After weeks of relative silence about what’s in store for the future of Destiny 2, Bungie opened the floodgates today announcing the titles for the game’s next three expansions, its plans for cross-generational play, and a whole lot more.
Players were expecting to see what’s ahead in Season of Arrivals, which is launching today, as well as maybe get some hint of what’s happening this fall in Destiny 2's annual expansion. Instead, Bungie revealed the game’s three upcoming annual expansions, as well as its commitment to continue building on Destiny 2. The game is coming to next-gen platforms and will be supported for years to come. In other words, don’t expect Destiny 3 anytime soon.
Here’s a rundown of everything Bungie shared:
Currently live in the game, Season of Arrivals starts today and will let players fight the big black pyramids invading the solar system in a new public event activity. The mysterious ships have been teased in the game for years, and now players will finally get to see them first-hand and up close. The season will also include a new exotic quest, and probably more, though Bungie hasn’t revealed a full season roadmap yet.
The new season also includes a brand-new dungeon—Destiny 2-speak for something bigger than a strike mission but smaller than a raid—where players will get to learn more about “the Darkness,” Destiny 2-speak for the Dark Side. The dungeon looks mind-bendy and full of puzzles, like a cross between Tron and The Cell.
Arriving September 22, Beyond Light will let players explore Europa, the icy moon orbiting Jupiter where the game’s Exo race are supposed to have originated from. Based on what Bungie showed it seems like Beyond Light will revolve around trying to fight Eramis, a Fallen Kell who’s attempting to amass an army of her own on Europa. The expansion will have its own raid, as well as introduce a new subclass elemental power called Stasis.
The Cosmodrome from the first Destiny is set to return as a patrol area as well, along with strike missions from that game.
In a surprising twist, Bungie also announced the names of Destiny 2's 2021 and 2022 expansions, called The Witch Queen and Lightfall respectively. While we didn’t get a proper look at them, it was Bungie’s way of saying that it’s committed to building on Destiny 2 for years to come, rather than letting it peter out while the company pivots to another sequel.
Bungie confirmed that players will be able to upgrade to playing Destiny 2 on PS5 and Xbox One “at no extra charge.” Whatever season passes or expansions players buy will follow them when they come to the next-gen consoles. In addition, the game will support “inter-generational cross-play.” That means people on PS4 and PS5 will be able to play together, as well as people on Xbox One with people on Xbox Series X. True cross-play between Xbox and PlayStation is still in the works.
Bungie didn’t confirm when Destiny 2 will launch on Xbox Series X and PS5, but said when it does it will run at 60fps in 4k.
Bungie plans to rotate Destiny 2 content in and out of its “vault” to help sustain the game’s continued growth.
The studio said every time a new expansion arrives it will be cycling out some of the game’s current content and locations while bringing back in “classic” Destiny stuff. For Beyond Light, that means the return of the Cosmodrome. Old raids will also return, starting with the beloved Vault of Glass, the first Destiny raid ever, sometime in year four.
Update—06/09/2020 1:40 p.m. ET: Bungie goes into much more detail about how this vault system will work over on its website and it’s a much more drastic streamlining of the game than originally hinted at during the livestream.
“The primary D2 content leaving the game and going into the DCV this fall are the destinations — Mars, Io, Titan, Mercury and Leviathan — and their supported activities,” wrote Bungie.
That means only the following destinations will be in the game starting this fall:
- Europa (new)
- Cosmodrome (unvaulted)
- Tangled Shore
- Dreaming City
- European Dead Zone
It’s not clear how fast locations will be cycled back through to keep things fresh, but it’s hard not to see this as Bungie drastically shrinking the game. “This approach allows us respond to player feedback more rapidly, enable more innovation, and will keep Destiny 2 and your characters thriving for years to come,” the studio wrote.
And that’s everything. It’s a lot. It doesn’t answer some of the deeper philosophical questions over how the game’s progression and loot grind are structured, including player frustrations over the upcoming sunsetting of weapons in year four, but for the first time in a long time it looks like Bungie has a real plan for the ongoing story and sustainability of Destiny 2 over the long term.
I’m not sure what it says about the current state of the game that what I’m most excited about is getting to play a raid that originally debuted six years ago, but I’m glad we’re finally seeing glimpses of what looks like a Destiny experience that’s more unified across both games.