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Photo via Bungie.

It’s one of the biggest weeks in Bungie history.

This Wednesday, Sept. 6, the Bellevue, Wash.-based gaming company will launch Destiny 2, the second iteration of its latest flagship series.

Destiny 2, published by Activision, is the sequel to Destiny, Bungie’s blockbuster game released in 2014 that reached more than $500 million in first day sales. Bungie, which created Halo, spun off from Microsoft in 2007, seven years after Microsoft acquired the gaming studio. The independent studio employs 700 people.

Bungie CEO Pete Parsons, who gathered with employees at the office early Tuesday morning as Destiny 2 launched in New Zealand, called the launch “a very special moment for us.”

“I’m truly honored to come to work every day with these talented, passionate people who have built a hobby for so many,” he told GeekWire. “Today marks the culmination of many years of planning and partnership with Activision, but it’s also much more than that. It’s the start of a new chapter for us, for our community, and for Destiny.”

Photo via Bungie.
Photo via Bungie.
Photo via Bungie.

GeekWire had a chance to try out Destiny 2 at a media event inside a hotel just near Bungie’s headquarters in Bellevue, where journalists and reviewers from across the globe gathered to get a sneak peek at the new game.

Admittedly, I didn’t play the original Destiny much as I spend most of my first-person shooter time with Halo 5. Still, I came away impressed after playing the story mode on Destiny 2 — both with the gameplay and aesthetics of the blockbuster title. Even for a casual gamer, it’s nearly impossible not to get hyped after embedding yourself in the Destiny 2 world.

Will Destiny 2 out-perform its predecessor? We’ll find out soon. Here are some initial reviews:

  • I played 20 hours of Destiny 2 and it’s everything fans have been asking forThe Verge
  • Already, Destiny 2 understands its fate, its purpose, its desti… you knowArsTechnica
  • Destiny 2 review-in-progress: It’s Destiny, without all the bullshitPolygon
  • ‘Destiny 2’ gives Bungie’s online shooter the narrative it deservesEngadget
  • Destiny 2 review in progressIGN
  • The early verdict on Destiny 2’s campaign modePCGamer
  • Destiny 2 review in progressGameSpot

There are some subtle but notable gameplay differences between Destiny 2 and its predecessor, as The Verge and GameSpot noted. But for the most part the game, which again will feature expansive multiplayer options, will feel similar to the original — for those who missed out on Destiny, Polygon has a good primer on the game’s storylines here.

Here’s the game story description from Bungie:

Humanity has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force, led by Lord Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee their home. Players will venture out into our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, they must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.

Destiny 2 is also a big deal for Bungie because the company is releasing a PC version of the game next month after it debuts on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ($59.99) this week. It hasn’t put out a PC game since the mid-90s, according to Polygon, as it focused on console titles. The Verge calls the PC version of Destiny 2 — which supports 4K resolution, uncapped framerate, and full mouse/keyboard support — “spectacular.”

Here what Parsons had to say about the importance of developing Destiny 2 for the PC:

“Coming to PC for the first time in years means a lot to our team. So many of us are PC gamers and we know there is a vibrant, thriving, and diverse community there. PC will quite literally expand our horizons internationally, and introduce many new players to our worlds.

We’ve worked closely with Vicarious Visions to optimize Destiny 2 to take full advantage of the PC. We think it’s a big deal because playing the PC version with uncapped framerate in 4K resolution and 21:9 and triple monitor support is something really to behold. We’ve also put in a lot of effort to make sure it players wonderfully on a wide spectrum of hardware. We know PC players have high expectations for features and performance, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure we’ll live up to those expectations come October 24.”

Those who purchase the PlayStation version of Destiny 2 will have access to exclusive content; Bungie and Sony did the same for the original Destiny game.

Here’s some more insight into Destiny from Bungie’s Luke Smith, design director of Destiny 2.

Bungie is one of several game companies based in the Seattle area. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last month called the region “the center of the casual gaming universe.”

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