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.
After months as an open secret, Destiny 2 was officially announced in early 2017, and it's now available for PS4 and Xbox One users. But what about PC gamers?
What you need to know:
- Release date: 6 September (PS4 & Xbox One) / 24 October (PC)
- Publisher: Activision Blizzard
- Developer: Bungie
- Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When is the Destiny 2 PC release date?
Despite a 6 September 2017 console release date, those who want to play Destiny 2 on PC have to wait a little longer, until 24 October 2017. Specifically, you'll have to wait until 18:00 BST (10:00 PDT and 13:00 EDT) on the day for the Battle.net servers to go live.
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.
There will be some limits though - PC players won't be able to use some game capture programs and Discord overlays according to a Bungie FAQ, with specific restrictions on using capture software for exclusive fullscreen capture - though hardware capture is supported.
Destiny 2 Platforms
It's available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (soon) - a welcome surprise, since the first game was console only. We're also expecting support for both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X once that launches in November.
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 exclusive benefits 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:
Where to buy Destiny 2
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 an exclusive in-game Ghost design), 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.
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.
Gamers who pre-ordered Destiny 2 ahead of its release will get access to an exclusive exotic trace rifle, the Coldheart, at launch. Others will have to wait until 5th December 2017 to unlock it.
These are the system requirements announced for Destiny 2:
- Intel - Core i3-3250
- AMD - FX-4350
- Nvidia - GeForce GTX 660 2GB
- AMD - Radeon HD 7850 2GB
- Intel - Core i5-2400
- AMD - Ryzen R5 1600X
- Nvidia - GeForce GTX 970 4GB
- AMD - Radeon R9 390 4GB
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, and after spending some time blasting Cabal in the beta and hands-on with the PC version at Gamescom, 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.
There's also no major difference between the console and PC versions, beyond the fact that PC players can push the graphics a lot harder - and having played it on PC in 4K, there's a good argument for waiting if you have a rig that can handle it. Destiny always had phenomenal art direction, but on PC the textures and environmental effects are stunning, not to mention the lighting - from a technical perspective, it's never looked better.
Naturally, PC players also get access to the mouse-and-keyboard control scheme, which felt like it made the PvE content easier to us - it was certainly much simpler to pull off headshots - so PC players may find that they progress faster, though with no cross-platform multiplayer it shouldn't be a problem from a game balance perspective.
Beyond that, things are a little more different. 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 (for the main weapon slots) and a grenade launcher (for the power weapon slot).
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.
Earth may be returning, but we'll be seeing a different side of it in the European Dead Zone, a region that was planned for, and eventually cut from, the first game.
Footage of the new area leaked online, but Bungie was quick to respond by uploading its own official unveiling, with clips from a few missions - including a very plummy British accent from new character Devrim Kay.
From what we've had the chance to play so far, it's clear that there's a major emphasis on cinematic set pieces. The opening mission, Homecoming, features dramatic cutscenes and splits its times between a fight across the Tower and on board a Cabal spaceship, culminating in a confrontation with Dominus Ghaul.
Even more impressive is the beta's Strike, The Inverted Spire, which involves a trip down through a giant drill on the surface of Nessus. One section sees players dodging enormous drill-bits as they fight through enemies, the environment itself as much a threat as any opponent - this feels like one of the few changes that is a serious step up from the first game.
There are new enemies to fight too. So far we've only seen new opponents from the Cabal's Red Legion, including the sword-wielding Gladiators, fire-themed Incinerators, and the vaguely canine Warbeasts, but we expect the full game to feature new enemy types from other factions too.
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.
We also 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.
Naturally, the destruction of the Tower means big changes to Destiny 2's social space, so we're getting a brand new one: The Farm.
Bungie has given us a tour of the new area, showing off some of the central amenities (a Cryptarch, a Postmaster), a fully functioning football/soccer pitch to make the most of any down time, and hinting that the space will change and evolve across the game, with more characters moving in.
The video doesn't show it off much, but Bungie also revealed there'll be an expanded selection of player flair to show off in the social hub, but we don't know exactly what to expect from that yet.
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 reached level 20, and the data was imported on August 1 2017 - so it's too late now to level up if you didn't quite make it. Data will be tied to your PSN or Xbox Live account, so you can't retain a character if you want to jump to a different platform
Bungie has also confirmed that it will recognise dedicated fans of the series with at least seven emblems, four of which are already impossible to get if you didn't play the game in its first two years on the market. Players who originally owned the game on PS3 or Xbox 360 will need to carry out an Account Import to access the memorial emblems.
The emblems are:
- Laurel Triumphant: You completed a Moment of Triumph during Destiny’s first year.
- Laurea Prima II: You completed all 10 Moments of Triumph during Destiny’s first year.
- Slayer of Oryx: You owned The Taken King and completed a Moment of Triumph during Destiny’s second year.
- Heard the Call: You owned The Taken King and completed all 8 Moments of Triumph during Destiny’s second year.
- Young Wolf: You owned Rise of Iron and reached Rank 2 in the Age of Triumph record book.
- Saladin’s Pride: You owned Rise of Iron and reached Rank 7 in the Age of Triumph record book.
- Lore Scholar: Your achieved a Grimoire score of over 5,000 in Destiny 1.
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: