‘Destiny 2’ Gameplay Reveal: The Biggest Announcements

After three years of Destiny, the time for Bungie’s sequel finally arrived Thursday inside a decked-out airplane hangar next to SpaceX in Los Angeles, California. Dozens of game journalists, content creators, and fans packed building to finally see the full gameplay reveal of Destiny 2 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The journey of Destiny has been a roller coaster ride through good times and bad for fans for over three years. Through loot caves and “Forever 29” to amazing group raid experiences to baffling bugs and designs experiences. Destiny 2 represents Bungie’s chance to wipe the slate clean, somewhat literally, while focusing on the things that kept bringing Guardians back for one more raid, one more strike, and one more Crucible battle.

Gameplay has been shown. Questions have been answered. Controllers and mice have been held in hand. There is more to come, to be sure. This is just the start of what is known about Destiny 2 before its release this September. There will be much more to come, but these are all the huge announcements from the Destiny 2 event.

Battle.net Exclusive on PC

A story mission from Destiny 2.

Let’s start with the surprise announcement by Activision’s Eric Hirshberg at the end of the Destiny 2 presentation. The game will be exclusive to Blizzard’s Battle.net service when released on the PC this fall. That means no Steam release and certainly not a Windows Store release.

Battle.net is already home to all of Blizzard’s titles, and this is the first not from the developer to appear on the service. It’s already been tried and tested with everything from Diablo to Overwatch. It opens up tools and experience to Bungie to port the game to the platform with plenty of options, like field of view, and ultra-widescreen support, plus anti-cheat measures.

What is confirmed so far is that the PC version of Destiny 2 will support 4K resolutions along with uncapped framerates (versus 30 fps on consoles). In other words, your PC power will determine how much fps you will enjoy.

A Fresh Start

Bungie leads repeatedly expressed how Destiny 2 is a fresh start for existing members of the franchise’s community and for new members of the community joining through consoles and especially on PC. The game starts with the Cabal assault on the Tower, the Last City, and the Traveler.

The result is Guardians have lost their light and their loot. The players will need to pick up the pieces to recover the light, free the traveler, and bring the Guardians back together. This is the decision to not bring player progression and items over fully flushed out in a believable and enjoyable way.

Characters are brought to the fore

Ikora Rey in the Destiny 2 Homecoming mission.

Commander Zavala, Cayde-6, Ikora Rey, and others were present in Destiny but were not featured as well as they could be. The sequel changes that and makes them and others integral to the story. At times, you will fight alongside them rather than having them speak as a disembodied voice over communication channels.

New Worlds

Destiny 2 will feature four new worlds for players to explore. Technically, it is actually three new worlds as Earth is already a destination, but the Cosmodrome is left behind in favor of the European Dead Zone. This will be the start of humanity’s recovery, and Destiny 2 will introduce a new social area complete with a friendly game of soccer.

The methane oceans of Titan are another location with a huge above sea base established prior to the collapse. Commander Zavala has fled here, and players will need to help the Vanguard leader rediscover himself as he tries to recover from an existential crisis.

Ikora Rey is going through a similar crisis, but she has journeyed to Io. This sulfuric planet is the last place touched by the Traveler before settling on Earth and is considered sacred to the Guardians. Ikora seeks to reconnect to the Light, and it may be the player’s Guardian who helps her.

Finally, Cayde-6 went off to be a hero and finds himself trapped on the Vex machine world of Nessus.

Crucible Changes

The new Destiny 2 PVP mode, Cou.ntdown

PVP is receiving a dramatic alteration with fireteam sizes being adjusted to 4 versus 4 across all game modes. It’s a surprising choice and one that will surely be tested by players.

Additionally, new game modes are coming. The first to be revealed is Countdown, an attack and defend mode. One team attempts to plant a bomb on two points while the other tries to prevent it from exploding. This mode has been seen in various games already, but it is here to add variety to Destiny 2.

Weapon Changes

Bungie hasn’t gone back to the drawing board with weapons, but it is tweaking the formula quite a bit. For example, weapon slots are re-classified as Kinetic, Energy, and Heavy weapons versus the current Primary, Secondary, and Heavy. You can carry Hand Cannon in the first two slots, but the Energy slot is the one that will do elemental damage. Heavy weapons will still do elemental damage.

Meanwhile, there are also brand new weapon classes. Sub-machine guns have been added along with Grenade Launchers. Additionally, the Sniper Rifle has been moved to the Heavy Weapon slot to make Guardians choose their loadout more carefully.

Ability Changes

Destiny 2 Hunter Super ability.

On the ability side, the existing sub-classes remain, but new super abilities have been added along with a new secondary ability. The Defender Titan bubble has been replaced with the Sentinel, featuring a shield, a la Captain America, for the super. The Bladedancer is now an Arcstrider with a huge spear to flash around and kill enemies. Finally, the Sunsinger will no longer revive and has been supplanted by the Dawnblade. This super summons a fiery sword and wings that hurl arcs of fires to demolish foes.

Guardians also receive a new defensive ability to go along with their grenade and melee abilities. Warlocks will be able to summon a healing circle for other fireteam members to stand in. Titans will erect a waist-high wall to provide cover. Hunters, we didn’t get to see.

Clans and Guided Games

Players suffered through the lack of in-game matchmaking for end-game events like raids and Trials of Osiris. Bungie’s solution still does not use matchmaking because the developers still do not feel that is the way to go. Instead, they are bringing the community into the game.

Clans will be supported directly in-game in Destiny 2 with rosters, banners, the ability to form fireteams, and even rewards. As players complete activities, they are actually earning progress for loot that can be shared with the entire clan.

Meanwhile, Guided Games are for solo players that don’t have clans and are looking to join on raids or other high-end activities. This will allow solo players to search for clans seeking additional members to join. For example, a clan may need a sixth for a raid. The fireteam can open itself up to others to someone to join. The goal is to keep the cohesiveness and sense of membership in fireteams while introducing more activities to the 50 percent of players who never got to experience them in the original Destiny.

Huge Worlds, No Orbit

The worlds of Destiny 2 are the biggest yet for Bungie, according to the developer. They are packed with revamped patrols, and characters who will give players adventures, or quests, to go on. There will still be public events, but there are also new quests like Lost Sectors, which send players to a small dungeon to kill a boss for his cache of loot. There will also be treasure maps and an in-game map to show players where they are and nearby activities.

Most importantly, Destiny 2 will no longer require players to go to orbit to move from activity to activity. This can be done while in playable areas by bringing up the game director. Simply put, this is a much-requested feature from the Destiny community that the developers listened to and answered. One of many as can be seen from the list above.

[Featured Image by Bungie / Activision]