Every week since Destiny 1 launched in 2014, players have been able to visit the mysterious tentacle-faced merchant Xûr, agent of the Nine. So popular was he, that whenever his stock refreshed players would drop everything to rush and see what he had brought (and games websites, blogs and YouTubers rushed to be the first to tell you about it).
Set your expectations for a quieter - but more surprising - second year.
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There is a saying in architecture that no building is unbuildable, only unbuilt. Structures may be impossible in the here and now, but have the potential to exist given enough time or technological development: a futuristic cityscape, a spacefaring megastructure, the ruins of an alien civilisation. However, there are also buildings that defy the physical laws of space. It is not an issue that they could not exist, but that they should not. Their forms bend and warp in unthinkable ways; dream-like structures that push spatial logic to its breaking point.
Bungie has announced that it's parting ways with Activision, eight years after the companies began working together. The move will see Bungie assuming "full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise".
Bungie and Activision initially joined forces in April 2010, when the two companies announced a 10-year publishing deal. That would eventually lead to the release of Destiny in 2014, and its sequel, Destiny 2, in 2017.
The terms of its deal with Activision saw Bungie keeping ownership of the Destiny IP, while Activision owned full publishing rights. In a statement released today, however, Activision confirmed that, "we're announcing plans for Bungie to assume full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise. Going forward, Bungie will own and develop the franchise, and Activision will increase its focus on owned IP and other projects."
Destiny has lore - believe it or not! - but it's not always presented in the best way. In Destiny 1, the lore was told through a Grimoire - a set of cards you unlocked in-game and then viewed... outside of the game, on your phone or on your monitor or something. It wasn't ideal.
In a modernist hotel lobby on the outskirts of Barcelona I sit face to face with the President. He's pretty casual as far as presidents go, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, wearing sunglasses even though we're inside. He's got a tattoo up the underside of his forearm which reads 'Neverdie'. It's his alias, but more of a name to him now than Jon Jacobs ever will be. He is President of Virtual Reality. It has nothing to do with Oculus Rift or VR goggles, and it's not some silly title in a game. President of Virtual Reality means president of all virtual realities - World of Warcraft, Eve Online, Destiny, the lot.
Bungie has received over $100m as part of an investment from a Chinese publisher to build a new game.
Apparently speedrunning - racing to finish a game as fast as possible - is quite popular. Of course it is - where have you been? Haven't you heard of the charity speedrunning marathons Games Done Quick?
In vanilla Destiny, one character in particular embodied the Frankenstein's monster-style story Bungie had patched together after tearing up the plot during development: the Stranger.
Warmind, Destiny 2's second and latest expansion, offers a short but sweet helping of new story which will last you around three hours. The campaign is spaced across five missions where you fight our old friends the Hive, meet characters previously teased in obscure lore files, and which moves the overall Destiny story along... if only by an inch.
Three-and-a-half years after Destiny came out, Bungie is finally ready to release high-profile accompaniment Music of the Spheres.
A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.
Destiny 2 is here! Have you noticed? Oh, I have so many memories of the first one: those huge Romantic skyboxes, that tangle of rusted cars, piled high against a patchwork wall, the roar of the shotgun, the endless hunt for Xur and his bargains.
A new book has revealed the turbulent development of some of the biggest games in recent times.
It's eight in the morning on a Saturday and there's a message on my phone - "You aren't free morningish by any chance?"
UPDATE 15th August 2017: Bungie has said Destiny 1 silver on Steam was an "error" and Valve will issue refunds.
Destiny 2 players will be able to gain bonus goods by buying Rockstar Energy drinks and Pop-Tarts.
Bungie, free from the shackles of the last generation of consoles, has built Destiny 2 for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. So, fans expect an improvement when it comes to the graphics. With the Destiny 2 beta now live, we're starting to see how much of an improvement Bungie has managed.
Destiny 2 looks like it'll suck up at least as many hundreds of hours of my life as the original game, but on its reveal fans were divided on whether it looked too similar to Destiny 1.
Destiny will lock the doors to its Mercury Lighthouse location following the weekend of 11th August.
In April 2014, veteran Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell took to Twitter to say he had been fired. Only afterwards, amid a messy lawsuit between the two parties that spilled out into the public domain, did we learn that his work on Music of the Spheres, which was intended to be a musical prequel to online shooter Destiny, had caused a rift within Bungie's board of directors. The court papers said Activision had little enthusiasm for releasing Music of the Spheres as a standalone work, and that Bungie management felt O'Donnell was elevating his interest in publishing Music of the Spheres over the best interests of the company. The upshot was that its release had been canned, and Marty, who had spent two years on the project, was furious.
Destiny 2 will not include the original game's Grimoire Cards - collectibles which unlocked extra lore or short stories which could be read on Bungie's website or the Destiny smartphone and tablet app.
Destiny's just-launched final update pays tribute to the game's origins - and a fan-favourite piece of dialogue cut from the game long ago.
Remember the infamous "That wizard came from the Moon!" line? It was read by Peter Dinklage in Destiny's original PlayStation 4 alpha - all the way back in June 2014.
The line was sadly cut for Destiny's beta, before Dinklage was replaced entirely by Nolan North for September 2015 expansion The Taken King.
Ever since Destiny came out, players have been trying to unearth the secrets of the Vault of Glass, the game's first - and best - raid.
UPDATE 9/3/17: Destiny's final event will refresh all of the game's raids - not just fan-favourite Vault of Glass.
Your Destiny character progress will be reset for Destiny 2, Bungie has confirmed.
Destiny 2 will launch this autumn and place a focus on accommodating new or lapsed players into the franchise.
But, speaking to investors last night, publisher Activision assured that this would not come at the cost of alienating existing fans.
"The cornerstone of that is a great cinematic story," Activision exec Eric Hirshberg said. "That's been a real focus with a great cast of memorable, relatable characters, coupled with some very nice ways to make the game more accessible to a casual player, without losing anything that our core players love.
Destiny's latest update The Dawning is more than just a Christmas event, Bungie has said, and after half a day's play I'm pretty happy to agree with that. There's more here than just a snow-capped Tower: Bungie has returned a fan-favourite activity, built yet more onto Destiny's core gameplay and responded to several important points of fan feedback.
Oh, and it even manages to get Nathan Fillion out of retirement to steal the show once more.
The Dawning is a free update for Rise of Iron owners which brings Destiny up to version 2.5. It is headlined by the return of the much-loved Sparrow Racing, although its second big feature - the introduction of a new challenge mechanic for the game's strikes - will likely leave the larger impact.
Skylanders developer Vicarious Visions is going to be working on Destiny in a joint effort with Bungie.
"Vicarious Visions is excited to announce that we are partnering with Bungie to further expand the Award-Winning Destiny Universe", Bungie said on Twitter.
This is amid various reports that Skylanders, as a series, has been cancelled following poor sales of its 2016 entry Skylanders: Imaginators, which saw a 41 per cent decline following Skylanders: SuperChargers in 2015. Imaginators only sold 66k retail copies in the US during October, which publisher Activision deemed in a recent financial report was below its expectations - as was viewership of its Netflix show Skylanders Academy.
Destiny's December update has a pleasing array of new features in store - as well as the expected return of Sparrow racing.
My favourite? Tower stalwarts Cayde (yep, Nathan Fillion), Zavala and Ikora are back after their absence in September's main Rise of Iron campaign.
You'll hear them chatter over the latest Strikes to get revamped (The Nexus, The Will of Crota and The Shadow Thief).
Destiny's December event is named The Dawning and will host the return of Sparrow Racing.
John Lewis and M&S eat your hearts out. Sony's released a fancy new PlayStation 4 advert just in time for Christmas - and it's packed with video game references.
Destiny's Festival of the Lost Halloween event has now been live for a couple of days, but fans aren't overly impressed by this year's offerings.
Eagle-eyed Destiny players have spotted a hidden secret in the game's new Festival of the Lost Halloween event - a special racing broom Sparrow.
The broom Sparrow is a limited-time item which anyone can find by checking the shelves on the right side of the lounge (where the jukebox is) in the Tower. (Here's a more detailed set of instructions.)
Equip it and it'll change your trusty Sparrow vehicle into a Harry Potter-style racing broom, complete the comfy seat attached.
Destiny, an online game played by millions, secretly has the workings for a custom made marriage proposal built into it.
Destiny fans have unmasked Bungie's Halloween plans following the deployment of last night's game patch.
Top Destiny clan Redeem were denied world first status for completing Rise of Iron's new Hard Mode raid due to a technical hiccup.
Wrath of the Machine, Destiny: Rise of Iron's new raid, launches its harder Heroic Mode in less than two weeks.
Raid boss Aksis and his friends will beef themselves up for a tougher fight from 18th October.
This version of the raid will award gear up to 400 Light, and is the only (so far) confirmed way for you to reach the new level cap.
Rise of Iron pushed me past the 500 hour mark in Destiny, but I'd have gotten there regardless.
I've been playing a lot again, spurred back by this summer's Moments of Triumph checklist. Destiny is still, for my Glimmer, the best-handling console shooter in the business. It is an incredible game to play with friends. At its best, Destiny has provided some of my most cherished gaming moments of the past two years, from clutched victories over bullet sponge bosses and selfless teamwork in the game's demanding raids, to the incredible collaboration of its community, where strategies are discovered and passed on via word of mouth as players try to get an edge on Bungie's opaque systems.
Destiny can be a fantastic experience, but it often is so despite Bungie's own intentions. There's another side to Destiny, where its repetitive tasks can be frustrating, time-consuming and unrewarding. It can feel downright unfair. Rise of Iron doesn't improve this status quo one bit.
Bungie has moved to swiftly lock down an ancient Destiny exploit, after players used it to dramatically speed up Rise of Iron's glacial loot grind.
Destiny 2 will launch for PC as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, according to multiple reports.
Bungie's shared-world shooter sequel remains unannounced but is expected for release next autumn. It had been scheduled for this month, before suffering the same 12-month delay that befell Destiny 1.
A new Kotaku report on Destiny 2's development suggests much may now be left behind when players make the jump to the sequel - up to and including player characters, which fans have poured hundreds of hours into.
Next week marks a year since Bungie added a microtransaction store and its paid-for Silver currency into the world of Destiny.
Destiny's new raid went live last night - and it was defeated in record time.
Destiny has a proud history when it comes to exploits. There was the loot cave. Then there was the Three of Coins exotic engram exploit. And who can forget turning the internet off in order to beat Crota? Now, players have revived another, old exploit most agree offers the quickest way to level up in the post-Rise of Iron game.
One of the most valued type of Destiny player is the sherpa. As their name suggests, these people play the game to act as guides for others, just as many of Nepal's real-life sherpa group act as guides in the Himalayas.
UPDATE 2.45pm: Destiny servers have sorted themselves out after this morning's disastrous launch.
It took a couple of hours for Bungie to fix connection problems after the supposed roll-out time for new expansion Rise of Iron. But Eurogamer has now been able to complete the DLC's main story mission and experienced no further issues.
Rise of Iron's main campaign lasts around two hours, and is followed by numerous extra questlines to pursue (which can you read all about in our Destiny: Rise of Iron guides, tips and tricks hub). Speaking of which, we're off to do just that.
Players logging on to Destiny last night found themselves contracting mysterious viral perks, which can be passed from player to player.
Last night, in anticipation of the upcoming Rise of Iron expansion, Bungie switched on the ability to create private multiplayer matches in Destiny for the first time.
Destiny: Rise of Iron is now just a week away - but if you can't wait that long, here are five minutes of brand new mission footage to sit back and enjoy.
There's nothing particularly spoilery in the videos below, but obviously, if you want to go into Rise of Iron completely blind then you shouldn't be here. Go read something else.
Posted by Japanese magazine Famitsu, the footage comes from early in Rise of Iron where you are tasked with taking back Felwinter Peak from the Fallen and new Splicer faction. The gondola shooting section discussed previously can be seen, although there's nothing of Felwinter Peak itself, which becomes the fresh Rise of Iron social space.
