Late to the party? It's okay; we understand. Not everyone could get onto the Destiny hype-train from Day One, and coming into any game late can be daunting, let alone an FPS/MMO hybrid with such detailed lore and backstory!
But whether you're setting out on your own or have pals who are already hardened veterans of the European Dead Zone: we've got your back. Here's our primer on how to get started — and make the most — of all things Destiny 2: Forsaken.
Starting up, you'll need to pick from three races, and three Guardian classes. The former — human, exo, or awoken — are just cosmetic and have no effect on your gameplay or the story, but the latter — Hunter, Titan, or Warlock class — do. Titans are the Guardian armoured class, whereas Hunters are speedy, stealthy assassins. Warlocks, on the other hand, offer a good variety of intense attacks and ally buffs. Each class has its own "Super" abilities that complement the class's preferred playstyle, and each has its own Vanguard leader: Cayde-6 for Hunters (for now, anyway), Zavala for Titans, and Ikora for Warlocks.
In Destiny 2: Forsaken you can play alone or with your buddies. While up to six of you can take on another team in the Crucible — more on that later — fireteams typically consist of three players, although you will need to play Destiny 2's opening segment alone to get a feel of the weapons and storyline (don't panic, it's pretty straightforward!) But even if you've got no-one to play with, there's still plenty of ways to get involved.
While story missions can be played alone or in a pre-formed fireteam, matchmaking is available for other Destiny 2's other main PvE mode, Strikes. These are 20-minute story missions that take you through Destiny's world and pit you against its biggest, baddest enemies. That said, you can — of course — just wander around and roam freely as a lone wolf, as there's a huge open world just aching to be explored. Finally, there are Raids, which are huge and mystifying story-based behemoth missions for six-player teams. If you're prepared to sign up to a pledge, solo players can also participate.
There are four main enemy species: Cabal, Fallen, Hive, and Vex. The Cabal, aka the Red Army, are formidable and strong, whereas the Fallen are less powerful individually, but attack in huge numbers. The Hive also tend to attack in swarms, although they use claws and knives rather than sophisticated weaponry. The Vex, on the other hand, are a race of Cybernetic machines that have deadly accuracy — you don't want to be sniped by a Hobgoblin... There's the Taken as well, which are cursed variations of the classes above that have been corrupted by The Darkness making them terrifyingly strong. Forsaken's main antagonists, The Scorn, are rogue Fallen that had once been imprisoned by Cayde-6.
Almost everything you do (from single-player activities to multi-player mayhem in the Crucible) levels you up. By collecting armour and weapons either found lying around or in chests and end-of-level loot, you build an overall Power level. As you've probably worked out, the higher the Power, the stronger you are. Completing weekly challenges — called Milestones — to get powerful gear is the quickest way to level up.
The Crucible is where you get to take on other Guardians. Yes, it can be a little intimidating, but for most Crucible modes you'll find Power level is ignored, so it's very possible to jump in and take out Guardians ranked much higher than you if you've got good armour and weapons.
Most Crucible modes will feel familiar if you've played other online shooters before, and there's a whole range, from your no-frills Clash mode to capture-the-flag, Control. Destiny 2: Forsaken also brings the all-new Gambit mode, a PvE/PvP hybrid that mixes the best elements of competitive and collaborative play. Destiny 2's base game is free to all PS Plus subscribers for September.
Destiny 2: Forsaken is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.