How much Halo is in Destiny?

 Destiny has been out for a little while now and I can’t get enough of it. I’ve read a lot of complaints about the game and just about all of them are valid. The game’s campaign is a string of missions that consist of go here and kill these things. Bosses are all fairly one-dimensional, and fighting them consists of filling them with bullets for 15-20 minutes while trying to avoid their massively damaging attacks. Despite this I can’t stop playing it. There is something about the pursuit of better loot that just makes me want to keep grinding. As I get arbitrarily rewarded for playing PvP or the co-op ‘strike’ missions, regardless of how well I do, I find myself constantly running to the cryptarch to watch as he reveals my tantalizing legendary engrams to be nothing but uncommons and rares. But I can’t stop chasing that elusive purple rabbit.

I’ve been able to overlook the arguably lazy design in most cases, but as a big fan of Halo I’ve noticed some similarities between the Covenant enemies of that series and some of the units in Destiny.

The first enemy types you come across in Destiny are a species called the Fallen. These guys have a sort of baby, momma, and papa bear approach with the enemy variations getting bigger and stronger as you move up the hierarchy. Below (on the left) are the mid-level units called Vandals, and they are reminiscent of the Elites in Halo.


Both units can be found equipped with a fully automatic weapon, a long-range rifle, or a sword – or swords in the case of the Vandals. And the Elites had the ability to activate a camouflage that made them nearly invisible, an ability the sword wielding variation of the Vandals also have.

Once I noticed the similarities here more started to pop up. A number of Destiny’s units have notable similarities in design and behaviour. They started to look like a mix and match of the enemies and their AI from Halo.

Here are the some of the units from Halo(left) and their comparable Destiny(right) counterparts:



The Drones from Halo are fairly similar to the Fallen Shanks in Destiny. Both are pesky enemies that fly around in groups taking shots at you. They don’t do much damage and have little health but can be a nuisance if not dealt with quickly.

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 Next are the Jackals in Halo. Although their Destiny counterparts, the Cabal Psions, aren’t quite the same in terms of role, they are both smaller, lighter, and like to hide behind cover. The Psions also feature a similar blue light on their heads to that of the sniper version of the Jackal.


These two guys might not look much alike, but anyone who has played Halo will remember the shield carrying variation of the Jackal. In order to take them down you could either waste time and ammo cutting through their shield, or aim it’s shooting hand; the one exposed area that, if hit, would cause it to reel back and expose the rest of it’s body. The same goes for the Cabal Phalanx in Destiny. It will hide, leaving only it’s shooting hand exposed until you hit it and open him up for critical headshots.


Halo’s Brutes come in many different forms. The Brute Bodyguard is comparable to the Cabal Legionnaires. Both are heavily armored and usually come equipped with a similar rifle.


The Brute Captain Major is slightly stronger and carries a Brute Shot, which is essentially a grenade launcher. The Cabal Centurion takes that role in Destiny, as it too will lob heavy damaging shots your way, and is tougher than the Legionary with a shield that will regenerate if you let it.


The Brute Chieftain is more akin to the Hive Knight, specifically when that Knight comes equipped with a sword. Like the Gravity Hammer wielding Chieftains these units will trudge towards you and, if you let them get too close, deal heavy melee damage.

It seems like despite parting ways with the Halo franchise, Bungie brought more of their past with them than just the sci-fi shooter genre. But there are 4 different factions you will face in Destiny with more enemy variants than you see here, and probably more to come as they continue to add expansions in the years ahead. Some may see this as another example of lazy design choices, but Bungie would be foolish to not take what made Halo one of the biggest franchises in history with them into their new IP. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some legendary engrams to farm.