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The Companion App & 'Off the Console'

Shannon Doyle Posted:
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At Gamescom press were able to get some hands on time with Destiny. The highlight of the play session was the Moon which was only available during the recent beta event for a few short hours. This is where most of the press were when they played Destiny. But, because I was completely new to Destiny they had me start with a quick two player introduction to the game which saw me exploding the enemies and punching them to death.  Don’t worry though, this isn’t a newbie’s thoughts on Destiny, this is instead a discussion into the companion app which we got to see during a short interview and other topics of conversation including Destiny off the console, real life compatability, and more.

The companion app is the ultimate bragging tool for Destiny and a pleasant surprise. It begins with a look at your character. The screen shows a model of your character along with the gear they carry in amazing 3D detail.  Another screen will show your wins, losses, how many games you’ve played and more gameplay details. As well the app has information about your character progression. You will also be able to manage your gear and weapons with the app. If for instance you decide to change armor you could log into the game and do it there. But what if you’re on your commute home from work? With the companion app you won’t have to wait until you get home to make the changes you want to make. Just start the app and start swapping. Best of all the changes that you make in the app will appear in the game instantly. This brings up an interesting question, will Destiny players start keeping their phones and tablets neary to make changes to their characters there instead of going through in game menus?  In addition to all of that the app also shows your currency, reputation, and vault.

But the app is intended to be so much more than an armory. With it you can meet up with friends in private groups. Communication amongst players is important as Bungie recognizes that many players have lives outside of games. So with the app you can coordinate meeting times with friends. In the future they also hope to have news from Destiny in the app as well.

Bungie knows that gamers have lives outside of games, and it is that reason why they aim to make Destiny compatible with life. There is one quite popular group that came up in the conversation. The Dads of Destiny. They’re all fathers who juggle their family life with gaming. The app will be the perfect tool for these men to organize their playtime and get the most from it that they possibly can. But it isn’t just the app that has real life compatibility, Destiny itself is designed so that players will be able to pick up the game no matter how much time they have available.

The idea of coordination doesn’t sit well with all players though. In fact most Destiny players fall into one of two categories. there are the MMO players and the Shooter players. MMO players love the idea of being able to coordinate meeting times and the other conveniences that the app offer while shooter players prefer to be able to just pick up the controller and start playing. This is the idea of playing cooperatively versus playing competitively. And is a topic for another article all together so we will move swiftly onwards.

The app was brought up during the interview because a question was asked about if Destiny would be making appearances outside of the game in the real world. Though the question was geared more towards books, comics, and other media forms and not apps. The app was a pleasant surprise. Will we be seeing Destiny in other forms of media in the future? It certainly is a possibility, though of course they don’t want to make any promises until they know something concrete.

You may be wondering, how can I not have played Destiny before now. The answer is quite simply that I don’t own a console that was built after 2000. So as a PC gamer it was of particular interest to me if there were any plans to take Destiny to the PC. Sadly it isn’t something Bungie is looking at right now. Instead they’re focusing on making the console experience the absolute best they can. But it isn’t all doom and gloom, they don’t appear to be completely opposed to the idea of putting it on PC in the future. Not to say that they’ve dedicated themselves to anything,  but more that they aren’t sure what the future holds and anything is possible.

Unlike so many other companion apps for games the Destiny Companion is one that is actually useful and completely worth the space on your phone. Thankfully the app is free, but even if it weren’t I would still recommend that anyone playing Destiny gets it. Unless of course you have a Windows phone. Bungie has no plans to make an app compatible for Windows phones. It is however available for Andriod, iOS, and as a web app. While in beta though the iOS version is only for iPhones, the iPad version will come at a later date. Destiny wasn’t on my radar before but after seeing everything Bungie is doing to make it a game anyone can enjoy I may need to add it to my list. It is something I’ve found myself saying a lot at Gamescom, “If only I had a console.” Who knows, Gamescom may make a console gamer out of me in the end. Though that leaves the question of which one...


Shannon Doyle