Bungie announced yesterday that dynamic blizzards will be waging across the Jupiter’s frosty moon of Europa, and they’ll be so bad at times you might need a new thermal scope to keep enemies at bay.
“We were brainstorming and Ed Brennan [Europa World Art Lead] proposed the idea of a blizzard to help sell the fantasy of a harsh environment,” design lead Alex Velicky said in a post on Bungie’s blog yesterday. “I thought it would be awesome if design had direct control over it and it didn’t take long for everyone to get excited about the implementation.”
The studio apparently started by experimenting with having the storms make it harder to move and change the trajectory of projectiles like grenades, but ultimately decided to make it more aesthetic than anything else. At times Europa’s surface will be crystal clear with a clean view of the Sun and the stars. But at others storms will kick up, going from merely obscuring the horizon to almost complete whiteouts.
This is where the blog post mentions picking up a thermal scope to be able to pick off enemies during the middle of storms. It’s a weapon perk that’s never been in the game before, and it’ll be interesting to see whether it’s introduced as a mod that can be equipped to any weapon or a perk that’s specific to certain scout or sniper rifles.
Are you prepared to be swept away by snowy storms on Europa?
— Bungie (@Bungie) September 23, 2020
Taken together it sounds like the recipe for a completely different sort of Destiny 2 environment, one that promotes taking your time and more carefully navigating the terrain, than the usual rush to grind through activities. Who knows how it will ultimately play out in practice, but it’s already giving me vibes from some of the original concept art used to reveal the first Destiny, which gestured toward a more brutal, survival-focused shared-world shooter.
I’m not expecting Destiny 2 to magically metamorphosis into that anytime soon, but I’m excited to see what hidden dangers and mysteries lurk underneath Europa’s dynamic weather for myself.