LOS ANGELES – After more than a year of teasing, Lot 2 finally got a gameplay reveal on Thursday. In news that probably won’t shock anyone, the online shooter sequel certainly looks a lot like the original Destinyonly applied with serious polish.
The original game’s three different classes of Titan, Hunter, and Warlock return with the kind of start-over-turn sequel that explains why returning Destiny players would start over: their Citadel home has been overtaken. In the game’s opening mission, which Bungie revealed during the event, players jump in with high-level weapons and powers, only to die at the hands of Red Legion boss Dominus Gall.
“In one fell swoop, [players] lose their powers, their homes and perhaps saddest of all, their vaults,” game director Luke Smith told the Los Angeles audience.
On their journey to replenish their treasury and build up powers and skills, players can take advantage of two new weapon perks: the “Energy Lock” and the “Kinetic Lock”. Each weapon has the ability to insert specific items to add perks, which can work simultaneously with Destiny‘s existing “weapon XP level-up” system.
Three new classes of the game’s Guardians have been teased, and each has a new superpower. The “Dawnblade” can jump and shoot in the air Legend of Zelda-style sword shoots at enemies (or strike the sword à la . into the ground Link’s Adventure). In the Sentinel class, Titan characters can wield and throw a powerful shield, a la Captain America, while the Arcstrider class lets players generate and swing a gigantic mystical staff in a very acrobatic way.
Battles will spread across the universe on four new planets to start: Earth, Titan, Io and Nessus. Bungie describes the game’s Earth zone, also known as the European Dead Zone (or EDZ), as “the largest place we’ve ever built by a factor of two.” These worlds, as revealed, contain a seemingly diverse array of locations, including a dilapidated, Weapons of War-style city with a ruined church tower and mystical, Lord of the Rings– stylized forests bathed in blue and green light.
Jumping from world to world no longer requires you to “go into orbit,” Bungie confirms, though it remains to be seen how much faster this will feel in action. That speed boost is just one benefit players can expect from a newly built 3D engine built with the current generation of systems in mind, as opposed to Lot 1‘s ties to the Xbox 360 era of hardware. The gameplay footage revealed is nothing short of stunning, with full 3D fire and explosion effects, particle effects surrounding countless types of bullet and shell fire, and, perhaps most impressively, a completely re-boiled shadow and light system with material-based lighting and many more realistic shadow maps.
The revealed images unfortunately only ran at 30 FPS. The presentation did not clarify how exactly Lot 2The PC version will expand on the performance level of the current-gen console, nor will PlayStation 4 Pro owners expect specific benefits such as a higher frame rate or resolution. Activision has confirmed that the PC version of the game will be sold exclusively on Blizzard’s app (which the company called Battle.net, although that app was recently renamed “Blizzard”), as opposed to Steam or other platforms.
More, bigger baddies filled the “everyone dies” gameplay revealed, including a high-level maddened creature with the welcoming name in capital letters “BRANN THE UNBENT BLADE”. However, each enemy died too quickly to determine if enemy AI has been modified or refreshed in any way.
A new social system known as “guided games” is designed to push “solo players” into larger group fights. Players can join a “clan” with full support for clan member matchmaking, custom banners, and clan-specific loot. Lone wolves can still play solo, but are expected to connect to existing clans and fill in their missing player spots through this “guided games” interface, which allows players to search descriptions to find an ideal, temporary match. (In short, if you have a Lot 2 experience with minimal forced online interaction, you’re probably out of luck.) This, according to Smith, was created because “50 percent” of Lot 1 players have never completed any of that game’s high-level multiplayer “raid” challenges.
Ars Technica will go hands-on with the game on both console and PC later today. We will report with impressions when the embargo of our session is lifted.