Destiny, what a ride it has been. From the creators of Halo, we saw a game like no other on console. It looked to take the familiar elements of the first-person shooter genre and mix in new mechanics while also throwing in mechanics that would be familiar to people that play MMOs (massive multiplayer online games). Almost 3 years ago did we first set foot in what was admittedly a bit of a barren game, but Bungie definitely decided to stick to their guns and improve the game in ways that we could not comprehend at the time. But now comes the time for both Bungie and us, the player base, to move on to bigger and better things. That is exactly why we are here today. This morning, at 3AM AEST, Bungie did the gameplay reveal for Destiny 2 over at Twitch. There was a lot revealed, so let’s dig right in.
The stream started off with a cinematic that followed the growth that Commander Zavala went through before the events of Destiny. We see him as he was originally resurrected, we see him rise to his power and we see him defend the people of Earth as the Fallen invade the planet. We see him meet Cayde-6 in their last stand against the Fallen in the Last City.
Following that, Luke Smith (the Game Director) came out and gave a touching speech about how Destiny 2 is a new step, a new beginning in the chapters of our Destiny lives. He also announced that raids and trials would be fixed to be available for everyone in Destiny 2. He quickly then allows the gameplay reveal to do its own work.
First up we a cinematic which opens up to the destruction of the Tower. This is the first mission of the game and it is called “Homecoming”. First thing I noticed was that the player was using an SMG type weapon. There was also a grenade launcher, pulse rifle with an elemental burn and a chaingun type weapon. Weapons have been changed from primary, secondary and heavy to kinetic, energy and power weapons. Kinetic is your typical primary weapon, nothing flash. Energy weapons are like your primaries with elemental burns. Power weapons are your stronger weapons like snipers and fusion rifles, much like how these weapons would have been classified in Halo. Another thing to note is how the UI has changed and the abilities are displayed slightly differently. In terms of actual mission layout and gameplay, it appears as if the NPCs finally fight alongside us instead of being voices in our heads. Commander Zavala dropped his Ward of Dawn for you to briefly catch your breath in. Combat did still seem familiar, but we have new supers too. Warlocks have a solar-based subclass, called Dawnblade, whereby the super ability is a sword that can be used at range and close-quarters. Titans have a void-based subclass, called Sentinel, which essentially turns them into Captain America. They have a shield that they can bash enemies with and throw. Hunters have an arc-based subclass that turns them into what is essentially a cheerleader, called Arcstrider. They summon an arc-staff and become an acrobatic god, smashing their foes as they dance elegantly across the battlefield.
Now to note the actual story. Destiny 2 appears to have a much more concrete and clear story direction. You have a foe that you are introduced to at the beginning named “Ghaul” (at least that’s how I think you spell his name). Ghaul leads the Red Legion and believes that his army was supposed to receive the light from the Traveler and not the humans/exos/awoken. He is the reason you lose your light as he captures that Traveler in a cage made by the Cabal.
Destiny 2 tells a brand new story. What happens when a world full of superheroes loses their powers, their history and home? – Mark Noseworthy, Project Lead
Since Destiny 1 released there has been no foe that they can stand before and not tip over. Whether it’s Crota, Oryx, spider monsters – whatever. But in the opening of Destiny 2 players realise there is in fact a foe who has the power to not only take everything you own away, but to take your power away. – Luke Smith, Game Director
Following this, Ikora Rey and Commander Zavala go into hiding amidst the loss of the Tower and the Traveler. Cayde-6 does the typical Hunter thing and tries to be the hero, it goes sideways and you need to save him (typical hunter). In order to regain your powers and take back the city, you’ll have to find the Vanguard Representatives.
Destiny 2 sees four new patrol zones for you to explore:
- European Dead Zone (EDZ) – One of the first destinations that you will be going to.This is the largest destination that the folks at Bungie have ever built. There is a refuge where a camp has been built. It’s the place where humanity has stopped fleeing and decided to plant a flag and start becoming strong again.
