The big day is finally here. Today Bungie gave us the first real look at one of the biggest games of the year, Destiny 2. The first game built an army of dedicated fans who ate up up new content – raids and challenges and vaults – as fast as Bungie could make them. It will now be up to Destiny 2 to reward their loyalty, and attract new players to the series' expansive universe. The game will be released on September 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, here's everything you need to know so far.
For more behind the scenes detail on the game check out our interview with the game director on Destiny 2, Luke Smith.
This time around PC gamers are invited to the party
The original Destiny was a console-only affair, but Destiny 2 will launch on September 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PCs. You won't find it on Steam though, Activision has made the bold decision to place Destiny 2 in the Blizzard launcher, a first for a non–Blizzard title. "We’re gonna be right on there with World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone," says lead designer Luke Smith. "It’s like a tray full of experiences that you can love like a hobby, and full of passionate communities."
The PC version of the game features 4K resolution support, an uncapped framerate, full mouse and keyboard control with custom key mapping, text chat, an adjustable field of view and 21:9 monitor support.
When it comes to story, everything has changed for the game's Guardians
"The Guardians of the universe have lost everything," says Smith. "Like, these superheroes who’ve been running around for the last three years are utterly powerless. And that's not just the player character. That's also the non-player characters, the Vanguard, everyone – they're all just mortals now." The big villain this time around is Lord Ghaul, the commander of the Cabal Red Legion who is jealous that humanity was granted the power of the Traveler. He's the one behind the attack on the Last City and the destruction of the Tower, the very location that served as the heart of the first game.
Three new subclasses were revealed
New subclasses include the Warlock's Dawnblade, complete with flaming sword, the Titan's Sentinel, with a void Captain America-style shield, and the Hunter's Arcstrider, with an electric staff.
There are four new locations
No more traipsing through the Cosmodrome – Destiny 2 has four new areas to explore, one on Earth and the others much further afield.
The European Dead Zone is the largest new destination "by a factor of two" in the game – set on Earth, obviously – featuring a lush forest, abandoned town, a cave system below the surface, and a Red Legion military base.
Titan is the moon around Saturn where Commander Zavala (voiced again by Lance Reddick) is regrouping and healing his wounds. Interestingly, there is no actual landmass on Titan – instead, you explore a series of Golden Age platforms that are surrounded by a methane ocean.
Nessus is an unstable planetoid that has been fully consumed by the Vex. It's full of lush, red native vegetation and is apparently based on Brazilian plateaus. This is where you'll come across Cayde-6 (voiced by Nathan Fillion), who is off on his own adventure. Well, he's kinda trapped, actually.
Io is Jupiter's moon, and it's where Ikora Rey (voiced by Gina Torres) can be found. Io is apparently the last known place that the Traveler visited during the Golden Age – so expect a huge dump of lore and mythology to be revealed here as it's considered a sacred place to the Guardians – but it's now occupied by bad guys.
There's more variety to the Story Campaign
As before, you can play through the story with friends, but there's more other stuff do than there was in the first game. Rather than just heading out on patrol, Destiny introduces two new gameplay activities alongside a revamped public events system. Also, it's worth noting that the game will let you move between activities without having to go to orbit in between everything you do on an individual planet.
Adventures are new short-form, self-contained story missions that unlock more about the overall narrative and the game's major characters.
Lost Sectors are basically new treasure dungeons that are scattered around each world that lead to unique bosses that are guarding cool new loot.
Public Events are a much bigger deal this time
As in the first game, public events are unique, optional, dynamic combat activities that you can join on the fly, but they're much more social this time, supporting either solo play or the opportunity to collaborate with up to nine other players. "In Destiny 1 those public events were sort of buried and hidden but in Destiny 2 we have maps for all of our new planets, and on those maps we're gonna advertise things like public events to players," says Smith. "You'll be able to see when you bring up your map when there's a public event that's gonna happen. The public events have story, and they have fiction associated with them, and they have villains who are a big part of them. Then when you go to this public event you're gonna see, like, 'Oh, there are other players here,' and so we're taking that as an opportunity to create moments where players can collaborate."
Guided Games mean you'll never raid alone
Bungie is introducing a matchmaking feature called Guided Games that will help connect lone players with groups for the six-player cooperative raids. Smith explains. "We really want to leverage clans this time," he says. "We want to take those groups, which we think are awesome examples of groups playing together, and combine them with players who don’t have a social group – we’re calling them Seekers. This is basically anyone who doesn’t have a social group to play with – and when they want to play an activity like Nightfall we’re gonna take all the Seekers and combine them with clans who we’re calling Guides. We’re bringing these two groups together." When you're looking for a clan to join you'll get to see their name, banner and motto, which should help you decide if they're a good match for you. It's all of the satisfaction of a raid, none of the commitment.
The game will launch with just one raid (for now.)
And if your clan raids without you, you'll still get rewarded
"When the Patriots win the Super Bowl, everyone on the team of course gets a championship ring. You know who else gets a ring? The groundskeeper," says Smith. If your clan has a success in a raid or PvP then you still have the chance to receive a reward even if you weren't online at the time. Bungie wants players to feel part of the team, even if they can't make it to every game.
Clans are fully baked into the game
Clans have been fully integrated into the game – you'll be able to create and manage the whole thing from within Destiny 2 with official banners, invitations, and rewards and experience systems for all members.
Player versus player is changing too
The Crucible PvP will be 4v4 everywhere, instead of Destiny's 6v6 or 3v3. The hope is this will make the games more competitive and also more interesting for players to get into. Bungie has announced two new competitive experiences so far:
Countdown where you spawn on either Offense or Defense, and when the round ends you swap sides and roles. The idea is to plant a bomb in the enemy base, and then defend it until it blows up. Each round is worth a point, and the first team to six wins.
Midtown is a new competitive PvP map that's set in an abandoned part of the City that was completely ignored by the Red Legion when they invaded. It's now dubbed the "Last Safe City." Apparently, the Legion deemed Midtown to be of no tactical importance. So Lord Shaxx put the new Crucible arena there.