Destiny 2's reveal trailer wasn't just loot jokes and Gary, look at these hints and teasers

The cinematic debut trailer for Destiny 2 gave us a lot to mull over: the City has fallen, the Guardians have scattered, and all of our stuff has been exploded. But don't just stop at the big picture takeaways - join me for a look at some of the little details and hints you may have missed in the trailer. The full trailer's at the bottom of this story if you haven't seen it yet.

The City is burning and the Traveler isn't much better

The City is in bad shape, but heck, humanity (and blue humans and robots) have bounced back from cataclysms in the past. The really concerning part here is the current state of The Traveler. That mysterious orb is filled with a nightmarish glow that suggests it's burning from the inside. But look at the way the whole thing is pulsing rhythmically, on and off. Almost like the Traveler has finally awoken from its long sleep. Boy, what a way to wake up that would be.

Deep in Destiny's lore, there's a strong indication that The Traveler tried to get the hell out of town when The Darkness finally tracked it to our solar system. The only reason it's still here is that Rasputin, an AI "Warmind" built to defend humanity, used its massive arsenal to cripple the (allegedly) yellow-bellied orb. This left The Traveler with no hope for survival but to help us out. If the Traveler has woken up, or even if it's just burning from the inside out, how will that change its arrangement with the Guardians? All of their space magic comes from The Traveler - could it take it back if it wanted to?

The Tower is a smoking shell, but it isn't gone

Zavala refers to the Tower as being destroyed, and for the Guardians' purposes, that's likely true. It's been severely damaged. But you can see the structure is still standing behind his right shoulder when he's making his speech.

Just enough left to turn it into a Strike or Raid location, don't you think? It would be a chilling thrill to go guns-up in the formerly peaceful environment where so many of us danced away the hours in the original Destiny.

The Cabal have gotten some upgrades

The Cabal is sporting some new gear and troops. First up is this Phalanx with an upgraded, expanding shield.

It's flashy, but it doesn't look like it actually provides more protection than the current solid version. The two Cabal to the left seem to have the same shield in an unexpanded state. The implication here is that Phalanxes will still be able to "turtle up" by deploying their shields, but they may not be able to move while doing so. Their gigantic shields and plodding advance make Phalanxes one of the least-fun enemy types to fight in the current game so that change would be very welcome. But who is that with the two glowing swords in the background? It's this giant lunk, or one of its pals.

Meet the Cabal's new melee enforcer. Weighing in at roughly 500 tons and wielding two glowing-hot swords, this thing is going to get in your face and try to chop it off. And there's still another unit type for close encounters of the canine kind.

Battle dogs! They're a lot more spiky and red than Earth dogs, but you get the idea. Looks like these will fill the rushdown harasser role that Cabal Psions only sorta-covered before. Between them and the sword-wielding brutes, the Cabal will be a major hazard from short-to-medium range.

Ghaul has to be a new Raid boss

The leader of the attack on the City is named Ghaul (not Gary) and you are so going to kill him. But it won't be an easy fight. Just look at this guy.

The Cabal tend toward more utilitarian armor designs than pretty much everybody else in Destiny (especially Guardians), but Ghaul looks like five offensive linemen stuffed full-to-bursting into a suit of knight's armor (I'm pretty sure I fought his slightly-less-beefy cousin in Quake). He must have done something really nasty to earn all that ornamentation. The only question is whether Destiny 2 will save Ghaul for a Raid boss or if we'll get to fight him throughout the campaign, like we did with Oryx in The Taken King.

The stuff-pocalypse may not be forever

All that loot gone, like tears in the rain… Don't fret about never seeing your favorite Exotics again, though. There's something magic in those guns and gear, so I'm sure they'll find their way back to us somehow. My bet? Destiny 2 will start off with almost no recurring gear from the first game, then will steadily drip-feed in old favorites as the updates roll on.

Some familiar faces are missing

The trailer has speaking roles for all three Vanguards - Zavala, Cayde-6, and Ikora Rey. You can also see Crucible showrunner Lord Shaxx in the background during Zavala's speech (see the image at the top of this page). There's some speculation that the hooded figure standing next to Shaxx is Xur, the enigmatic space merchant, but I'm pretty sure that's just a Hunter with their hood up - Xur doesn't really wear armor like that.

That leaves a lot of major characters unaccounted for. It's never good when Eris Morn, the Darkness-tainted Guardian, leaves your sight for long. And were normal humans like shipwright Amanda Holliday and emblem dispenser/official Guardian grandma Eva Levante able to escape the Tower before it was destroyed? The answers don't seem to be in this trailer, unfortunately. Also, I'm not surprised that we don't see any of the other enemy factions, since they never cooperate and this is clearly the Cabal's show. But it's very likely that the Fallen, Hive, and anybody else with an established presence on Earth will start swooping in to pick at the City's carcass soon.

Civilians exist now

The Guardian support staff are unaccounted for but other civilians may take their place. This trailer is the first time we've actually seen the normal people we fight to protect, and now they're returning the favor. Previous reports have indicated that Destiny 2 will have a more open-world structure with players moving between multiple hubs to receive quests and restock, and this may be a hint at the expanded role of non-Guardians in the game.

Make sure you check out our full Destiny 2 news article for more details, and find out more about Destiny 2 pre-orders while the chibi Cayde-6 figurines are still plentiful.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.