Bungie has paved the way for Destiny's upcoming Rise of Iron expansion via a big new patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
(PS3 and Xbox 360 players - you're not getting ROI. No patch for you.)
The update adds in much of the ROI content and refreshes Destiny's weapon balance and user interface. It also allows engrams to decrypt at higher than 335 Light, which was The Taken King's level cap.
Destiny is getting a new lease of life this month with the arrival of long-awaited expansion Rise of Iron, a new raid and a fresh playable area for fans to explore and pore over.
PlayStation-exclusive content found in last year's Destiny: The Taken King expansion will be kept out of reach of Xbox players for longer than many fans expected.
Earlier in the week, Destiny players noted that last year's PlayStation-exclusive stuff was still listed as exclusive for PS4 in marketing materials for the upcoming Rise of Iron.
The expectation had been that Bungie would unlock Taken King exclusives after 12 months, just as it had done for the PlayStation-only content in vanilla Destiny.
Destiny is to introduce private matches for the first time when new expansion Rise of Iron releases later this year.
Activision's announced Destiny - The Collection, due out alongside the Rise of Iron expansion on 20th September on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Destiny - The Collection, which costs £49.99, includes all the content released for Destiny 1 so far. So, you get the first two add-ons The Dark Below and House of Wolves, The Taken King expansion, and Rise of Iron.
The Collection is designed as a starting point to Bungie's first-person co-op driven shooter, and includes a level 40 character boost so you can instantly join friends and get going with your Light Level.
Destiny: Rise of Iron boasts a brand new social hub, set atop Felwinter Peak, a snowy monastery-esque location where you can hang out with wolves, pretend you're an Iron Lord and ring a set of bells found within the area.
Thorn, one of Destiny's best-known guns and arguably its most divisive, returns in this September's Rise of Iron expansion.
Destiny was once described as a cross between a traditional first-person shooter such as Halo, and a massively multiplayer online role-playing game such as World of Warcraft. Destiny didn't quite turn out that way, but after the game came out it was clear many of the developers at Bungie were fans of Blizzard's MMO.
UPDATE 28/07/2016 10.30pm: Bungie has offered a "hot fix" to its Beaver problem on PS4 and Xbox One.
"Fixed a network connectivity issue that was causing some players to be disconnected with Beaver errors," the developer said of this new update.
"This Hot Fix will be deployed to Legacy Consoles soon," Bungie added.
There's now another pre-order incentive for Destiny's upcoming sequel - an in-game Sparrow vehicle shaped like the game's most iconic weapon, Gjallarhorn.
UPDATE 11/7/16 10.30am: Yahoo News has owned up to using a Destiny screenshot in a serious science story about Saturn, and, somewhat bizarrely, it has done so in a fresh news story reporting on the fact its slip-up was originally reported on by Eurogamer.
Destiny's seasonal gauntlet Moments of Triumph has entered its second season, offering player goodies for completing various challenges between now and 20th September.
The company behind the cool Destiny Titan figurine has revealed its models for the Hunter and Warlock classes.
YouTuber Duba has celebrated Destiny's best weapons the only way he knows how - by turning their names into a rap.
This autumn, Destiny's travelling merchant Xûr will turn his back on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Destiny's Hunter class took a big hit in the game's recent June update.
Bungie is trying to ramp up the rate it builds new Destiny content, as the developer prepares to launch the game's third year.
Bungie formally unveiled this year's big Destiny expansion, Rise of Iron, this evening. It costs £24.99 and launches on 20th September.
Bungie will officially announce its new Destiny expansion Rise of Iron tonight during a livestream at 6pm UK time, but its trailer has now leaked.
Rise of Iron's contents were spilled online last night, and now we can see it in action courtesy of a leaked ad that popped up on SnapChat.
Rise of Iron contains a new area set on Earth, a new social hub, new mutated forms of Fallen enemies, a fresh raid and strike plus new gear and weapons. What kind of weapons? Hammers.
Destiny's next expansion, Rise of Iron, will leave behind PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players when it launches this autumn.
Bungie has yet to announce the news officially, but a listing for the add-on visible on developer Bungie's official site only has it down for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
There's a date, too: 20th September.
This autumn's Destiny expansion is called Rise of Iron, a fresh leak has revealed.
Artwork obtained by Kotaku shows Iron Banner boss Lord Saladin centre stage, in a location that looks a lot like Earth's Cosmodrome wall.
As expected, Rise of Iron contains a new raid and will weigh in around the same size as last year's The Taken King.
Last night, Activision Blizzard posted its quarterly financial results and - no surprise, really - it is doing just fine.
The company posted better-than-expected revenues, posted user growth across its collection of games (those released by Activision itself, plus Blizzard and mobile giant King).
Across all three brands last year, players spent 10bn hours playing and 32bn hours spectating Activision games. Combined, that total is roughly equal to the total number of hours spent watching Netflix by its entire userbase worldwide.
Destiny will receive a fresh update next week with fixes for a variety of bugs, including the game's long-running melee issue.
Curious Destiny fans have spotted a clue that points to a possible 20th September release date for the game's next big expansion.
The recent, enjoyable but limited April update includes a mysterious new piece of lore, hidden inside a Dead Ghost, which can be found in the Prison of Elders.
It's unlikely you'd find the item by chance so it seemed strange when, just 16 minutes after Bungie pushed the April update live, a walkthrough on how to find it popped up on Reddit.
If you want to weigh Destiny's April update by the new activities it adds, then you're going to be disappointed. In terms of new content, to use the c-word, there's far less meat on this beast's bones than in any add-on before it. There's far less, even, than December 2014's disappointing Dark Below. There's no new raid, the one new strike is instantly forgettable and the refreshed Prison of Elders arena feels like something Bungie should have added months back.
Destiny first launched in September 2014, yet here we are in April 2016 and the game continues to enjoy a huge audience. Certainly, what was great about the original game has not been diminished: the core gameplay Bungie perfected, the worlds it featured and the moment-to-moment gunplay which still lies unparalleled. These are the things the April update focuses on bringing again to the fore. Head back to Destiny and you'll find yourself getting more loot, discovering new ways to tailor your personal experience and character, and you'll find refreshed - if still familiar - activities.
After so long, it's a relief to find many of the game's barriers to progress have been lifted. After so long, Bungie now seems happier for you to play once a week rather than every night. There was a time when a bunch of us would play Destiny most evenings - even a year on, when The Taken King expansion landed. But, logging in to play the April update, my character first picked up a reward from February's lacklustre Valentine's event - after trying a round or two of that, I decided I was finally out.
In February 2013, Bungie invited the world's press into its Bellevue, Washington studio to show Destiny for the first time. Except the studio didn't show Destiny. Rather, it talked about Destiny.
Destiny's long-term exclusive content deal with PlayStation isn't just limited to big expansions - the game's April update has stuff just for Sony fans too.
We had already heard mention of a PlayStation-exclusive set of quests involving Reef character Petra. You'll only get to play those on PS3 and PS4.
Now, Bungie has detailed a new exotic weapon which is also only available on PlayStation platforms.
Destiny's free April update adds a new reward named Sterling Treasure, which comprises a bag of random items.
You can earn three Sterling Treasure packs each week - one will be granted automatically upon reset, another by completing the Level 41 Prison of Elders activity and a third by playing the featured Weekly Crucible Playlist.
In each loot pack you are guaranteed a piece of armour (rated at 3 attack or defense strength), along with up to two other items such as ships, a sparrow, class items, reputation boosters and the all-new Chroma customisation item.
Bungie has detailed its Destiny April update, which finally adds new PVE content to the game on 12th April.
Highlights of the free add-on include a new strike and new Prison of Elders challenges which see you facing Taken enemies.
The game's Light level cap will also be raised up to 335.
Bungie has finally begun teasing its next Destiny update, which has been dated for release on 12th April.
Destiny update 2.2.0 will include new PVE missions - the first since September - and a new strike, named Blighted Chalice. Data mined from Bungie's servers suggests Blighted Chalice will take players back to the Hellmouth on the Moon.
The game's maximum Light level cap will also be raised, and there will be a round of sandbox and Crucible updates.
Halo and Destiny composer Marty O'Donnell has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new musical project.
Echoes of the First Dreamer is a "musical prequel" to Golem, O'Donnell's new PlayStation VR project at Seattle startup Highwire Games.
The standalone symphony introduces musical themes from Golem, and is intended to be specially recorded and released before the game's own launch.
Destiny players may recognise something very familiar in The Division - a Light level system for when you pass the game's main level cap.
Christopher Schlerf, former lead writer of Halo 4, has joined Destiny developer Bungie.
Four days after Destiny fans began grinding the game for a set of Valentine's week items, Bungie has admitted its reward rate is too low.
Destiny will receive a fully-fledged sequel sometime in 2017, developer Bungie has announced.
Furthermore, a "large new expansion" is due later this year.
That's not all, as Bungie also touted a large update on schedule for this spring. "That content release will feature a significant Light increase, a bunch of new gear to earn and equip, and new challenges for PvE players seeking some more fun experiences and replayability," the developer said in its weekly update.
Crimson Days, Destiny's new attempt to pull back players, is all about couples - but it fails to properly address either of the game's two biggest problems. Once again, players are faced with a limited amount of things to do. And, once again, players are being left feeling like that haven't been properly rewarded for their time and efforts even if they do choose to engage and take part.
There's 90 seconds until the extraction is complete and I'm eyeing the clock. I'm standing next to a guy I met up with a few blocks back. He was pinned down by looters. We finished them off together and exchanged jumping jack emotes, then headed off to the extraction point to secure our reward.
Bungie president Harold Ryan has exited the company.
Bungie has said it will reverse the controversial matchmaking changes it recently introduced to Destiny.
Destiny has grown stagnant.
Destiny 2 will not launch as expected in September, a new report has claimed.
Er, what? Bungie has returned from its Christmas update hiatus with word of the next Destiny event - and it's a week-long Valentine's celebration.
Remember when PlayStation Network fell over earlier this month? Sony has given Plus subscribers a one-day extension to make up for it.
Bungie has teased its next in-game Destiny event and - just maybe - hinted at where its sci-fi shooter series may head next: to the planet Mercury.
You can now pay £24.99 to boost a character to level 25 in Destiny.
The level packs are available for each of the game's three characters - Titan, Warlock and Hunter.
Destiny expansion The Taken King launched in September with one character boost included. This is the same offer, albeit with a subclass boost and some telemetries for quickly upgrading weapons as well.
After a week of speculation on the future of Destiny: The Taken King, Bungie has finally shed some light on the remaining additions it has planned.
Destiny: The Taken King launched months ago, long before the rush of autumn releases, yet millions of players still play for hours every day. It's a vote of confidence for Bungie but also a neverending workload, as the game's intensely loyal fanbase constantly demand fresh content.
Destiny will get a new Sparrow Racing League event, starting next week on 8th December.
Destiny's toughest challenge just got tougher - and it was beaten in minutes by players streaming on Twitch.
Bungie will up the difficulty of its most recent raid with the introduction of a new raid challenge mode.
In the run up to the release of Halo 5, I thought a lot about the state of the series in 2015, how my feelings about Master Chief and Cortana and the endless fight to save the universe had changed over the years, and Destiny.
"Did you hear about Paul? He's a 304. I'm a 303, but Paul's a 304!"
Destiny's December update will add a selection of new and improved exotic guns and armour, including many old favourites from Year One.
UPDATE 24/11/15 8.30am Destiny's refer-a-friend programme is now live, and its eye-catching rewards detailed in full.
Destiny still does not offer matchmaking for much of its highest-level content, despite continued calls from fans for it to be added.
At one time, he was Destiny's toughest enemy. Now, raid boss Crota has been beaten using a set of plastic drums.
Destiny has launched its first proper Halloween event, with a new PVP map, quests and papier mâché masks featuring many of the game's most popular characters.
Kotaku has published a report into the development of Bungie's shooter Destiny that confirms what many players had suspected: drastic changes were made to the game's story.
King's Fall, Destiny's new raid added with the Taken King expansion, will gain its hard mode next week.
UPDATE 6.10PM Bungie has now revealed the pricing for Silver - Destiny's new real-world money currency.
