Destiny 2The long-awaited and mega hyped reveal has come and gone. With the release of Destiny 2 still months away (slated for September 2017), Bungie has been systematically dropping breadcrumbs about what the new game will be like. We were first teased with ominous images of a city on fire while The Traveler loomed overhead. Our fears were confirmed with the drop of the first cinematic trailer; the last city has been destroyed. The tower has fallen to ruin — AND OUR VAULTS ARE GONE! Forgive me, I’m still having trouble dealing with the gravity that my Year One Gjallarhorn and my carefully cultivated armor pieces are no more. 

On May 18th, 2017, Bungie hosted the first live stream of new gameplay. Our first taste of what the Destiny 2 experience will be like opened with the quest entitled ‘Homecoming.’  Cayde-6 is  mouthing off to Ikora, as he is known to do, on the bridge of the Tower which is still very much intact. While at first it seemed like we were watching just another teaser, it turned out this was our introduction to cinematic stories, which will be largely integrated into the gameplay. You’ve seen this in other games like Mass Effect or the Tomb Raider reboot, in which the cinematics are not just standalone tidbits that take the player from chapter to chapter. There are pauses in the narrative to allow the player to take out some enemies, learn the controls, and become immersed in what’s happening around them.

The story mission continues, revealing just how the destruction of the Tower came about. The Cabal have invaded, and they aren’t messing around. They’ve taken out the Tower’s defenses and blindsided the Guardians within. Ikora separates from the rest of the group to save the Speaker, who they fear has fallen to the clutches of those armored space turtles, leaving your Guardian to fight alongside Zavala for a time. Of the entire first story mission, that is what psyched me the most. The three Vanguard leaders played an integral role in Destiny, but were mostly static characters. To see them fighting and showcasing their abilities that put them in those positions in the first place triggered more than a little fangirling from yours truly.

In addition to watching the Vanguard in battle, we finally learn what’s behind that tower in Tower North! You know the one — the big one that good ol’ Tentacle Face (most people call him Xur) stands in front of sometimes. Secretly, I’ve hoped that one of Destiny’s DLCs would include revealing what was behind this door. That day never came, and now that I have witnessed it in the opening story mission I am even more disappointed. There is a whole marketplace behind there! Presumably, this is where the ramen shop that Cayde was going on about lived. Alas, my dreams to explore this elusive area will never come to fruition, but I am a forgiving Guardian and must press on.

So what happens after we lose our weapons and our light?  What happens after we see how the Cabal take down the Tower and how Gary, I mean Ghaull, establishes himself as the new d-bag in town. We do what Guardians do; we rebuild! Granted, my speech is not has harrowing as Zavala’s. Here is what we learned at the reveal event:

    • New solo campaign called the ‘Red War,’ which includes as mentioned above more cinematics than its predecessor.
    • New strikes, new Nightfalls, new raid (all standard that we’ve come to expect)
    • Three new locations: Earth, Titan, Nessus, and Io
    • New sub-classes: Warlock Dawnblade, Titan Sentinel, and Hunter Arcstrider 
    • All enemy races will be returning in some way
    • Selectable landing zones. No more queuing in orbit between missions / locations.
    • Exploration will be greatly encouraged with the introduction of ‘Lost Sectors’. Essentially these are stand alone loot caches.
    • In that regard, additional social spaces are being added with new vendors.
    • Guided Games: Bungie is really focusing on everyone being able to enjoy the team dynamic this time around with the integration of matchmaking for most, if not all, activities.
    • New vanity items (emotes, ships, shaders, banners)
    • New Weapon Foundry – Veist, joining the ranks of Häkke, SUROS, Omolon, and the rest
    • No dedicated servers. However, Bungie has further explained that all activities will be hosted on their own servers in an attempt to ease the congestion.
    • Destiny 2 PC will live on — and who better, honestly. 
    • No FPS cap on PC; Console will be capped at 30 FPS
    • Weaponry prioritization has changed. Slots are now ‘Kinetic,’ ‘Energy’, and ‘Power’. 
    • All crucible game types have been switched to 4v4
    • New PvP gametype: Countdown
    • Adjustments to kill rates and abilities (specifically melee)

There is plenty more to report when it comes down to the finer details, but those are the highlights discussed at the reveal. So now, my thoughts!

Admittedly, this franchise holds a special place in my heart. I’ve spent countless hours on the grind, I adore my clanmates, and I will never not be happy with this game. That being said, after reading some of the initial feedback the promise of Destiny 2 does not seem to be hitting the mark for some.

Those heavily invested in PvP had their sights set on dedicated servers to prevent some of the infamous glitching Guardians. We’ve yet to see if one of the largest complaints about Destiny will be rectified: the DLC.

Players want bang for their buck, not a quarter of a game and three lackluster DLCs. I say that in the voice of other players, as again I have been completely satisfied with Destiny thus far.

In Bungie we trust to deliver us compelling stories set on distant planets with gorgeous graphics and replayable content. I was satisfied with the reveal, and continue to look forward to this release in the fall!

Heather Fischer
Heather Fischer is a Chicago based writer, reader, and firm proponent of the Oxford comma. When not playing tabletop roleplay games, she may be found on Bleecker Street.

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