Destiny 2 Features

To celebrate the launch of Destiny 2's latest and largest expansion, Forsaken, GamesPlanet is not only discounting the price of its various editions of the game on PC with the use of a code but is also offering up three copies of the game's Legendary Collection to some of you folks.

FeatureFace to face with the President of Virtual Reality

"I am championing the rights of the people."

In a modernist hotel lobby on the outskirts of Barcelona I sit face to face with the President. He's pretty casual as far as presidents go, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, wearing sunglasses even though we're inside. He's got a tattoo up the underside of his forearm which reads 'Neverdie'. It's his alias, but more of a name to him now than Jon Jacobs ever will be. He is President of Virtual Reality. It has nothing to do with Oculus Rift or VR goggles, and it's not some silly title in a game. President of Virtual Reality means president of all virtual realities - World of Warcraft, Eve Online, Destiny, the lot.

Bungie says Destiny 2 expansion Forsaken really does kill Cayde for good

Bungie has killed Cayde-6, Destiny's wise-cracking chief Hunter character. It's an emotional moment for fans of the game. Cayde, voiced by Nathan Fillion, has been with Destiny players since the first game came out in September 2014. Now, he's dead, as revealed by a new story trailer released for upcoming expansion Forsaken.

Why kill Cayde? That was my first question as I sat down to interview game director Christopher Barrett and project lead Scott Taylor at E3 this week. That and, is Cayde actually dead, as in good and proper dead?

It turns out Cayde really is dead, good and proper. That's what Barrett and Taylor told me, anyway, and they sounded serious. It's all a part of Bungie's drive to give Destiny 2 a darker tone after the series veered too far into jokey one-liner territory. And who's Destiny's jokey one-liner extraordinaire? Poor old Cayde.

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Warmind, Destiny 2's second and latest expansion, offers a short but sweet helping of new story which will last you around three hours. The campaign is spaced across five missions where you fight our old friends the Hive, meet characters previously teased in obscure lore files, and which moves the overall Destiny story along... if only by an inch.

Jelly DealsGet Destiny 2 on PC for £10 / $12 with Humble Monthly

With more games added at the end of the month.

Humble Bundle - a site best known for its, well, bundles - has, for quite a while now, offered a monthly subscription plan appropriately titled the Humble Monthly. If you've not heard of this one by now, all you really need to know is that for £10 / $12 a month, you'll be getting a stack of PC games delivered to you by email.

Jelly DealsJelly Deals: A very Destiny Christmas gift guide

There is an alarming amount of Destiny merch.

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

FeatureThe year in apocalypse

Looking back on 2017's dystopias and end-of-the-world tales.

Among Rain World's best tricks is that it doesn't end with you. Fall afoul of the reptiles who coil and flop through its moulting, fungal catacombs and you'll be dragged to a crevice and swiftly guzzled. The restart prompt appears, but you're under no pressure to hit the button, and really, what's your hurry? Death is an opportunity to enjoy Joar Jakobsson's chiselled 16-bit aesthetic and the game's AI ecosystem at leisure, freed from the rat-race of its core mechanics.

Digital FoundryXbox One X's 4K Destiny 2 upgrade analysed

How does it stack up against PS4 Pro and the fully-maxed PC version?

Destiny 2's Xbox One X upgrade hands in everything you'd expect from a talented studio working with a very powerful piece of hardware, so in many respects, there are no real surprises here. Bungie's long-awaited upgrade essentially takes the existing Xbox One and PlayStation 4 visual feature set and upgrades it beautifully to ultra HD resolution - nothing more, nothing less. In terms of gameplay, the leap to 4K is delivered without any compromises to the established Destiny 2 experience, meaning that the game feels just as solid to play as all of the other console releases available.

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Digital FoundryTech Interview: Destiny 2 and Bungie's return to PC gaming

How Bungie's engine evolved for the sequel, and why the game runs so well on PC.

