Special Friday post this week, mainly because I was still totally in vacation mode on Monday, but it ultimately worked out, since there was some pretty big news this week. Before I get to Destiny, I thought I should touch on the news of the week, as well as the TitanfallDLC. First, the big Xbox news – Kinect-less Xbox One and a $100 price drop; part of me is kind of upset about the price drop, just because it comes so soon after the initial launch, but at the same time, there’s a part of me that is somewhat prideful of being a Day One adapter for the Xbox One still. As for the Kinect becoming optional, I kinda thought that would be inevitable, now we just have to see what benefits that will have. The other nice bit of Xbox news is that they are changing the Gold membership a little bit, making entertainment apps no longer require a paid subscription. Again, I’m not totally surprised by this move, nor the extension of the Games with Gold to the Xbox One along with Deals with Gold. It all just makes total sense for subscriber retention and helps maybe bring people on the fence on over.
The first Titanfall DLC dropped Thursday as well, the Expedition map pack, bringing three new maps with it, along with Title Update 3. I’ve run through the three maps, and I have to say, each map plays really well within the Titanfall playstyle. The parkour options on each map are varied, but they really feel smooth, making moving around the map really easy and fun. And playing in a Titan totally works on each map really well too, with good sight lines and options for some real good fights.
Now then, I want to talk a little bit about Destiny, since the Devil’s Lair gameplay trailer came out before I went away. First – the day that the trailer dropped, I saw a headline from one of the gaming blogs saying that they felt that Destiny looked “boring.” Having watched the Devil’s Lair trailer about 5 times, as well as the new ViDoc about the loot process, I disagree totally. Instead, what I think is happening here is that people are still going in expecting a new Halo style experience. I think it’s very clear now that Destiny is much closer in style to Borderlands. As for the trailer, it’s a bit slow because it’s the first real chance we’ve had to see the gameplay in action, so it’s showing off the environments, just as much as the action. In terms of the action they showed, it’s presented totally without commentary, which I think is both a good and bad thing – good is that it keeps the focus on the gameplay, bad is that some of the details might get lost. For example, we have to just infer which classes are being featured at any given point – it’s not terribly difficult using the info we know about each class, but still, a little direction would have been nice. The actual gunplay and action looks very solid so far, and definitely reminds me of Borderlands which is in no way a bad thing. The other thing that struck me is the scope of the game – as the trailer begins and shows all the different areas in the game, it got me thinking that there must be a number of different zones in each different planet to explore, making me think the game is going to be massive. And combined with Bungie’s support after launch I have a hunch that Destiny will end up being a giant game. Really looking forward to July when I can play the beta, and for the September launch.