Bungie tees up the next step in its grand galactic adventure with the intoxicating Destiny 2
There’s nothing quite like Destiny. But, like so many other games, it began life as a series of concepts: of keywords and phrases, setting high-level creative goals for the team at Bungie, that were laid out in 2009 by design director Jason Jones. Luke Smith – back then a mere designer, and today
Destiny 2’ s game director – remembers two in particular. ‘We want to make a game like golf’ was one; if you’ve been following Destiny 2’ s development you may have heard Smith refer to the good walk spoiled, and the analogy fits. Golf, like Destiny, is a game you can play competitively, or for fun. You can watch it instead of playing it. You can be terrible at it, but still enjoy it. It is better played with friends, as much a social occasion as a sporting one. You carry with you a set of tools, and must decide which is best for the job at hand. Destiny, a game about killing robots and wizards on alien planets using superpowers and magical guns, is the best golf game ever made.
Golf, then, is a driving source of creative inspiration for one of the most intoxicating shooters on the market. Yet it is an idea that needs explaining in order to be properly appreciated: as an elevator pitch, ‘An FPS, but golf’ hardly sets the pulse racing. The other concept Smith remembers from 2009, however, is a succinct, crystal-clear, simply perfect summary of why players in their millions fell in love with Destiny, for all its flaws – and seem set to do the same all over again in its sequel. When Smith first told us the phrase, during a sprawling interview after
Destiny 2’ s unveiling in Los Angeles in May, we told him Bungie should put it on T-shirts. It deserves its own line; its own paragraph. No: its own page.