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Bungie considered "straight-up fantasy" and modern day settings for Destiny

But sci-fantasy "gave us this freedom"

Bungie's always-online next gen shooter Destiny has been bubbling away in pre-production for yonks, with ideas beginning to circulate well before the studio split from Microsoft - there are references to the new shooter's background fiction in Halo 3: ODST, released way back in 2009. The choice of a science fiction setting seems an obvious one, given the studio's pedigree, but according to writer and design director Joseph Staten, it took Bungie years to nail down.

"We thought of a good handful of other genres as well," he told OXM during an interview published in our latest issue, on shelves now. We've had a pretty long pre-production period and we explored everything from straight-up fantasy to something a little bit more modern to many, many other things as well."

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"Ultimately we gravitated towards this mix of science fiction and fantasy because it gave us this freedom," Staten recalled. "You saw small things like the prevalence of cloth in the game, a lot of characters have capes or cloaks and the combatants have cloth as well. Fantasy brings us this texture that we can wrap around sci-fi, which is really appealing, especially if you're an artist who's just been stuck making straight up space armour for ten years. A bit of cloth is very refreshing."

Having decided upon a broad theme, Bungie spent a while thrashing out the precise ramifications. "[Technical director Chris Butcher] called it "mythic science fiction" and I think that's a great way to think about it. So for us it was the question of, do we want to be in our solar system or do we want to be in a galaxy far far away, do we want to visit a new planet every week like Star Trek or do we spend more time with these places?"

You can read more about the setting in our online feature, The Worlds of Destiny - the mag preview is a broad overview which includes exclusive artworks. Remember, on shelves now.

Destiny is one of a growing number of confirmed next generation Xbox games. Here's our complete, continually updated list of "Xbox 720" titles for your perusal.

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