Built on the roots and experience of Microsoft’s Halo franchise, Bungie is at it again with the next generation of shooter in Destiny – and it is better than Halo.

It doesn’t take much to realize that Destiny may be the best shooter you’ll ever play. Far and above more polished than any Alpha preview we’ve ever seen, Destiny is a terrific combination of the world of Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games and the tight, spectacularly refined shooting world of Halo. Aside from their marked history in the shooter market, Bungie has stepped away from Microsoft’s deep pockets into the most expensive venture Activision has ever undertaken on a new IP. Given a 500 million dollar total budget, and with the title set to launch on September 9th, 2014, Bungie’s next shooter/MMO is a marvel even in its early stages. Given limited time to work with the title, let’s talk about the mechanics, worlds and multiplayer interaction of Destiny.

While running and gunning along the lands of Old Russia, or the moons and planets of far off systems, a unique feeling runs about the world of Destiny. Much like in other MMO titles, monsters are not to be conquested as in the traditional shooter. Mobs will respawn, and random events will sprinkle your adventures, while all along you gain prestige and fame in your home city – simply dubbed, “Tower.” While inside the Tower, all of the prestige and fame you earn on your adventures, as well as the in-game currency “Glimmer,” will earn your rights to better weaponry, vehicles and visual items that showcase your adventuring glory.

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Given a great deal of balance, very little about Destiny will disappoint you on the battlefield against your peers, or on the planet against AI opponents. With a large variety of weapons at your disposal, Bungie’s work on Destiny will provide you with the familiar power of an assault or sniper rifle, while breaking out something new in a slow but powerful hand cannon. With pulse rifles and scout rifles, shotguns and scout rifles, Bungie is sparing no expense to bring the most complete, and well rounded experience that they can – all in an MMO presentation that builds depth beyond Borderlands and more akin with the World of Warcraft or Diablo franchises.

In the world of player versus environment, Bungie brings the action straight away. You’ll be shooting monsters left and right, with missions on the fly, and the chance for epic equipment drops around any corner, from any monster. Your role in PVE plays a primary role in learning the world of Destiny, but will also play the most significant role in PVP you’ve ever seen. In Destiny, the time you spend smashing mobs on the main land will earn you gear that your champion will take directly into player versus player combat. Your sniper rifle is only as good as the experience you’ve gained while adventuring with the very people you one day may fight against. During these adventures, take advantage of hidden secrets, a multitude of missions and giant monsters that rain down from the sky and bring your three-man crew into combat together to take down the forces of evil set to smash out humankind forever.

What Bungie’s next shooter has going for it – what really makes it great – it eliminates the biggest flaw with World of Warcraft and any other MMO title before it. Some of the game’s most powerful equipment can be found in player versus player only awards, rather than in gigantic raids that take hours of your time in a frustrating lack of progress. If you’re playing Destiny for the story line, you’re sure to have a great time through the grind of leveling against the worlds before you, but all of your time spent leveling your PVE champion can be done in PVP combat as well. Leveling up against player opponents will take longer than playing in the worlds of Destiny normally, but this presents a solution to one of the older issues in any shooter’s experience. People have been leveling to quickly in the rhetoric of Call of Duty titles, and on the roads of Battlefield before now. Destiny brings every flavor of the competition to the forefront with such care that any experience in the true end game of PVP will make you love the title – if the balance retains through the Alpha into the final product.

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The Alpha test of Destiny is such a convincing product that you wouldn’t believe it’s in an Alpha stage if the digital download hadn’t had text screaming it right in your face. Graphically, the title is as impressive as ever and exactly as advertised during the numerous conference displays you’ve seen. Rather than running through glitches and cracks in the ground, you’ll spend time finding secret treasures and ghosts to learn all about the depth of history in Destiny. The next big shooter is here, and if you’re interested in taking a leap into the title, pick it up before July 17th and you can move straight in and test it for yourself in time for the Beta testing phase. Set to be open for much longer than the three day Alpha phase, the Beta test will be hard pressed to be better than the Alpha, but you can see Destiny for yourself simply by pre-ordering from any major retailer. It’s more than worth your money, this game is gold.