Watch the first gameplay trailer for Destiny 2

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Bungie today revealed the very first gameplay footage of its upcoming Destiny sequel, showing fans at an event in Los Angeles and those watching on its Twitch stream an early glimpse of the revamped online-only shooter. The game, due out on September 8th, 2017, is slightly altering its setting from the initial multi-planetary adventure in the first game. Now, players are fighting to retake Earth’s Last City from a hostile alien force and defend the game’s iconic Traveler, a sentient life form that protects Earth in the far future.

To the disappointment of many Hawkmoon and Gjallarhorn lovers everywhere, all the old gear is being left behind, canonically destroyed by the invasion of the military Cabal species. In the first CGI trailer released alongside the game’s unveiling back at the end of March, we got the narrative rundown on the upcoming war between humanity’s Guardians and the Red Legion, with its villainous leader Ghaul. (Bungie is calling this the “Red War Campaign.”) In the first gameplay reveal, we get a look at some of the new guns and supernatural abilities — including a flaming Warlock sword — as well as what appears to be an even more cinematic mission layout and structure.

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Since its September 2014 launch, Destiny has been equal parts ambitious and controversial in the game industry. It’s irregular release model meant that, at launch, the game felt unfinished and in serious need of polish based on extensive player feedback. And yet, as Bungie refined Destiny over a number of different expansions, both large and small, the game evolved into a satisfying and rich experience that fully realized the blend of FPS and MMO elements it originally set out to achieve.

Destiny is unlike a traditional shooter, which typically comes finished out of the box with additional add-ons down the line to help the game make money over time. And it’s not quite an MMO, the creators of which tend to charge monthly subscription fees to keep the game alive over the course of many years.

Instead, Bungie employed a kind of hybrid model fitting for its hybrid title, which the company likes to call a “shared world shooter.” That means Bungie and publisher Activision sold a base piece of software for $60 and then, over the course of more than two and a half years, additional expansions ranging from $20 to $40. So players that stuck with Destiny since launch eventually paid more than $150 for the experience, and yet many extracted hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of gameplay out of it. The value of this experience has depended largely on how invested you as a player became, and the friends that stuck it out for the whole ride.

With Destiny 2, which in a first for the series is coming to PC, it’s unclear how exactly Bungie is going to pace the game’s release structure and what exactly it will feel like at launch. Given all it learned over the last nearly three years of ongoing Destiny development, we can expect the company to have learned a thing or two. We’ll know more as Bungie continues its slow drip of announcements and reveals leading up to the September launch.

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