Right from the off, it's clear that Destiny 2 is about places first, and the experiences that happen in them branch off from there. I recently went hands-on with Destiny 2 and traversed every inch of the European Dead Zone on Earth. No, please stop removing your armour, Guardian. Devrim hands us one of the new Adventures - a multi-stage quest named the Frame Job which seems to turn around hacking Fallen comms and, we presume, framing one of their leaders via a message "in Fallen speak". This huge slice of Earth is genuinely spectacular. Prevailing over the additional challenges rewards players with better loot in comparison to regular public events.
Everything is set up now so you can pretty much do all the activities in a destination without having to jump into your spaceship to get things going. The kind of things that make Guardians reject every other game on earth for the chance of sweet, sweet loot.
For those that might not be familiar, the European Dead Zone is one of the new patrol areas for Destiny 2. In the hours I spent playing a almost complete build of the game last week, I returned to the Farm no more than two or three times total; the open worlds, full of sorcerers to be felled and enchanted forests to pillage, is where you'll want to spend your time in Destiny 2. Making a ideal respite from traditional story or public events, Adventures are never just a case of go to X and shoot Y. Sure shooting is involved, we are playing Destiny after all, but one of my more memorable EDZ Adventures meant transmatting a slew of explosive traps to a Cabal landing site and laying in wait from a vantage point before taking in the fireworks as the shielded brutes triggered Destiny 2's brand new explosive red barrels. Yep, things are far more fire and brimstone this time around.
There's a finite supply of Adventures but plenty of these bite-sized mini stories are scattered across the EDZ and each one is a ideal little slice of action with some great writing and excellent chat in your ear as you keep your trigger finger amused. These Lost Sectors will most certainly house unique environments in the world, tough enemies, and rewards that can help bolster both your character stats and reputation within the zone. Speaking of "excellent chat", there's someone you really need to meet. If he's the new norm when it comes to characters, Kay's the flawless example of Bungie really taking some time to concentrate on who we'll be spending a lot of quality time with on top of your usual Vanguard crew.
As expected, he's a sniper, and you'll find him in the upper floors of an abandoned church. "You can see, like, if I do all the things for Devrim on the EDZ, then I can look like that". EDZ tokens can be found in loot chests everywhere as well as public events and general doo-goodery against the Fallen and co. There are so many activities to do, you could spend a considerable amount of time in each one seeing everything there is to discover. If that wasn't enough, I've heard he makes a mean cup of tea.
We'll have a lot more Destiny 2 coverage ahead of launch. If you're a fan of Destiny already, you probably ordered your copy months ago, but let me just reassure you that I think you made a sound purchase. This little change makes public events a lot more involved than they previously were. To me they appeared to be nothing more than a short path with a semi-difficult enemy and loot chest at the end. Now you can trigger heroic events by meeting certain hidden requirements during the encounter, which will change the objective and improve the rewards. Unlike the barren, dry lands of Russian Federation, the EDZ is flourishing with life.
Yaaay, no more quests just to get to the area of the map you want to go to. The Destination map simply means you can see the full EDZ and a number of Landing Zones for fast travel across the world. The Shards, too, can be handed in to Devrim for reputation, though it's unclear how many times you'll ultimately be able to do so. And you can bring them into the vendor there - and the vendors have awesome gear. Having Flashpoints move to a new location every week certainly keeps things fresh, but unless the public events on each planet also continue to evolve, they may begin to feel tiresome after the second or third go-around.
Bungie has been making quality of life changes to Destiny for some time, but Destiny 2 feels like the spot where they've got it all put together in the most coherent way possible. Yup, you'll get to run over and blow up all sorts of alien life in Destiny 2. Like in the best open-world games, this area provides a vast array of distractions - far more than in the previous Destiny. If Bungie continually updates all of the worlds with new Adventures, public events, and Lost Sectors, the gameplay should remain fresh for the foreseeable future. Overall though it's definitely focusing on keeping you in the game and spending less time managing inventory or figuring out what to do with your time next. Once you've eventually recovered the 11 Forgotten Journals, Devrim Key will congratulate you over radio, and grant you an EDZ Token. And of course they're positioned in absurd places like on top of rock columns and hard to reach cliffs. Like you might duke it out with a giant robot who puts up a shield you have to dissolve by standing in a certain area while defending yourself from its grunts. And the style is so ideal for a game where you've gone from riches to rags. This is an environment without the sci-fi lines and neat order of somewhere like the Tower. Devrim has taken sanctuary in a church that looks an bad lot like the overgrown temple in the Crucible map Widow's Court, from the original Destiny. Throw in the upgraded visuals and a sweeping soundtrack and Destiny has never felt this alive. For one thing, the area is really very large.