Kirkland, Wash.-based video game developer Bungie took to its official Twitch channel Tuesday to reveal details about the forthcoming expansion for “Destiny 2, Warmind.” It features a new area to explore, a new story, a handful of brand new weapons, and a new competitive season in the Crucible, “Destiny 2’s” PVP mode.
In the Golden Age of humanity, Mars was terraformed and made habitable. In the wake of the Collapse — the attack on human civilization by the alien force called the Darkness, which set the stage for the plot of the original “Destiny” — Mars was abruptly depopulated, and now all that remains of its cities are ruins in a red desert.
In “Warmind,” you come to Mars once again, to the Hellas Basin, to investigate the thawing of its polar icecap. As the ice melts, it reveals the core of the ancient pre-collapse AI Rasputin — the titular “Warmind,” the last of its kind — and wakes up an equally ancient army of the hostile alien Hive.
Players will be accompanied throughout most of this campaign by Ana Bray, who will serve as an ally, vendor and major story character. Ana has been a deep background character up until now, appearing only in places such as the flavor text for a particular vendor cloak in the original “Destiny.” She now makes her on-screen debut as a Guardian in search of answers about what’s been happening on Mars, and how they might relate to the history of the Guardians.
The campaign on Mars includes an all new raid, the Spire of Stars, where up to six players can cooperate to overcome a final challenge aboard the Leviathan starship, and a brand new endgame activity, Escalation Protocol, where players defend against wave after wave of increasingly dangerous Hive.
If you read the latter and immediately thought “survival mode,” you really aren’t that far off the mark; Escalation Protocol, according to Bungie’s designers, is an answer to the commonly heard criticism from players that “Destiny 2” was a little too easy. Just going by the footage shown on the stream, Escalation Protocol — where Rasputin raises a tower in order to deliberately attract as many Hive to your position as possible — is insane.
Season 3 in the Crucible is coming with new features, including a new map, Solitude, and a series of competitive tweaks. The big one shown off on the stream was a change to how hard light weapons work, which now receive a damage bonus after they bounce off of a wall. Bungie is already looking torward a theoretical series of videos about insane trick shots that players will pull off by ricocheting hard light around a corner.
“Warmind” will be available as paid DLC for “Destiny 2” on May 8 for $19.99. PlayStation 4 owners gain access to a new Strike, “The Insight Terminus,” which will be a timed exclusive until at least the fall of this year.