With all the frantic shooting and looting in Destiny 2, it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the weird space roses occasionally. Developer Bungie’s environment artists are some of the best in the business, and the vivid, colourful sci-fi worlds they created for their addictive FPS are stunning. So here’s a closer look at some of their finest work without the usual distractions.
This expanse of autumnal countryside is dominated by the Shard of the Traveler, which your Guardian will return to several times throughout the game. The overgrown, abandoned city is wonderfully atmospheric, and the long stretches of broken road are a delight to whizz along on your Sparrow. It’s hard not to think of Half-Life 2 when exploring the European Dead Zone.
Once a barren, lifeless minor planet, Nessus was transformed into a machine world by the Vex. The intricate, abstract machinery and striking red flora make this one of the game’s prettiest locations. It feels like the planet is being devoured by this bizarre technology, but nature is fighting back in some areas, including a hazy forest dominated by giant trees.
One of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, Io is considered a sacred place by the Guardians. It was partially terraformed by the Traveler before the Darkness arrived in the solar system, which has left it in a peculiar state. Jagged, geometric rocks jut from yellow sulphuric earth, and great city-like structures loom on the horizon. The sight of Jupiter hanging in the sky is especially impressive.
Saturn’s largest moon is ravaged by storms, forcing its former inhabitants to build giant cities. One of these is the New Pacific Arcology, the haunted remains of which you explore in Destiny 2. Holographic billboards flicker through the gloom and automated messages crackle over speakers, giving you an eerie sense of what life might have been like here before the Collapse.