Destiny 2: Forsaken - 8 big things you need to know before launch, straight from Bungie

Cayde-6 in Destiny 2: Forsaken

Destiny 2: Forsaken and the start of the game's second year is merely a few weeks away, and it's safe to say that the community is filled with hope and expectation, particularly fuelled by drops like Whisper of the Worm in the past month. Everyone knows there's a lot riding on Forsaken - Bungie isn't killing Cayde-6 for nothing, we hope - to fix what's gone wrong with the game since it launched last September. After E3 and Gamescom, and several chats with the team at Bungie, it's becoming clearer exactly what we're getting with Forsaken, and the more we hear, the more excited we get. 

We got a load of details about the future of Destiny 2 at E3, but speaking again with Bungie's Steve Cotton and Scott Taylor at Gamescom, the magnifying lens we've got aimed squarely at Forsaken is definitely picking up a few more details. We've dug through the transcript and picked out eight eight more big things that you're going to want to know ahead of the Forsaken launch. Take a look:

1. Destiny 2: Forsaken is going to be the culmination of everything you've played so far

Destiny 2 Forsaken storyline

What Bungie said -
Scott Taylor
: "I think it is the definitive moment in the franchise and a transformative moment. If you think of benefit of what Steve and I, and the team, have is examples of what works and what doesn't."

Steve Cotton: "That helps to make decisions."

Taylor: "[Our community summit] helped cement a bunch of decisions for Forsaken, so that combined with everything the game did to evolve this year, it's really a big moment for Destiny. So if people love Destiny, or love the idea of Destiny and want it to be a really good game, we're very proud of what the experience is that we're putting out."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
We can all admit that Destiny 2 has had its ups and downs, and like Scott says, the team has examples of what has worked, and more importantly, what hasn't, over the past year. Plus all those learnings it had from the original Destiny. What the guys are saying here is a huge, and confident, statement about the future of Destiny 2, and hopefully what the team at Bungie is about to deliver will follow through on that promise. After all, this is a huge investment for existing - and returning - players, both in terms of time and financials. This has got to be a new age for Destiny 2, this has got to be Destiny 1 Year 3 levels of goodness, or Bungie will have a riot on its hands.

2. Forsaken is going to be a narrative step-up, in more ways than just the story

Destiny 2 Forsaken Uldren

What Bungie said -
Taylor
: "When I think of Destiny totality, I think of how interesting it is that we led the campaign off of a story beat, and that is the thing that is resonating with people. The fact that the story and the cinematics are so strong and so good and so integrated with the gameplay, like the fact that the bosses are characters, that's a big jump for Destiny I think. I'm very proud of that team, the narrative team at Bungie and the cinematics team. All that player experience, the theme and the story coming together is the thing I'm most excited about, because it informs all the other supers and weapons. All those other things that are really, really important, at the core we needed to kill Cayde, tell the story, motivate people. You really don't get one without the other, I don't know what the game looks like if we don't make that choice, if we don't do that, I don't think it has the same urgency of needing to play it."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
From what Taylor says here, Forsaken's treatment of narrative sounds more like an evolution of the way Destiny 1 tackled such things. The Taken King is still the best expansion the series has seen, and if Destiny 2 is dealing with story more like that, and also weaving it into the wider game too, providing context to every weapon, super and more, then this can only be a step in a very good direction. From the story trailers we've had so far, they've had more gravitas and emotion that we've seen in Destiny for a long time. I, for one, am seriously excited. 

3. Be prepared for some really good enemy AI with the Scorn

Scorn in Destiny 2 Forsaken

What Bungie said -
Cotton:
"I think that [the Scorn] are the most interesting combatant we've delivered since the original Destiny, in terms of the way that they play, how differently they move, and how aggressive they are, how their weak points are in different places, so you find yourself having to play a little differently than you have in the past."

"There's the Ravager - the one that swings the flaming lantern. If you shoot that it blows up and fire goes everywhere. Whoever he's around gets engulfed in fire, so that's interesting."

"The captains that show up use totems to do different things that really change the use of the space and make you move around. The Abominations are good. And then there's another character that would normally just probably fade into the vanilla combatant mold, but they're so aggressive, and much stronger than you would expect. So everytime you see one of those, you completely change your tactics."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
I am more than ready for an evolution of the enemy AI in Destiny 2. The enemies have always felt like reskinned, slight evolutions of the kind of thing we've been seeing since the original game. 

4. A lot of Forsaken is going to be about discovery, and challenge

A screenshot from the Destiny 2 Forsaken story

What Bungie said -
Taylor
: "One of the properties of Whisper of the Worm that's most interesting is that people didn't know it was coming. And so, I will kind of answer your question in that yes, that is something we're interested in, and yes, you will see more things like that, but that's much as I feel super comfortable in saying because of that property of the surprise of people showing up and saying, 'Wait, what is that?'. 