Destiny's overpowered shotguns are getting a second nerf in as many months.
Destiny: The Taken King owners can now finally get their hands on Sleeper Simulant, the much-teased exotic fusion rifle that has - until today - been unavailable.
Destiny will soon get microtransactions, developer Bungie has announced.
King's Fall, Destiny's latest raid and toughest challenge, has now been beaten flawlessly.
Destiny's two big player versus player modes are set to return soon and slightly different.
Destiny: The Taken King has rightly received praise for including a far greater emphasis on the game's story and characters. But much of Destiny's lore still remains hidden away in its Grimoire cards, which, disappointingly, can still only be read outside the game on Bungie's website or app.
Bungie has addressed a Destiny exploit that let players easily farm exotic engrams.
When is the best time to review an expansion for a massively multiplayer online game? If you ask developer Bungie, they'll tell you Destiny isn't an MMO, but its shared-world questing and shooting, its collecting and grinding and levelling and looting, make it similar enough that there is little real distinction. And with The Taken King, Bungie has embraced a new vision for Destiny - one that many hoped it would deliver last September - following an overhaul, expansion and polish for the game.
The Taken King has now been out over a week, and I've seen numerous appraisals arguing that its changes progress the game into the experience it originally should have been. But it's not been a sudden turnaround. Slowly but surely, Bungie has been edging Destiny into this state ever since its first add-on launched last December. That's not to say that all has gone smoothly - first expansion The Dark Below had its own missteps - but Bungie has continued to note feedback and found ever more solid footing in the follow-up House of Wolves add-on last May. Patch 2.0, released a week before The Taken King, must also be given credit for laying much of the expansion's groundwork, whether you pay for it or not.
In some ways, The Taken King is also a regression: a step back to an earlier version of Destiny that the public never saw. This version of the game once included more story, had more personality, but for whatever reason it was retooled a year before the game's final launch. It's still tantalising to think that the plans for this version of Destiny still lie somewhere in Bungie's vaults - that it once might have seen the light of day had things turned out differently. It's the version that we hear about now and then from former employees and the version that many fans were expecting when Destiny eventually did launch, with so much character and class excised. But it would be unfair to say that The Taken King has just reverted to that earlier version of Destiny. The expansion has used ideas from it, along with improvements cooked up throughout the game's subsequent year of development while the game's story was retooled, plus every bit of learning from the past year post-release, too.
Northbot or Nolandroid? The argument has taken the Internet by storm in the greatest inane pop culture dispute since no one could decide if that dress was blue or gold. We here at Eurogamer decided to get right to the heart of the matter by tracking down legendary voice actor Nolan North to ask his preference for his Destiny character's monicker.
Now, a moment of silence for Dinklebot, the same character who was voiced by Game of Thrones and The Station Agent star Peter Dinklage before his availability clashed with reprising the role. It's also speculated that too many fans simply weren't happy with the Lannister droid. But it's okay Peter, the Emmy folks still love ya!
Before it was a rocket launcher with target tracking and devastating cluster rounds, Gjallarhorn - from the Old Norse "yelling horn" - was the instrument sounded by the herald god, Heimdall, to signal Ragnorok. The noise of Gjallarhorn, in other words, meant the end of the world - which, in a way, is just as true of its deadly, wolf-headed descendant in Destiny, a gun which proved so powerful it called down an armageddon on itself.
It's hard to remember exactly when Gjallarhorn became the essential destructive accessory in Bungie's RPG-ing online shooter. As players hit the level cap and explored the endgame and metagame beyond, exotic weapons were earned and upgraded, perks were tried and tiered, and certain guns and gear - outliers and exceptions within Destiny's carefully balanced economy of violence - became highly prized.
Gjallarhorn was the top prize. A combination of functionality perks and brute-force damage-dealing made it a monster. A fully-levelled Gjallarhorn fired rockets that homed in on their targets, then exploded on impact and released a devastating secondary wave of Wolfpack rounds that also homed. It was beautiful to watch, and always made me think of the Japanese word for fireworks - hana-bi, literally "fire flower" - with its twinkling incendiary packets pluming away before arcing murderously back onto their victim. It also held two rounds in the clip and, as a consequence, delivered precise and overwhelming damage to anything players decided to point it at in a very condensed pocket of time. It was bullying, and extravagant. And it was so good.
Destiny: The Taken King was the most-downloaded day-one game in PlayStation history, Activision has announced.
The Destiny publisher has issued its post-launch press release for The Taken King, with all manner of impressive-sounding records broken.
Sales data is not included, but then Activision has never released full sales data for vanilla Destiny. The publisher has said that 20 million player characters have been registered but some players have more than one.
Did you know that Destiny: The Taken King launched this week? You probably did.
Destiny is ditching some of its most famous guns as part of the game's Year Two, which begins today with the launch of new expansion The Taken King.
Talk to Bungie about Destiny and it will readily admit the game's imperfections. Speak to the Destiny's passionate fanbase and they will likely tell you many of the same gripes, only louder. Plenty played Destiny during its inaugural year and kept playing through the game's many ups and downs. Others did not. By Bungie's own metrics - three million loyal players logging on every day - the game sounded nothing short of a success. But many who tried the shared world shooter left for good, feeling burned by expectations of the vision Bungie had laid out.
"Level 20 was a shelf point," Destiny: The Taken King creative director Luke Smith says to me. It's been a couple of months since our last meeting at E3 2015 and I'm at Bungie headquarters in Seattle to play through all of the new expansion on the developer's test servers. Well, all of the expansion apart from its new raid - there are still folk at Bungie yet to be allowed into that.
The Taken King arrives today, a week after Destiny's 2.0 update made sweeping changes to the game regardless of whether you shell out for its new expansion or not. Chief among 2.0's alterations was a retooling of the confusing Light system that originally gated the top third of Destiny's levels. Progression beyond level 20 meant learning the game's secondary gameplay loop: grinding old content, playing raids and hoping Bungie's random loot generator was feeling generous enough to hand over a full set of raid gear.
Hello, you look nice. Come in and watch an episode of The Eurogamer Show, why don't you? Go on, you've earned it.
Destiny's big update 2.0 is now live.
It's pretty hefty (18GB on PS4) so sit back, relax and maybe play something else that doesn't eat up your bandwidth.
Destiny's patch makes sweeping changes to the game. Dinklebot is no more. Now, meet Northbot. RIP Dinklebot.
Ex-Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell has won a substantial settlement from his former employer after claiming that he had been fired "without cause" back in April 2014.
Bungie has announced plans to unlock The Taken King's new player versus player maps and modes to all Destiny players next week.
Destiny's new raid unlocks at 6pm, Friday 18th September, three days after its accompanying expansion The Taken King comes out, developer Bungie has revealed on a Twitch stream.
You need The Taken King to play the six-player raid, titled King's Fall. You also need to have reached the expansion's end game section in order to access it.
The three-day wait allows players to make their way through the opening half of The Taken King first, Bungie has reasoned, rather than rush through the new campaign to play King's Fall as quickly as possible. King's Fall is set inside the Dreadnaught spaceship, a new area added to Destiny with the expansion.
Destiny's weekly activities are getting a complete revamp in upcoming expansion The Taken King.
Bungie has released the first Destiny footage showing us Nolan North's take on Ghost's voice since he replaced Peter Dinklage.
Bungie just held its first Destiny: The Taken King reveal stream, and we've rounded up all the new information.
Xur, Destiny's mysterious vendor who turns up once a week to break Guardian hearts, is selling Gjallarhorn, the game's most powerful weapon.
Destiny developer Bungie was forced to replace Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage due to the actor's availability, the developer has said.
UPDATE 13/8/15 11.05am: Yet more Destiny: The Taken King details have emerged, detailing changes to the game's Strike missions, Light levelling and a new consumable for sale each week from Xur.
Peter Dinklage's voice performance in Destiny will be replaced by Nolan North as of this September's upcoming expansion The Taken King.
Bungie will overhaul all of Destiny's weapons in a game-changing update set to affect every gun type.
Numerous exotic weapons - such as Gjallarhorn, arguably Destiny's most powerful gun - will see specific changes. Most - again, like Gjallarhorn - are being nerfed.
The tweaks will come into force as part of Destiny's 2.0.0 update, which will ready the game for September's major expansion The Taken King.
David Cross, better known to Arrested Development fans as Tobias, was hired by Destiny developer Bungie to write jokes for the game's script, he's claimed.
I think it's fair to say that Bungie has had an interesting time of late. First, there came the controversy over the Taken King Collector's Edition making certain content unavailable to existing players without purchasing the game a second time. Then came a cross-promotion with Red Bull, asking players to purchase special promotional cans of the energy drink to access an extra mission in The Taken King expansion.
Mars spirals above you as your boots land on the surface of Phobos, the red planet's largest moon. But for the first time in Destiny, you and your fireteam don't feel alone. Ships of the Vanguard soar overhead, the might of the Tower behind you, their radio chatter in your ears. Down the dusty path lies chaos, a Cabal base that's being evacuated. But you aren't the danger here, and neither are the militaristic Martian conquerors. They are fleeing a threat far larger than themselves, one that The Taken King will see you slowly meet, comprehend, and then shoot in the face.
Destiny's first major expansion opens in a shower of fireworks and a mission packed full of story teasers on a location never before visited in the game's campaign. From the moment it begins, it's evident that The Taken King is a step up from the two add-ons that Destiny players have seen before. Which is good - and not just because of that price-tag. It's good because it marks a step-up in the story-telling ability of the game, something so sorely lacking in last September's vanilla release.
"Phobos is a place you're going to start off... and probably going to return," The Taken King creative director Luke Smith told Eurogamer at E3. But the real meat of the expansion will take place on the Dreadnought, the command carrier of the game's legendary Oryx, father of Crota. He's parked out by Saturn - the furthest that players have ventured from Earth so far - and stands ready to take the whole of the inner solar system by force. Angry old Oryx is rather annoyed that you killed off his son back in The Dark Below - with his own sword, no less - and has turned up on a quest for revenge.
The Collector's Edition content for upcoming Destiny expansion The Taken King's will now be made available separately, Bungie has said, priced at $20.
UPDATE 24/06/2015 8pm: "Activision has confirmed to EG that the Red Bull promotion is limited to North America."
Bungie has told Eurogamer that it will release a little extra something for all Destiny players, regardless of platform, when the game's initial round of timed-exclusive Sony content launches on Xbox this autumn.
Destiny's community is currently waiting to hear more on how Bungie will reward existing players in its upcoming expansion The Taken King after controversy surrounding its pricing - and the developer has promised to provide answers tomorrow in its weekly blog update.
But ahead of that - and back at E3 - creative director Luke Smith was able to tell us how Bungie will ensure that the whole Destiny community gets new content when Xbox players finally catch up on those previously Sony-exclusive bits and bobs.
UPDATE 23/6/15 9.00am: Bungie has responded to fan debate surrounding the exclusive perks found in The Taken King's Collector's Edition with word of "something better" for veteran Destiny players.
Bungie community manager David "Deej" Dague has said that fans should expect details this Thursday in the developer's weekly Destiny blog update.
"Year One players won't get the same perks as people who buy a collector's edition," he told Forbes. "They'll get something better. Tune into the Weekly Update for more."
A Destiny clan has waved goodbye to a member who recently passed away in an emotional video tribute.
Activision's divisive deal with Sony for PlayStation-exclusive Destiny content continues with The Taken King.
A co-op strike, player versus player map and exotic weapons were reserved for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 version of Destiny, which launched in September 2014. That content, which includes the useful Hawkmoon exotic hand cannon, becomes available to Xbox One and Xbox 360 players this September.
But the Sony Activision love-in continues anew with the launch of The Taken King, due out this September, and PlayStation gamers once again get exclusive gubbins in a move Xbox players are sure to be annoyed about.
UPDATE: A reveal trailer for Destiny's The Taken King expansion, shown during Sony's E3 2015 press conference, has confirmed all of the details below.
As previously reported, the major add-on will launch 15th September, include a new subclass for each of the game's three classes, and centres around the villain Oryx.
