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Destiny PS4 hands-on - why Bungie's FPS could be the best multiplayer shooter of this console era

on 22 June 2014

The arrival of Bungie’s Destiny in September could be a defining moment for multiplayer-based gaming and the birth of a franchise that may even surpass the success of its creator’s former series. Though Xbox gamers have long been enjoying the wonders of Halo’s genre-defining matchmaking system and stunning map design, PlayStation owners are now poised to benefit from the experience that the storied developer gained from creating one of the most successful franchises of all time.

A universe that begs to be explored

Considering Halo’s outstanding multiplayer infrastructure, it’s no surprise that similarities to Bungie’s former shooter are stamped all over Destiny, most noticeably with the feel of the core FPS mechanics, the look of the environments, and the design of vehicles and weaponry. However, Destiny’s feature-set is far more in-depth and has the potential to be even more rewarding than Halo’s. Destiny’s Alpha phase has given us a mere glimpse of what’s to come, but it has already surpassed my expectations with its unique blend of FPS gameplay and RPG-style features proving to be an intoxicating mix.

The Tower, Destiny’s main social hub, is brutally addictive. Within the walls of The City on planet Earth, The Tower re-invents the first-person shooter genre by welcoming players to a complete social hub where they can interact with others, recruit fireteam members, upgrade, customise and trade. Browsing through the merchandise from vendors is like being a kid in a sweet shop and, despite many items in the Alpha being level-locked, it’s already a very moreish activity that is sure to occupy a chunk of my time when Destiny arrives.

Socialise and trade in The Tower

Earning glimmer (in-game currency) to spend on such a diverse selection of gear to improve your character will inevitably encourage players to explore the world, complete quests, battle in The Crucible, go out on raids and earn bounties when such rich rewards, like legendary and exotic armour and weapons, await. With vendors refreshing their stock at regular intervals, I found myself mentally making a note of the time and then returning to them and studying the new items like a Destiny degree student hoping to pass with honours. Destiny’s virtual economy and wealth of items are set to be a real driving force behind The Tower’s appeal, encouraging a competitiveness and eagerness to earn glimmer by urging you to frequently indulge in the various game modes in order to get the edge over opponents and get your hands on the best gear.

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