Everything You Need to Know About Destiny 2 Before Launch

Destiny 2 is almost here. After three years and two expansions, the sequel to Bungie’s first new IP in over a decade is upon us. Destiny 2 is promising to be the game that the original wasn’t. Due to the online nature of Destiny 2, we won’t have a review up the moment the game launches. Instead, we’ll be taking our time to make sure the servers work properly before putting anything up.

Until then, we’ll be publishing plenty of content related to everything we’ve already played. Starting off, let’s take a look at some things you should know before you dive into the sequel.

Destiny 2 is a Sequel to Destiny and not Another Expansion

Destiny launched in 2014 on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 to disappointment. Fans and critics alike found the game to be lacking in about every department; story, mission design, content, world design, etc. The past few years have been about evolving the experience and making Destiny what it was intended to be.

In 2015, Bungie released The Taken King, a major expansion that overhauled the game and fixed many of the games flaws. While 2016’s Rise of Iron paled in comparison to The Taken King, it was a good amount of content to keep fans happy until this year.

Destiny 2 is a full-fledged sequel to the original game and not an expansion. It contains all new locations, weapons, armor, characters, etc. You will not need to have played the original game and its expansions to hop into the sequel, but those that have can carry-over their character. Plus, there will be areas within the game that will acknowledge that you have played the previous content.

Destiny 2 is currently scheduled to release tomorrow, September 6, on PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version won’t arrive until October 24.

Destiny 2 has a real, legitimate campaign

Considering how Destiny’s campaign was universally panned, Bungie took extra care to craft a proper campaign for the sequel. Destiny 2 does have a campaign, one where each missions has unique objectives and doesn’t always end with a battle against some large, bullet-sponge boss.

In Destiny 2, the story kicks off with tragedy. Dominus Ghaul, the leader of the Cabal Empire’s Red Legion, has unleashed his might on the Last City. Destroying the Tower and crippling all Guardians, Ghaul seeks to capture the power of the Traveler. In his mind, the Traveler has made a mistake by granting the power of Light to humanity, and he seeks to take it for himself.

Following your defeat at the hand of Ghaul, it is your duty to rekindle the light, reform the Vanguard and take back what is yours. To do so, you’ll travel to new worlds, meet new allies and make some unexpected discoveries.

Packed with 100x the amount of cinematics and voice-acting of vanilla Destiny, Destiny 2’s campaign sets to right the wrongs of the previous game.

Weapon Overhaul

Bungie has completely overhauled the way guns are classified in Destiny 2. In the original game, you had a primary, a secondary and a heavy weapon. That’s gone, replaced by the new Kinetic, Energy and Power classification system.

Kinetic guns fire physical ammo and are replenished with white ammo, and can generally be any type of gun. Auto Rifles, Scout Rifles, Pulse Rifles, Handguns, Revolvers and Submachine guns are all eligible for this category.

Energy weapons take the second category and have a burn type associated with it. Replenished with green ammo, these weapons fire either Solar, Arc, or Void Damage. These firearms can be Auto Rifles, Scout Rifles, Pulse Rifles, Handguns, Revolvers and Submachine guns. Energy weapons are best used to take down enemy shields.

Finally, we have power weapons. Replenished with purple ammo, these are the weapons that deal heavy damage and whose ammo is the scarcest. Rocket launchers, swords and the new grenade launcher weapons fit in here. Bungie controversially moved sniper rifles, fusion rifles and shotguns to this category, angering many fans. How this change will affect the meta of the game remains to be seen.

Weapon rarity remains identical to Destiny. Basic (white), uncommon (green) and rare (blue) will be your most common drops while playing the campaign. Once you reach level 20, legendary (purple) and highly coveted exotic (yellow) weapons will begin dropping.

Guardian Subclasses

Each of the three Guardian Classes – Hunter, Titan and Warlock – come equipped with a brand new subclass. An Arcstrider Hunter becomes enveloped in Arc energy and unleashes attacks via an electrified staff. Sentinel Titans summon a shield constructed out of Void energy, which they can throw at enemies or use as a melee weapon. Last, but not least, is the Dawnblade Warlock who summons a Solar sword and rains fire from the skies.