A new Hive ship location is, as expected, also included. It was named in the DLC design document leaked last year.
If there was any doubt to its veracity, the name of Destiny's unannounced expansion has been spotted again in the wild.
US packs of Red Bull energy drinks have been spotted with codes for bonus experience points and an "epic quest" in Destiny: The Taken King when it launches (thanks, Game Informer).
The Taken King's name and logo previously popped up in a trademark description, filed by Bungie.
Destiny developer Bungie has blocked users that have been interrupting the connections of their opponents during multiplayer matches.
Each spaceship holds a friend, and you're orbiting round a planet together in a gang, showing off your rides. Custom paint jobs. Some dude in a giant red lorry of a ship. Last minute gear checks, discussion of loadout and then your team all turns perfectly together and sideslips down to the planet's surface. A moment of black and you're in control of your avatar and everything kicks off. Or it's PvP and you teleport down to the planet's surface and are shown posed like you're in a Saturday morning TV show for a beat before the flag rolls out. A second to breathe and then you're being hunted. Destiny is full of these tiny moments that show you're with your tribe.
Destiny's developer Bungie has recently got into the habit of referring to last September's release and the two subsequent expansions as falling under Year One, as if they're talking up an origins story of which this much maligned, much played massively online shooter is the subject. There's certainly a neat arc there: the somewhat downbeat beginnings, with Destiny initially slumping under the weight of expectation, before it limped towards a nadir with The Dark Below's slim, far from stimulating addition. All of which sets up The House of Wolves, the final expansion before - we fully expect - a more substantial overhaul that marks the beginning of Year Two, as the third act redemption, where all of Destiny's latent potential is untapped.
House of Wolves doesn't quite do that, of course, but it does deliver an overhaul of systems and a stream of modes and features that are the best thing to happen to Destiny since its launch. Fan grievances are addressed, the hamster wheel grind has been sprinkled with more regular treats and it's a delight to still be surprised, even after some 15 hours spent with the expansion, by new tweaks in some of Destiny's farther flung corners. What really makes House of Wolves fly, though, isn't to be found in the laundry list of what's been added. It's somewhere beyond that, and somewhere far more exciting. With this expansion, it feels like Bungie has remembered some of that magic that has made Bungie games so special in the past.
You'll sense that in the instant spectacle of the first of the new campaign missions. Within seconds you're sitting atop a purple Pike, a bloated speeder that hoarsely skims through a canyon as it spits out mines that bounce off the encroaching crevices, and then seconds after that you're face to face with a heavily armoured Walker that's spraying the air with plasma. It's a real statement of intent, and one the rest of the campaign - which can be polished off in around two to three hours, though your mileage will vary depending on what difficulty you engage with - sees through. House of Wolves leans heavily on the highlights of the shooter's first eight months, even stretching to one explicit late-game reference to the very best that Destiny has had to offer in its life to date. Many of the locations are lifted from elsewhere, though what's been lifted and how it's been used still has the capacity to surprise.
The race to beat Destiny's toughest new challenge is over.
Every Friday - we call it Xur Day - a special non-player vendor character arrives in the Tower, Destiny's social space. The mysterious merchant, eyes burning white, tendrils reaching out from within a face cloaked in shadow, sells Exotic weapons and armour, but there's no way to predict which ones. Xur, Agent of the Nine, is a law unto himself.
UPDATE 5/6/15 9.05am: Sales of Destiny charity T-shirt have raised more than $1m for Nepal earthquake relief.
Destiny and Hearthstone have made a combined total of nearly $1bn in revenue life-to-date, Activision announced in its latest earnings report.
Everything about expansion two for Bungie's "shared world shooter" Destiny makes sense to me. The changes to the competitive multiplayer portion of the game we reported on last week give PvP, for the first time, a proper endgame. The new upgrade system means any Legendary or Exotic weapon and armour piece can be made level 34 - without it losing progression. And the new Prison of Elders arena mode, revealed by Bungie today, is a cool twist on wave-based fighting and a lot of fun for three-player Fireteams.
Destiny's major September update will be named The Taken King, a new Bungie trademark spotted by NeoGAF user "Kifimbo" suggests.
The sci-fi shooter is due a meaty overhaul this autumn around the one year anniversary of Destiny's original launch, a leaked internal schedule revealed.
A logo reminiscent of the Hive suggests a return to the story of that particular alien race. The Taken King itself may be a reference to Oryx, whose son Crota you squashed in The Dark Below.
Destiny developer Bungie has launched a new T-shirt to raise money for disaster relief in Nepal.
Its design features each of Destiny's three player classes - hunter, warlock and titan - standing in solidarity next to a Nepalese flag.
The Himalayan mountains and Destiny's mysterious Traveller orb can be seen in the background.
Destiny's competitive multiplayer, called Crucible, doesn't reward player "investment" in the same way the player versus environment portion of the game does. That is to say, Crucible rewards are muck. Six-player groups take on Destiny's wonderful Raids in the pursuit of powerful Legendary-class weapons and high level equipment that can only be obtained by completing difficult encounters and defeating computer-controlled bosses. There's an element of randomness to the coveted Raid drops, so on any given run you may not get that helmet you've been after since Destiny launched in September, but at least you know which items you're in with a chance of getting.
UPDATE 22/4/15 8.25pm: Bungie has revealed new details of features coming alongside its upcoming House of Wolves expansion during tonight's livestream.
But many of the new features will be available to those who have not bought the DLC, including its new Reef social space. Somewhat unexpectedly the new area will be available to all players, and allow access to vendors and Queen's Wrath bounties.
The developer has also explained the method that players will use to upgrade their existing legendary weapons - and confirmed that all legendary weapons will be upgradable. A new slot in the upgrade tree will let you "ascend" weapons to the new House of Wolves stat cap. Again, this will be available whether you have the expansion or not.
Destiny's data miners are at it again, this time digging into the recently released patch 1.1.2 to uncover plans for two new social spaces.
Destiny's House of Wolves expansion will not contain a new six-player raid activity, Bungie has now confirmed.
A product listing on Bungie's official site suggested this last night, when the add-on's new cinematic trailer went live.
Now, in a new blog post, Bungie has given new information on the decision - and what else to expect from the expansion.
UPDATE 13/4/15 6.00pm: Destiny's House of Wolves cinematic trailer has now gone live, alongside new details of what the expansion will contain.
Bungie has confirmed that the add-on will bring "new story missions, three new competitive multiplayer maps, and a new cooperative strike", as well as a new Crucible mode.
There's no word on a new raid - instead, a new "arena activity" has been teased, named The Prison of Elders. An earlier leak listed the expansion's raid as "The Arena", so this may be somehow related.
Destiny developer Bungie still does not have a date for its much-teased 1.1.2 patch, but has confirmed three new features it will bring to the online sci-fi shooter.
Players will soon be able to toggle their headgear on in social spaces such as the Tower, allowing you to show off your hard-earned helmets to other players.
Bungie is also adding the ability to 'lock' gear items in your inventory so there is no danger of them being accidentally deleted.
Bungie has detailed its upcoming expansion of Destiny's item vaults, and revealed it has found itself reaching the hardware limits of last-gen consoles.
Destiny will be getting more audio options and a Colourblind Mode in its upcoming 1.1.2 update, Bungie has announced.
Perhaps the most exciting addition will be the option to play your own music, though you'll also be able to adjust your teammate's chat volume and mute the soundtrack entirely, if that's your thing.
The upcoming visual customisation is probably an even greater game-changer for a fair number of folks.
UK video game shop has launched an online marketplace on which third-parties can sell their products.
Bungie has outlined the ways it plans to change its first-person shooter Destiny with the next update, and it looks like players will, finally, get some of their most-requested features.
The Last of Us star Ashley Johnson stole the show at the BAFTA Game Awards last night with an emotional acceptance speech for her role as Ellie.
Crota's End - Destiny's toughest raid - has been beaten by a single player, acting alone, without firing a single shot.
It really is award season for expectation-exceeder Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was last night crowned Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year.
A new update for Destiny's companion app has added the ability to remotely transfer items to and from your game's vault.
The vault is a central repository for armour, guns and materials accessible across all of your characters.
Previously, switching gear between your different Guardians (or just simply taking out items you had stored) required a trip to the game's Tower location. No more.
Destiny will gain a new social area in its upcoming House of Wolves expansion, according to a fresh set of leaked screenshots.
"All the viewers that are watching, this is a glitch to get your characters above 20, I guess," 11-year-old Henry Kramer told his viewers on Twitch.
Bungie is adding matchmaking to Destiny's Weekly Heroic Strike missions as of the game's next update.
In fact, matchmaking will now be enforced - meaning no more taking on the activity solo.
There will be no change to the harder level Weekly Nightfall Strike or to either of the game's two raids, despite matchmaking for these activities being a frequent fan request.
Dragon Age: Inquisition won big last night, crowned AIAS Game of the Year (and best role-playing game) at the 18th annual D.I.C.E. Awards.
Bungie has narrowed the release date of the next Destiny add-on, House of Wolves, to Q2 2015.
Specifically, that means sometime from 1st April to 30th June, a new blog post clarified, which fits with the leak from earlier this week that suggested a 19th May launch was likely.
Meanwhile, Destiny publisher Activision has hinted at the next addition to Destiny after House of Wolves - the weighty "Comet" expansion rumoured for release this September.
Destiny has more than 16 million registered users to date, Activision announced in a new earnings report.
A host of details for Destiny's upcoming House of Wolves expansion have appeared online, including a possible release date.
Reddit user megamanexe4 gained access to the currently-hidden content via methods unknown, but claims that it is all due to unlock on 19th May.
That date is a Tuesday, which would fit with both the game's weekly reset and the release of previous expansion The Dark Below.
Bungie is finally preparing to squash one of Destiny's most-complained-about bugs.
Techland's new zombie shooter Dying Light has a cheeky reference to Destiny's infamous loot cave.
A clan of Destiny diehards have become the first to beat the new Crota's End raid hard mode - and finished in less than half an hour.
Skill, in Destiny? This guy levels in his sleep.
Destiny's latest raid, Crota's End, is getting a Hard mode on 21st January at 6pm GMT, Bungie has announced.
Recently I've been thinking about cheese, and not the cow stuff. Cheese as in taking advantage of a game's weird AI behaviour or a level glitch to bypass the 'correct' way of doing things. Surely we're all guilty of cheesing it up, whether for laughs or more mercenary reasons, but one game has finally managed to... well, make a game out of it.
Destiny will be updated next week to remove the most popular exploits for Crota's End, the new raid added in December expansion The Dark Below.
Meanwhile, developer Bungie said the competitive Iron Banner multiplayer event returns with new rewards from next Tuesday, 13th January, until the 19th.
Lesser-seen multiplayer maps such as Asylum, The Anomaly and The Burning Shrine (the only area so far set on Mercury) will also be added to the more popular Clash and Control playlists.
Bungie is today gifting Destiny players a legendary class weapon.
Disney's all-conquering animated movie Frozen was the UK's best-selling entertainment product of 2014.
There's an image doing the rounds on the internet today that allegedly reveals Bungie's plan for Destiny, its expansions and more during 2015.
The image, below, reportedly was taken during an internal meeting, and first appeared on an Italian Destiny community's Facebook page on 1st October 2014 - at least that's the earliest publication date I can find. It has since been posted to the Bungie.net forum, a Destiny-focused Twitter account and, more recently the Destiny sub-Reddit, which is why it's only now getting attention.
So, it's worth pointing out that the information it contains, such as release dates and windows, may now be out of date.
Around 13 million people have played divisive online first-person shooter Destiny since its launch in September, developer Bungie has revealed.
A Destiny player has beaten the game's toughest challenge - on his own.
UPDATE: I'm told last week Destiny's RRP was cut by £10, which is likely the reason for the surge in sales, rather than the release of The Dark Below DLC. I've amended the headline.