"We talk about player discovery a lot, and that is definitely a property that we're very excited about with Forsaken."

Cotton: "Another property that is a sign of things to come is the challenge and the mastery that Whisper required. It's not as complicated as the Raid… but Whisper was an opportunity for even solo players to go in and get good at something... and get a great reward at the end. So we're applying that logic to as much of Forsaken as we can."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
Whisper of the Worm arrived just after the announcement of the Dreaming City, which felt a little conspicuous in terms of what it means for Forsaken. Bringing back the mystery quest just after announcing a Forsaken location that would be filled with, and I quote, "secrets, new activities, a new raid, and dynamic content" felt like a foreshadowing. A brilliant, seriously exciting, foreshadowing. Anything that plays into the kind of intrigue that Whisper of the Worm provides is going to keep the community on their toes, and I particularly like that Bungie is thinking of solo players just as much as Fire Teams for Forsaken. Getting the crew together isn't always easy, after all. 

5. The Dreaming City might be Metroidvania-like

What Bungie said -
Scott
: "When you first get to the Dreaming City you're going to find it hard to navigate. As you get more powerful, you'll start to understand how you want to move there, how you want to engage, and it changes over time."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
We all love Destiny for the journey. It's not really about accessibility, or instant rewards in the long run, it's about a long-term player journey, and the idea that one location could celebrate that in a way that really hones in on that idea by being a puzzle in itself, or locking off regions until you're better, more powerful, and have a better understanding as a whole sounds like the kind of thing that makes Destiny 2 a hobby rather than a single-playthrough entity. 

6. You won't be able to mod up all your Year One gear

What Bungie said -

There's a little confusion around the ability to bring up your original Destiny 2 armour and weapons, but it seems clear now that you absolutely can't, so prepare to wave bye bye to your old kit. 

According to Josh Hamrick, Gameplay Design Lead at Bungie, you definitely can't mod your Year One gear with the new Year Two Forsaken stuff. 

Taylor: "We know that people are very attached to certain things... but we also dropped a bunch of awesome stuff that has random rolls and new armour perks and things." 

"We hope that there's something that's going to entice you, and might have you question things."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
You won't be able to get any piece of armour or weapon out of your collection and make it Year Two appropriate. That's huge news for all your favourite gear, but from the sounds of it there's going to be a lot more that will lure you to turn it all into scrap too. I love the idea of an increased push for gear diversity, and it looks like there's going to be more tension than ever between keeping the gear you know and love, and moving on to something new. 

7. But you can start dismantling mods now

Gear in Destiny 2 Forsaken

What Bungie said -
Taylor
: "I would dismantle now. Because we're not having the elemental mods anymore. Deej's advice, what he said to me was that if you want something to be a solar, keep it and it'll fuse into it. But, I'm dismantling everything now. I give you permission, you can just do this now. If you don't what'll happen is that they'll change in your inventory to be deprecated and you will do the same thing that you'll do now, except it's just time that you could spend playing Forsaken or whatever. It'll give you parts, and you're going to want later."

Cotton: "But we understand why it's scary."

Taylor: "The same with shaders. We're going to make it so you can do five at a time, but I actually just went and did it, because I'm going to be able to claim any shader that I want from my collection in Forsaken, so I don't need all these shaders in my inventory."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
You've got the green light folks. It's time to start dismantling and doing all that Year Two housekeeping now, because it's going to get deprecated now. It doesn't really mean much for Forsaken, but let's all do it together now.

8. Lore is coming back in a big way

Destiny 2 Forsaken concept art

What Bungie said -
Taylor
: "The system that we have where you collect lore, the way that walks and feels right now is like opening up a little book and reading the stories. There are short stories and long stories that you discover in the world and then open up in the game that you can go collect by killing bosses, finding items in the world like dead ghosts, and little drones that tell little stories that are either one part or maybe three. Or maybe you can find out what Uldren was doing between Taken King and how he ended up in that prison. Those things are all in the game and they are very addictive."

"It has the aesthetics of a book, and you can open it up in the game and it'll tell you a story about each of the Barren before you go kill them, and why they were in the prison, and what happened to them. There's a novel's worth of stuff in the game."

Cotton: "We haven't even read them all but the localization team came to us and said 'we're localizing this stuff, and this is really good. I'm crying at my desk. These are great stories'."

What this means for Destiny 2: Forsaken -
As soon as Taylor mentioned dead ghosts, I did panic that Grimoire Cards were making a return. But thankfully, this is a much more organic, lore loving, way to introduce a wider backstory. I'm more than ready for a "novel's worth" of additional content - maybe even in physical form too, eh Bungie? And it's just another indication of how integrated the story is in the wider game. Bring on September 4.