The latest iteration of Bungie's flagship shooter franchise, Destiny 2, is now just a few months away from hitting our consoles. Following its official unveiling back in March and more recently, an in-depth gameplay showcase, we now have an idea of how the universe has evolved throughout its transition to a sequel.

But does Destiny 2 bring enough changes to justify a whole new title? And what does a new game mean for players invested the original game? Here's everything we know so far about Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 Story A tale of loss and recovery

Alongside Destiny 2's official unveiling this year, the accompanying reveal trailer highlighted the game's shift in tone over its predecessor. Whereas the original Destiny game was heavily criticized for its world lacking in character, its successor hopes to pull a complete turnaround by focusing heavily on an appealing and varied cast. Although the game will leverage characters and locations from the original game, the core narrative will now be a huge driving factor throughout Story missions.

It's clear that Destiny 2 plans to drive home a strong story absent from the original game.

After the events of the first game, Destiny 2 picks up moments before the Tower lands in peril. Dominus Ghaul, the leader of a brutal Cabal faction known as Red Legion, has launched an attack on the Last City, in an attempt to take over the Traveler. Believing its power fell into the wrong hands, Ghaul and his army attempt to claim Traveler and commandeer its power for themselves.

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Destiny 2's E3 2017 trailer, which provided a closer look into Dominus Ghaul and the fall of the tower.

This is where Destiny 2's first mission, "Homecoming," kicks off, with widespread chaos across The Tower. With Red Legion forces quickly converging on Earth's final outpost, Guardians must defend their homeland and get the Last City's civilians to safety. However, despite your efforts, the mission ends with Ghaul emerging victorious from the battle. Losing control of the Traveler, Guardians are left staggering without the light which defined their strength in combat.

With the Last City now in ruins, the three Guardian Vanguards, Cayde-6, Ikora Rey and Commander Zavala flee from Earth in refuge across the solar system. This sets up the basis for Destiny 2's main narrative of bringing back together the team and recovering your powers, history, and home from the Red Legion.

From the footage we've seen so far, it's clear that Destiny 2 plans to drive home a strong story absent from the original game. With more scripted events connecting gameplay and pre-rendered cinematics, Bungie is focusing on a deep cast and narrative as core parts of the package.

Full rundown of 'Homecoming,' the first story mission of Destiny 2

Destiny 2 planets Four new worlds to visit

On top of the planets established in the first game, Destiny 2 introduces four new locations for players to explore. Each of these will assumedly house their own Patrols, with additional activities and side quests outside of the main missions.

The largest of these, "The European Deadzone," is an expansion of earth and supposedly twice the size of Destiny's previously biggest area. The European Deadzone will likely house a large chunk of Destiny 2's content and play a key role in the narrative which unfolds. A notable characteristic of the district is a massive shard of the Traveler which fell onto its surface. Players will search for this shard to restore their light powers lost during the fall of the Tower.

Saturn's largest moon, "Titan," will also make an appearance in Destiny 2, as the place where Titan Vanguard Commander Zavala went into hiding after the Tower's collapse. Comprised mostly of oceans, the moon features numerous Golden Age and Red Legion structures secured above the water.

"Io" is a sulphuric moon of Jupiter, housing bright scenery intertwined with ancient architecture. This scared location has strong ties to the light, being the last place touched by the Traveler before the collapse. This is where Warlock Vanguard, Ikora, flees in search of answers surrounding the Traveler.

The fourth new location in Destiny 2 is the icy centaur planetoid of "Nessus," which was colonized by the Vex. After being transformed into a machine world, the surface is a unique hybrid of vibrant vegetation and machine constructs. This is the planet where Cayde-6 ends up being trapped after storming his way into the planet once the Vanguards dispersed.

With all these new locations, small tweaks are also being made to interplanetary travel between Destiny's play spaces. While players previously had to exit to orbit to travel to a new location, this additional step has been removed in Destiny 2 to cut down on unnecessary loading time.

Destiny 2 Abilities New skills to harness

With a new adventure comes new items and powers to discover. Destiny 2 will bring back the three iconic classes of the original game – Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters, each with their own new subclasses.

  • Sentinel is the new Void-based Titan subclass, which allows players to summon a durable glowing shield. It's hard not to draw comparisons to Captain America here, with the ability to repel incoming fire, knock down enemies and even throw the shield.
  • Dawnblade is the new Solar subclass, which introduces a new ranged attack for Warlocks. When using its ultimate ability, you'll be able to fly through the air and rain fiery swords at enemies.
  • Arcstriker is the new subclass for Hunters, with similar offerings to the existing Bladedancer. Sporting a crackling lightning staff, bearers can swiftly take down foes with close quarters combat.

Although we're yet to see an official confirmation from Bungie, we can assume Destiny 2 will bring back a majority of (if not all) existing subclasses from the first game.

