Five Exciting New Features Coming to Destiny 2 With The Final Shape, Launching June 4 - Xbox Wire (2024)

The Final Shape has almost arrived in Destiny 2 – the highly anticipated expansion that sees the Guardians fight off against The Witness, the universe’s greatest threat to date.

Ahead of its launch tomorrow, we spoke with several developers at Bungie to ask about The Final Shape’s major new developments, including a brand-new playable location inside the heart of The Traveler, the fearsome new species lurking within, and the new Supers that Guardians can wield to take them on. There’s a lot to cover in The Final Shape, so we’ve broken down five of its most exciting new elements, with commentary from the team on how they came together.

Closer to the Heart

The Final Shape transports players to The Pale Heart, a brand-new location inside the heart of the Traveler. According to Dave Samuel, Art Director on Destiny 2, the studio’s aim was to encapsulate the profound memories that players have made along their decade-long journey with the game. Familiar locations and artifacts that fans of all tenures will recognize are woven into the surroundings – this is the visual culmination of your adventure in Destiny’s universe.

“We envisioned the original Destiny’s Tower as a beacon of hope and life, embodying a sense of purity amidst the metal and concrete, adorned with lush foliage and greenery,” Samuelsays, to demonstrate an example of this. “This visualization serves as a poignant representation of the hope and genesis of the player’s expedition.”

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However, as The Final Shape’s narrative progresses, these recollections begin to darken as The Witness and its darkness takes hold. Samuel describes the Cosmodrome, where the original Destiny story began, which is now fragmented and twisted. The Tree of Silver Wings, a symbol of Light in the universe, is now marred by the presence of the Hive. This isn’t just a representation of everything you’ve experienced – it’s also a vision of the world you’re here to save.

“Our creative intention was to present these potent memories in unexpected and unsettling ways, each transformation growing increasingly distorted and disconcerting as your odyssey leads you towards The Monolith,” Samueladds. “The journey through The Pale Heart is intended to challenge and evoke a range of emotions, encapsulating the evolution and transformation of your experience within Destiny 2 over the past decade.”

A Dreadful Encounter

Once inside The Pale Heart, Guardians will discover the Dread – the first new species to be uncovered in the Destiny universe since the addition of the Scorn in 2019’s Forsaken expansion. The Dread are the most devoted followers of The Witness, and their design is mirrored to reflect the twisted and unsettling innards of The Pale Heart, and the grip that the darkness has on them.

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Samueltakes us through three main keywords used to craft the visuals of the Dread – Pyramid, Vampiric and Chimeric. Via these inspirations, the team has taken core elements of the Witness’ design and adapted it to fit the Dread – abstract shapes, infusions of aristocratic elements, and subtle opulence. These creatures are unfamiliar and threatening, clearly molded in the Witness’ vision.

“Building up to this climactic confrontation in the heart of the Traveler was a big goal for us. We wanted it to feel like the Witness was pulling out all the stops, that it was arraying its grandest and most formidable army,” adds James Tsai, Creative Director.

The Dread are not only formidable in their appearance, but in their abilities too. We’ve already seen them in action as the Tormentors – fast, hulking enemies that launch devastating projectiles, and can finish you off entirely in little more than one hit if they get hold of you. Each type of Dread enemy is built to feel like a similar threat – they’re made to feel like this is truly The Witness’ last line of defense and who will not go down without a fight.

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“There’s a lot that goes into designing a combatant – or an entire encounter, for that matter,” Tsai explains. “You want that initial impression and that silhouette that appears on the horizon to be intimidating, if not terrifying, so you often lead with a strong attack or attention-grabbing entrance from that enemy. After that, it’s less about setting up an impregnable defense and more about creating a puzzle of sorts that can be figured out.”

Tsai adds that this can be a tricky challenge in Destiny 2 because the player has so many ways to approach the fight: different weapons, different abilities, supers, grenades, and incredible mobility: “As the Transcendent Guardian wielding Light and Darkness simultaneously, you have a lot of powerful tools – the Witness is sending its best to stop you.”

A Class of Your Own

In The Final Shape, Guardians will be able to wield the Prismatic Class, which allows Guardians to combine elements and abilities from existing Light and Darkness subclasses to craft unique, powerful combinations. While Prismatic is primarily a combination of existing skills, it’s built to feel like a new subclass with its own identity.

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“The Prismatic subclass connects abilities and powers that were previously insulated from each other, so the player can generate very novel builds from that interplay,” Tsai explains. “Being able to combine the crowd-control properties of Stasis with a destructive Solar force, for instance, can lead to entirely new approaches in combat.”