Three months is a long time in Destiny. Since the game launched, the cycle of shooting and looting has taken us around the galaxy many times and the repetition is not doing the content any favours. The bounties, dailies and weeklies have become overfamiliar, while the descent into the Vault of Glass Raid has gone from 'mythical aspiration' to 'a couple of hours on Tuesday night'. It seems contradictory to complain that a game I've spent 200 hours playing is running short of things to do, but such is the nature of MMOs: they take over your life, so they need to keep the content coming.
Price and availability
Available now on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3: £19.99, or £34.99 as part of the season pass
Three months into Destiny's projected 10-year lifespan and there seem to be as many people burned out by its protracted grind as there are in thrall to it. The Dark Below, Bungie's first significant expansion for the game, isn't going to change that. It's not an overhaul in the style of Blizzard's ground-shaking expansions, or an introduction of new, exciting systems that can win back those who have turned their backs on the game. It is, instead, a sliver of content gently inserted into the existing world, prolonging that grind in a way that will delight as many as those who will despair.
Right now, two of the key activities available in Bungie's first-person shooter Destiny are locked behind DLC The Dark Below.
If there's one thing we know you all love, it's when we write about Destiny. If there's another, it's when we show preference for one platform over another. Well, have we got a treat for you today - from 5pm Ian Higton and myself will be running through the PS4 exclusive Strike introduced by the recently released Dark Below DLC, The Undying Mind. See you then!
UPDATE: It took just six hours for a Destiny team to achieve the world first completion of the game's new raid, Crota's End.
Today Paul McCartney releases the banging tune he recorded for Bungie's first-person shooter Destiny - and there's a promo music video to go along with it.
Destiny's PVP modes have been refreshed with a new set of rules that dissolve matchmade teams which are vastly outperforming opponents.
Bungie has detailed how Destiny's array of loot will be affected by impending expansion The Dark Below.
Sony has confirmed and detailed the exclusive content it's secured for Destiny expansion The Dark Below.
The PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 versions of Bungie's first-person shooter get an exclusive Strike set on Mars called The Undying Mind. This sees players return to The Black Garden to fight a Vex "machine-beast" that has survived for ages. From the image, below, The Undying Mind looks like yet another Vex Hydra enemy type - except this one's gone mouldy.
The PlayStation-exclusive exotic-class weapon is a full-auto arc damage shotgun called The 4th Horseman. It has four barrels, a five shot clip and a super fast fire rate.
Bungie has released a new update for first-person shooter Destiny that makes significant changes to the game's most powerful items.
The 75.09MB update, which brings the game up to version 1.1, buffs a raft of exotic class guns and nerfs one of its most popular.
"Exotic Weapons are designed to look, feel, and sound overpowered," the developer wrote on Bungie.net.
Remember the loot cave? Of course you do. If you loved Destiny, it was your guilty pleasure. If you hated Destiny, it was your smoking gun. Everyone agreed that it laid bare the way Destiny is underpinned by a mixture of grinding and randomness. The difference is that those of us who loved the game simply enjoyed the novelty of tipping things in our favour, however briefly, before returning to our other satisfying routines.
UPDATE 25/11/2014 10.15pm: Destiny developer Bungie has released a new Let's Play-esque trailer for its upcoming expansion The Dark Below in which a player named DrCrispy93 shows off some of the sweet new loot they found in the DLC.
Destiny's The Dark Below expansion aims to add context to all the shooting and loot-hunting that's made Bungie's FPS such a success, and now we can see how, sort of, as the intro cinematic to The Dark Below has been leaked.
Eagle-eyed fans have datamined last night's new Destiny patch for clues on what's in next month's The Dark Below expansion - and next year's House of Wolves.
Patch 1.03 includes a number of immediately noticeable changes, but also begins prepping the game for its upcoming expansions. By looking inside the data - and by keeping a close eye on new additions to Bungie's servers - new story, mission and weapon details have been uncovered.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Destiny fans may have noticed that certain exotic weapons have been nerfed in the latest 1.03 update. While Bungie is planning to rebalance its exotic weapons, the changes made earlier weren't part of the plan.
"If you're noticing Exotics behaving differently, the changes are unintentional," the developer stated on Twitter. "The Weekly Update will cover incoming Exotic tuning."
Bungie community manager DeeJ asked users to report all issues with this in the following thread. "Thank you, and sorry for the frustration this will cause," he apologised.
Bungie has released a huge 2.44GB update for first-person shooter Destiny that adds a raft of much-requested features.
Highlights include the addition of new shaders as well as the ability to preview shaders. Public events will now occur 10-15 per cent more frequently. Bounty slots have increased from five to 10.
Update 1.0.3 also adds Team Chat, anti-cheese changes and tweaks to competitive multiplayer maps. The update contains the new Iron Banner mode, but Bungie has yet to say when this will go live.
Iron Banner 2.0, the new and improved version of Destiny's "power matters" competitive multiplayer mode, launches next week.
Bungie has announced that it will take Destiny offline tomorrow for four hours of scheduled maintenance, between 4pm and 8pm GMT.
Here are some recent thoughts of mine: I am playing too much Destiny. Also, games might be an expression of the futility of the human condition.
Bungie has gifted a one-of-a-kind rifle in Destiny to a brain surgery patient after his neurologist recommended the popular shooter for his therapy.
Destiny has more than 9.5 million registered users, Activision announced in its latest earnings report, which suggests it's sold around that many copies.
UPDATE 2 6.27pm 04/11/2014: Bungie has confirmed today's Iron Banner event was launched in error, and that it was the old version.
UPDATE 29/10/2014 9.20am Bungie has moved to explain the controversial changes it made to Destiny's Raid encounter, Vault of Glass.
Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below, launches globally on 9th December, developer Bungie has confirmed.
It costs £19.99, or it's a part of the Destiny Expansion Pass, which costs £34.99. The Expansion Pass includes both Expansion 1, The Dark Below, and Expansion 2, House of Wolves.
The Dark Below adds new armour, weapons and gear to the game, as well as new legendary and exotic quality items.
Destiny's story failed. Most agree on this point.
It was a disjointed, bizarre effort that made little sense. Exposition amounted to a short blurb from one of the game's few nonsensical characters as by-the-numbers story missions were loaded. The few cutscenes that did make the cut came across as cobbled together at the last moment, with instantly forgettable dialogue that made us clamour for the pre-release days of Peter "Tyrion" Dinklage's infamous "that wizard came from the moon!" line. And the less said about the text-based Grimoire cards, unhelpfully hosted outside of the game on Bungie.net, the better.
Why are we killing these aliens, a million Guardians wondered? I don't even have time to explain why I don't have time to explain, Destiny answered.
Destiny's Iron Banner mode is set to undergo sweeping changes when it returns to the game, developer Bungie has said.
So I was browsing the UK video game charts the other day when something dawned on me: there are only 15 games in the top 40 this week that are about firing guns.
A fresh leak of Destiny details data-mined from the game's servers has revealed a new set of raid gear to be included in December's The Dark Below DLC.
PlayStation 4 sales skyrocketed last month thanks to the launch of Bungie shooter Destiny.
The game was heavily marketed alongside the PS4 and launched alongside a new white-coloured PS4 hardware bundle.
More PlayStation 4 consoles were sold in September than in any other month this year, Sony announced.
Bungie has long since patched out Destiny's infamous loot cave, where players farmed valuable items by slaughtering low-level enemies who respawned much too frequently, but the developer has evidently decided that the legend of the cave should live on.
Bungie will today issue a hotfix (220.127.116.11) for online first-person shooter Destiny that tweaks weapon balance.
First-person shooter Destiny averages 3.2m players every day, Bungie has said.
Yet another Destiny DLC area has been unearthed, this time on Mars.
Destiny developer Bungie has called for feedback on the recently released Iron Banner, a competitive multiplayer mode deliberately designed to give players with powerful gear and weapons an advantage.
A thorough Destiny player has stumbled upon a new area that appears to be meant for the House of Wolves DLC, due in 2015.
This evening Destiny will add a new competitive multiplayer mode that ditches game balance.
Bungie is discussing the possibility of adding matchmaking to Destiny's Raid.
Finally! After weeks and weeks of nonsense, Bungie has had a word with Master Rahool. Destiny's Cryptarch has been winding up the game's players for nearly a month now, but the latest patch means the rewards he hands out will be a bit more consistent with our expectations in future. Legendary engram? Legendary item.
This is definitely a good thing, because going to see the Cryptarch should be like visiting Santa at the North Pole. I should advance on his shack with a spring in my step, arms trembling under the weight of encrypted engrams, eyes alight with wonder and anticipation, and he should hoist me onto his lap, ask what I want for Christmas and then whip out a legendary chest plate to complete my armour set. The reality, of course, has been like waking up on Christmas morning to discover you've been burgled and they've taken everything except a couple of Toblerones and a Mote of Light.
The chances are, then, that from now on when you return to The Tower after a few rounds of Rumble or another go on the Vanguard playlists, you will feel a bit better about things. Even so, if you're still playing as much Destiny as I am a month on from launch, you probably have other concerns that the new patch doesn't address.
Bungie has killed Destiny's magical loot farming cave, but it lives on - sort of.
UPDATE 29/09/2014 8.50pm: Bungie has officially confirmed that while this leak is part of its upcoming The Dark Below expansion, that doesn't mean that the content is already complete and on the disc.
"Neither of the Expansion Packs we've announced are finished," the developer stated on its official message board.
Bungie noted that The Dark Below's leaked missions are just the plans for the DLC and not necessarily the DLC itself. "They have activity names (which may or may not change) and we have a really good idea what they're going to contain. They even have placeholder nodes in the Director, as you've already discovered," Bungie stated.
It is the weapon players are calling "unfair", "broken" and "overpowered" - but is it?
UPDATE: 01/10/2014 6.32pm Destiny's 1.0.2 patch is now up and in effect, Bungie has confirmed to Eurogamer. Did you remember to get those Legendary Engrams looked at?
ORIGINAL STORY: 27/09/2014 1.40am Destiny is a strange, ever-evolving thing with its Loot Cave attraction getting nerfed and its Rocketyard Room springing up. Next week it will be slightly different as Bungie will be releasing its 1.0.2 patch that changes the way loot drops work.
Currently Legendary Engrams (i.e. loot that requires decoding) will often result in only Rare items, which is kind of a bummer. After the 1.0.2 patch, "Legendary Engrams will always produce Legendary or better quality items, including Materials or Exotics," Bungie noted on its blog.
A day after Bungie nerfed the magic loot farming cave in first-person shooter Destiny, a working alternative has been discovered.
Bungie has nerfed Destiny's infamous loot farming Treasure Cave.
Destiny has its first level 30 character.
Destiny's latest patch makes a number of missions easier.
Update 18.104.22.168 reduces the difficulty of three activities, and fixes a bug that was preventing players who completed the Vault of Glass raid from getting loot.
The patch notes on Bungie.net tone down the difficulty of the Shrine of Oryx, Sword of Crota and Exclusion Zone missions by removing majors from Heroic tiers.
Online multiplayer on PlayStation 4 is free for all this weekend, Sony announced on the PlayStation Blog today.
Bungie first-person shooter Destiny is top of the UK all-formats chart for the second week running.
The chances are that if you've hit Destiny's soft level cap then you are almost certainly hungry for engrams. The gear grind that makes up the endgame in Bungie's "shared world shooter" means that every time one of those glowing crystal prisms erupts from an enemy corpse, you make a beeline to it with ravenous haste. The trouble is that it can take ages to get hold of the more valuable blue variety and you're by no means guaranteed to get that sweet new leg armour you need when the drop finally comes.
From Destiny's E3 2013 reveal at Sony's media briefing to its final PS4 and Xbox One release, Bungie's sci-fi shooter has seen a number of significant changes. After replaying the PS4 version for comparison with footage of its reveal, it's clear there's been a radical review of Old Russia's aesthetic overall, both for better and worse. In the wake of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, which saw the final game shorn of many of its most impactful rendering features, we wondered whether these changes are technical in nature - perhaps driven by a shifting console spec - or simply the result of refining and improving the visuals over the remainder of the development period?
If you're already getting bored of scratching around the same playlists in Destiny, then Bungie has good news for you, because the game's next two public events are imminent.
