Destiny 2 is still a few weeks out from its official launch, but developer Bungie is already looking to shake up the FPS series’ gameplay with additional changes. As previously announced, Nightfall raids are returning to the sequel, and the game will lock loadouts inside the Nightfall in efforts to inspire more calculated thinking. Now, Bungie has made the already difficult PvE activity all the more challenging by confirming that players will be forced to complete the weekly Nightfall Strike before a timer runs out.
Nightfall Strikes in Destiny 2 are essentially the amped-up versions of co-op activities, which incorporate unique modifiers like elements that vary in damage abilities, enemies sporting additional shields, and Guardians taking more damage in certain positions. Rewards for completing the Nightfall Strikes are aplenty, with high-level weapons and gear up for grabs.
In the same way locked loadouts are intended to push players to make careful selections regarding weapons and subclasses before entering the Nightfall, the timer is meant to encourage pre-planning – a new cornerstone of Destiny 2 gameplay. This is quite a variation from the gameplay in the first Destiny, which often asked players for persistence over procedure.
The Nightfall Strike timer will vary in length as players bounce from mission to mission, as certain tasks are likely to require a bit more time to complete. However, the average allotment players should expect to have is about 15 minutes. This will undoubtedly inspire a gameplay atmosphere starkly different from Destiny, in which players often resorted to cutting corners in Nightfalls by taking cover behind rocks and slowly tacking down a boss’ health.
We first caught word of the Nightfall Strike timer back in July, when Destiny 2 director Luke Smith announced that the game would be tougher than its predecessor and ask more of its players in terms of strategizing and decision-making. Speaking with PCGamesN at gamescom earlier this week, Bungie executive and Destiny 2 gameplay lead Justin Truman confirmed Smith’s statements and reiterated the reason for introducing the timer and locked loadouts. “We wanna make it really about the tactical decision-making of, ‘What do I want to bring in to maximize my ability to play this strike with these modifiers on?'” said Truman. “You have to make those decisions up front.”
The decision to include both locked loadouts and a timer in Nightfall Strikes might be a controversial one, and could counter-intuitively turn some players away rather than draw them in, but the features seem to promise a new sense of demand and urgency to the follow-up game that was missing in the first title. All things considered, Bungie is certainly scaling up difficulty in Destiny 2, and those who are up for the challenge will be rewarded.
Destiny 2 releases on September 6, 2017 for PS4 and Xbox One, and on October 24, 2017 for PC.