Though we are only beginning to hear the general consensus on Bungie's new universe, it seems that the question of 343's abilities remains pertinent. However, let's begin by taking a look at some of the reviews for Bungie's Destiny.
Mechanically and visually, Destiny appears to be an excellent game. We all know the reputation that this company has in these departments. Naturally the game's combat system has been highly praised, what else would you expect from the creators of Halo? Yet in every review, these acknowledgments are followed by a seemingly inevitable use of 'but.
The game has been described as vast, demonstrating an enormous world and offering endless scope for exploration and fun. Yet all of these areas apparently fall short with the enormous scale concealing a hollow core. The campaign has been criticised and the lack of features have even caused Gamespot to give the game 6/10. Take a look at their review in which they even state the game was 'unimaginative'.
Bungie has appeared to create an extraordinary base upon which a great game could have been created. Alas, they have seemed to play it too safe and created repetitious banal tasks in a beautiful world. This has of course upset many gamers who have been anxiously awaiting this release, myself included.
Therefore, we have to speculate whether Bungie have abandoned Halo in order to pursue the world of Destiny? Perhaps they have created a foundation that they will eventually improve upon to the extent of their previous series. But for the time being, we seem to have been presented with a game that hasn't inspired any adulation. Is it just me or is this becoming a trait at the moment with regards to new console releases?
Destiny has been out since September 9th on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One and has since received the greatest opening day of a new game series of all time. Therefore, financially the game doesn't seem to have suffered, with its budget being somewhere in and around 400 million dollars (to put that in perspective, Avatar cost about 250 million) that is quite an achievement.
Thus, where does this leave us and most importantly, 343 Industries?
With very little known about the release of Halo 5: Guardians in 2015, aside from the Halo TV series directed by Steven Spielberg that will coincide with the game's release, one cannot fully account for whether 343 can stand up to Destiny or not. However, their first attempt at the Halo series was glorious, but then Bungie did create Halo...and look what's happening with Destiny!
We are in the early stage of a new generation of gaming, one which has seen a great many disappointments, including the very consoles themselves in some ways. I'm optimistic for its progression though, and hopefully by the time we come round to Halo 5 we will be in the golden years of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Halo 5 will certainly have an enormous budget and will make a great profit, but I feel that a studio who succeeded so incredibly the first time round can only grow in skill. The first pancake is always a mess, but by the end you know what you're doing! 343 got it right the first time, so I can see no reason why Halo 5 won't impress us and will present itself as a great contender to Bungie's Destiny.