We first went hands-on with the PC version of Destiny 2 at E3 earlier this year, and it was immediately apparent that this wasn't just a mere port or conversion, but instead a thoughtful, considered approach to the platform with all of the unique features and opportunities it represents. Back then, we mentioned to Bungie that we'd really like to go deeper on the game, the technology added to the firm's multiplatform engine, as well as learning more about the approach to bringing the game to PC. Four months later, Bungie's senior technical artist Nate Hawbaker has flown over from Seattle, joining us in the Digital Foundry office.

Having pumped hundreds of hours into Destiny 1 and 2 on console, giving the PC version a shot was an initially bewildering experience. After three years using a rumbling controller to shoot aliens at 30 frames a second, switching to WASD and a click of a mouse button initially felt like playing with one hand tied behind my back. But as I got used to the mouse and keyboard control scheme, Destiny 2's excellent PC version began to shine - and taught me a few things about the console version I took for granted.

Destiny 2 is out now, and as established by a successful beta test, this is an exceptionally streamlined version of the game. Ticking off virtually every box an enthusiast PC gamer could want from a multi-platform release, the beauty of Destiny 2 on PC is the sheer range of options open to the player. If you want a console-style experience, you can have it - but the point is that PC hardware has the potential to offer so much more. Beyond the expected graphical improvements, field of view adjustments, arbitrary resolution functionality and ultra-wide monitor support, Destiny 2 scales beautifully across high-end kit, making it a great match for high frequency displays. For its return to the PC space, Bungie is clearly on a mission.

Destiny 2's launch week uproar shows why developers need to talk about money

It's hardly surprising that the Destiny community got so angry about Destiny 2's microtransaction system, and the new consumable cosmetics that comes with it. And it's hardly surprising that the fury spread beyond the bounds of the Destiny subreddit. Outrage over corporate greed is a games industry play that gets new actors every week.

Nuance is always lost when this happens. A thunderhead of consumer emotion has to break against something before useful conclusions can be drawn. Developers seem to understand this, even though the process can't be pleasant; they keep waiting until the last minute to unveil their microtransaction systems, after all. They have to know by now what the consequences will be - they must have the spreadsheets that say it'll all be okay in the end.

Destiny 2's first furore has abated now, replaced by less transferable concerns about maintenance times and Crucible matchmaking. It has faded because there has been time for the relatively benign nature of paid-for Bright Engrams and consumable gear shaders to emerge, and for these systems to become understood as part of a broadly positive restructuring of Destiny's endgame grind. That understanding looks something like this: you no longer need to earn experience with a given gun or piece of armour equipped to unlock its potential. The drops you receive have set bonuses, so you don't need to grind to find a version with the best upgrades. Crafting materials have been simplified into reputation-boosting consumables with singular, obvious, rewarding applications.

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I played a bit of Destiny 2 last night, and wow, there's the Tower up in smoke. First thing, seconds into the game, and the whole place has been trashed, while gods - or humans who have ascended to some place near gods - are flung in every direction as space invaders move in. The Tower's not a social area anymore, a downtime spot safe from the carnage. It's a battleground now, crumpled and set aflame, filled with what look like bulky 40K Space Marine baddies who vent noxious fumes out of their necks when you pop their heads off.

FeatureDestiny 2: Bungie's technology evolves - but is it enough?

Digital Foundry's complete tech analysis, plus full platform comparisons.

Destiny 2 is at last in our hands. It's been three years since the original launched, and in that time, developer Bungie has put some serious work into its sequel to create a richer, more beautiful world to explore. It's a game that addresses many of the original's shortcomings - adding a stronger narrative backbone, while improving what already shined in its gameplay and visuals. Evolving from the solid foundation of the first Destiny, does this sequel's revised tech truly satisfy in terms of graphical upgrades? Or is it more the case that the more profound changes have actually happened behind the scenes with Bungie's content creation framework?

