So here we are then, having arrived at the fifth and final stop on my brief tour of some of Destiny’s most integral tenets. So far, I’ve taken a look at the personalization elements of the game, the armaments that you’ll have at hand, the lore of the game and the universe itself, whilst here I’ll be concluding my series of previews with a look towards those who will populate the sulfuric marshes, incredible cities and frozen glaciers of Destiny.
From the aliens of the Hive to the Guardians of The City and everything in between, let us once more delve into the clouded haze of Destiny conjecture and weigh up the facts against the theoretics. For here is my take on the Destiny universe, and all those who dwell within its starry borders.
I, the survivor.
Calling The City and all of its boroughs their home, the Guardians are a multiracial group of warriors that have been tasked with venturing beyond the walls of this metropolis and seeking answers from all corners of the galaxy.
The three races of Guardians that we may choose from are the straightforward Humans, the enchanting Awoken or the steadfast EXO. Humans haven’t changed too much in the post-Collapse era, so they’ll remain the race of choice should you be looking for a Guardian that’s both relatable and uncomplicated. The Awoken are much more complex though, with their origin completely unknown. The most discernible feature of the Awoken is their almost pearlescent skin, and whilst they do bear some similarities to humans in terms of their musculature, Bungie have described them as equal parts “Exotic, beautiful and mysterious”. Finally, we have the EXO, a race of machines who, just like the Awoken, are shrouded in mystery. It’s important to note that the EXO’s are completely self-aware having been rebooted following the events of The Collapse, however the circumstances surrounding their reboot remain unclear. Described by Bungie as “Powerful and tireless”, the EXO rest uneasily as the bulk of the fighting has ground to a halt.
As well as living in The City, all three of these races will have representatives and emissaries in The Tower, your hub for buying and trading gear when not out in the wilderness. For an in-depth look at The Tower, check out this superb post by Dylan Thomas as he details everything you can expect from Destiny’s very own marketplace.
I, the hunter.
Since The Collapse, the entire Sol system which makes up the all-encompassing Destiny universe has been overrun by a plethora of enemies, each with their own particular blend of looks and style. With Bungie actively seeking to make each skirmish play out different to the last as you fight across different locations and with different weapons, the multiple enemy factions that you face have each been gifted their own hierarchy and defining style of combat.
The Vex are a race of robots that have arrived in the universe from an unknown location and time, and get around by teleporting via warp-gates. Deploying instantly from their stronghold on Venus, they shudder and stutter towards you in large numbers, and require a great deal of precision to nullify. Next are The Hive, a virulent alien species that look physically decrepit and not too unlike your run of the mill fictional zombie. Now calling the Moon their home, the Hive are aggressive and determined in the face of battle, whilst some have even gained the ability to use powers that aren’t particularly dissimilar to the ones that the Warlock class harnesses from The Traveller.
Next we have The Fallen, the scavengers of the wasteland. Next to The Vex, The Fallen are the most technologically advanced enemy species in the game, wielding a wide array of modern armaments that they have pillaged on their travels across the galaxy. Most notable about The Fallen are their extra set of limbs, which in combat allow them to scale walls to duck out of the line of fire. Finally we have The Cabal, a race of towering beasts clad in thick, metallic armour that borrow a lot of their combat tactics from Roman Legionnaires. Favouring heavy weaponry and wrought metal shields, The Cabal call the Mars Exclusion Zone their home, however their space-flight capabilities have afforded them the luxury of moving quickly and freely among the stars, allowing them to even make camps on the surface of a much beleaguered Earth.
These are the four confirmed enemy races in the game, however, as evident by concept art that pictured five enemy factions as opposed to four, there is a another race that we may have to do battle against next to all of those I’ve already mentioned. With next to nothing presently known about them, this fifth race, should they be included in the final build of the game at all, may present our biggest, most difficult threat yet, such is the need for Bungie to keep their existence completely under wraps.
I, the advocate.
Although information is predictably sparse on the much smaller ‘Factions’ mechanic that has been teased for Destiny, I recently had the task of condensing all of the known faction information into a single article, which you can see here.
To summarize my findings in that piece, factions are a confirmed aspect of Destiny that will be at the heart of the ‘Faction Wars’ game mode, and although little other information regarding them presently exists, it is confirmed that you can “heighten” your association with your chosen brand and foster a longing partnership.
Your choice of faction is limited to one of either Seven Seraphs, Future War Cult, New Monarchy, Dead Orbit or Osiris, each with their own mantra and each with their own motives. Based on an image of the Conduit rifle donning the graphics of the Future War Cult, it’s also speculated that either each faction will have its own array of unique arms to choose from, or that you can perhaps alter your weapons with the logotype of your chosen sect.
But for as little as we can speculate upon with regards to factions, so much is still yet to be revealed. Will factions play a part in the campaign? Will each have its own, inimitable leader? And are factions a part of something bigger, like a civil war that has divided groups of survivors since The Collapse? Perhaps either the beta or Destiny’s presence at E3 2014 may shed some light where there presently is none.
And with that ever-so tantalising beta set to mercifully bridge the gap between the release of the full game and the arduous wait from here on out, I can only imagine what questions that it will both pose and answer despite its relative simplicity. I’m personally looking forward to sampling the competitive multiplayer, but really, everything from the weapons available to the locations we fight in will likely leave us with a thirst for knowledge that can only be quenched by playing the full-game come September.
And until then, remember to stick with Destiny News in the run-up to release and beyond, as we analyse, decipher and scrutinize every single aspect of a game we’re all too eager to play. See you star-side, Guardian.