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Monday, September 15, 2014

Is Destiny the Warhammer 40k MMO We Always Wanted?

Don't get me wrong:

I LOVE DESTINY.

Bungie has really done it again in my book with Destiny. It's a fantastic game that has me totally engrossed. Really cool weapons, classes, missions, story, and enemies.

Let's talk about those enemies though. Anything strike you as strange? Anything seem familiar? I played it for about three days with the answer being no. It all seemed entirely new and unlike anything I had ever seen.

That is until I hopped onto the Warhammer 40k wiki yesterday to do a little reading while I was taking a Destiny break and something struck me: there's a LOT of similarities between some of the races in the two universes.

Take the Awoken for instance. They're an enigmatic race that lives on constructs out in space because of a disaster on their homeworld of Earth. They are mysterious in their aloofness and seemingly embrace a policy of duplicity. They descend from Earthlings and seemingly have no love for the Vex, Cabal, or the Hive. However, they're a huge roadblock to the player's Guardian in trying to eliminate the threat of the Darkness and they have a complicated relationship with the Fallen. The Queen has Fallen guards from an unknown source or house, but she also put a bounty on a Fallen Archon Priest of House Winter that the player eliminates in a strike mission.

This sounds eerily familiar to the description of the Eldar from Warhammer 40k. The Eldar are also a race on the run in space from a catastrophe on their home worlds. They also remain aloof from the galaxy as a whole and seem to play both sides of the diplomacy coin. One minute they are fighting side by side with the Empire of Man and the next minute they are purposefully diverting an Ork WAAGH into Imperial territory to save themselves the trouble. Interestingly enough, the writers for both Bungie and the Warhammer teams cite the classic fantasy trope of Elves as inspiration for both the Awoken and the Eldar.

There are similar parallels between the Cabal and Space Marines (huge armor and weapons, Roman influences and organization), the Fallen and Dark Eldar (nobility and pride, piracy, hit and run tactics) and even between the Darkness and the Realm of Chaos (uknowable, unmerciful, and the ultimate enemy of humanity).

This is not to say that Bungie simply ripped off Warhammer 40k. They have similarities, but are not similar. Bungie's universe is definitely unique and has it's own idiosyncrasies. The Awoken are really an offshoot of humanity. The Vex and Exo don't really have parallels in Warhammer 40k. The Hive are more Gears of War Locust than Warhammer 40k Tyrranid (a topic for another time) and the Fallen don't exist for sadistic pleasure like the Dark Eldar. I love both universes and really hope we learn a lot more about Bungie's universe going forward.

That's not to say that I won't think from time to time about how much I want an MMO in the Warhammer 40k universe. Or a new game of any kind. In the mean time I will enjoy my favorite game since Halo: Reach.

1 comment:

  1. Look up the tau on warhammer 40k...i think you'll find some vex similarities. ;)

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