Bungie’s Destiny was, at one point early in its development, a third-person shooter, technical art director Ryan Ellis revealed in a recent interview with Game Informer.
“We’ve maintained the core of what it is, but it’s changed a lot,” Ellis said. “We actually, at one point, were third-person only.”
“There is some third-person elements in the game still, and that’s important for gameplay, but also to show off your cool moves and show off the cool armor that you get,” he added. “But we wanted to make a kick-ass action game, and we felt first-person was right for us to do that.”
According to Ellis, the dev team decided against photorealism in favor of a fantasy-inspired aesthetic flair that would be more distinctive and have more personality. And while the game employs a lot of real-world science—such as the Earth-facing side of the moon being illuminated by the reflection of sunlight off our native planet—the team never employed a science advisor beyond “the Internet,” opting instead to use our solar system as a canvas for their imagination, but not limit their creative scope by treating their interpretation as a simulation.
Destiny launches on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360 September 9, 2014 worldwide.