Combined Arms is a special Crucible playlist focusing on vehicular combat, set to run from today throughout the weekend. Heavy Ammo drops will be more regular here and rewards include Crucible Gear, Marks and Reputation.
If you can't be bothered with the PVP Crucible, next Tuesday sees the start of The Queen's Wrath PVE content, which runs from 23rd September to 6th October, and will consist of a mixture of new bounties and "challenging mission modes". Rewards include Unique Legendary Gear and Unique Rare Gear hubba hubba.
According to its creators, Destiny is the start of a series that is expected to span a decade of games and content. In storytelling terms though, it's off to a slow start, making the poor decision to hide a lot of vital background in unlockable cards on the Destiny website and companion app and only reluctantly telling its story through dull mission descriptions and vestigial cut-scenes that take hours to trickle into view.
"What is Destiny?"
Destiny, a game no one is playing - even right now - has been crowned the world's best-ever-selling new IP, according to Activision. It was named the UK's biggest new IP launch earlier this week.
Bungie has issued a hotfix for first-person shooter Destiny that doubles the frequency of public events.
For all the countless millions spent on publicity for Bungie's "shared world shooter" Destiny - for all the phrases like "shared world shooter" it has contributed to the video game world's industrious output of meaningless buzzwords - the developer and its publisher Activision have repeatedly failed to communicate exactly what this game is. This is hardly because it is such a novel concept that it has to be experienced to be understood. It's not. It's because they have been reluctant to use the elevator pitch that surely convinced Activision's top brass to open their chequebooks in the first place: "What if World of Warcraft looked and played like Halo?"
We assumed they were just being coy, precious or wary - perhaps all three - but they also had half a point. For all the many inspirations Destiny takes from WOW and its breed of massively multiplayer games, it is not your traditional MMO. The networking technology is different, the multiplayer dynamics are different, the scale and structure of the content are different. It is a more intense, more compact style of game, but also a more fractured one. Although you'll often see other players around you - even when you're soloing a story mission - it struggles to create the immersive world and sense of community that the best MMOs inspire.
Some have been quick to dismiss it as a kitchen-sink hybrid: a bunch of derivative, focus-tested features slapped together without thought for how well they coalesce. That's understandable, but unfair. The deeper you penetrate into Destiny's systems, the more you'll appreciate how subtle, finely crafted and distinct this hybrid is. The ingredients are (almost) all familiar, but the recipe is quite unusual.
UPDATE: We have a winner! Destiny clan Primeguard completed Vault of Glass - the game's toughest encounter - before any other group with a time of 10 hours, 42 minutes and 3 seconds, scoring a "world first" in the process.
Destiny is the biggest new IP launch ever in the UK, official figures have confirmed.
Sales during launch week beat out those of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, the previous record holder. Destiny went on sale on Tuesday, 9th September 2014.
The PlayStation 4 version took a 46 per cent share of the sales (this figure includes sales of new fixed hardware bundles in both black and white). Xbox One took 36 per cent, Xbox 360 14 per cent and PlayStation 3 four per cent.
Having been a bit lukewarm over Destiny after a day's play, it's really starting to gets its hooks into me. You know you've got it bad when you're debating whether or not there's room in the suitcase you're packing for the Tokyo Game Show for a PS4 - and whether it's possible to hook one up to a hotel's wi-fi.
Has Destiny truly achieved platform parity between Xbox One and PlayStation 4? Shooting ahead of expectations with a boosted, crisper 1080p output and no immediately apparent frame-rate penalty, first impressions suggest the Xbox One version holds up handsomely compared to its PS4 counterpart. But we wanted to go deeper, requiring a period of extended play to fully address our two outstanding concerns: firstly, are the Xbox One's graphics settings truly a match for those seen on the Sony hardware? And, just as crucially, is 30fps on later, potentially more demanding stages a lock for each platform?
Designed to last the course of this generation while still servicing the last, Bungie takes pride in building an adaptable multi-threaded engine. In that sense, it has succeeded in full: both Xbox One and PS4 deliver perceptibly like-for-like visuals across the game's many stages. From our early, furtive steps into Old Russia's expansive Cosmodrome area, to bursting around the rim of a lunar crater in a Sparrow, the scale of Destiny's environments are a real achievement - and to Bungie's credit, no one console loses out on that front.
For comparison purposes, the dynamic time of day means shots with identical lighting need to be plucked fastidiously - with the end results revealed in our head-to-head video below. Outside of the odd, slight variance in shadow placement, broad overviews of Destiny's ruined earth show each version boasting the same levels of terrain detail. Pop-in is a factor when travelling the surface - even at a plodding stroll - where shadow maps on walls and plants are particular culprits. However, it's clear that both PS4 and Xbox One render in these details at the precise same distance.
Destiny's public events - scheduled challenges that occur in the game world - will happen more frequently, Bungie has said.
Calling all Warlocks, Hunters and Titans - we'll be dipping our toes into Destiny's Xbox One version this afternoon for a spot of PVP in the Crucible.
We knew Paul McCartney recorded the theme song for Destiny. Now, we can listen to it.
With our full Face-Off feature under way for this weekend, it's the Xbox One release of Destiny that poses the biggest questions. Having already seen Diablo 3 go from 900p to a full 1080p (albeit with some occasional frame-rate hits), we now have Bungie's sci-fi goliath attempting to pull off the very same technical wizardry. But given its ambitious, effects-heavy, open-world design, has matching the PS4's full-HD output required any downgrades elsewhere?
Bungie graphics engineer, Chris Tchou, said in a previous exchange with IGN: "This is the same resolution, the same frame-rate as PS4. We basically got together with Microsoft, and got a bunch of engineers here optimising and taking advantage of the system [Kinect] reserve - basically the extra GPU time that Microsoft gave us, and got it up to 1080p... the beta will run at 900p, so it's a little less. But rest assured by the time we ship we'll have it at 1080."
So our first port of call is checking the resolution itself; a pixel-count during both campaign and Crucible modes showing Bungie's promise has been kept. The Xbox One now delivers the maximum 1920x1080 frame-buffer allowed by its front-end settings, with each pixel revealing its own matching stair-step on vertical and horizontal edges. It's the real deal.
Activision reportedly spent an incredible $500m getting the Destiny franchise off the ground. Now the game has been out for a day, has it already made its money back?
Activision said this afternoon that it has sold in more than $500m of Destiny worldwide as of day one. When it says "sold in", it means copies of the game to shops and first parties - Microsoft and Sony - not "sold through" to customers.
Activision Blizzard did not reveal how many copies were sold, however, which makes it hard to gauge exactly how successful it has been. Still, $500m is an impressive figure, one Activision said today means Destiny, made by Halo developer Bungie, is well on its way to becoming the company's next billion dollar franchise.
This is an early impressions piece, culled from just over a day's play. To find out more about when to expect our review, please refer to our recent editor's blog.
Sony appears to have resolved an issue that prevented those who had pre-ordered the PlayStation 3 version of first-person shooter Destiny through the PlayStation Network from downloading the game.
Bungie has detailed the full patch notes for Destiny's 1.0.1 update, which all players are required to download when first booting the game.
The list includes some notable changes for the game from its recent beta state, with several weapon types altered, classes rebalanced and competitive multiplayer maps re-jigged.
Assault Rifles have been nerfed - their damage amount, accuracy and stability have all been reduced - while Pulse Rifles have seen their stats increased, with higher damage and stability.
The PlayStation 4 has sold one million units in the UK, Sony has announced. 10m PS4s have been sold worldwide.
It achieved the milestone nine months after going on sale in November 2013. It is the second fastest-selling home console ever - Nintendo's Wii achieved one million sales in 38 weeks.
Sony UK boss Fergal Gara told Eurogamer the one million sales were through to customers, and the figure was based on official Chart-Track data.
Waiting until midnight for your copy of Destiny to unlock? One intrepid fan is already exploring the game's Tower location - albeit in Minecraft.
The day of reckoning is here - today we learn whether Sony's sometimes flaky PS4 servers can hold up to the global launch of Destiny. There's also the business of actually playing the thing, which is quite exciting in itself. Ian Higton's bagged an early copy of the game and is jumping on now that the servers are live - he'll be streaming for you from 3pm BST for two and a half hours. If you're lucky enough to have got an early copy, message Higton32 and he'll try and get you involved.
Hello! As you may already have seen elsewhere, we in the press have had no prior access to Bungie's online shooter Destiny before its global launch date tomorrow. There was no review event, and though review copies have been sent out, they're useless until the servers are turned on.
As a result, we won't have a review to share with you today or tomorrow. And please bear with us, because we want to test the game thoroughly before publishing our verdict. How long our review will take exactly, we're not sure - that will become apparent as we play the game this week. But we're not going to rush it.
The decision not to allow early reviews appears to have been Bungie's, and the developer's reasoning is explained by spokesman DeeJ in the latest weekly update on Bungie.net. In short, Bungie argues that the game can't be experienced to the full unless it's running on fully populated servers.
Download Destiny on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and you'll be able to upgrade to a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One digital copy for free.
Sony is treating Bungie's first-person shooter as a first-party PlayStation game, despite it also being available on Xbox.
Want to play Destiny, but don't want to get out of bed? Well worry no more, if you have a Vita (or a TV by your bed), because Bungie has converted Destiny's controls to Sony's handheld for Remote Play.
Microsoft is behind a new advertising campaign which portrays Bungie's upcoming space shooter Destiny as a perfume.
Head to DestinyFragrance.com and you'll be greeted by an advert for "the new fragrance by Xbox".
But click through to the next page and the truth is revealed.
Not that it's showing off or anything, but Sony has uploaded a video walkthrough of Destiny's Exodus Blue map, which you'll only get to experience on the PlayStation platforms.
Exodus Blue is medium sized, designed for 3 vs 3 and 6 vs 6 matches. You'll be able to play five game modes on it, with all three Guardian classes: Skirmish, Control, Salvage, Clash, and Rumble.
PlayStation owners will also get their paws on the Monte Carlo assault rifle, Hawkmoon exotic hand cannon, and three exclusive ship types - the Aurora Wake, the Crypt Hammer and the Outrageous Fortune, a deep space vehicle based on the 1987 Bette Midler and Shelley Long caper comedy.
UPDATE: Intrepid fans have discovered the just-released Destiny Planet View website not only allows you to explore the game's worlds in a Google View kind of way, but doing so in a thorough fashion will earn you an exclusive emblem - The Sign of the Finite - for use in the full game. To earn it, you just need to explore Venus, Mars and the moon, clicking on all the icons. Alternatively, just turn to Reddit, where someone has already found the code to unlock the emblem, because of course they have.
Destiny's mysterious multiplayer Raids - the game's six-player missions that you can only attempt with your friends - will be tough to beat but offer exclusive rewards, Bungie has detailed.
During testing earlier this year, Bungie invited four six-player teams to play a Raid for two days on its normal difficulty mode.
Call of Duty fans will get a special in-game reward for Destiny when they pre-order COD: Advanced Warfare at GAME.
Xbox One owners can now pre-purchase their copy of Destiny, Microsoft has announced.
Bungie has shown off the full range of timed-exclusive extras for Destiny owners on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
The meatiest morsels of the package are the Dust Palace Strike and the Exodus Blue competitive multiplayer map - but we've known about these for a while.
What else will you get? The list amounts to an armour set for each class, two weapons and three ship designs:
You can't trade items with other players in Destiny, Bungie has confirmed.
Last week Warframe developer Digital Extremes had a couple of its armored space soldiers take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in addition to the studio donating $10K to ALS research. It concluded its act by nominating three other video game characters to take the plunge: Halo's Master Chief, Borderlands' Claptrap, and Destiny's Ghost.
The recent Destiny beta left developer Bungie with mountains of feedback and more hard data than it could possibly hope to digest. But it's trying.
Marty O'Donnell's battle with former employer Bungie continues. Now a judge has ordered the Halo and Destiny developer must return shares to the celebrated composer.
Bungie has just announced that The Dark Below, the first expansion for shooter Destiny, comes out in December 2014 for everyone.
