Unmarked spoilers ahead!
"You won't have to. Uldren Sov...is mine."
- Evil Awesome Moment: Up until Destiny 2, the Cabal have been kind of a joke. They wound up on Mars with barely any idea of what they were getting into, got repeatedly creamed by the Vex, blundered into a war with the Guardians (who can't die), and then finally Oryx singhandedly destroyed nearly all of them in one fell swoop. And then the distress signal reaches Ghaul and his Red Legion. The first trailer has the Cabal trouncing the Guardians without the barest smidgen of difficulty, and resetting everything back to square one for humanity.
- One of the Destiny 2 cinematic trailers shows Zavala's background when he was reborn as a Guardian. Spending years roaming the wilds, fighting and dying against the Fallen, scavenging weapons and armor, slowly coming into his own until he finds the Traveler and the survivors huddling underneath. When the Fallen attack the survivors, he's shown blasting the Fallen alongside Ikora and Cayde-6, including his first onscreen use of the Fist of Havoc, and when the smoke clears, there's this incredible slow-motion Back-to-Back Badasses shot of Zavala standing alongside Lord Shaxx and Saladin Forge among the flames. The audience watching the live reveal immediately started cheering when they saw the Titan Power Trio together.
- In the gameplay reveal trailer, Zavala, upon seeing the Cabal fleet breaking through the clouds, yells for everyone in the control room to run to him, and he throws up a Ward of Dawn about twice the size of anything a player Guardian can create, and he holds it while the Cabal drop enough missles to shatter the Wall and tear down part of the Tower. There's a reason he's the leader of the Vanguard.
- The same trailer shows the other Vanguard leaders making good use of the iconic Guardian supers from the first game. During the Cabal invasion, Cayde instantly incinerates three Cabal legionaries with his Golden Gun while Ikora takes down a Cabal ship with a Nova Bomb. She then rides the ship down as it crashes into the City. Whatever's down there when she lands is fucked.
Ikora: Red Legion, you will take no more from us, and you will find no mercy in me!!
- This event is so awesome it gets mentioned in the lore for the Warlock's Voidwalker class, as one of said Voidwalkers witnesses the event, saying that they considered themselves a Voidwalker, until they saw Ikora Rey.
- While the first live action trailer with Cayde addressing a fireteam of Guardians and trying to fire them up is funny, the metric ton of ass kicking they deal out throughout the rest of the trailer is incredible, all with "Sabotage" playing throughout is most definitely awesome.
- The Stinger has an awesome example of Mickey Mousing—while walking away from a battle, all three of them fire their guns at once, to the beat of the outtro of the aforementioned "Sabotage".
- Ghaul's speech once he has the depowered Young Wolf at his mercy. It utterly vibrates with menace, disgust, and anger at what he considers to be an insult standing before him.
"You are weak! Undisciplined! Cowering behind walls. I command legions, conquered worlds, waged war across the galaxy to prove my worth. I alone am worthy of the Traveler's Light. You're not brave, you've merely forgotten the fear of death. Allow me to re-acquaint you."
- He ends this speech by booting you off the top of his command ship with utter contempt. He doesn't kick you; he considers even that to be beneath him. He just shoves you off contemptuously with his boot.
- Once again, the Supers introduced for this game are flashy, devastating and straight-up badass.
- Titan Sentinels get the Sentinel Shield. The Titan conjures a shield made of Void light and can pull off moves with it that would make Captain America proud. They can block with it, chuck it like a discus, or just straight up clonk opponents with it.
- Hunter Arcstriders get the Arc Staff. The user gets a staff made of Arc Energy that makes them even more nimble than before, allowing them to speedily bash their enemies into submission and chuck waves of energy at them.
- Warlock Dawnblades get Daybreak. This Super involves the player making a sword out of sunlight and growing fiery wings. This lets the player float through the air and sling waves of flame at any unfortunate victims.
- In the Inverted Spire strike, there's something pretty ballsy about running into an active mining drill the size of a skyscraper and having the Guardians, the Cabal and the Vex engage in a Mêlée à Trois around it while it's spinning.
- Doubly so as people now seem to be frequently racing through it on their Sparrows.
- Some of the new exotics are definitely a step up in badass from Destiny 1:
- Ladies and gentlemen, the Skyburners Oath exotic Scout Rifle. Nothing says personal Laser-Guided Karma more than wielding a solar precision rifle that is themed after the Cabal, yet pulls out all the stops just to bring quick death to them all by dealing more damage when sighted, nullifying Phalanx shields, and overall dealing more damage to the Cabal in general.
- The Rat King sidearm encourages a full fireteam to charge in guns blazing with nothing but said sidearm, for it grows in power for every person on the fireteam that has one.
