fighting? I am not a pro gamer but have spent numerous hours these past few months gaming because I have nothing else going on till I am back to 100%. Stuff like this can get frustrating. Standardization should be a seamless strategy by now.
  • 0 Hide
    atavax , July 27, 2014 8:52 PM
    Vertical Progression in PvP, Heavy focus on story in a shooter, forced aim down sight mechanics, console exclusive. 4 reasons i won't be getting it. Hopefully it bombs and Activision goes bankrupt.
  • 2 Hide
    atavax , July 27, 2014 8:56 PM
    You know they plan on having additional costs after the initial purchase as well, but they're hiding what they're doing and not announcing it. Not only do they need to recoup the $500 million and pay for servers which will be fairly expensive so such a large scale shooter world, they are going to have a huge dev team working on fixing the problems that are inevitable in such a massive game. They need to monetize the game after the $60 purchase. They said no subscriptions, so lots of DLC or microtransactions probably.
  • 1 Hide
    cats_Paw , July 28, 2014 5:43 AM
    If the spent 490 million on game dev and 10 on ads, that would impress me. But Im almost certain its the other way around. God knows how many subcontractors they had to make this game.

    So, for me, PC or not PC (i am a pc user), 0 hypes given (cant use the F word) untill I actually see if its worth something.
  • 0 Hide
    tobalaz , July 28, 2014 6:40 AM
    bungie for screwing over us PC people again.
    Oh well, my nephew is going to love it on his 360, I guess I'll stick to Payday 2 and Borderlands 2.
  • 2 Hide
    Traciatim , July 28, 2014 7:20 AM
    One of 2014's biggest games of the year, or biggest marketing budgets of the year? Maybe if they made good games they wouldn't have to spend so much on marketing.
  • 1 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , July 28, 2014 8:26 AM
    Quote:
    bungie for screwing over us PC people again.
    Oh well, my nephew is going to love it on his 360, I guess I'll stick to Payday 2 and Borderlands 2.

    It's not Bungie making those calls, it's Activision. The publisher controls nearly all of the decisions regarding release dates, what platforms the game will be for, pre-order bonuses, and many other things that are out of the developers' hands.
  • 1 Hide
    coolitic , July 28, 2014 10:11 AM
    And how is this the biggest game of the year? I don't plan to get this game because even if there is a pc version, it would probably be a badly made console port.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , September 9, 2014 7:45 AM
    I came here to see what this article is about and im like... Oh, I read this in july 28th....
    Why is this in tomshardware as "news"? Curious, is toms hardware so low on contenent but so high in expectations that they are reusing previous news articles?
  • 2 Hide
    oxiide , September 9, 2014 10:51 AM
    Quote:
    If you play FPS on consoles I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but inaccurate aim ain't one.

    "I don't have inaccurate aim, I have aim assist!" --Console FPS gamer
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