Of course, that’s not all. All the original subclasses return, kind of. You can play as a Nightstalker or Gunslinger Hunter, a Voidwalker or Stormcaller Warlock, or a Striker or Hammer of Sol Titan. A few of the subclasses have been tweaked to be more effective in Destiny 2. For example, a Striker Titan’s Super now allows players to run about and perform multiple ground-pounds, making it a far more useful class. Abilities from the Defender, Sunginsger and Bladedancer subclasses have been absorbed into he new subclasses.

What returns from The Taken King and Rise of Iron?

Seeing as so many Destiny players invested time and money into The Taken King and Rise of Iron, it’s understandable that they’d want to see some of that content return. Luckily, The Taken King is well represented in Destiny 2. Rise of Iron? Not so much.

The Taken are a fightable enemy in Destiny 2 in both the story and out in the open areas. There aren’t any new enemy types within the Taken race, but it’s still entertaining to fight them. The different tactics they use compared to their non-Taken counterparts make them a more unpredictable foe.

Also returning are the The Taken King subclasses. The Titan’s Hammer of Sol, the Hunter’s Nightstalker, and the Warlock’s Stormcaller can all be unlocked in-game.

As for Rise of Iron, asides from a throwaway line about SIVA, the expansion has no presence in Destiny 2.

The enemies

Anyone hoping for more enemy species in Destiny 2 are bound to be disappointed. In addition to the Taken mentioned above, all four of the previous species return. You have the hulking Cabal, four-armed Taken, zombie Hive and time-traveling Vex. It’s disappointing that a named sequel doesn’t have any new species for players to fight, but there are a handful of new things going on within each of the current factions.

Each species now has new enemy types that do change the flow of combat. The Fallen’s Wretch lunges at you with their long spear. The Cabal are the key beneficiaries here with multiple new enemy types. The Incendior uses a giant flamethrower to ignite the floor around players and War Beasts gallop in on four legs to tear out Guardians throats. The Hive and the Vex, while getting some new variants of existing types, haven’t gotten the same amount of attention as the Cabal or Fallen.

AI has been improved to where enemies don’t just stand there waiting for players to off them. They will duck and weave and attempt to drive players out of cover. They aren’t as aggressive as, say, Uncharted or Halo, but it’s a noticeable step up from the original game.

What co-op activities are there?

All of Destiny’s co-op activities return in Destiny 2. Up to three players can participate in Strikes, Adventures, and of course, a brand-new Raid. The Raid, however, won’t launch for another week.

To complete the more challenging co-op activities in Destiny 2, you’re going to need a fireteam. Bungie is making it easier than ever to find people to play with people online with Clans and Guided Games. Joining a clan will make it easier to find buddies to form your fireteam and take on all the baddies in Destiny 2.

Unfortunately, there’s still no Raid matchmaking. Guided Games will help, but it’s not exactly matchmaking.

The Crucible is back with new modes

Those looking for some competitive action will find it, once again, in the Crucible. Overseen by Lord Shaxx, the Crucible has undergone some radical transformation since the original game. All game modes are now 4v4, down from 6v6. Whether this is a positive change for the franchise will remain a mystery until players get their hands all over it.

In terms of maps, only six have been announced so far: Midtown, Javelin-4, Altar of Flame, Vostok, Endless Vale and Retribution, which is PS4-timed exclusive. The final count has yet to be revealed, but no maps from the original game and expansions are returning.

For game modes, the vast majority of game modes from the original game are back, alongside two new modes: Survival and Countdown. Survival gives each team a shared-pool of eight lives. Once that depletes, permadeath kicks in. The last team standing wins. Countdown is Destiny 2’s take on Search and Destroy. The attacking team attempts to plant a bomb, and the defending team must either defuse it or kill the entire team before it detonates. The first team to five victories wins.

Be sure to check back soon for our full Destiny 2 review. In the meantime, we’ll continue to publish more content surrounding the game’s launch.