There's a wonderful moment in Destiny 2, and it happens before the game's even started. A series of loading screens commemorate some of your finest achievements in the first game, collating beautiful ink work that acts as a tribute to you, the player. It's an artful reminder of the magic the original Destiny was able to weave, as well as a personal invitation to reminisce about the delirious fortnight my own band of brothers spent trying and repeatedly failing to smash through the Vault of Glass before Atheon was finally brought to his knees.

Digital FoundryWhat does it take to run Destiny 2 at 1080p60?

Digital Foundry on how budget PC hardware can deliver a superb experience.

The Destiny 2 beta finally arrived on PC this week, delivering a vast upgrade in terms of customisation over the console builds. Adjustable quality settings, unlocked frame-rate and field of view along with HDR support take pride of place in a package that seemingly does everything it can to capture the heart of the PC gaming enthusiast. It also gives us some idea of just how optimal the core code is, how well it scales across different hardware - and perhaps provides some insight into whether the upclocked CPUs in PS4 Pro and Xbox One X might be able to handle 60fps gameplay.

Bungie set out to achieve cross-platform parity with the first Destiny three years ago and to a great extent, it fully achieved that: 1080p on both systems, an identical visual feature set and very similar performance levels. The question is, can it repeat the same trick on a technologically more challenging sequel? The Destiny 2 beta content released this week suggests that it can, and it may provide some hints on what to expect from an Xbox One X port.

Six perspectives on the Destiny 2 beta

FeatureSix perspectives on the Destiny 2 beta

Hardcore, lapsed, casual, sceptic, latecomer and noob.

The Destiny 2 beta is here to pretend to test netcode and gather feedback while actually delivering a marketing hard sell for Bungie's sci-fi shooter sequel into millions of homes. As such, it has quite a big and multifaceted job to do. Destiny gripped a very large community of hardcore players like few games do, but it turned just as many away with its charmless air, its garbled storytelling and its unrepentant grind. Activision and Bungie have many different constituencies to win over with this beta, from the nitpicking superfans, through the players that drifted away, to the players that bounced off it or never tried it in the first place.

We've got representatives of pretty much every one of these constituencies on the EG team, so we thought we'd round up all of their thoughts on the beta to see how it's doing. The results, as you'll see, are pretty mixed. Most of us said we'd play Destiny 2 (most of us will have to play it for work, but for the purposes of this article we're pretending otherwise), but most expressed some reservations. And, crucially, among those who weren't convinced first time around, the Destiny 2 beta doesn't seem to be changing any minds.

The hardcore fan

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Digital FoundryCan PS4 Pro really deliver Destiny 2 at 4K?

An impressive upgrade overall, but a little rough around the edges.

When Bungie announced PlayStation 4 Pro support for Destiny 2, there was much controversy about the studio's decision to scale up to 4K resolution, as opposed to targeting 60 frames per second gameplay. It's an ambitious decision, principally because we're looking at 4x increase to resolution with just 2.3x compute and an even more meagre boost to memory bandwidth. With the beta in hand, we can finally see how Bungie has implemented its 4K support - and whether that decision has paid off.

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry: Hands-on with Destiny 2 PC at 4K 60fps

Bungie's PC return looks exceptional - and we've got the video to prove it.

We've seen it, we've played it, and it's beautiful. Nvidia is proudly displaying the PC version of Destiny 2 at its E3 booth, running on a system powered by the GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. All quality settings are pushed to the max, resolution is set to full-fat 4K and the action is completely locked to 60 frames per second. Paired with precision mouse and keyboard controls, it's safe to say that we're looking at a very different experience to the standard console versions of the game.

Digital FoundryWhy can't Destiny 2 run at 60fps on PS4 Pro?

4K resolution more viable than doubling frame-rate.

Bungie has confirmed that Destiny 2 will offer full PlayStation 4 Pro support, but some users have voiced concerns that the developer has chosen to target 4K display support instead of 60fps gameplay. The thinking is straightforward enough - ultra HD offers prettier visuals of course, but smoother gameplay offers lower latency and a higher level of precision response. This is exactly why franchise FPS titles like Battlefield and Halo transitioned across to 60 frames per second. So why not Destiny too?