- MIDA Multi-Tool is back and Took a Level in Badass to boot—while it hasn't changed much at all, it receives additional benefits once another weapon produced under the same name, the MIDA Mini-Tool, is equipped. Enjoy the sweet sound of not one, but two quick-firing, accurate, and powerful rifles firing in sync.
- Scout rifles and SMGs not your thing? Sturm and Drang have the same gimmick, only it's a Hand Cannon/sidearm duo that focuses on a tag-team system using reloading perks.
- The Graviton Lance pulse rifle fires a micro black hole at the end of each burst which has unlimited range and enhanced damage, on top of its inherent precision build.
- The Tractor Cannon, previously seen for a brief second in the reveal trailer, lets you shove away anything that comes close for as long as you have power ammo.
- After two whole years of languishing in Destiny 1's files, what is now the Wardcliff Coil returns to give players the Macross Missile Massacre it promised of.
- The Journal of the Reef Cryptark event quest sees the return of one of the most iconic exotic weapons from Destiny 1: the Thunderlord. Its also been given an upgrade, as kills with the Thunderlord now causes lightning to rain down upon nearby enemies, whereas previously headhsots with the Thunderlord would occasionally cause enemies to explode.
- Regaining your Light from the Shard of the Traveler. Your Ghost draws closer to the shard before briefly vanishing, engulfing you in pure Light. He then reappears, almost joyfully orbiting around you before stopping at your side, both of you facing the camera to test out your new powers, and saying three words that started it all...
- What follows is the game giving you a pool of Light and essentially an unlimited super meter to kick ass and take Fallen names with after being stuck on the mortal coil for an in-game period of a week. In any other game, this week would be a time of Brought Down to Badass, but for you and your Ghost, so used to defying death and overcoming impossible odds, it truly is a Despair Event Horizon until you find the shard.
- The Speaker may be taken captive by Dominus Ghaul, but on top of refusing to bow down to Ghaul's Cold-Blooded Torture, he repeatedly back-talks his captor delivering only cryptic words or even outright insults.
: What makes your Guardians worth of the Light? What is the price of such power and immortality? Speaker
: Devotion... Self-sacrifice... Death... Ghaul
: Death. Explain. Speaker
: Devotion inspires bravery. Bravery inspires sacrifice. Sacrifice... leads to death... So... feel free to kill yourself.
- During your trek to prepare a counterattack against Ghaul and prevent the Almighty from draining the Sun, you are tasked with boarding a Cabal carrier to hijack a ship and slip under the Red Legion's radar. But since there's an awful lot of Cabal guarding the tunnels, Amanda provides you with a Drake tank to blow your way through. Not even those dreaded Goliath tanks last long against it!
- One section during your trip on the Almighty involves a shootout between you and Red Legion on the exterior of the ship, which is exposed to the goddamned Sun!
- The final battle with Ghaul: after Ghaul forcibly takes the Light and gives himself the power of the new Supers, you finally kill Ghaul, only for him to resurrect as a being of Light. Then, as he's ranting over how he has become a god, the Traveler itself wakes up! It then proceeds to free itself of the cage that the Cabal has played over it and kill Ghaul by dispersing his essence. In the end, it wasn't the Young Wolf that saved the day. It was the Traveler!
- The final battle also gives you those light pools that instantly fill your super meter to use. That means it's entirely possible for many subclasses that the battle between you and Ghaul is you and him just unleashing your supers on one another the entire time.
- The missions to reclaim your other subclasses are particularly intriguing and awesome for how they happen in the context of the world; you come across the remnants of your main subclass weapons or artifacts, such as a Melted Gun for the Gunslinger or a Fractured Arrow for the Nightstalker. You then charge them up by killing enemies and aiding others in Public Events, and what follows is a mission to find another Shard of the Traveler in the EDZ to charge the weapon with. And these missions have cutscenes and lore, as the Traveler's influence shows you lessons on what it means to be the subclass you are trying to reclaim, as narrated by your class' Vanguard leader and other characters related to the subclass. Then you charge it up and, much like with regaining your Light, get to lay waste to hordes of enemies with pools of Light to immediately charge your super.
- As sad as it is, it's bittersweet to know that the Titans lived up to their oaths and promises. The Stoneborn Order, who built and defended the walls and swore to never break, stood and fought to the last man and woman. The Firebreak Order, although ashamed to not have died the same way, carried the flame they use to honor the fallen out of the City so it can be returned later. And the Sunbreakers fought to the last to defend the Forge on Mercury.
The fire burned within us. Not by choice, not because we sought the flame. But because there was no other way.
When you stood before the Forge, there was no doubt. No fear. Not even anger.
My order stood for generations. We held against the shadow, bearing a weapon that seared flesh and melted bone.
