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One week in advance of this year’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles, Bungie fired up its Twitch channel Tuesday morning for a big reveal: the next expansion for Destiny 2 is coming this fall, and it’s called Forsaken. It marks version 2.0 of Destiny 2 and begins the second year of its run. Designed with what one developer called a “Western revenge vibe,” Forsaken brings the Guardians to a new zone called the Tangled Shore. Here, players will hunt down escaped criminals in a scenario that Bungie described as a “reverse Magnificent Seven.”

In Destiny‘s universe, the Reef is a makeshift, independent nation in the asteroid belt, made up of habitats created out of the wreckage of ships that were destroyed while fleeing the destruction caused during the end of the Golden Age. Now, with the Queen of the Reef missing after the events of the first game’s House of Wolves expansion, it’s fallen into lawlessness, making the Reef a frontier that semi-officially marks the border of human-controlled space. In Forsaken, players arrive at the Reef accompanied by Cayde-6 (Nathan Fillion) to investigate the situation, and discover that many of the inmates at the Prison of Elders have escaped. Your job is now to hunt them down, without backup and far beyond friendly territory, as the former prisoners flee deep into the heart of the Reef.

It’s the latest big reveal from the Bellevue, Wash.-based game developer, which rose to prominence developing the hit Halo franchise for Microsoft’s Xbox consoles but has branched out as an independent studio. Destiny 2, published by Activision and released last fall, is available for PlayStation 4 in addition to Xbox One and Windows PCs.

More details are planned to be revealed at E3 next week; by design, today’s stream “created more questions than we’ve answered,” the company acknowledged. The current plan is for more reveals and information to be gradually unveiled throughout the summer, as is Bungie’s traditional wont.

New features for Forsaken include the addition of new weapon types, such as a bow and arrow; the return of weapon randomization, where “every drop has the potential to be exciting”; the ability to further customize your weapon slots, letting you control your loadout to your own specification (the example they kept using on-stream was that if you want, you can just roll around with three shotguns at once); and a new Collections menu, which lets you see what legendary gear, emblems, Sparrows, and other items you’ve managed to find, and gives you an idea of where to go to find anything you happen to be missing.

New weapons and armor in “Forsaken.” (Bungie Image)
Gambit mode in “Forsaken.” (Bungee Image)

The big reveal today, however, is the new Gambit mode, which blends PVE and PVP into a new style of competitive gameplay. Two teams of four players are dispatched into separate arenas, where both sides fight enemies to collect motes. When enough motes have been banked, a team can summon a boss and defeat it to win the round. However, teams can also use motes to send “blockers” to the other team’s arena, which will prevent the opposing team from banking motes until the blocker is destroyed. Further, one player at a time can travel to the other team’s arena to harass them and impede their efforts. (I don’t know if they meant to make this sound like full-contact death Tetris, but I thought it kinda did.)

A special build of Destiny 2: Forsaken with Gambit enabled will be available to play at the E3 show floor next week in Los Angeles. Interested fans who can’t make it there will have another chance, as the same E3 build will be available to play at the GuardianCon show in Tampa on July 13 and 14.

The official Destiny 2 development roadmap for today. (Source: Bungie.net; Click for larger image.)

Forsaken is also planned to ship with a new raid, the Dreaming City, which features “more bosses than ever before” and a wide variety of secrets and hidden features. Reportedly, players’ actions in the City will shape both it and the zone of the same name that it’s located in, which will shape it from week to week based upon what players have accomplished.

The design goal with Forsaken is to make it “feel like a game that never ends,” bringing depth back to the game via customization, choices, and randomization, and reinforcing the concept of Destiny 2 as a hobby to pursue in and of itself. Forsaken is meant to bring a brand new style, tone, and story to Destiny 2, and none-too-subtly encourages players to pick up the new Annual Pass. As of right now, via the graphic shown for the Pass during the livestream, we know that Bungie has content scheduled for Destiny 2 through winter of next year. This includes Black Armory this coming winter, Joker’s Wild in the spring of 2019, and Penumbra in the summer of 2019.

In the meantime, the next big patch for Destiny 2 is coming on July 17, featuring a new seasonal event called the Solstice of Heroes (which Bungie isn’t talking about just yet), the permanent addition of six-vs.-six quickplay matches to the Crucible, and prestige raid lairs.

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