Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:17 AM ET
The company that created the famed Halo franchise has finally taken the wraps off its brand new video game project — its first project since stepping away from the Master Chief and his adventures.
As had been previously rumored, Bungie's new game is called "Destiny" and, on Sunday, the renowned game development company revealed that it will be a futuristic sci-fi action game — and one that is highly social.
Bungie is calling "Destiny" a "shared-world shooter." That is, this first-person shooting game will take place in a persistent online world. That means the game will require a constant online connection, though it will feature solo play as well as co-operative and competitive multiplayer elements.
Bungie and publisher Activision said in an announcement Sunday that "Destiny" will launch on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 "as well as other future console platforms." Meanwhile, a companion mobile application will add an additional layer to the game as well (see the video below).
"'Destiny' is the game that we've been dreaming of building for years," said Bungie president Harold Ryan in the announcement. "'Destiny' will draw players into a world filled with mystery, action, and adventure, but most importantly, 'Destiny' is more than a disc in a drive, it is a living social universe filled with other players."
Details are still sparse, but this much Bungie has revealed about the game's story — "Destiny" begins in the future at a time when mankind has been nearly wiped out. A mysterious giant sphere called the Traveler has apparently helped save those humans who remain — and these humans are trying to reclaim the solar system from a variety of alien baddies.
In "Destiny," the humans have built a city beneath the protective, moon-like Traveler. Gamers play a guardian of the city, able to use some of the Traveler's immense powers. Bungie says players will be able to create highly customizable characters and the developers have unveiled three character classes — Hunter, Titan and Warlock.
"In Destiny you create your own legend as you and your friends venture out into the solar system to reclaim the treasures and secrets lost after the collapse of humanity’s Golden Age," reads the press release from Activision. "Over the course of your adventures you become more powerful, able to wield rare and exotic weapons, gear, and powers ... As the world grows and expands over time, so does the story, the destinations you can access, the activities you experience, and rewards you can earn. "
And according to Bungie, the story and world will expand and unfold over the next 10 years.
Our partners at the Penny Arcade Report got a peek at the game and had this to say about how the online and multiplayer elements will work:
...it will use matchmaking that is completely seamless; your game will be populated your with human players on the fly. You won’t realize it’s happening but, like 'Journey,' the game will simply add players continually for you to interact with, speak to, and help. Competitive multiplayer will be part of the game world as well; there will be no leaving the game and going through menus to get to competitive play. It’s all one big experience.
After creating games like "Marathon" and "Myth," Bungie first revealed the original "Halo" game back in 1999. The company was bought by Microsoft shortly thereafter in 2000. Over the next decade, Bungie's "Halo" games not only became iconic but were highly influential on gaming at large. Then in 2007, Bungie left Microsoft and eventually handed the "Halo" franchise off to 343 Industries which, last year, delivered the excellent "Halo 4."
Bungie has not yet revealed when "Destiny" will launch though pre-orders for the game have now begun. While you're waiting for the game to arrive — or at least for Bungie to offer up a few more details — check out the "Destiny" video documentary below:
And here's a look at some of the eye-popping art work for "Destiny"...
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.