GUEST BLOG - Destiny Awaits: A Look Into Playstation ME’s Launch Event for Bungie’s Blockbuster

By: Omar Adam

If you’re into gaming at all, you’ve known about Bungie’s newest offering, Destiny, for at least a year now. I think even non gamers would be hard pressed to not have at least glanced at it; the hype machine’s been in full swing, with large posters of the game adorned throughout Electronic Retailers throughout the U.A.E. If reports are true, and Destiny is indeed the most expensive game of all time, then the hype becomes necessary throughout the sales chain, from Activision (who published the game) downwards.

It’s fitting, then, that on Tuesday the 9th of September, Playstation ME held an event to launch the game in the Emirates. The focus was specifically on the PS4 version of Destiny (which comes packed with additional content), with one (yes, just one) mention of its availability on the last gen PS3.

And so, with Opinionated Girl in tow (she was the one actually invited, I was the tag along information machine), we trekked to the Beach Mall in JBR, where PSME had set up the event underneath an outdoor tent opposite Reel Cinemas. Therein, of course, lay the first blunder: an outdoor event? In the sweltering, boiling Dubai heat? Perhaps the thought process was that the access to the large outdoor screen available in the Beach would offset the heat (it didn’t). But it was what it was, and once you got past the steady stream of sweat dripping down your back, the set-up was quite nice; a large seating area surrounded by several booths on which different aspects of Destiny could be observed and played. One booth was for the furious multiplayer offered within Destiny (and this is Bungie we’re talking about, the people that brought us Halo, so you know the multiplayer’s a huge selling point), and another displayed the planet-hopping single player exploration. The final booth was reserved and occupied by several players who we were told were the best FPS (gamer speak for First Person Shooter) team in the region. They seemed to be binging game after game of multiplayer in Destiny’s version of Deathmatch. And it all looked so good. A recurring theme throughout the night.

So, after browsing through the booths, during which time I filled in Opinionated Girl on what Destiny is all about, everyone was asked to sit their sweaty selves down for the feature presentation. We were then shown about 40 minutes’ worth of videos on the big screen, ranging from story trailers to an intro of the three classes of characters. All the footage is available online, save for the special video Bungie sent thanking Dubai fans for their interest in Destiny (a classy move that made the event feel that much more special). Culminating with the excellent, Led Zeppelin-driven Live Action trailer, the presentation segued into a clunky demonstration of the Tower, the main base of operations in Destiny. What was supposed to come next was a demonstration of the multiplayer, as played online by the aforementioned pro-players, but that never got off the ground, as they couldn’t connect to a game. Totally out of PSME’s hands. Blame Bungie’s servers for that one. But then again, the servers were dealing with millions of players worldwide by that point.

The event hosted two giveaways; the big draw was the chance to win the first ever Glacier White Playstation 4 in the UAE, which would be given away at a post-event social. I have to commend the creativity of the giveaway; each goodie bag, which was handed out to all attendees, contained a code. One particular code would open a locked safe at the post-event, in it the beautiful Glacier PS4. Creative and very reminiscent of a gaming experience. The goodie bags themselves were a treat, containing a USB Drive, a Destiny T-shirt, a sleek, metallic box engraved with the name of the attendee, and the pièce de résistance, a limited edition copy of Destiny. Fantastic giveaway, one that definitely eased the painful heat.

Ultimately, I’d say PSME’s event was a success. Poor venue choice and technical problems aside, the launch allowed Destiny to show off, and, par for its course, it showed off well. Even Opinionated Girl was enthralled by what the game had to offer. So hats off to Playstation ME for a job well done, and major thanks for the copy of the game, but let’s all remember a key component of Dubai life: Air Conditioning is our best friend.


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