‘Destiny 2’ is an absurdly attractive new game — see for yourself

There’s a lot to say about the long-awaited “Destiny 2,” which launches on Wednesday on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

But first, before we say anything else, let’s just marvel at how pretty it is.

Destiny 2

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Bungie/Activision

Since I started playing “Destiny 2” on Tuesday, I’ve been repeatedly struck by how gorgeous it is. Beyond the sweeping vistas that impressed in the first game, there are tons of little details in the world of “Destiny 2” that make it feel alive.

It’s got a real sense of style that comes across in everything from quiet moments like the one above to massive firefights with dozens of enemies.

Even the new armor looks fresh, and reflects the state of the in-game world:

Destiny 2

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This is how my Hunter looks after a few hours of playing “Destiny 2.”
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Bungie/Activision

I’ve been taking screenshots constantly while playing “Destiny 2” on PlayStation 4 – here are some of the coolest things I’ve seen.


From the first moment of action in “Destiny 2,” the game is a looker. It’s a gruesome picture in the wake of an alien attack — the impetus for your journey of rebuilding and revenge — but a pretty one nonetheless.

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Bungie/Activision

From some of the earliest scenes, “Destiny 2” plays with contrasting colors to highlight important moments. This one, for instance, where you first meet a returning character is particularly impactful.

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Bungie/Activision

There’s also a excellent use of shadows for dramatic impact. In this scene, you’re running past the citizens of The Last City — the city that’s currently under attack — and they’re huddled together in fear.

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The remnants of normal life are scattered along the walls and hallways post-attack, making The Last City feel more like an actual place than ever before.
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Bungie/Activision

When you do finally get outside, there’s plenty of breathtaking imagery to gawk at. This massive alien cruiser firing missiles isn’t a cutscene — this is in-game. I walked past that and stopped to take a photo.

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Bungie/Activision

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for “Destiny 2.”

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Bungie/Activision

After this point, I’m showing images from the first few hours of “Destiny 2” – beyond where the beta’s intro mission ended. If you don’t want any of that spoiled, turn back!


After meeting a very unfriendly alien named Ghaul (the gall of that guy!), your Guardian is left to sneak through the ruins of The Last City to safety. While harrowing, the walk is very pretty.

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Bungie/Activision

Here’s a downed jet, for instance. You’re essentially walking through a battlefield, except it’s the last human city on future Earth.

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Bungie/Activision

Little touches of what the city was before its destruction are still scattered around. Whatever this sign was, for instance. This is what I’m referring to when I say “Destiny 2” has a sense of style. The art on this sign is fantastic!

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Bungie/Activision

You also just get a sense of the naturalistic environment that the game’s civilization existed in. Between that almost jungle feel and the sense of danger in the air, this area makes for a great opening setting.

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Bungie/Activision

Upon escaping the city, the world goes from urban to mountainous. There’s snow on the ground, animals all over the place, and a gloriously impressive sun.

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Bungie/Activision

Though “Destiny 2” still leans a bit too heavily on outright exposition to move the story forward, there are smart moves toward environmental storytelling. Stumbling upon a camp of slaughtered Guardians — each looking distinct — is a moment where these moves are exemplified.

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Bungie/Activision

And yes, there are plenty of sweeping vistas here as well. These are the mountains, after all.

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Bungie/Activision

Without going <em>too</em> into “Destiny 2,” there’s one more area I’d like to showcase: the European Dead Zone. It’s a gorgeous mix of futuristic and old world.

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Bungie/Activision

The streets of “Trostland” are full of classic architecture alongside bizarrely modern/futuristic technology. This church, for instance:

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Bungie/Activision

There are moments like this that look like “Fallout” almost. More than just pretty, there’s a sense of place here that didn’t exist in much of the first “Destiny.”

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Bungie/Activision

One last thing: The monsters in “Destiny 2” really look like vicious monsters.

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Just look at this guy’s ugly mug! Good grief!
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Bungie/Activision

Up front, “Destiny 2” identifies the insane-looking monsters that are the enemy. You will not feel guilty poppin’ a cap in these dudes.

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Bungie/Activision

“Destiny 2” is out now on Xbox One and PlayStation 4; it’s planned for launch on PC in October. I think it’s quite pretty, but if these static images didn’t already convince you there’s a launch trailer right here that might: