The Little Things *IMGS*
With the release of a high resolution version of Destiny’s E3 demo I thought it might be fun to spend an hour poking through the frames to see if I could find any little things I hadn’t seen before. I did. Take a look:
The first thing to catch my eye was the doomed traffic jam.
This isn’t one of your typical, everyday, Russian road calamities, which are bad enough. Here, everyone is going the same direction on both sides of the road. And they’re not just piled up outside the spaceport, they’re backed up in traffic for many many miles stretching off into the distance:
Whatever force or power hit Earth took time to kill us. It wasn’t instant like a Drej planet killer.
Soon after viewing the traffic jam of doom we’re show this:
Note the hole in the top of the skull. For the longest time, despite concept art of destroyed Human tanks and aircraft carriers, I stubbornly believed that whatever hit Earth mainly did so from orbit. That way The Traveler could do its thing and drive them away. But that hole in the top of the Russian’s head leads me to believe otherwise. I now think whatever attacked Earth made landfall and went on a huge, up close and personal killing spree. Maybe it was an army, or maybe it was one single, powerful being, but whatever it was took the time to shoot fleeing civilians in the head. This wasn't some environmental disaster or uncaring whale probe. This attack was personal.
So what was the Russian populace fleeing towards? A spaceport. Bungie said as much in their various E3 interviews. And what a spaceport it was.
Each of those colony ships lining the wall has got to be multiple times the size of our biggest modern day rockets. Those shuttles could very well be significantly bigger than the space shuttles. All in all the Russians were leaving in some massive machines. Or at least they were trying too. You’ll note that a lot of these colony ships are still on the ground:
All but one of them as far as I can tell. Note the empty launch structure on the far right. Even after the players get inside it looks as if very few colony ships actually made lift off. Did the one(s) that made it survive? If so what happened to those survivors?
Inside the wall of the POGA(?) (My Russian is so bad I can’t even write a word in the language) space port we see a few things. One is their neat logo:
And the other is the repeated lettering of KOH 22, the name of that section of the wall perhaps?
Soon Joe Staten releases his Ghost. The Ghost seems to assemble itself out of some kind of holographic energy:
It starts out closed up, with a central ball camera like object surrounded by hard, angled, geometric shapes:
Closed up the Ghost has multiple animations. It can look around with its “eye” and it can flex or reposition it’s outer parts slightly to help show that it is speaking. Before long the Ghost notices that the players need more light and opens up. The central ball camera seems to stay where it was while the angular pieces expand, and are either containing or being held together by the bright purplish orb of light:
Bungie says each Guardian gets a Ghost, that they are useful for exploring and activating both old Earth golden age technology and alien tech. They also, apparently, maintain a Guardian’s essence / life force / digital signal / soul when one is killed, thus the name Ghost?
Note that a Guardian’s body isn’t converted into Energy, it is instead left to flop around lifelessly, as demonstrated here by Darla:
As things start to heat up inside the wall I just had the note the awesome lighting Bungie has gotten out of their new engine. At E3 they said that they could much more easily do things like change the lighting of a room, switching from almost total darkness to well lit as seen in the demo, which I guess wasn’t possible in their earlier engines. And just look at it in action:
It feels big and epic, without it descending to that OMG LENS FLARE look that Mass Effect, Halo 4, and the two newest Star Trek movies have. There’s certainly lens flares there, but they feel like their own thing that’s part of the world, not something added in… if that makes any sense.
As the fighting gets underway we are treated to several new weapons and abilities. the Guardians attack with what looks very much like a thrown grenade that puts out a flare of AOE damage. It even bounces once like a good ole’ Halo frag grenade.
As a bonus it doesn’t seem completely useless like the Forerunner grenades in Halo 4. Then we get to see Darla use what seems to be a power of her Warlock that charges her gun with fiery energy. Hits on enemies even burn them up:
Staten then whips out his pistol with a nice twirl animation:
and proceeds to lay waste to the remaining Fallen. When he reloads we get to see something interesting. Yep, this gun was made for the Forces Of The City:
Pretty cool. As is his combat knife:
Is that a Hunter Symbol at the bottom?
In any case the Fallen soldiers are wiped out but then the two Guardians encounter Rixis, some sort of Fallen boss type enemy. Rixis has a variety of moves and weapons, but what I thought was interesting was the hole it crawled out of:
It looks very much like it removed the fan that used to be in that tunnel and ran cables, perhaps for power? Also note bits of Fallen language on either side in faded white paint. If you were to turn to your right and face one of the silver support pillars you’d catch site of this symbol as well:
Overhead there seems to be a red tarp hanging or suspended above Rixis’ area. Are the Fallen infesting our old structures? If so why? Are they using them as bases, or are they maybe using them to hide from something more dangerous?
Once our two heroes get outside and engage in the public even we get a few more treats. One is a Fallen Captain using some sort of energy shield:
It absorbs or deflects a few shots from the Thunderlord and seems to visually degrade before breaking in spectacular fashion:
If one watches closely one can also make out the several different weapons sported by the Devil Walker type Spider Tank:
In addition to it’s main cannon it has it’s forward Twirly Whirly gun:
Its four tubed missile launcher fires what appears to be tracking energy bolts:
Interestingly it seems like the missile launcher keeps track of each tube and at least once it fires the first three at a Guardian, then waits for him to get back out from cover before firing the fourth shot.
And then there’s the most cherished attack favored by all Halo Reach players, the EMP Burst. The Spider Tank seems to activate it when it recovers from being stunned. Note the large blast range. It’s able to send a dead Fallen soldier flying (as seen on the far right) from about the range that all the Guardians back off to.
And finally, oh look, a tank sitting just beyond the inside of the wall:
I somehow did not notice that before. Looks pretty awesome.
The sense I get from Destiny, is that this time around Bungie has a universe that they really believe in, not one that they put together after the first game turns out of be a success. It seem like Destiny will have more purpose, more environmental clues, and more details to find than Halo’s sometimes stale levels. I sure hope it does anyway!
P.S. A very big thanks to Claude and whoever else is responsible for the DBO video archive. In this day of constantly buffering flash video it's nice to be able to just plain download something and watch it without interruption!