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Bungie tried to 'push hard' away from sci-fi to distance Destiny from Halo

Developer Bungie avoided heavy-handed science fiction elements for its upcoming shooter Destiny, blending more fantasy into the game in order to distance it from the studio's long-standing Halo franchise, senior writer Eric Osborne told IGN.

According to Osborne, original concept art for Destiny included more knights and fantastical elements before adopting a sort of Star Wars approach in mixing sci-fi and fantasy. Osborne explained that Bungie began internally calling this mashup of genres "mythic science fiction," a "world that's rooted in science fiction but with more fantastical elements than we've ever had before, at least with Halo."

In an effort to create a world vastly different from the Halo universe, Bungie tried to lean less on sci-fi without shelving it entirely.

"Really, the artists were trying to push hard away from sci-fi because of the Halo legacy and history," Osborne said. "They were just thinking, ‘What can we do that's radically different after 10 years?' So there's actually some concept art that you can find online of a very fantasy-driven world of knights, swords and sorcery in a white city on a hill.

"That was very much pure fantasy, but the more they continued to work and the more their ideas formed over time, the more they realized that the lure of sci-fi was just something they loved and they were denying themselves that creative space," he added. "So they thought, ‘What if we just take these two things and smash them together?'"

Destiny will launch in 2014 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The beta will begin in spring and will be open to players who pre-order the title.