By: Uncle Badger
Destiny fans, rejoice!
Destiny 2, the sequel to Bungie’s wildly popular shared world shooter, is finally launching this fall (September 6). If you’re like me, a massive fan of Destiny 1, you’re most likely losing your mind. But, if you’ve somehow missed out on the original Destiny, here’s a quick primer:
Destiny is an online multiplayer first person shooting game. While it shares many similarities to MMOs (for example, players inhabit a shared world and are required to be online at all times), developers describe it as a “shared world shooter”. It’s a distinction that, at first blush, seems not to describe something entirely different, but after a couple hours in the Destiny universe, it becomes clear that the game has really carved out a unique space that warrants the distinction.
In the world of Destiny set far into the future, an extraterrestrial traveler has empowered human beings with extraordinary powers which we then use to defend ourselves and this traveler against “the darkness” aka evil aliens. Players can select one of three character classes; Hunter, Titan, or Warlock – and employ a vast array of weapons and armors in various quests and adventures to keep the planets safe from various enemy hordes. Destiny made a name for itself not only with fantastic gunplay upon which the game is centered, but also with a deep and expansive lore. Additionally, the game is highly social, particularly when it comes to endgame content like raids or special in-game events.
Still with me? Great.
The original Destiny didn’t quite feel like an MMO but didn’t exactly feel like a pure FPS either and, overtime, “Shared World Shooter” became less of an in-house descriptor and more of a legitimate genre. By all accounts, Destiny 2 is looking to build on that new genre with improved gunplay, more expansive shared play spaces, and, of course, TONS OF LOOT!
In terms of story, Destiny 2 couldn’t be more compelling. Set one year after the events of Destiny: Rise of Iron, the Red Legion faction of the Cabal, led by their emperor, Dominus Ghaul, attack The Last City. Ghaul, believing that he deserves the power of the Light, succeeds in stripping the Guardians of their powers and destroying the Tower. Scattered and powerless, the Guardians must acquire new powers to face Ghaul and the Red Legion.
Unlike the original game which had its lore hidden apart from the game in online ”Grimoire Cards” players had to access through a separate website (yikes), Destiny 2 promises much needed story improvements. At launch, the game will be boasting over 50 cut scenes which is slightly more than Destiny 1 even including all its expansions. Additionally, Bungie has confirmed that those loathsome Grimoire Cards are no more – 100% of the story will be told in the game itself. Huzzah!
Destiny 2 brings back all three characters classes from the original game, but with new skills and abilities. Specifically, each of the subclasses for the Titan, Warlock, and Hunter classes have been overhauled.
The Titan’s defender subclass known primarily for its defensive bubble has been reworked considerably. The “bubble” is still an option, but now alongside that is the option to run a defender with a throwable, slammable void shield – think Captain America. The Striker subclass super ability has been changed as well from a single powerful slam to a roaming series of slams, each leaving behind a damaging field of arc energy.
The nova bomb from the warlock’s subclass has been enlarged considerably and now splits into smaller projectiles upon impact. The much beloved Sunsinger subclass has ditched the self-resurrection ability in favor of a new super called Dawn Blade. It functions very much like the Titan’s Hammers from Destiny 1.
Lastly, the hunter’s Golden Gun has been nerfed a bit, no longer guaranteeing a kill with each shot. To balance this, the length of the super has been extended, offering more shots per super. And the hunter arc subclass has an entirely new super – Arc Strider – think Blade Dancer from Destiny one but a bit more agile and with a polearm instead of daggers.
Each of the character classes will launch with two subclass instead of the three you might be used to from Destiny 1. And while Bungie has played coy when asked if all three classes will be returning, it’s safe to say that they’ll all be making a comeback at some point after launch.
Overall, gunplay seems relatively unchanged from Destiny 1, and that’s a good thing. Nevertheless, the small improvements are noticeable as the gunplay feels as if it’s grown up a bit. The way Destiny 2 is setting up weapons is somewhat confusing. There are still three slots, but the first two are now “Kinetic” and “Energy.” Gone are the primary, secondary, and heavy weapon designations. This means that weapons like sidearms are now primaries and can be either elemental (energy) or non-elemental (kinetic), and old favorites like snipers, shotguns, and fusion rifles are now classed with rocket launchers.
Like I said, it’s a little confusing. I’m sure we’ll get used to it.
Overall, Destiny 2 is looking to build on the success of its predecessor by doubling down on excellent gameplay and expanding the already rich mythos of the Destiny universe. And, of course, there will be a ton of loot!
Destiny 2 launches worldwide on September 6, 2017, for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The PC version is set to launch later on October 24.