Destiny 2 was revealed today, with Bungie finally giving us our first look at its upcoming blockbuster and announcing a slew of features that will be included in the sequel.
Though a massive commercial success, the first Destiny struggled to live up to the expectation that it would be a true MMO/FPS hybrid, suffering from a dearth in variety and a frustrating progression system. Over the course of the game’s several DLC updates, Bungie managed to rectify a number of these issues, and it seems that the lessons they learned during this process have formed the foundation of Destiny 2.
The main takeaway from both Destiny 2‘s debut and gameplay trailer is that Bungie has injected a sense of humor into the sequel. Destiny 1 was widely ridiculed for Peter Dinklage’s monotone voice over performance, with him eventually being replaced by the far more upbeat Nolan North, most recognizable as the voice of Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series. Destiny 2‘s two trailers have shown evidence of a far more lighthearted tone, which should be refreshing after the personality deficiency suffered by its predecessor.
The game’s story sees the last safe city on Earth in ruins, with powerful new enemy Commander Ghaul and his army, the Red Legion, now occupying it. Players once again assume the role of Guardians, humanity’s chosen protectors, as they band together in order to fight back and reclaim their home.
A New Beginning
If you’re new to Destiny, then don’t worry; Destiny 2 will be a fresh start for all players, meaning that progression from the first game won’t be carried over to its sequel. While this will likely rub some players up the wrong way given the vast amount of time many injected into the 2014 game, wiping the slate clean for everyone ensures that Bungie can rebuild Destiny from the ground up.
The most welcome announcement from the reveal was the addition of Guided Games, a new feature that allows solo players to still partake in Raids, Trials and Nightfall by way of allowing them to search for other clans in-game before joining them. This feature was sorely absent in the first Destiny, with players instead forced to visit third-party websites that would allow them to organize themselves into groups to take part in the game’s co-op multiplayer content. For those who didn’t want the hassle of searching for other players, sending them a message and then hoping that they’d agree to play with you, a lot of Destiny‘s best stuff was hidden behind a wall of tedium as a result.
In Destiny 2 this is no longer an issue. Now solo players can browse through a selection of clans to join, complete with information pertaining to their respective play styles, their skill level and more. Bungie will also reward players for positive behavior, meaning that it will be beneficial for clans to be helpful to their new solo friend and vice versa.
Balancing issues were rife throughout the life span of the original Crucible, with Bungie struggling to maintain both a solid PvE and PvP experience. Bungie has reduced the size of the battles in Destiny 2’s Crucible to 4v4 across all modes, which should make it easier for them to keep on top of things this time around, while also reducing the amount of chaotic frustration that was so prevalent in the original Destiny’s PvP component. Bigger doesn’t always mean better.
4K and 60fps on PC
As you’d expect the PC version of Destiny 2 will be the most technically superior, though it may also launch later than the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. Bungie has thus far only announced that Destiny 2 will be available on PS4 and Xbox One in September, while the game’s official FAQ states that they “look forward to sharing additional information later this year.”
However, while Destiny 2 PC might take a little longer to cook, when it’s out of the oven it’ll look and run better than its console equivalents. A fact sheet released by Bungie revealed that the game will be able to run in a 4K resolution of 3820×2160, while its frame rate will also be unlocked at 60fps. It’ll also run exclusively on Blizzard’s Battle.net service, which will apparently ensure that it’ll launch faster on the platform.
Earth, Titan, Io, and Nessus make up Destiny 2‘s planets, with each boasting their own unique features.
Earth features a hub-like area called the European Dead Zone (which was actually cut from the first Destiny), and it’s apparently twice the size of any area featured in the original Destiny. In the game’s story, this is the area where humanity begins to reassemble its forces after being downtrodden by Commander Ghaul.
Titan is Saturn’s moon, with it featuring a huge methane ocean and 40-foot waves crashing against the structures developed by humanity in decades past. Titan vanguard Zavala retreats here to heal after the attack on the Tower.
Io is the yellow moon of Jupiter, and is where players will find a whole bunch of Destiny lore buried thanks to it being the last place touched by the Traveller prior to the collapse. It’s considered a sacred home to the Guardians, and is where the Warlock vanguard Ikora Rey travels to after the Tower attack.
Nessus is a planetoid dominated by the Vex, the enemies from the first Destiny. It now operates as one of their machine worlds, though is also home to lush vegetation and Cayde-6, who is trapped there following the events of the first game.
The live stream reveal featured Destiny 2‘s very first mission, ‘Homecoming.’ This featured the Cabal, the giant alien species featured in the first game, attacking the Tower in a losing battle for humanity. The gameplay looked like business as usual for Destiny, which isn’t particularly a bad thing given how tight the shooting mechanics were in the original game. There were special abilities, a selection of explosive weapons, plenty of gun fire alongside the welcome addition of more intriguing story elements.
Nothing entirely unexpected, then, but with it only featuring the first mission of the game it’s impossible to determine whether or not the variety sorely absent in vanilla Destiny will once again be missing this time around. At the very least Bungie seems confident that the game it’s releasing rights a lot of the wrongs of their first crack at the Destiny whip, and considering their pedigree, it’s difficult to not put your faith in them. Hopefully we’ll see plenty more footage at E3 2017, and we can come away confident that we’re not going to spend our first week in Destiny 2 camped outside a loot cave.