I think I can speak for many of the old school Halo fans when I say that the wait for Destiny a few summers back was one of eagerness, impatience and longing to once more take control of the masterpieces Bungie is capable of creating. Over the years I have personally been in and out of my fight against The Darkness and the Forces of The Fallen, The Hive, The Vex and the Cabal, but that in no way had diminished my passion for the title. When Bungie unveiled the announcement trailer for Destiny 2, I found myself a bit underwhelmed. I guess maybe I was hoping for more or perhaps even something else, but nonetheless I ended up picking up my copy of The Rise of Iron expansion and diving in headlong before the months before Destiny 2’s launch. Last week Bungie aired the official gameplay premiere of Destiny 2, and in a single stream, completely reinvigorated my love for this franchise, and my hopes have not been higher for the sequel.
Every game has its areas for opportunity, and Destiny was no stranger to them. In Destiny 2, Bungie has essentially had to reinvent the way the story was told in the first game and also recast and redub the voice of the Ghost. It is apparent that Bungie has been listening to fans intently.
We have been introduced to a fair amount of content; new guns, Guardian abilities, enemies as well as breathtaking locations. Bungie even went as far as to not only develop a native clan system for the game, but a new idea they lovingly titled Guided Games. This new feature will help solo players such as yours truly find a non-toxic group to sink their teeth into on some of the more challenging content Destiny 2 has to offer. This is a welcome alternative to just allowing gamers to raid find, as most fans were demanding, and it avoids some of the pitfalls of being a new or inexperienced player tossed in with battle-hardened Guardians looking for a challenge. This is also a great way to introduce solo players to clans in general and perhaps a great way to allow players to find a clan that may fit their play style, or is active within their play hours regularly. The latter is a problem that I faced more than a couple of times in my time with World of Warcraft. It is entirely apparent that Bungie has heard our concerns and pulled no punches nor spared any expenses with Destiny 2, and what we have seen so far is proving to be a welcome and open world with vast amounts of activities the likes of which we’ve never experienced in a Bungie title, let alone a console shooter.
As a diehard fan of everything Bungie, the primary thing I kept track of in their announcement stream this was gear. Gear, guns and everything in between was shown, and was I not disappointed. The additional announcement of the 3 primary classes, super abilities which are all based around melee weapons empowered with the energy of their respective classes. The Warlock uses a flaming sword called the Dawnblade which harkens back to the Solar Titan super in Destiny that allows gamers to slash through enemies with ease and hover in the air, sending slices of flame raining down on the enemy.
Titans now have the chance to go all out, Captain America style, with The Sentinel, a void-powered shield that they can bounce off enemies, or to simply bash them down with. My personal favorite in last week’s premiere, however was the Hunters Arcstrider ability, which summons forth an Arc powered Bo staff used to flip through and around your foes, shocking and pummeling through them as you go.
There was a lot of familiarity despite the new bits of abilities displayed. Many familiar faces reared their heads such as the solar grenade of the warlock and the titan’s familiar ground strike.
Weapons, in traditional Bungie fashion, were a delight to behold. Right from the get go a new special heavy weapon in the form of a plasma cannon, which behaves like a heavy pulse rifle was demonstrated and although it wasn’t brought to attention, at one point a Hunter can be seen wielding an SMG. We did get a great deal of gameplay featuring a new minigun-styled auto rifle as well as a new heavy weapon grenade launcher. Bungie also announced a new weapons system, that is going to allow you to carry “Kinetic Energy and Power Weapons” as opposed to the traditional “Primary,” “Special” and “Heavy” Weapons slots. This seems like it is going to allow a wider array of playstyles and weapons combos for pve and pvp players alike.
Destiny 2 appears to approach a more open world state, utilizing the European Dead Zone as a launching point. Earth features new patrols as well as a new adventure feature that sends players on a quest to find hidden sectors and treasure. Bungie also revealed the ability to launch any of the games’ missions without the need to return to orbit. This is a welcome change from the first game and is a feature frequently requested from the Bungie community. We were also introduced to several new locations; Io – the last location to be touched by the Traveler prior to the Collapse, Titan – Saturn’s ocean covered moon and Nessus – a planetoid both occupied and converted by the Vex. I should note how massive and gorgeous these locations all seem, and it seems like the “Red War” campaign against the Red Legion is going to stretch to the furthest reaches of our solar system and introduce us to many new friends and foes. I personally can’t wait to dig into this vast and new, yet familiar territory.
We’ll see you out there Guardians!