The game itself launches on 9th September 2014.
Bungie had already announced two expansions, the other called House of Wolves. Each introduces new competitive and co-op adventures. There is timed exclusive content for each of these for PlayStation platforms.
Bungie has confirmed that progress made in last month's Destiny beta will be wiped, with players unable to carry characters across into the final retail version when it releases this September.
During July's beta, Bungie didn't commit to whether it'd be wiping characters or not - and there was some hope that players would be able to take the hours they'd piled into the beta across with them. Now we have the answer.
"Since the Beta, we've continued to tune and adjust the game," explained Bungie designer Tyson Green in an official blog post. "The way you earn experience has been adjusted up and down a bunch of times. Items have been added and removed. New features toggled. Although there's no single monumental change, the sum of the tweaks leaves characters from the Beta Build in strange shape that would be confusing at best, broken at worst."
Activision has noticed an industry-wide downturn in video game pre-orders, previously thought to be the best indicator a publisher has for demand.
Updated story: Since Destiny released, the level cap has increased several times with several expansions. For an explainer, as well as strategies to reach the maximum fast, see our how to reach the Light level cap in Destiny article.
UPDATE 4/8/14 8.30AM Bungie has acknowledged the negative fan reaction to news that Destiny's raids don't supporting online matchmaking.
Over 4.6 million people played the recent Destiny beta, Activision has announced.
That's 4,638,937 people, to be exact.
The beta closed on Sunday having launched first on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 on 17th July for those who had pre-ordered the game. It was then opened up to Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners who had pre-ordered, before opening up to all.
Destiny is done, or the beta is at least, which is cause for outbreaks of moisture around your eyeballs. Ian Higton has marked its passing with a quick look at the game's majestic skyboxes, and giving you a handy guide as to what clouds there are whirling around the heavens of Old Russia and Venus. So what you're about to see, should you be bothered to click the black box below, is both silly and educational.
Destiny developer Bungie has acted to reassure fans concerned about the amount of content in the game, after it emerged that each planetary location would only feature one location to explore.
There was a time when the first-person shooter was considered the exclusive domain of the PC, a bygone era where the games console was thought unworthy - and indeed incapable - of hosting a competitive multiplayer FPS. Halo changed everything, and in the process Bungie didn't just redefine a genre - it made Xbox and then Xbox 360 the home of the console shooter. 13 years on from the release of Halo, things have changed. The studio is no longer exclusive to Microsoft and its latest game is a multi-platform project - but Destiny is still special in that it's almost certainly Bungie's Xbox 360 swan song. Has it gone out with a bang?
With a clear visual divide between Destiny's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 beta builds, both versions nevertheless come out looking very respectable indeed. A locked 30fps is a core mandate for each platform, it seems, and with the Xbox One release open for access since Wednesday, it's clear this version is no exception. However, with resolution currently locked at 900p for this Xbox One build - and 1080p being targeted for release - are there any other sacrifices being made to suit this console's more restrictive specs?
Scalability is at the heart of Bungie's new in-house Destiny engine, but the good news is that it appears that no major alterations are made from the PS4 release to accommodate Microsoft's platform. Sparing the resolution downgrade to 900p, the Xbox One beta handles its lighting, shadow rendering, and even level of detail scaling at the exact same grade of quality as Sony's newest platform. No nips, no tucks. Having pored over the introductory cut-scene set outside Old Russia's walls, and compared long views across the Steppes area, any contrasts we see stem only from shifts in the game's day-night cycle.
Of course, the difference between the current 1600x900 throughput on Xbox One and the full 1920x1080 on PS4 is perceptible, even through the heavy FXAA post-process anti-aliasing in effect on both. When it comes to broad overviews of Destiny's landscapes, a degree of clarity is compromised the further afield we look. It never affects gameplay on Microsoft's platform; enemies always remain visible on the horizon. However, it does manifest across foliage and high-frequency normal mapping past a certain distance, both suffering from the additional upscale. Put side-by-side, the Xbox One produces slightly fuzzier detailing on these elements, though the actual quality of textures - and filtering - is a complete match between the two.
Destiny's beta is now available for anyone to play, developer Bungie has announced.
The studio said it would drop the need to redeem beta access codes at midnight last night.
In a new post on the Destiny blog, Bungie directed anyone with a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to simply download the beta from their console desktop.
A little earlier than planned, Destiny's beta is now available to download on Xbox One.
Bungie's sci-fi shooter was originally set to launch its Xbox One beta at 5pm today, but codes for the download became available last night.
The developer stated that it had finished its planned maintenance sooner than expected and would therefore grant Xbox One owners access sooner rather than later.
Halo and Destiny developer Bungie must pay $95,019 (around £56k) to former composer Marty O'Donnell, a US court has decided.
Could Destiny be the first MMO to really work on console?
There's been an odd reticence since Destiny's reveal to pin down what exactly it is, or to even mutter that dreaded term 'console MMO' - as if incanting it will stir the ghosts of APB, Huxley or the disappointing Defiance. But that's exactly what it is, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Destiny mixes the gunplay of Halo with the compulsion loop of World of Warcraft, the crack-crack-crack of an auto-rifle underscored by the ding of a levelling system to make one heck of a harmony. It's intoxicating stuff.
There have been other MMOs to try their hand on console, of course, and recently they're having more success. Final Fantasy 14's new incarnation A Realm Reborn has managed to find a loving home on PlayStation 4, and both Planetside 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online should prove there's nothing holding back huge connected worlds on console, whenever they deign to turn up. Destiny, though, could be the game that gets a broad audience of millions comfortable with the vagaries of MMO design. Not only could it be the most popular console MMO yet, it could well be the one that turns the tide.
Update 25/7/14 12:40: Frame-pacing issues - manifesting as judder during gameplay - have now been fixed for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One betas, and while Xbox 360 and PS3 still exhibit the issue, that should be resolved in the final game.
Destiny! You can play it in your own home right now! Somewhat surprisingly, the beta has launched with only a few hitches, and it's all running smoothly enough. Will that be the case when we attempt to stream 60 minutes of Strike action from 12pm BST today? There's only one way to find out! Click below for the chance of seeing three men being disconnected from servers. Or, alternatively, to just watch them playing some Destiny.
When Bungie community chief David "Deej" Dague told Eurogamer earlier this week that players would notice that the divisive Peter Dinklage dialogue in Destiny had been changed from alpha to beta, he wasn't kidding.
"You'll understand how the Ghost dialogue is different as soon as you invoke your navigation mode," Dague said.
So, when Eurogamer YouTube Editor Ian Higton got his hands on the Destiny beta earlier this week, that's what he did.
The Xbox One Destiny beta won't run at a 1080p resolution, but the final version of the game will.
During a live stream of the beta on IGN, staff said the beta on Xbox One will not output at 1080p, but Bungie community chief David "Deej" Dague added the developer was aiming for a 1080p resolution on all platforms by the time the game launches in September.
"There is always room for improvement," Dague said. "This beta is where we are in development right now. The fact you are playing in the beta is of enormous help to us because it teaches us what this thing is, it teaches us how we can perfect it and make it better before launch."
This Thursday, 17th July, Bungie will open the doors to the Destiny beta, and hundreds of thousands of players - potentially even millions - will assault its servers. Those who have pre-ordered the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3 versions of the game go first, with Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners going second on 23rd July. That timed exclusivity, alongside a raft of exclusive content relating to weapons, emblems, vehicles, space ships and even the expansion pack, is the result of Sony shelling out to make Destiny, set to be one of the biggest games of 2014, feel as close to a PlayStation exclusive as it possibly can without it actually being one.
For Bungie, still crunching hard on the first-person shooter it has had up its sleeve for what feels like an age already, the beta is of huge significance. The recent PlayStation 4 only alpha teased players with a glimpse behind the curtain (check out my impressions in our competitive multiplayer-focused Destiny preview). But the beta will pull it back, revealing more of Destiny's innards than ever before. Expectant players are waiting, and for Bungie the time for mystery is nearing its end. Once the beta launches, there will be no-where left to hide.
Is it really a beta, or just a glorified demo? What, exactly, will be on offer? And what's going on with Peter "that wizard came from the moon!" Dinklage's voice acting? We cornered Bungie's David "Deej" Dague for a quick chat about what players can expect from the Destiny beta - and what Bungie hopes to get out of it.
The white PS4 console that was announced as part of a Destiny bundle at last month's E3 is also launching as a standalone, with units due before the end of the year.
Sony's president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida has spoken about the importance of third-party games such as Destiny as well as PS3 remasters like The Last of Us Remastered in the PlayStation's line-up towards the end of 2014, as well as the importance of new audiences the PlayStation 4 has found.
UPDATE 08/07/2014: The £149.99 Destiny Ghost Edition is exclusive to retailer GAME in the UK.
GAME also has a couple of exclusive pre-order bonuses. One is an upgraded Sparrow vehicle. This "prototype" version has a custom paintjob, upgraded initial acceleration and a higher top speed than the standard version, as well as enhanced armour plating.
There's a note to say you can gain the better acceleration, higher top speed and durability through gameplay.
The Destiny alpha was loved by many (including our own Wesley Yin-Poole who played an early pre-alpha build), but there was one aspect of it that left many cold: Peter "Tyrion Lannister" Dinklage's voice acting.
Playing your robotic guide, Dinklage's lacklustre performance quickly became the subject of many internet memes: most notably for his dry reading of the wonderful line, "That wizard came from the moon." This masterpiece of prose was ridiculed so much that Bungie decided to cash in on the mockery by creating ironic T-shirts emblazoned with the line. Bungie even noted on Twitter that these were briefly the most popular item on the studio's online merch store (where it appears to be sold out).
UPDATE: As some of you have pointed out, profits generated by sales of the "That wizard came from the moon" T-shirt were donated to charity.
The closed beta for Destiny will arrive on Xbox 360 and Xbox One in late July, a new trailer spotted by VideoGamer.com has confirmed.
The date is shown at the end of a video that's currently visible on the Xbox One dashboard.
Xbox Live Gold is required to play, small print explains, just as PlayStation users need a PlayStation Plus subscription.
Sony has announced July's batch of free PlayStation Plus games.
Bungie is confident shared-world shooter Destiny will run smoothly at launch.
We've seen some high profile games suffer at launch in recent years for a variety of reasons: Blizzard's Diablo 3 and EA's SimCity and Battlefield 4 to name but a few.
So you'd be forgiven for worrying that Destiny, an always online game, might suffer similar issues at launch when the horde descends upon its servers this September.
Destiny's alpha test has been widely regarded as a success, with over 6.4m player matches held by PlayStation 4 owners over Bungie's long weekend of access.
But, perhaps surprisingly, one aspect wasn't so well received - the voice work of Peter Dinklage. In Destiny, Game of Thrones' Tyrion Lannister portrays your robotic partner Ghost, who acts as a helpful guide and instructor to players.
Online opinions differed as to whether Dinklage's rather wooden performance was simply the actor method acting the role of a droning robot, or whether he was phoning in his part due to Bungie's rather clunky script.
UPDATE 23/6/14 5.05pm Activision has contacted Eurogamer again to retract it's earlier comments and state that, for now, it has yet to formally announce any details regarding the Destiny content's timed exclusivity.
UPDATE 23/6/14 1.15pm Activision has told Eurogamer that Destiny's PlayStation-exclusive content will remain exclusive until "fall 2015".
As previously reported below, retailers had hinted that Bungie's DLC missions and extras were only a timed-exclusive for PlayStation platforms.
Microsoft has moved to clarify the impact of its decision to unlock the power of the Xbox One's graphics processing unit previously reserved for Kinect.
Bungie has extended Destiny's alpha testing period on PlayStation 4 to introduce some "dangerous" new experiments.
Something about the modern E3 vintage of which we very much approve is this trend of releasing stuff during the show so that those of us back home have something to play. It makes sense when you think about it: we're all in a heightened state of gaming readiness, so it stands to reason we'll be very attentive to anything that drops into our laps.
