Destiny 2: Strike Gameplay, New Screens, Hands-on Impressions

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Destiny 2: Strike Gameplay, New Screens, Hands-on Impressions

Destiny 2 Strike gameplay footage, new screenshots, and an on-site report from yesterday's gameplay reveal event in Los Angeles.

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.

Destiny 2 Event: WarlockDestiny 2 Event: HunterDestiny 2 Event: Titan

Photos from the Destiny 2 Gameplay Premiere

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).

Destiny 2 Environment Art

Destiny 2 Environment ArtDestiny 2 Environment Art

Destiny 2 Environment Art

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.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2Destiny 2

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.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2Destiny 2

Bonus: If you’d like to hear Zac and me talk about our initial impressions of Destiny 2, there’s a place you can do that! That place is right here:

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. If you have any questions, toss ’em in the comments and I’ll answer whichever ones I can!

Comments are closed.


  • Thanks for the update! I’m excited for the game.

    I believe during the stream they said all PVP was 4v4 regardless of game type.

  • I wish it had splitscreen. If not, no thanks. It’d be great to join up with my brothers locally online. Borderlands does it…

    • CrusaderForever

      Wow, this sounds so amazing! We really do need Split-Screen COOP in Destiny 2. I would buy D2 D1!!!

    • Destiny is an online only game and outside of both being FPS RPGs they are not the same game. Creating a splitscreen mode makes the console work harder, up to 4 times harder if the game supports 4 player split screen. Borderlands uses cel shaded art which is less intensive visually to produce making it easier to run local coop. If you happened to come across the interviews after the reveal, the devs explain why D2 is locked at 30 fps and not 60 but still able to hit 4k. Also with Activision as a publisher they are going to lean towards making tye best game possible that everybody has to buy in order to enjoy it themselves, nature of the business kid.

    • Yeah…always thought split-screen was much needed in Destiny.

  • The big reveal all felt very similar to the first game, nothing amazing. And from what I hear, it’s still only 30fps, which is mind boggling at this point, so I gotta pass.

  • Looks like a cool new DLC for Destiny one.

  • How much will this expansion cost?

    Do you need the base game to play it or is it a standalone experience?

  • I was really hyped for this game since I enjoyed the first year of D1, but when I heard about the 4vs4 on all PvP modes I lost all my interest, I hated the 3vs3 mode in D1 and 4vs4 is practically the same (And now all modes will be the same)… And I was hoping for 8vs8 or more… sigh…

  • Excellent!!!! Can’t wait….✌️

  • Looks pretty much like D1 with a few changes. If the leveling up system is about the same then I will definitely pass. The raids in the one that was shown still had the dumb jumping from one platform to the next and probably still have the stupid puzzles

  • 1. What about the economic system and materials?
    2. How does character leveling work?
    3. Players ask for the moon, ship battles or gun on the sparrow, any new vehicles or items like that added?
    4. Is there a class perk codex system and what’s in it?
    5. Vault space, mine got blown up?
    6. How are weapons upgraded? Are there exotics.
    7. Iron Banner? 4v4?

    Sure i’m hyped but the reveal was 99% Hype, other than more attack based and less defense perks what did we learn, yeah its pretty and got new stuff like gear, abilities and enemys but very little information. If i enjoy playing D1 then I’ll enjoy D2, or there will be no reason for D3. I saw the wow, wheres the specifics. Don’t get me wrong, i appreciate what you brought back butttheres a lot left out. I just wish Bungie or those who were there would list whats in and whats out unless reveal has a completely different meaning.

  • Game looks as boring as Destiny 1. It just feels generic and dull.

  • Played the hell outta Destiny and still play from time to time but the only exciting thing so far is the tower being attacked and you actually there when it happens (me and ma brother we once talked about how they could do a DLC like this ha),also the fact that bungie learned and this one seems to be much more story-focused and well made but thats that.

    I’m no graphics whor* but the graphics are really disappointing…especially for devs who always gave excuses of Destiny being on past gen too.You can barely see the difference from Destiny 1.

    I wanna know if the things that angered me are gone and if the things that made it fun are still there…so far got few answers.

    For example…I really wanna know about vault space which is still a shame to this day.

    And that 4v4,damn what a shame…like some said I was expecting more not less.

    I like Destiny a lot but it never passed through ma mind the idea of buying it on launch or soon…bungie ain’t making it easier,will wait for a version with the DLCs.

  • Nice pics though…and Xur better be on Destiny 2 lol.

  • Which slot do swords fall into? Are they power weapons as well?

  • Can’t wait!!! :] :] :]!!!!

  • prettyoveryonder

    It definitely looks like fun, but the only new enemy I heard of was a war beast. New enemies are a must to breath more life into destiny. Not revamped enemies or throwing new skins or gadgets on the same old cabal, vex, and fallen. New locations are great, but until I read or hear more about something new to shoot at, I definitely won’t be pre-ordering. D2 may just be a glorified DLC, but I certainly hope Bungie proves me wrong. I truly want this to be a great game, but I just can’t shake my doubts about it.

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