The team began with fantasy statements for the first Prismatic builds: “We talked about the different ways the player would engage: ‘slow ‘em down, then blow ‘em up,’ or ‘get amped and go berserk.’ Even though the individual abilities were familiar, they pushed towards distinct styles in those initial combinations to elevate new strategies. But we know the community is going to find even more amazing combinations and tactics, especially once they start using the new Aspects and Fragments.”

Feeling Super

Destiny 2’s existing subclasses are also getting an exciting revamp in the form of several new Super abilities. Titans come armed with Twilight Arsenal, a potent new void Super, Hunters are freshly equipped with Storm’s Edge, a deadly new Arc ability, and Warlocks are bringing the heat with Song of Flame.

Much like the surroundings of The Pale Heart, these Supers also incorporate elements of classic Destiny abilities. For example, Storm’s Edge is described as similar to the Bladedancer ability for Hunters in the original Destiny.

“We wanted to deliver an experience that felt like it connected back to that classic Arc Hunter fantasy while also providing an aggressive, high-mobility playstyle,” says SamuelDunn, Gameplay Feature Lead. “We knew we wanted to incorporate elements like the Arc Blade weapon itself as well as the powerful spin attack, but with the ability to rapidly zip in and out of trouble in the blink of an eye. Together, with the new air move from Ascension, you can chain together powerful aerial movement combos to keep your enemies on their toes.”

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The Warlock Song of Flame Super also shares DNA with an original ability from Destiny – Sunsinger, which significantly improved all of the player’s other abilities while active.

“It felt fitting to echo that same gameplay here, by supercharging both versions of the Dawnblade melee with extra projectiles and creating a stylized, sentient-feeling ‘firebird’ grenade that will hunt down multiple enemies,” Dunn explains. “We also knew we wanted to create another support alternative to Well of Radiance, with a different and more mobile flavor that could integrate well into the rest of the Solar Warlock kit and provide powerful utility for allies via ability regen and Scorching weapon rounds.”

The Next Episode

The Final Shape’s epic campaign is just the start of another huge journey for our Guardians. After the events of the story mode, more tales will be told in the form of Episodes, which will replace Destiny 2’s existing seasonal structure. Three episodes, titled Echoes, Revenant and Heresy, will deal with the aftermath and consequences of the events of The Final Shape’s campaign.

Each Episode will contain three Acts, and will tell their own standalone stories that focus on other factions’ scramble for power in the wake of the Guardians’ showdown with The Witness. Acts will provide the same level of rewards found within Seasonal content – including new activities, quests, weapons, as well as the seasonal ArtifactMods that Guardians can use to fine-tune their playstyle.

“We wanted to ensure the events of The Final Shape had a lasting impact on the world,” says Robbie Stevens, Assistant Game Director. “Episodes introduce a new content cadence for Destiny 2 so that it’s clearer than ever when the next major update will occur.”

This is just a snapshot of the exciting updates heading to Destiny 2 with this expansion. Experience the explosive conclusion of the Light and Darkness saga when Destiny 2: The Final Shape launches on June 4.

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Destiny 2: The Final Shape

Bungie

119

$49.99

Purchase now to unlock the new Pyramidic Vessel Exotic ship, Exotic Ghost shell, and Legendary emblems.The Standard edition of The Final Shape includes the new story campaign, three new Supers, a new destination, new weapons and armor to collect, and the first Episode in the year of The Final Shape.Prismatic SubclassFor the first time ever, Prismatic empowers you to combine Arc, Solar, Void, Stasis, and Strand into a custom subclass of your design. Light and Darkness have no quarrel within you, Guardian. CampaignThe Final Shape looms—a nightmarish calcification of reality into the Witness's twisted design. Embark on a perilous journey into the heart of the Traveler, rally the Vanguard, and end the War of Light and Darkness.New SupersDefeating the Witness will require untold power. Arc Hunters, Void Titans, and Solar Warlocks; master a new Super within your arsenal and confront oblivion.New DestinationAdventure through an impossible landscape that bends time and space. Follow the Witness and behold what lies within the Traveler. 105 GB hard drive storage space required as of November 10, 2020. Subject to change. Requires broadband internet. After November 10, 2020 see www.destinythegame.com/size-requirements for current requirements prior to purchase. Destiny 2 may contain flashing patterns and images that may produce adverse effects for a small percentage of people sensitive to them.Bungie, Inc. makes no guarantee regarding the availability of online play or features and may modify or discontinue online services with reasonable notice at any time. Using the software constitutes acceptance of the Destiny Software License Agreement available at www.bungie.net/sla. © 2024 Bungie, Inc. All rights reserved. Destiny, the Destiny Logo, Bungie and the Bungie Logo are trademarks of Bungie, Inc. Published and distributed by Bungie, Inc.

Five Exciting New Features Coming to Destiny 2 With The Final Shape, Launching June 4 - Xbox Wire (2024)
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