As its first cross-generation, multi-platform release, Destiny represents a huge undertaking for Bungie. With just a scant few months left until its release we still have yet to see the game running on anything other than PlayStation 4, leaving many questions hanging. Just how scalable is this engine? What level of performance will other platforms deliver? At the very least, things are looking up for the Xbox One version with the recent revelation that the updated Xbox One XDK allows Bungie to hit 1080p30 rather than the previously rumoured 900p. But in the here and now, it's all about PS4 - and based on the rich quality of the alpha code released this week, that's absolutely fine by us.
When we had the opportunity to get our hands on the Destiny alpha this week, we wanted to do something special. Anyone who has played a Halo game can attest that, when it comes to delivering breathtaking scenery on a massive scale, Bungie is a true master of its craft. Our initial steps on the ruins of planet Earth in Destiny call to mind those moments when we first emerged from the escape pod back in the original Halo. Just taking a moment to pan the camera slowly around and take in the scenery before us reminds us why this developer is one of the best in the business.
We knew Destiny's beta was going to be a timed PlayStation exclusive, and now we have a release date to go along with it. 17th July is when PS4 and PS3 owners will be able to play this early version of Bungie's heavily anticipated follow-up to Halo.
Early adopters of PS4 will be happy to hear that they'll be able to play Destiny's alpha as early as this Thursday - although it will only last through the weekend - announced president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House at Sony's E3 press conference tonight.
Furthermore, House announced a white PS4 Destiny bundle coming on 9th September.
UPDATE 11/6/14 10.30am: Destiny will run at 1080p and 30fps on Xbox One following Microsoft's resource-freeing June software development kit update.
Destiny's competitive multiplayer is all about ammo.
The option to pre-load games onto a console for immediate access upon release is coming to PS4, beginning with Destiny.
Infinity Ward's first-person shooter Call of Duty: Ghosts is the best-selling PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game, Activision has said.
Bungie's upcoming persistent online multiplayer shooter Destiny will enter a beta in July ahead of its 9th September launch on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Publisher Activision spilled the beans on this early beta during a financial report for the first quarter of 2014, in which it exceeded its goals and acquired a GAAP revenue of $1.1 billion.
It's a good thing too, as the publisher noted earlier today that it's spending half a billion dollars on Destiny once one considers its promotion and marketing.
Activision will spend a whopping $500m on Bungie's sci-fi shared-world shooter Destiny in its attempt to make it the company's next billion dollar franchise.
Remember the contract between Activision and Bungie for Destiny, published in 2012 as part of the lawsuit between Activision and Call of Duty creators Jason West and Vince Zampella? It said Destiny would launch in the autumn of 2013 as a timed Xbox exclusive.
In Bungie's new online first-person shooter Destiny, everything levels up. But what happens when you hit the level cap?
GAME has secured an exclusive pre-order bonus for Bungie's upcoming first-person shooter Destiny.
On 9th September Destiny will launch on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 - but not PC.
A shooter is only as good as its sniper rifle. In Halo, the UNSC Sniper Rifle System 99 thunders with each pull of the trigger, as if Zeus himself has hurled a bolt of lightning down from the heavens and into the skull of your enemy. Zoom. Thundercrack. Headshot. Reload.
Bungie has reassured fans that upcoming shooter Destiny remains on track after the exit of veteran composer Marty O'Donnell.
Marty O'Donnell's departure from Bungie came as a shock to many people, but one of the more unusual aspects of the reaction was what he actually did for the Destiny and Halo developer. We're used to storytellers and game designers attracting attention when they leave or are dismissed, but this is the first time I can remember that a composer got fired and people realised what a big loss it would be.
UPDATE 7.06pm: Bungie's chief operating officer Pete Parsons addressed O'Donnell's departure at a recent press event attended by Eurogamer.
Bungie has unveiled the Shrike, one of the vehicles players can ride in upcoming first-person shooter Destiny.
In a post on Bungie.net, the developer described the Shrike as "sleek, nimble and fast". It looks a lot like Star Wars' speeder bike to us.
"The ability to summon a vehicle on demand turns you and your friends into a futuristic biker gang," said artist Tom Doyle. "Getting from point A to point B should be fun... not a menu option."
Sales of action role-playing game Diablo 3 have now reached 15m, Activision Blizzard has announced.
The impressive figure, which came as part of the company's latest financial report, include sales of versions across all platforms. Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick said it bodes well for the upcoming launch of expansion pack Reaper of Souls in March.
In other good news for Blizzard, World of Warcraft ended the year with 7.8m subscribers, a slight increase on the last reported figure. Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime put this down to excitement generated by BlizzCon (more than 4.5m people tuned in), Christmas and new promotions designed to get lapsed players back into the game.
We've had our say already, and typically we were probably well wide of the mark, so it's now your turn to let us know what games you're looking forward to over the next 12 months. Thanks to all who voted (but no thanks to whoever suggested Pong, and to the handful of people who put forward Half-Life 3, well... I'm sorry). The top 10 are presented in reverse order below - and it was incredibly tight out at the front, with the top result beating out the runner-up by only a couple of votes. We've also included some of your comments, although since the submission form was anonymous we can't say exactly who made which point. Sorry about that - if you feel particularly proprietorial about one of your insights that we've highlighted, tell the world in the comments. Onward!
2014 is upon us, and it promises riches and glory unlike any year before it. With their launches under their belts, the next generation of consoles will, hopefully, show us what they're made of. Virtual reality headsets may make their mark on the mainstream. And with a raft of crowdfunded games due out over the next 12 months, 2014 should tell us whether all that money we pumped into promising projects on Kickstarter was worth it.
Bungie knocked together a new trailer for online shooter Destiny just in time for the VGX awards.
The video, below, shows footage we've seen before, but also some snippets of new gameplay, including some from a first-person perspective. With guns shooting!
We also get a decent look at some of the game's alien enemies, and some of the powers players will be able to use against them.
Bungie's hugely anticipated not-quite-an-MMO-but-definitely-an-MMO first-person shooter Destiny has been dated for 9th September on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360.
A beta will launch next summer on PS4 and PS3.
Originally Destiny was expected to arrive around spring 2014, but no one really believed that. "Every new build brings us closer to our original vision," wrote community manager David "Deej" Dague on Bungie.net. "With those goals in sight, we intend to use every moment from now until the release of the game to ensure that Destiny lives up to your expectations, and our own."
Remember Alexander J. Velicky? He's the young guy who spent 2000 hours making that huge Skyrim mod Falskaar. Why did he do that? He wanted a job at Bethesda.
UPDATE: Beta redemption codes will be handed out to those who pre-order Destiny in the UK at the following shops "while supplies last":
Amazon, GAME, Sainsbury's, Smyths, Tesco and Blockbuster.
(You can check participating beta pre-order shops on the Destiny website.)
We need to talk about Destiny.
With Destiny not out until 2014, developer Bungie is yet to settle on a final frame-rate and resolution for the cross-generation console shooter.
UPDATE: Activision has confirmed its beta access pre-order bonus for Destiny, as was leaked by Amazon earlier today.
The beta - launching in early 2014 - will only be awarded to those who pre-order Destiny from participating retailers while supplies last. In the UK, this includes: Amazon, Smyths, Tesco, and Blockbuster.
Our US friends can get in on the beta at Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart.
Veteran Bungie developer Joe Staten has announced his departure from the company.
A new behind-the-scenes video for Destiny entitled Out Here in the Wild shows off a plethora of the strange, beautiful worlds, weapons, costumes and monsters in Bungie's highly anticipated FPS MMO that refuses to call itself an MMO.
Pre-orders for Call of Duty: Ghosts are down compared to pre-orders for last year's game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - and Activision reckons it knows why.
Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process - especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic - while the term "MMO" has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online.
When Bungie gave its online sci-fi shooter Destiny its gameplay debut on the Sony stage at E3 last week, there were a number of telling moments, but my favourite came early on. A dropship deposited studio founder Jason Jones' character before us (we were viewing the game through story lead Joe Staten's eyes). There was a slightly awkward pause and Jones chuckled. Then his character, a hunter clad in lightweight armour and cloak, busted out a cheerful wave and jogged over.
Destiny got its first gameplay reveal at Sony's E3 conference, and - as expected - it's an epic sci-fi shooter that takes in breathtaking vistas and features class-based gunplay.
An on-stage playthrough worked from the wilds of a deserted far-future earth and into the bowels of a grand walled city, where a team of player-controlled warriors dispatched with Fallen enemies.
The battles revealed a familiar first person shooter delivered with no small amount of pizazz - exteriors were filled with detail, while interiors were lit handsomely. The range of loot was also highlighted, with different drops being showcased by each of the players within the game.
Bungie's highly anticipated not-quite-MMO first-person shooter Destiny has received a 60 second CGI trailer starring Giancarlo Esposito, aka that guy who plays Gustavo Fring on Breaking Bad.
The trailer, entitled "Law of the Jungle" was directed by Jon Favreau of Iron Man and Elf fame.
It sadly doesn't show any gameplay, but it gives one a sense of the vaguely retro sprawling sci-fi universe that Destiny will take place in, which sort of resembles a cross between Halo and Mass Effect.
Microsoft creative director Adam Orth is no longer with Microsoft.
Update: Microsoft has responded to Orth's tweets with the following statement/apology (via Major Nelson):
During its hotly anticipated session at the Game Developers Conference last week Bungie's design director Joe Staten and art director Chris Barrett discussed the Halo creator's world-building process, going over much of what it revealed during Destiny's own reveal earlier this year.
Don't panic when you see shops like The Hut charging £70 for a PS4 game, because Sony hasn't set any prices yet.
There's been a cacophony of views on Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal. Our writers have shared first impressions, you've shared your opinions and, slowly, game makers emerge with their thoughts.
Last night's PlayStation 4 unveiling included a flurry of new game announcements, and confirmation of the 60-odd games companies which are already signed up to support Sony's next-gen console.
Deep Down (working title) - Capcom
Destiny - Bungie
"I'm not directly managing third-party relations," says Shuhei Yoshida, when I ask him a question that pretty much has nothing to do with the area of Sony Computer Entertainment for which he is responsible.
UPDATE: Activision has released the Destiny PlayStation announcement trailer, above, which includes new gameplay footage.
ORIGINAL STORY: Intriguing new online shooter Destiny will get exclusive content on PlayStation, developer Bungie has announced.
Destiny will be released for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 - as well as other to-be-confirmed platforms.
Destiny, the upcoming MMO-style sci-fi shooter from Bungie, requires an internet connection to work. There is no offline mode.
In 2001 Bungie revolutionised console shooters with Halo. Over a decade later it hopes to repeat the trick with Destiny, one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by a game developer. But exactly how it will manage to do so remains shrouded in mystery.
Earlier this week press from across the world sat down inside the studio's in-house theatre to see perhaps the most anticipated game in development, but executives failed to pull the curtain back as we'd hoped they would. Developers took to the stage not to show off screenshots and gameplay footage, but to instead show concept art and describe the grand philosophy. As a glimpse at the post-apocalyptic future world the studio has been rehearsing since August 2009, it was as frustrating as it was tantalising - a bit like the first act of the Matrix, during which Morpheus tells Neo in his deep, knowing tone that you can't be told what the Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself. Except right now it's without the next two acts that let us see it for ourselves.
With those two acts set for PR beats later this year, it is easier to explain what Destiny is not, rather than what it is. Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg says it's not an MMO. No, it most definitely is not an MMO. And Activision most definitely will not charge a subscription fee for it. "As we saw Destiny come together," he says, "we realised it belonged to a genre we couldn't quite pin down."
Bungie appears poised to unveil its new game Destiny on Sunday, 17th February.
An official Twitter account and accompanying post on Bungie's website announced the announcement (groan).
"So, our game is called Destiny," wrote Bungie.
Activision cast doubt on a 2013 launch for Bungie's hotly anticipated new game Destiny during its annual money meeting last night.
New IPs, we're told, aren't really feasible at the tail-end of a generation, so it's heartening to sit down and discover that a sizeable part of the games industry is sticking its tongues out at the likes of Yves Guillemot and Peter Moore; 2013's looking like it's going to be an absolutely stellar year for Actual New Games.