Several members of the press were recently invited to Bungie’s 80,000-square foot studios in Bellevue, Washington for a look at what the company has been up to since wrapping things up with Halo a few years back. It was here that the video game developer spilled the beans about Destiny, a franchise that we’ve heard about in the past but didn’t have any solid details on.

Destiny is described as a sci-fi first-person shooter that once again pits humans against an alien race. Gamers will take the role of a “Guardian”, a human survivor trying to reclaim what’s being taken from them. The overall atmosphere is described as much darker and ominous than past Bungie games.

Destiny will have a story campaign with a multiplayer aspect much like Halo, however this time around there will be greater emphasis on social interaction that will allow you to play with friends as well as strangers.

All of this will be done seamlessly, Bungie says. There will be no co-op servers or having to wait for other players to join the game. If the server recognizes two players on the same mission or in the same geographical region, the game will merge their journeys together.

Despite the heavy social interaction and optional missions to collect loot, Bungie was quick to point out that this is not an MMO and that no monthly subscription will be involved. They described Destiny as having living, open worlds with evolving stories and changing time of day. It’s an always-online experience but it’s not an MMO.

The new franchise will kick off Bungie’s 10-year deal with Activision that was first announced in April 2010 and will consist of multiple sequels. The title is expected for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 (and probably next generation consoles as well) but don’t expect to see anything launch until 2014 at the earliest -- no mention about PCs either.