It was inevitable. When Bungie announced their very first title out of the gate (after leaving the Microsoft mothership) would be another sci-fi themed shooter, Halo comparisons were bound to happen.
While those at the studio (who were on the ground floor in shaping its look from day one) made a conscious effort to create something unique and different, it wasn’t of prime importance to them. Jason Sussman (senior environmental artist) reveals that simply crafting a great game was the ultimate goal. “We wanted to branch out and do something fantastic. Then we started falling back on some of the things that we know how to do really well, merging those worlds together. We weren't trying, intentionally, to say, 'Hey, let's not make it look like this.' We just wanted to make something unique and special, not only to the players, but to ourselves. We wanted to do something new, something bigger, something different in all the right ways, but still remaining true to our foundation.” He says.
Sussaman also points to the power of the next-gen, and its ability to provide them with a tool unlike anything they’ve worked with in the past. Touting a “bigger is better” mentality with their upcoming release, Sussaman says it’s all about the “…scale and scope of what we're doing. The size of our environments and the amount of explorable space and the amount of A.I. in those environments, along with other players coming seamlessly in and out of those spaces. It doesn't matter if you're on a strike or playing a campaign mission or just roaming around. You're constantly going to run across other people, seamlessly coming in and out. That feels very different to me. It's not just a typical first-person shooter.”
Destiny will hit both current and last-gen consoles on September 9th.