Hands-on with Destiny 2's new Strike and Countdown multiplayer modes

Destiny 2 tweaks Loot and inventories are getting some changes

Weapons and gear won't be transferable between Destiny and Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 will also debut a new loadout system, which changes the way weapons are handled within the player inventory. Instead of the distinction of primary, special, and heavy weapons, the three weapons slots will now be categorized weapon types and elements.

All firearms will now be sorted by Kinetic, Energy and Power classes, although the implication of this change will vary depending on your play style. Kinetic and Energy weapons will house most the primary and special weapons from the first game and will be divided by their attached abilities. This means standard weapons will fall into the Kinetic slot, while elemental variants find their place in the Energy slot. Power weapons aren't hugely different from the old Heavy slot but will hold the likes of sniper rifles, grenade launchers, and shotguns.

As previously reported, weapons and gear won't be transferable between Destiny and Destiny 2. Although your character's likeness can be imported from the original game, all collected loot will be lost during the transition. However, having been hidden behind a helmet for the entirety of the first game, it's safe to assume many players aren't too attached to their Guardian's appearance.

Destiny 2 multiplayer Get together with new social features

With multiplayer ingrained into all aspects of Destiny 2's modes, Bungie is also rolling out some new community-driven features. These will create new ways for players to organize play sessions with their friends, while also bringing new players together to complete cooperative experiences.

The concept of clans is familiar to all Destiny players, but with Destiny 2, support for clan management is being implemented in-game. The new clan system allows for players to create, arrange and level up their clans, with shared rewards and benefits for those successful as a group.

In the original game, the Destiny community also heavily relied on external sites and services to find other players to match with. Dedicated "Looking-for-Group" (LFG) services were established for this need, but an awkward barrier still remained between these services and the game itself. The new "Guided Games" feature hopes to reduce the need for these services, by allowing solo players to matchmake with clans to complete activities. Not only does this get around Destiny's previous issues surrounding matchmaking – but it also provides a closer connection between players not previously possible in the original Destiny.

Destiny 2 beta and release How to get hands-on

Destiny 2 is currently set to release on September 6, 2017, across Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While the game originally announced to release on September 8, a somewhat expected move by Activision bumped the release date forward by two days.

Destiny 2 is set to release on September 6 for console and October 24 for PC.

Although not made entire clear in previous advertising, it has since been announced Destiny 2's PC release will be delayed from the console versions. Those on PC will wait almost an additional two months before the expected release via on October 24, 2017.

A range of different tiers will be offered when purchasing Destiny 2, including additional bonuses and goodies in certain editions. Here's a breakdown of the versions available and the included contents.

  • The Physical Standard Edition of Destiny 2 is most common and stocked by a majority of video game retailers. With this, you'll be getting the base game, alongside any pre-order benefits.
  • Alternatively, the Digital Standard Edition provides access to the base game, although in the form of digital license locked to your account.
  • Destiny 2's Limited Edition is comprised of a physical version of the game, an expansion pass code, limited edition SteelBook and Cabal-themed Collector's box (with collectible goodies). You'll also be getting codes for a Legendary Sword, Legendary Player Emote, and Cabal-themed in-game emblem. This is exclusive to GameStop in the United States.
  • The Digital Deluxe Edition of Destiny 2 bundles together the digital base game, season pass and some exclusive bonus content. These items include a Legendary Sword, Legendary Player Emote, and Cabal-themed emblem.
  • For dedicated Destiny 2 fans, the Collector's Edition is a must-buy package full of physical collectible items. Alongside all the items from the Limited Edition, you'll get a "Frontier Bag" – a backpack/messenger bag and blanket styled to fit within the Destiny universe.

As expected, a beta testing period will also be run prior to Destiny 2's release for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Early access is being provided as a pre-order bonus, before an open beta only a few days later.

Following an exclusivity deal with Sony, preorder access, and a delayed PC release, the dates for the test can get a little complex. Here's a breakdown of all the key dates for Destiny 2's beta across all platforms:

  • July 18 — PS4 beta preorder access commences.
  • July 19 — Xbox One beta preorder access commences.
  • July 21 — PS4 and Xbox One open beta commences.
  • July 23 — Beta ends for all players on both platforms.
  • Late August — Beta commences for PC.

While exact dates are yet to be provided for the PC beta, we're likely to hear in the coming months.

Read more: Destiny 2 beta: Release dates, preorders, and everything else you need to know

The journey ahead

Even with Destiny 2's launch approaching fast, we still have a lot to learn about the game going forward. Both E3 and Gamescom on the horizon, so we're sure to get new trailers and information on the game's progress. Are you planning to pick up Destiny 2? If so, which platform and edition? Make sure to let us know in the comments section.

Updated June 27 2017: We've updated this article with all the news from E3 2017, including the new story trailer, PC release date and beta information.

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