Justin here, reporting from the Destiny 2 Gameplay Premiere event in Los Angeles! I’m sure you were tuned in live when they revealed the first-ever gameplay footage for Bungie’s new sequel, but just in case you weren’t I’ll drop this right here.
So! Zac and I were lucky enough to play Destiny 2 after the presentation ended, going hands-on with a new Strike called “The Inverted Spire.” It takes place on a Vex-occupied planetoid called Nessus. Here’s a runthrough, with a few notes from Destiny 2 Project Lead Mark Noseworthy (thanks Mark!):
A few personal highlights:
- Platforming! I happened to be the only one on my Fireteam who made it across the Strike’s early jumping puzzle on the first try *dusts off shoulder*
- New enemy types: We saw a “War Beast,” a dog-like animal that was tough to pin down, as well as Incendiors: Cabal soldiers with gas tanks strapped to their backs. And you know what to do when you see a gas tank in a videogame…
- More interactive — and dangerous — environments: About halfway through The Inverted Spire, we encountered a hollowed-out excavation site with a series of massive blades rotating around the area as they drilled into the planet. The goal here was to fight through the enemy ranks while avoiding these giant blades. This made for a… difficult section of gameplay. I don’t want to talk about it.
- Atheon’s cousin? Okay, okay, I don’t know if the boss of the Strike is actually related to Atheon in any way, but I mean, his name is Protheon. I’ll believe whatever I want to believe! Anyway, the boss fight was quite impressive — a multi-layered affair that saw us (and Protheon) changing tactics multiple times as we whittled down his three-segment health bar (oh yeah, enemy health bars are split into segments now).
A selection of environmental art from Destiny 2
A few more general observations about Destiny 2, based on what we saw and played today:
- No more Primary / Secondary / Heavy weapons: Bungie is reworking weapon loadouts in Destiny 2 — Now you’ll equip a Kinetic weapon, an Energy weapon, and a Power weapon. I saw Sniper Rifles in the Power slot, Hand Cannons in the Energy slot… it’s all different!
- New weapon types: Submachine guns work similarly to the HMG familiar to D1 players, but less powerful and tailored for closer ranges. Grenade Launchers… well, they’re pretty self-explanatory.
- Class Abilities: A new, third rechargeable icon next to your melee and grenade. Warlocks can hold circle to create a small rift on the ground that either heals or empowers allies. Hunters get a dodge ability (a la Shadestep, but on a cooldown) that will refill your melee charge if used near enemies. Titans can create a small barrier in front of them to protect themselves and teammates. As this barrier takes damage, it displays a cool “shattering” effect so you can tell at a glance how close it is to breaking.
- Reworked Subclasses: One of the big stars today was the new Warlock subclass: Dawnbreaker. This is a solar subclass with a flaming sword super, kind of a cross between a Raze Lighter (because fire) and a Bolt Caster (because projectiles). Hunters and Titans will each also have a new subclass: Arcstrider and Sentinel, respectively.
We also played a couple matches of the new Crucible mode, Countdown. This is an attack/defend mode where one team tries to set charges in specific locations while the other team plays defense. A few quick observations from two rounds of Countdown:
- Smaller teams: Countdown pitted teams of four against each other, leading to more intimate firefights and an increased need for team coordination. We don’t yet know what other modes will be available or what their player counts will be.
- Callout locations: No more trying to remember whether you died in “Hallway” or “Alley” — callouts are now baked into the game, displayed in the top-left corner of the screen.
- New HUD elements: You can now see which Guardians are down, which ones have Supers ready, and when somebody picks up Power ammo.
- Time-to-kill felt longer: This could be the weapons we were using, or it could be (and likely is) my relative lack of skill, but it felt like it took significantly longer to take down hostile Guardians in the Crucible.
Phew, so that’s Destiny 2! A small taste of it, anyway. There’s still a lot to learn, and I suspect we’ll have plenty of opportunities before the game launches later this year.