Destiny Will Be This Generation’s Halo

If you really think about it, Destiny is shaping up to be this generation's Halo. The coincidences abound...

The more I think about it, the more it seems like Destiny is the second coming of Halo.

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It goes well beyond the fact that Bungie developed both IPs. No, this has more to do with comparing the games and the markets. When you step back and consider the hype surrounding Halo – and the eventual blockbuster emergence of that title – you begin to see marked similarities.

Those who love first-person shooters have probably noted a few similarities within the gameplay structures, even though it’s inaccurate to say Destiny feels like a Halo sequel. The genre is finally starting to see some innovation and variety, which is why:

Destiny seems like the logical evolution of what Halo began

I still remember working at an Electronics Boutique when the original Xbox launched. It’s easy to recall the insane hype that surrounded Halo; it was basically the only reason to buy Microsoft’s new console (although I really adored Deathrow). Bungie’s game was supposed to be an evolution of the FPS genre – at least on consoles – and expectations were through the roof. Whereas many expect Destiny to be the first true-blue next-gen FPS, that’s precisely what people expected from the first Halo.

These days, we’ve got the requisite power and technology to produce the next step in shooters; in the case of Destiny, a shared-world multiplayer experience with a lot of diversity. You can play it solo or you can play with others, and the enduring MMO-style longevity is critical to long-term success. Halo was mostly linear, but even then, gamers marveled at the more open environments through which we moved, especially when compared to the corridor shooters of the day.

Toss in the atmospheric similarities between Halo and Destiny, and you’ve got…well, exactly what I said in the title.

Halo spawned sequel after sequel, but Destiny will just be around forever

Okay, not forever, but Activision has given that “10-year” estimate several times now. This is just another example of the evolution of the genre in question: Rather than producing a series of new titles, Destiny acts like an MMO and provides gamers with an ever-changing, constantly active universe. Let’s say someone was playing Halo back in 2001 and you asked them: “Where do you see this going in 15 years?” I’m willing to bet their answer would’ve been at least partially prophetic.

Now, even though we won’t see sequel after sequel with Destiny, it will continue to be in the news for a very long time. It will continue to grab headlines on a relatively frequent basis, exactly as Halo did, especially during that first Xbox generation. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to learn that the majority of those interested in Destiny were also big Halo followers. I mean, that would only be logical.

The “measuring stick game” for all other FPSs?

That’s basically what Halo ended up being for a while. Even though many will disagree, there’s no arguing that this franchise continued to garner widespread critical acclaim and gigantic sales. It was Call of Duty before Call of Duty went ballistic with Modern Warfare. There’s every indication that going forward, we’ll be comparing new shooters to the ongoing entertainment in Destiny. It’ll be viewed as a “measuring stick” game, if you will, and that’s why it feels more and more like Halo with every passing day.

I think we can all agree that Call of Duty has to prove itself again, especially after the lackluster Ghosts. That being the case, Destiny is in prime position to become the FPS of a new generation. And I remember hearing nothing but “Halo” on the lips of gamers for months, even years, after that game first launched on the Xbox. It’s not ironic that Activision has seized hold of this IP; they’re aware of history, and I think they really want – and expect – Destiny to be the Halo for a fresh generation of gamers.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.