It’s very strange to think that so much of my life is defined by one series, Destiny. “Your life?” you say. yes, my life. It’s not just thousands of hours of playtime, it’s years of daily Destiny columns examining every asset in the game. Fate paid for my mortgage and part of my wife’s medical school tuition and now helps support my son.and it all began 10 years ago.
Destiny players are reminiscing about the first gameplay footage ever released, dating back to E3 2013, ahead of the game’s Fall 2014 release.
This was a live demo showing fireteams taking on the early game in the Cosmodrome. I’m pretty amazed at how well this footage has kept the passage of time. This was 10 years ago, but it’s still…pretty good, isn’t it?
Perhaps half of the footage is mostly a graphics showcase, with bright exteriors giving way to ghost-lit interiors, and you can see that it mirrors the game’s final opening fairly faithfully. Of course, this was back when Peter Dinklage was still voicing Ghost. To be honest, I still miss him (sorry Nolan North). But I don’t think they were going to pay him for 10 years.
There’s a lot of pulse rifle hip-fire, but ultimately the gameplay shows that unlike most Halo weapons, you can aim your sights reliably like in Call of Duty. The first enemies that appear are the Fallen, who more or less act exactly like we’ll see them ten years later. The crowd cheers when one person is killed by an ADS Hand Cannon headshot.
Along the way, a hunter wielding a Knucklehead Radar controlled by Jason Jones fires a Golden Gun Super to eliminate some red bars. The Warlock throws a Nova Bomb to kill the man. But the important point to remember is that this was the first time the concept of “spatial magic” was introduced in earnest, and people thought the man who had been shooting aliens with his revolver seconds earlier would unleash an unexpected spin. i guess i didn’t expect that. A giant purple spirit bomb.
The first boss shown is Lixis, the Archon Slayer, who later becomes Lixis, the demonic Archon who actually appeared in the first mission. During the battle, Jones’ hunter dies, and we are introduced to the concept of Ghost’s resurrection, even if we weren’t quite sure what we were looking at at the time.
Lixis’ death also leads to the concept of loot drops in the game. In this case, it’s Thunderlord, the first Exotic we’ve seen in a weapons screen that’s significantly different than the final product we’ve seen a year later.
Eventually, when you come out of the tunnel, a giant wearing Alpha Lupi’s crest appears. He has Gjallarhorn, which looks essentially identical to the final version that Xur sells in Week 2, and ends up defining the damage meta for a solid year of games for him. Next, the concept of public events and the dropping of spider tanks is introduced.
Finally, the compilation includes the speaker’s narration (remember him?) and footage of Vex and Hive. We also captured the infamous first shot of “The Crow” in a scene that never appears in the actual game. He was originally slated for the role of Exo Stranger. Famously, Destiny’s story was deleted just before launch and reworked, making it relatively incoherent and removing moments like this.
All in all, it was an impressive visual, but Destiny’s launch left most players and reviewers confused trying to make sense of what the game was about. was, The result was a lot of 6’s and 7’s on release. Then the Vault of Glass arrived and things started to take shape in earnest. The rest is history.