Destiny 2’s new trailer, plus everything we know so far

Bungie’s live show of dancing lights and bullets has ended, so let’s look at what we’ve learned about Destiny 2 [official site]. Story-wise, the Guardians have been ousted from their comfortable penthouse suite by a surprise attack and are scattered across the solar system, having lost all their powers. On top of that, the giant Christmas tree decoration they call the Traveler has been stolen. It’s your job to “get the band back together”. You’ve got some new character powers, multiplayer modes and the ability to join clans. You’ll also be touching down on new planets, where you can shoot hundreds of bullets into bad things. But there’s a new trailer below, for a taste of all that.

In more irksome news, it’s going to be exclusive to Blizzard’s game launcher, the Digital Distribution Platform Formerly Known As Battle.net. That means no Steam release or other storefront. Thanks, Activision. Thactivision.

So what do we know? Well, your weapon loadout is changing a little. You’ll now have one space for each of these: an energy weapon, a kinetic weapon and a power weapon. I haven’t spent too much time with Dest1ny, so I’m not totally sure how different this is from the current set up. But there are also new “supers” – the smackdown powers that are determined by your character’s sub-class. There’s three of these new sub-classes. As a Dawnblade you slash at things and hover in the air throwing firey projectiles everywhere. The Sentinel has a Captain America-style shield to throw around, and the Arcstrider has a energetic staff to batter aliens with.

New environments include Titan, Io, Nessus, and bits of our own rotten Earth, like the “European Dead Zone” which sounds like how Britain will be referred to in EU governmental meetings after Brexit but which is actually where ragtag groups of humanity have escaped to after the fall of the Tower. Lieutenant Daniels, aka Commander Zavala, has escaped to Titan, hiding among some old human ruins. Lawyer Jessica Pearson, aka Ikora, is on the “sacred” moon of Io, so-considered because of its connection to interstellar megastructure and giant holiday bauble, the Traveler. Captain Mal Reynolds, aka Cayde, aka Robot Deadpool, is on Nessus, a planetoid with an orbital period of 122 years. He’s there annoying the Vex, one of Destiny’s traditional baddies.

Fans of loading screens will be disappointed, as you can now launch activities on each planet without going into orbit. Apart from the usual patrols there’ll be other stuff to do. Treasure maps, side quests, and “lost sectors” to discover (these are essentially dungeons with a boss and some loot at the end).

Multiplayer-wise, the Crucible (the classic PvP arena) will be sticking to 4v4 with every mode, which is a big change considering the amount of 6v6, 3v3 and 2v2 modes they have in the first game. Your HUD will now carry info on players during the game – whether their super is ready or they just picked up something useful. There’ll also be a new game mode called Countdown, which is dubbed an “attack/defence mode”. Nothing else was said about it but if Overwatch has had any effect on the developers I’d guess it will be some sort of similar objective-based brawl.

But perhaps most importantly, clans are also being introduced as something you can join and set up through in-game menus. Now folks won’t have to organise out-of-game – the clans will include rosters and custom banners plus a shared reward system. As players fight alongside their clan they contribute toward rewards for everyone. It’s not clear how these are distributed and what type of stuff you’ll get but it’s an incentive to join up. There’s also a “guided games” feature which pairs up lone wolves with a group for a Raid.

Altogether it doesn’t seem like there are any revolutionary changes to the shoot and loot core, just lots of small tweaks that make things more convenient or a little fresh. That fits with Bungie’s traditional methods. Make a gun feel really really good to use, then make about 5 games out of it set in new places. But there may be as-yet unknown things to come and, for fans, it’s the small changes to an already-fine formula that will doubtless make them happy. It’s due out on September 8 [update: but not for us, it seems. The PC version will only come after consoles, Director Luke Smith told PC Gamer, but how long after he didn’t say]. There are some older trailers, if you fancy looking at those.

35 Comments

  1. Janichsan says:

    In more irksome news, it’s going to be exclusive to Blizzard’s game launcher, the Digital Distribution Platform Formerly Known As Battle.net.

    It could be worse. At least ex-Battle.net is a mature and quite well-working platform. I was afraid that Bungie/Activision would create yet another new distribution platform.

    • Moraven says:

      With customer service, which Steam lacks.

      • Premium User Badge

        duns4t says:

        Does it though? I asked Blizzard for a refund after 10 minutes of Reaper of Souls because it felt shallow and soulless… denied because I’d leveled my character from level 60 (took a couple of minutes to get that). I’ve never had any pain with Steam refunds since the existing system came into existence.

    • Jac says:

      Yeah I am decidedly not irked by this. I don’t recall feelings of irk with Overwatch either but maybe I’m just not irkable.

      If a game is going to be tied to a digital store I’d take Blizzards launcher over the mess that is Steam any day.

      • April March says:

        If a game is tied to a digital store I’ll complain about it even if it’s the Free Hot Dogs, Puppies and Oral Sex To Everyone Who Asks Game Distribution, LLC.

        Consistently, I won’t complain more than I would if it was on Steam. I mean – if you’re getting fucked already, who cares what colour is the dildo?

    • ran93r says:

      I’m all in with Blizzard already but battle.net is a solid launcher with all the features you would expect from a small store front. Good streaming patcher, repair, support, purchase, chat. This is quite a big deal for Blizz I imagine and if they add the same sort of cross game promotions as they already do with their own titles, this could be very interesting.

  2. BobbyFizz says:

    Look around you reference! Gary Gum is good for that sort of thing.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Godwhacker says:

    More space wizards and recycled tropes then

  4. Tei says:

    Hey,

    I vouch for Destiny. One of the fucking Greatest games I have played.

