Destiny was one of the most anticipated games of 2014, though it arrived to some disappointment after failing to live up to developer Bungie's ambitious promises. A series of expansions and content updates dramatically improved the game though, and all eyes are on Destiny 2 to take those improvements one step further - it's already one of the games we're most looking forward to this year.

After months as an open secret, Destiny 2 was officially announced in early 2017. We now know the release date, pre-order details, platforms, beta plans, and gameplay details, so read on to find out more.

When is the Destiny 2 release date?

Destiny 2 is releasing worldwide on 6 September 2017 on console, with a PC release following a few weeks later on 24 October.

It's coming out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC - a welcome surprise, since the first game was console only. We're also expecting support for both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

While PC players get the game a bit later, they do get one perk - they'll have an uncapped framerate and up to 4K resolutions, whereas consoles are capped at 30fps. The PC multiplayer will also be exclusively handled through Blizzard's Battle.net.

While the first game was also on the PS3 and Xbox 360, those are too old to be supported in 2017. Switch owners are also out of luck, since Nintendo's console is comparatively under-powered.

We're also going to see some perks for PS4 owners. They'll have timed exclusive access (until autumn 2018) to a strike, a PvP map, a ship, three armour sets, and an exotic weapon. You can see them all in action in the PS4 content trailer:

How can I pre-order?

Pre-orders have opened for Destiny 2, and as you'd expect for 2017, there's a plethora of different versions to choose from.

First up though, the big reason to pre-order is that no matter which version of the game you pre-order, you'll get early access to the game's beta this summer - more on that below. 

Otherwise, the base game is available for £49.99 on PC and £54.99 on console in the UK from Game (who will also give you a free Cayde-6 figurine), and $59.99 no matter the platform in the US from Amazon.

The next step up is the Limited Edition. That includes the base game; the expansion pass; an in-game sword, emblem, and emote; and a Cabal-themed Collector's Box including a booklet, postcards, and some other goodies. That's £79.99/£89.99 from Game in the UK, and $99.99 from GameStop in the US.

Finally, the top tier is the Collector's Edition. That includes everything from the Limited Edition, plus a bag, a laptop sleeve, and a 'Frontier Kit' with a solar USB charger, paracord, and solar blanket. That's £209.99/£219.99 from Game in the UK, and $249.99 from GameStop in the US.

When is the beta?

Bungie has announced an official beta program for the game will run in July on consoles, with a PC beta later on in August.

The console beta will launch on 18 July at 10am PDT/6pm BST for PS4 players who've preordered. It'll open up to Xbox One pre-orders 24 hours later on 19 July, then any PS4 or Xbox One owner can play from the same time on 21 July - even without a pre-order. The whole thing then ends at 9pm PDT 23 July/5am BST 24 July.

As for the PC beta, that'll be in late August, but we don't have specific dates or times yet. We'll update this as soon as we know more.

What DLC will there be?

Bungie has announced that Destiny 2 will have two major expansions, though we can probably expect a few smaller updates and events between them.

We don't know exactly what they'll feature, but the logos on the Expansion Pass poster hint that the first will relate to Osiris, while the second will be tied to the Warmind Rasputin from the original Destiny. 

What about gameplay?

So, what can we expect from Destiny 2? Following the gameplay reveal in May, we have a decent idea now about what new features Destiny 2 is bringing to the table.

First up, what's not changing. The core gameplay will remain mostly the same, with the tight first-person shooting mostly untouched. You'll also still have three classes to pick from - Warlock, Hunter, and Titan - and will jet around a few different worlds working through missions to advance the plot.

Beyond that, things are a little more different. As the trailers have revealed, the game's first mission sees the Citadel attacked by the alien Cabal, led by Dominus Ghaul. From there, players will be fighting to build up earth's defences again, reclaim their gear, and generally shoot a lot of aliens.

The classes have been tweaked slightly, with a new subclass for each - the Warlock Dawnblade, Titan Sentinel, and Hunter Arcstrider. Each class now also gets a specific cooldown ability to encourage further differentiation - for example, Warlocks can get the ability to buff attack power or heal.

Weapons have also been tweaked. There are now two main weapon slots, for kinetic and energy damage weapons respectively, so you could now slot in two of the same weapon class with different damage types.

The third slot is now for 'power weapons', which includes shotguns and sniper rifles alongside the likes of rocket launchers. There are at least two new weapon types too: a sub-machine gun and a grenade launcher.

Missions will be across four worlds at launch: Earth, Titan, Io, and Nessus. The much-maligned patrols from the first game are back, but apparently improved, with more detailed complex worlds including sidequests, treasure hunts, and dungeons, designed to encourage exploration.

Along with the normal missions and strikes there will be a single raid at first. It'll be easier to get into though - the new 'Guided Games' sherpa system will let players temporarily join up with clans to play raids and similar content, rather than having to coordinate a full group of six to play, as in the first Destiny.

There's also one major quality of life improvement: players will no longer have to go to orbit to access content - you'll be able to jump to any mission, strike, raid, or patrol from anywhere.

Crucible multiplayer is also getting a tweak - it's dropping from 6v6 to 4v4, which is intended to encourage tighter gameplay, with a heavier focus on teamwork and strategy. There's also a new PVP mode called Countdown in which players have to place a bomb in their opponents’ base and then guard it.

Finally, we know at least some of the returning cast: Nathan Fillion, Lance Reddick, and Gina Torres all feature in the new trailers as their Vanguard characters, so we can expect to hear them in the game itself too, and they'll play major roles in the new campaign, which promises to be even more important to the game this time around.

We also know what will carry over from the first Destiny into the sequel. Character designs (race, gender, and face) will all be kept for the second game, but any progression or loot will be lost - so you don't get to keep your Light Level or that sweet sword you found.

Your character will also only carry over if you've completed the Black Garden (the end of the base game's campaign), so make sure to get that far at least with any characters you're hoping to keep.

Watch the trailers

 First up, here's the very first we ever saw of the game, the 'Last Call' trailer focusing on Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6:

 Then there's the 'Rally the Troops' trailer that announced the game's release date:

And here's the second full cinematic trailer, with a major focus on Lance Reddick's Commander Zavala:

Then there's the E3 2017 trailer, A Darkest Hour, which shifts the focus firmly to the game's main antagonist, Dominus Ghaul: