Dark Souls? Bungie Reveals Destiny’s Surprising RPG Influences

Something I didn’t expect to hear from one of the designers at Bungie about Destiny: “You will fail. You will fail a lot, we really mean it.”

In the video interview above with Game Informer, Destiny Lead Investment Designer Tyson Green (befitting his unique title) details how Bungie plans to make players become invested in the overall Destiny experience. Of note, Green said the team is taking some of its cues from From Software’s punishing RPG franchise, Dark Souls.

Green said Destiny won’t hold players by the hand and will instead allow them to figure things out for themselves — a process that will often result in failure.

“There’s actual depth,” Green said. “There are mechanics built in that aren’t clear right away. They are things that you discover over time as you become a better player.”

The challenge of building complete sets of achievement armor in Halo 3 is another example Green provided. In Destiny, players won’t simply be bombarded with loot. Drops will be less frequent than typical loot-filled RPGs and there will be truly rare items worth finding and/or figuring out how to get.

Green also noted that Bungie didn’t want to shy away from hardcore RPG stats or asking players to make real decisions on how to build their character. There will be many different build paths players can take, he said, and no decisions will be “wrong.”

“We want you to distinguish yourself, not just go to a website for the ‘best build,’” Green said.

Difficulty, decisions, stats, builds… I’ve got to admit, I just assumed Bungie would be going the “streamlined,” behind-the-scenes route when it came to Destiny’s RPG systems.

I like what I’m hearing. Hopefully the final Destiny product really will feature the hardcore RPG elements Green describes. We’ll find out when Destiny is released in September 2014.

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