- Titan (a moon of Saturn) – This is where Zavala chooses to go to heal his wounds and recover from the assault and the defeat that he has just suffered. It features this incredible methane-ocean with 4-metre high waves. There is an old human utopia there that’s sinking to the ocean. There are these huge monolithic structures that were made by humanity at the peak of the Golden Age. There’s literally no landmass, just ocean.
- Nessus – This is where you’ll find Cayde-6. It is a planetoid totally occupied by the Vex. They have almost entirely transformed it into one of their machine worlds. It has its own native vegetation and incredible canyons based off of a word that I don’t know how to spell, essentially Brazilian Plateaus.
- IO – A sulphuric, yellow moon of Jupiter. It is the last place in our solar system that the Traveler touched before the collapse occurred. This place has a lot of mythology, lore and history surrounding it. It is a very sacred place to Guardians and Warlocks in particular. As you can imagine, this place is very special to Ikora Rey.
You will see a much wider array of depth and meaning put into these patrol zones. You still have public events and patrols to do, but you also have the ability to search Lost Sectors. Lost Sectors are essentially dungeons. You go in, explore, kill a boss and get rad loot.
There are still patrols, materials and chests for you to find, public events now have heroic objectives but now there are adventures. Treasure maps for you to follow, Lost Sectors for you to discover. Just choose a landing zone and the rest is up to you. You’re going to meet new characters in the world, they have their own story to tell. They are going to send you on those side missions, adventures. Adventures are filled with new mechanics, encounters. They’re going to take you to new places and each have their own rewards that are going to make your guardian stronger. These same characters are also going to mark your map with mysterious locations to discover. These will be called “Lost Sectors”. When you descend into these dungeons you are going to find a cache of treasure and a boss that holds the key. All of this is going to be easier to find in Destiny 2 because of the new map to guide your way. – Steve Cotton, World Lead
In Destiny 2, you can initiate all your activities from the destinations themselves, you don’t need to go to orbit. You can even transport from planet to planet without going to orbit. Overall, patrols have had a massive overhaul, including an actual map that you can view on the ground to see what is going on. This allows players to choose what they want, whether it be Lost Sectors or public events and patrols.
Destiny 2 will see more 3-man team strikes and a new raid. Currently all we know about is one new strike called The Inverted Spire. Nothing else besides the name was revealed, so there’s not much to say there. But what’s really special is how they have made the clan system important. In Destiny, clans meant absolutely nothing. Now being in a clan will earn you rewards for you and all your clanmates when you participate in activities. The biggest change they did was Guided Games. To put it bluntly, this is essentially LFG in-game. Say your raid team is missing a person, guide games will allow you to fill that spot easily with someone who can fit your criteria quite easily. It works the other way too, so you can find teams that need one more and jump right into an activity that you might not have done otherwise.
PVP has been changed a little too. We still have the Crucible, but it was stipulated that every PVP game mode would be 4v4.The way the Crucible as a whole was described as was “it is easy to get into, but hard to master”. So far, the only new game mode we know of is called Countdown. It is the first ever attack-defend mode in Destiny. I am very keen to see what the game mode is like and only time will tell.
Internally, we’ve had some pretty intense play-tests and today you guys are gonna get to play that too. – Steve Cotton, World Lead addressing the crowd at the event itself
Beta Access/PC Access
Bungie announced that the beta would be available later this summer (winter for us in the Southern Hemisphere) for people who pre-order, so it’s not that far away! I will definitely be smashing it out, but I don’t think anyone was expecting any different. Now for PC users, Destiny 2 will be available EXCLUSIVELY on Blizzard’s Battlenet service. No Steam, no Windows Store, just Battlenet. It makes sense that this would happen seeing as Blizzard is under the whole Actvision-Blizzard conglomerate. Normally I’d think this kind of move would be stupid but Blizzard has repeatedly shown that they know how to take care of multiplayer games so I would expect them to take the same level of care with my beloved Destiny 2.
So far Destiny 2 looks insane. It really looks like how Bungie originally envisioned the first game to be. I know I shouldn’t get hyped, but I am HYPED!!! Are you looking forward to Destiny 2? What platform(s) are you getting it on? PC players, how do you feel about the game being exclusive to Battlenet?