Destiny 2’s The Inverted Spire Strike: video and hands-on impressions

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Destiny 2’s The Inverted Spire Strike: video and hands-on impressions

Plus highlights and screens from Bungie's reveal event

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).

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

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.

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  • So, does the Game support 4K / HDR on PS4 Pro ? That would be something I would like to know.

    • They said it supports 4k but knowing them that means 1440p with upscaling. Graphics don’t look much better but I bet it’s still 30fps. Bungie and Activision together are just big on price, low on content. They’ll probably sell us a hollow shell of a game again and then “fix” it with overpriced dlc.

  • 70 euros for their fifth Destiny DLC, Bungie knows no limits

  • Do the strike modes at least have some kind a group finder this time? The first game was a bit silly for not even having that very basic feature and instead just hoping people either had a large number of friends with higher level characters (or try your chances as a silly website).

    It made that mode a bit too annoying and locked away content from a bunch of people for no reason.

    • Yeah, for Nightfalls, Trials & Raids theres a system called ‘guided games’ that lets lone wolf players team up with clans. Was one of the few positives from the whole reveal.

    • Strikes in d1 have had matchmaking from day 1. Do you mean nightfall?

  • I’m a huge BUNGiE fan but have to admit it was an UNDERWHELMING reveal. No new classes, enemy races or usable vehicles and Crucibles now limited to just 4v4 (so long gone are those hopes we’d get those gloriously epic Halo btb’s now its current gen only). Only 4 planets (Earths Tower we’ve already seen), 1 strike (that looks eerily like a Black Garden rehash) 1 raid at launch. It was bad enough we lost Marty, Joeseph Straten and Harold Ryan shortly after D1’s launch, now Jason Jones can’t be bothered turning up to his own party so we had to endure Luke ‘ cinematics, cinematics’ Smith and our new sjw female community leader, then the final 3rd was hosted by Activision/Blizzard.

    Maybe its a cunning plan to downplay hype, so it’ll be meet expectations at launch. But from a fan standpoint I gotta side with the general consensus that it looks like a dlc (only sadly we don’t get to carry over our loot’n’lightcaps this time)

  • Hey mr. bungie and mrs activision, anything under 1080p60fps – even for vanilla ps4 – is a FAIL. With your first instalment you excuse was the ps3 and x360 but now you have no excuse (other than being lazy and/or not so good developers).

    What I’ve seen in your live stream was clearly streamed/played on a ultra high-end pc, everyone can tell that, so don’t even try to claim that it’ll look/play like that on consoles.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… oh boy, you ain’t fooling this guy!

    • Please name some fps online multiplayer games that run at 1080/60 on base ps4. I think you may have ridiculous expectations of what’s possible on that hardware.

      I would love if they went to the trouble of having a 60fps mode on pro even if they had to make it 900p.

      Mark said in an interview the cpu is the main bottle neck that’s why pro can’t even do it.

    • Battefield 1 is 1080p 60 FPS on Base PS4, so is Star Wars Battlefront, DOOM, Wolfenstein the New Order. I have no doubt the CPU is the bottleneck for Destiny but they also have a choice, every developer has. Aim for 60 and do the best you can with the visuals, or max the visuals and drop it to 30. Personally I’d rather have 60 FPS for a first person shooter.

      But well it’s thier choice, they could probably have made an option and let the player choose like some other Devs have started doing recently and I hope that becomes the standard one day.

      I’ll be skipping this, played a bit of the original game after it was out for a year and it wasn’t for me, Destiny 2 looks exactly like the original so … I still don’t understand why people in spaceships are still using pistols and assault rifles, so bland.

  • I know this is unrelated to the post, but is anyone else having trouble accessing the free theme you get for preordering crash nsane trilogy.


    Bungie, In any online game one of the most essential features is the ability to find teammates, for some unknown/unlogical reason you decided to neglect this feature for the most important endgame activities forcing players to cope with inconvenient workaround such as forum spamming , or simply having to give up playing these game modes altogether due to the high amount of inconvenience prior to starting a game instance.

    It’s very important you learn for the past mistake and include a OPTIONAL matchmaking for every activity

    – story- patrol- nightfalls- trials- raids- any other new game mode

    It’s important that it will be OPTIONAL so everyone can choose how to play and nobody will feel alienated like in Destiny 1 , not everyone has friends to play , not everyone is even willing to go through tedious workarounds to substitute missing fundamental ingame features , so its counterproductive for the game success and player satisfaction denying players the ability to find teammates directly ingame

    • I totally agree. Never experienced any of the strikes because of the missing matchmaking. I played with my brother and did not want to be PS4 friends with people I don’t know in the real world. Because of that I only got half of the experience of Destiny and never bought any DLC. If this is not fixed at D2 launch I guess it will be a pass for me.w

  • I really enjoyed destiny. I played the hell out of it and enjoyed myself but this looks more like destiny 1.5, at best. Also platforming in any first person shooter sucks. I hated it on Turok and nothing has changed my mind since then.At least itwont be a year long paid beta like the first one. I

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