Destiny is here.
Activision and Bungie's long-awaited dystopian sci-fi shooter -- which happened to cost an estimated $500 million to make and market -- has been released in the UK.
The servers for the game were turned on Monday afternoon, and the game was placed on sale digitally and in stores from midnight.
Destiny -- which is officially the most pre-ordered game in history -- lets players explore a huge, connected solar system filled with strange, shattered versions of Earth, Mars and the other planets.
In our extensive previews we described how the game blends RPG elements - encouraging you to constantly upgrade your abilities, armour and weaponry - with straightforward, Halo-inspired first-person shooter action.
The result is an experience broader and more involved than a traditional FPS, but which also retains the core intensity and adrenaline of the best games in the genre.
We've been playing the game since Monday afternoon, but like many publications we're going to wait until Friday to give our verdict -- it's just too soon to say whether the game lives up to its promise or not.
Indeed, Bungie themselves have implored fans to be patient with reviews:
"We fully anticipate seeing day one reviews from folks who decide to kick the tires, but don’t have the time or patience to take our ride for a nice, long road trip," said Bungie community manager David "Deej" Dague on the company's blog.
"Some of you might wait to pick up a copy until you read the final verdict from your most trusted review house. We’re okay with that. We’ve created something we’re proud of."
But here are some early snapshots of how the title has gone down around the web:
Metro: "The first person shooter mechanics are rock solid, although you’d expect nothing less from the creators of Halo. Despite us only ever fighting one of two different factions for the entirety of the first two planets the gunplay is so compelling we never really tired of the relatively small number of different enemies…
On the more straightforward question of whether Destiny actually works properly or not we’d say given the size of the game it’s one of the most successful launches we’ve seen."
Gamespot: "I am both in awe of these environs and left cold by them. Much of the time, I suspect that Destiny is emotionally frigid by design, its mysteries not so much lurking in corners as they are dispersed in a thematic fog.
Even when I travel to Destiny's lushest areas, I shiver at how simultaneously green and lifeless they are. It is then that I can almost understand recent theories that suggest our own universe behaves like a hologram projected from its edges. Playing Destiny is to move and shoot through spaces that don't feel entirely real. They are both tremendously gorgeous and eerily synthetic, much like the face of the pale, tattooed Warlock I am guiding through Destiny's missions."
Playstation Lifestyle: "If you’ve played the beta, that was effectively a limited demo. I discovered that I outpaced the beta content when I was just a few hours into the game, with missions on the moon and Venus opening up and expanding my reach. These areas are huge, yet they can sometimes feel a tad boring and redundant, especially when different missions have you crossing areas where you have been before. Perhaps I just need to spend a little more time roaming each level to get a good feel for the nuances, especially given how much I got out of just Old Russia in the beta."