In an interview with Game Informer, the creative team at Bungie talked about how they created the Sleeper Simulant, a new exotic weapon that will be available in Destiny’s latest expansion, The Taken King. The Sleeper Simulant is a fusion rifle that takes up the heavy weapons slot in a player’s arsenal. That means it goes up against other heavy weapon types like machine guns or fan favorite rocket launcher, Gjallarhorn.
Instead of getting the weapon in a super-rare drop, there will be effort involved in unlocking this exotic. It starts by having the player gather Golden Age relics scattered across Destiny, then continues through an odyssey that the new and improved Gunsmith sends the player on to repair and reactivate the weapon. Bungie also hinted that some of the puzzles involved will require more than one Guardian to complete.
Concept artist Jesse van Dijk talked about how they came up with the look of the Sleeper Simulant. “We wanted to design a gun that matched the theme of cutting edge technology that was still in its infancy, but bears the hallmarks of a prototype that is not ready for mass distribution. One of the designs that exemplifies this concept to me is the prototype of the first stealth fighter.”
Van Dijk continued, “I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking it didn’t look like a plane. In almost every conceivable way, it was a much more advanced version of what came before and yet it looked so much simpler. It had all these incredibly primitive geometric shapes, so it had that dichotomy of being super advanced on one end and being incredibly visually simple on the other. We latched onto that theme for the Sleeper Simulant, and also looked at images from NASA, such as the Mars rover.”
Gameplay designer Jon Weisnewski talked about another part of the design process, finding the fantasies in each weapon. “We try to hit two fantasies for every weapon. One is the emotional fantasy that the player has just by owning the weapon. How do you feel when you get this weapon? That’s all dependent on how it looks, what it’s called, its lore, what it sound like when it shoots, and just how devastating it feels to use.”
Weisnewski continued, “Our second fantasy is the gameplay fantasy, which is more like the water cooler line that someone will give you the next day after using it. For something like the Red Death it might be, ‘That’s the gun that heals me when I shoot.’ For the Sleeper Simulant we’re thinking it’s, ‘the laser that bounces off walls and kills a lot of guys.”
Introducing a new exotic weapon like the Sleeper Simulant is part of Bungie’s push for players to have new experiences in Year Two of Destiny. Other changes The Taken King brings with it are changes to the legendary weapon upgrading system and balancing overused legendary weapons like the Gjallarhorn.
To keep up on all things The Taken King make sure to check out our Destiny hub on Gamespresso.com.
Destiny: The Taken King launches September 15th on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360.