One of the best things about the original Destiny was the beauty of its four worlds, from the cold majesty of the Moon to the red sands of Mars. However, their shallow, skin-deep interactivity quickly undermined their strong first impression. Bungie are aiming to fix this; with a new neighbourhood on Earth and three brand-new planets, Destiny 2's locations are looking to be just as beautiful, even more alien, and crucially, much more lively than ever.
Here's what we know about Destiny 2's planets, and what you'll be doing on them.
Don't worry about recycled content; Earth's playable area is the European Dead Zone, not the Cosmodrome from the original (though Destiny veterans have technically been to the EDZ before in some Crucible maps). It's a verdant, rather beautiful place, which Bungie say is the biggest they've built yet "by a factor of two".
This is where the Guardians flee after the Cabal kick them out of the Tower. See our Destiny 2 story guide if that sentence confuses you. Their camp is called The Farm, and its horizon is dominated by a shard of the Traveler - Destiny's big white orb, and the original source of your powers. We theorised that the shard will somehow help get your powers back, and this was confirmed in Edge magazine's September 2017 issue.
As Destiny 2's first social hub - but possibly not its only one - this is where you'll turn in quests, interact with other players, and chat to NPCs: a postmaster and the Cryptarch (confirmed to be Tyra Karn, not the original game's Master Rahool), for instance, are on hand to help you process your loot.
A newcomer for Destiny 2 is a sniper called Devrim Kay, and you can chat to him using the game's new conversation interface. He's a quest giver, and you'll be able to head out on Adventures for him. These are smaller quests that develop the game's lore outside of the main campaign.
The Farm also features a football pitch with score tracking, allowing fire teams to have a kick-around in their downtime between activities. Also, there are chickens, just as you’d expect to see on a farm.
This image suggests the Cabal have a presence in the European Dead Zone, which is no great surprise - we need bad guys to kill, and it makes sense they'd pursue us after we fled the Tower. But there's more: based on a few brief shots of vegetation and swampy terrain in trailers as the raid is mentioned, a popular community theory is that the Cabal base in the EDZ will be the setting for Destiny 2's final PvE challenge.
One of Saturn's moons, Titan in Destiny 2 is a vast methane ocean with no proper landmass. Instead, 40-meter waves crash against huge monolithic structures built by humanity in the Golden Age before the Traveler fell asleep. This is where Lance Reddick's Commander Zavala, the Guardians' leader, goes to lick his wounds after the Cabal attack. It seems he's suffering a crisis of faith after losing the Last City - in the early trailers, he's angrier and more emotional than he ever was in the original game.
Take this cutscene filmed by an attendee at San Diego Comic-Con, for instance. Zavala is determined to retaliate, almost recklessly, but what's more interesting than his tantrum is the narrator saying it's set in a command centre on Titan. You can also see ships landing, and other Guardians milling about. Perhaps this means Destiny 2 has a second social space?
Nessus is a planetoid under the control of the Vex - one of the most interesting of Destiny's hostile alien races in that they are (probably) a sentient milk-like substance that somehow built cyborg bodies for themselves. Nessus has been almost entirely converted into one of their giant computer worlds, but its surface retains an alien beauty: it's all lush red trees, white Vex rivers, and canyons based on real-life Brazilian plateaus.
If Zavala's flaw is self-loathing, Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 suffers from recklessness; we're told he went romping off to Nessus and has managed to get himself trapped here. It's down to you to rescue him, but there's plenty more to do; this is the planet we know most about, as Bungie chose it for their open world walkthrough.
That walkthrough introduced us to world quests - large quest chains that will unlock after the main campaign, and unfold the mysteries of each of Destiny 2's planets. Nessus's deals with the fate of a human colony ship that came here during the Golden Age. Its onboard AI, Failsafe, is its last survivor, and will exchange banter with your Ghost (a Guardian's computer buddy) during the campaign.
Console players also got the chance to explore a bit of Nessus by ignoring objectives in the Inverted Spire strike. From Lost Sectors to secret Minotaurs and the wreck of the colony ship, learn what they rooted out in our list of Destiny 2 beta secrets.
We're guessing Io is the last planet you'll visit. A sulphuric moon of Jupiter, it's the most distant location from Earth in Destiny so far, and the last place the Traveller's Light touched before the Collapse. Thus, it's a mysterious world, sacred to the Guardians, and to Warlocks in particular. Gina Tores's Ikora Rey runs off here after the loss of the Tower, and you'll have to come and persuade her to return.
As is appropriate for such a dark and distant place, we know very little else about Io as yet. All the footage so far has shown a cold world knotted with giant tree roots, steaming geysers, and at least some Vex-like technology.
Those are the four planets of Destiny 2, and everything we know about them so far. Where are you most excited to kick some Cabal tail?