    For us adults is great because we can do the old Raid experience in a manageable way for adults life (Sorta).

    You guys will fucking love Destiny, if it hit PC gamers with even 1/10 the strengh it has hit console gamers.

    I absolutelly vouch for good old Destiny.

    –Tei

    • peterako1989 says:

      Well, as great as an early access game with payware updates can be, or maybe thats an mmo thing I cant understand I guess.

  5. brucethemoose says:

    Cora?

    Look at 1:51. Looks exactly like a biotic punch to me.

    Maybe it’s just a coincidence.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Actually, Cora seems to be a common name for headstrong/aggressive female characters in many different mediums. Thank you TVTropes.

      And space magic is space magic.

      So it probably is just a coincidence.

  6. Doomlord says:

    If this is any good as a SP game, I might be interested. Have ZERO interest in clans and any of that rot, though.

    • welverin says:

      I played through the first game on my own ignoring others as much as possible. Only problem there is it probably wasn’t until The Taken King that there was enough solo content to justify a purchase.

      So if you’re dead set in avoiding other humans you’ll want to wait until after release to find out how much single player content there is.

  7. Chromatose says:

    I guess the battle.net thing is likely Activision testing the waters to potentially do an EA and avoid paying the dreaded Steam Tax. I’m not exactly over the moon about having to install yet another game client, but I’m sure I’ll cope. Hopefully it will at least not break Steam Controller or Steam Link functionality, but frankly I’m just happy it’s getting a PC port in the first place.

    • April March says:

      They didn’t release Overwatch on Steam either, did they? I don’t think it’s accurate to call it ‘testing the waters’ at this stage. The water has been throughly tested and they’re bringing the fishes from the pet store.

      • Chromatose says:

        Overwatch is a Blizzard title, and pretty-much every recent game from them has been exclusive to the service.

        Destiny is the first non Blizzard-developed game to use battle.net as its storefront – all Activision games before this one have used Steam instead. So yeah, definitely still just testing the waters I feel. Interesting times.

  8. Stevostin says:

    Did I miss something ? Is that one on PC ?

    • Stevostin says:

      It apparently is.

      They maaaaaay (and so does RPS) consider introducing to the PC crowd as something the audience has no prior knowledge off. I for one certainly skipped every thing Destiny related as it was not for my platform (and the laughable idea that you can do such a thing as a FPS that plays with a pad).

      For now it does seem to Borderlands 2 what Overwatch is to TF2, a hit at the same audience with more production value, less inspiration and some insufferable removal of everything that was actually adult, creative, unconventional. Although some of the map does have quite a vista to them, and character design is actually something that’s middly attracting to me (as opposed to Overwatch which makes me puke in my mouth everytime I look at it). I am off the mark ?

    • Unclepauly says:

      Yes you missed something.

  9. Vinraith says:

    So that would be the same online system that used to give me a 2 hour wait queue to play Diablo 3 in single player because a new WoW expansion had just come out? Hard pass.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I played Diablo 3 all throughout most of 2016 and never seen that once. Maybe it was a thing at one time and now is not?

      • Vinraith says:

        I would love for that to be true, but will obviously need confirmation before buying another game which I will randomly be denied the ability to play.

        • that_guy_strife says:

          For whatever it’s worth – Blizzard will only run the distribution platform. Once you launch the game, you’re on Bungie’s servers.

          I don’t know why RPS didn’t mention that. Just go read the announcement from Blizzard.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    This is one of those times that I’m downright baffled by the writer assignment for this news coverage. Pip’s actually played a goodly amount of Destiny, and so can talk about this sequel reveal on a more “Wot I think” and “Here’s what’s what, folks” level. I generally get why each writer covers whatever type of each game, but sometimes… But props to you Brendan, for admitting you haven’t played any much of Destiny 1.

    On the other hand, the facepalm-inducing ignorance of Destiny and Bungie being a partner/subsidiary of Activision-Blizzard expressed in these comments isn’t anything new.

    • Snowskeeper says:

      What?

      You’re the first person in this comment section to mention their partnership. There are a few people talking about Battle.net, but the fact that Blizzard/Activision has its own distribution platform is no guarantee that they’d be releasing it on it as an exclusive, given, y’know, there are Blizzard/Activision products that are released on Steam, among other platforms, all the time. Like, say, CoD.

      If you facepalm into the void, the void facepalms back, or something.

  11. Person of Interest says:

    How visceral is this game shaping to be, on a scale of 6 to 10?

  12. clippa says:

    No dedicated servers. Dead in the water.

    link to pcgamer.com

    • ran93r says:

      It’s honestly not a game that requires them, there are no options worth a damn that you can play with. Strikes are strikes, Solo is Solo and even with the changes to team composition, I don’t feel that the PvP is aimed at an esports crowd. Is that a bad thing on PC? Eh.. maybe but it’s not like you can’t get that sort of game elsewhere if you want to.

      • clippa says:

        I wasn’t expecting customisable rulesets or even player run servers.

        • ran93r says:

          Here’s a good read on their solution.
          link to gdcvault.com

          I have experienced issues on PS4 when people are lagging but nothing that has really given me too much cause for concern, my experience is limited but has been generally positive.

  13. zulnam says:

    Sounds bland.

    The fact that Bungie/Acti are exclusivity whores (PC release later; DLC release discrepancy between PS4 & Xbone for Destiny1) also doesn’t help them make a sale.

    I might pick up Destiny 4: Modern Warfare.