And now we stand at the end. May history remember the Forge. Remember the Hammer. Remember the Sunbreakers.
—Ouros, Third and Final Empyreal Magistrate of the Sunbreaker
- Taeko-3 in the Savathun's Song Strike. The gameplay itself is debatable among playerbase, but this took some guts:
- The Cinematic Trailer for Curse of Osiris gives us an awesome Call-Back by opening with a six-man fireteam of Guardians (complete with Year 1 equipment) fighting an army of Vex. Attentive viewers will realize by the architecture that this isn't just any Vex structure, it's the Vault of Glass!
- The ensuing firefight immediately shows just how powerful Osiris is by having him open a portal mid-fight after completely freezing time, power that no Guardian has yet obtained!
- Once the Vex realize what's going on and start attacking Osiris, he and his Ghost Sagira show how efficient of a team they are with Sagira calling out priority targets as Osiris fights back.
- The battle against Panoptes, Infinite Mind. After fighting through a horde of simulated attackers (not just Vex either, all the enemy factions), Panoptes is just about to erase you from reality... and then Osiris shows up and uses his Reflections to paralyze Panoptes, giving you an opening to slam an Arc Charge into it and hit its core with everything you've got. And you do this three times!
- The fight against Xol, Will Of The Thousands and one of the Hive's Worm Gods. The battle itself consists of you lobbing the brand new Valkyrie into its mouth-eye thing while dodging its fire breath, void explosion attack, and it outright charging you, which is a one hit kill. All while set to the Warmind theme.
- The Cabal get yet another evil awesome moment in the Insight Terminus strike. A psion named Kargen one ups Skolas in taking control of the Vex technology by interfacing himself into the Vex network, and is able to take control of the Vex Artitecture to slow down the fireteam sent after him, as well as the Vex teleporter gates to call in reinforcements. By the time the Guardians have reached him, he almost succeeds in taking control of the entire Vex network in the solar system. Thankfully, hes stopped before that can happen.
- The secret Whisper quest on Io, which is both one big Call-Back and a heaping serving of Continuity Porn. It starts off with you coming hot off a Taken Blight event and taking out a new boss that shows up in a nearby cavern. Said boss is a resurrected Destiny 1 character, and can manifest as either Urzok, Ta'aurc, or Drevis. After defeating them a portal opens up, in which you are tasked to quickly rush through a jumping puzzle in the Grove of Ulan-Tan and eliminate several chambers of enemies and some bosses at the end. And your reward? The Whisper of the Worm, an upgraded, unnerfed Black Hammer forged from the Sword Logic by Xol himself. After three years, the original White Nail returns to pop some heads once more.
- The Heroic version takes this Up to Eleven. Most prominently, there's the Blighted Hunger modifier. The Whisper of the Worm's catalyst requires you to gather up some materials from repeated runs of the quest. Looks like a simple Hour of Power to charge it up, right? Except Blighted Hunger makes the Whisper stronger the closer you are to fully charging the catalyst. That's right, Xol's talk about having you fall in line with the Sword Logic isn't a horrifying fate or even just lipservice, it's every ounce of power-stealing everything from the lore makes it out to be.
- In the Heroic version itself, there's another secret referencing and even containing imagery from none other than the Vault of Glass. Following the secret simultaneously benefits both the Sleeper Simulant (by collecting the IO-JYS module required for the catalyst) and the Whisper of the Worm (triggering it in the first place lets you acquire more Blighted Essence for use in finishing its catalyst, and powering it up for regular use during the quest.)
- The Spire of Stars Raid Lair's final boss, Val Ca'uor, is something to behold. The Leviathan is under attack by the Red Legion, and Calus calls upon you to put him down. What is unique is that EMPEROR CALUS IS HELPING YOU KILL CA'UOR. Amazing.
- His quote before he and the Guardians face Ca'uor is beautiful on its own.
- Ca'uor gets an awesome moment as well, for when the doors open, we're looking to see him one-shot one of Calus's robot duplicates. It's an introduction for the new Dominus of the Red Legion that will prove a challenge for the Guardians.
- Despite it shows how Cayde met his end, Last Stand of the Gunslinger shows him cleaning house with the Scorn, showing that Cayde is awesome on his own.
- The death of Daimos-22 bears particular mention. As the Last City fell, he chose to use his final death to hold a collapsing tunnel to allow refugees to escape until the end. He represents everything a Titan should aspire to.
He held and held. And when he let go, he knew he was the last one left.
- In the launch trailer for Forsaken, just before Uldren shoots him, he asks if Cayde has any last words. Cayde's answer?:
- Forsaken introduces new subclasses paths for each of the 9 existing subclasses, making a whopping total of 9 new Supers; triple the amount that came with The Taken King!
