After a good few months of teasing, Bungie finally took the lid off Destiny 2 last night, showcasing a brand new trailer and the first gameplay taken from the early portion of its MMO. For better or worse, Destiny 2 looks to be very much the same game as the original, albeit with a few tweaks and nifty additions.
For PC players' benefit, and new console players, Bungie has gone for a sort of hard reset on the plot. After spending the first game defending Earth, the Cabal have over-run and destroyed Destiny’s central hub on Earth. They’ve imprisoned the giant orb known has the Traveller, and conveniently destroyed every weapon and all the loot found by Destiny’s Guardians. Now players must team up with the Vanguard and fight back to reclaim Earth.
After the Tower was taken, the new social space will now be on the Earth’s surface in the European Dead Zone. This is a forested village tucked in among a ruined landscape, and represents one of the four new locations Destiny 2 will introduce. The others are Titan (a moon of Saturn), Planetoid Nessus, an Io, a sulphuric moon of Jupiter. Bungie claims each of the areas will be far bigger than those seen in the original Destiny, and filled with more activities. The usual Patrols return, these are public events which crop up such as a powerful enemy spaceship appearing, and are joined by new Adventures and Lost Sectors. Adventures are basically side-quests given to Guardians by NPCs found out in the world, while Lost Sectors are hidden parts of the map to explore with exclusive loot and powerful boss fights.
On the class front, the three main classes from Destiny return. That’s the Warlock, Titan and Hunter. Each now has a new subclass as well, along with an additional Super (a powerful ability with a long cooldown). Warlock Dawnblades use aerial attacks to hurl down fire; Titan Sentinals have a Winston-style shield barrier which can deflect enemy attacks and knock them down, while Hunter Arcstrikers can rapidly dash from foe to foe and deliver punishing melee attacks.
Aside from this, everything remains much the same for Destiny 2. There will be a story campaign, Strikes and Nightfalls to play through in co-op, and weekly challenges to keep players engaged. There’s also the return of the PvP Crucible, now down to 4v4 (from 6v6) and a single Raid which will arrive after launch. The Raid will necessitate a powerful group of six players and take several hours to complete.
I have to confess I’m a little bit worried that Destiny 2 won’t be a fit for new players. I played through the original and sort of bounced off it after I’d completed the campaign, but I’m not really seeing anything here that addresses my concerns. The lore is basically impenetrable unless you’re willing to delve deep into a wiki, there are strange matchmaking systems again, and the worry is we’ve got a content-lite MMO which will only appeal to folks happy to re-run content in the grind for better loot. Those hoping for a dramatic expansion of Destiny’s concepts may find themselves disappointed. Destiny 2 looks fun, but it also seems overly familiar.
What do you make of the early Destiny 2 footage? Has Bungie done enough to bring in a new audience, or will Destiny 2 just appeal to the Destiny hardcore? Let us know!