- Code of the Missile lets your Striker become a literal ICBM, launching yourself across great distances to crash into any group of enemies you absolutely want dead in one hit. It's described by many fans as the most Titan-y thing to exist in the game (given the Titan's stereotypical image of running around and punching to death everything they come across, this is warranted).
- Code of the Commander allows you to wield a mobile version of the Ward of Dawn, blocking incoming enemy fire and allowing allies to shoot through it, augmented by the returning Weapons of Light buff. Comparisons between it and Reinhardt from Overwatch have been made for this reason.
- Code of the Devastator truly allows the Sunbreaker to know what it feels like to be The Mighty Thor. Without the Burning Maul super active, they can use Throwing Hammer to throw a lower-powered version of the Hammer of Sol at enemies; and that upon picking up their hammer, their melee cooldown is instantly recharged. When they use the Burning Maul, they become a veritable whirlwind of destruction, smashing enemies apart with a Spin Attack, and using a sort of hammer beam that they may have picked up while using Saladin's Iron Axe.
- Way of the Thousand Cuts trades the tried and true Golden Gun for the knife-spamming Blade Barrage, but is no less badass for it. Indeed, you can now carpet-bomb large groups of enemies while elegantly leaping into the air; a highly-damaging AoE Super that was sorely needed for Hunters.
- Way of the Current gives the Arcstrider the ability Whirlwind Guard, which allows them to spin their arc staffs around to deflect projectiles back at the target. What makes this truly special is that it can stop other Supers as well, and even the famously powerful Sleeper Simulant's lasers. There's something special about watching the Whirlwind Guard reflect a Golden Gun projectile back at its shooter.
- Way of the Wraith makes the Nightstalker into a true rogue class; when their super isn't active, they gain such abilities as a smokebomb, which enables them to poison enemies. When they have their super active, they Dual Wield a pair of tanto which allows them to do a good amount of DPS on targets, and their heavy melee allows them to do a backflip on the first press, and turn invisible on the second.
- Attunement of Control replaces your usual Stormtrance Super with Chaos Reach, which lets you fire a massive Kamehamehadoken that easily mops the floor with anything that's not called a boss, and even those take a lot of damage from a full beam. The sickening crunch following its activation is one of the best sound effects ever, and is reminiscent of the Seismic Charges launched by the Slave I from Star Wars. The lightning animation while firing the beam also goes on for being one of the best visual effects, making the Super a delightful spectacle everytime you see it pop up.
- Attunement of Grace gives you the Well of Radiance, which a souped-up combination of the standard Healing and Empowering Rifts that lasts longer than either of them. Sounds lame for a Super? Well, for starters, the Well's area is much larger than your standard Rift, allowing more space for your fireteam, and the health regeneration is so insane, you might as well ignore most of the small mobs firing at you and focus on any given boss.
- Attunement of Fission gives you Nova Warp, a Super that allows you to move like Stormtrance, except the attack is an omnidirectional explosion you can use multiple times. Paired with a short-range teleport, you can dance around enemies and bosses while hitting them with hand-held Void explosions and can one-shot Guardians in the Crucible.
- Bungie may have truly hit it out of the park with the Last Wish Raid. King's Fall took between seven and eight hours to get the World's First clear, and saw about six-thousand. two hundred and sixty-five (6,265) teams and thirty-seven thousand, five hundred and ninety-one (37,591) guardians clear the Raid within twenty-four hours. Compare that to Last Wish, which saw just TWO teams, TWELVE guardians, managing to clear it within twenty-four hours, with the World's First clear taking about nineteen hours. Many of those who played it said that it may very well be the most challenging and well put-together Raid Bungie has ever designed.
- Thought "The Whisper" was the pinnacle of secret missions in Destiny? Meet "Zero Hour", a 20-minute raid on the ruins of the old tower that sees you fighting through groups of far tougher than average Fallen, compounded with jumping puzzles, mazes, and dead ends that make The Whisper look like a children's platformer (whilst also including the ability for skilled players to make things easy for their struggling teammates). Just about every enemy has a shield, and it's considered an achievement to finish with more than 5 minutes left. Your reward? The Outbreak Perfected, an even stronger Outbreak Prime that absolutely slaughters anything you can see, including raid bosses.
- Taken up to 11 in its Heroic version, which aside from the usual "things hit harder", features an entirely different route from the normal version, another secret mission for an exotic ship (like the Thousand Wings) that requires an entirely randomized puzzle decryption each time, and of course, a catalyst to make the Outbreak Perfected even more broken than it already was! Did I mention this thing's a primary weapon?
Awesome moments from the games' development, trailers and/or behind-the-scenes: