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Destiny 2's Season of the Chosen launches next week, with some classic Strikes and a new matchmade activity

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Bungie has announced Season of the Chosen, the next chapter of Destiny 2's Beyond Light era, due out next week on February 9.

The headline feature this time around is Battlegrounds, a new three-player matchmade activity featuring ritual combat against Cabal warriors under the command of Empress Caiatl, daughter of our ol' pal Calus. Three new (or, at least, "new") Strikes are planned, too. The Devil's Lair and Fallen SABER Strikes—both from the original, console-only Destiny—will go live at the season's launch, with the actually new Proving Grounds Strike due later in the season.

Bungie also promises that "over 25 Exotic, Legendary, and ritual weapons will be available to collect" this season, including new Exotic bow Ticuu's Divination. That, available as part of Season 13's pass, charges up multiple Solar arrows that can track targets.

That Battlegrounds is a proper, matchmade activity makes me hopeful that it will be more involved than the underwhelming Wrathborn Hunts of this last season. Season of the Hunt definitely relied upon the fact that it launched in parallel with a full expansion, so the pressure is on for Season of the Chosen to deliver.

That said, as much as the Strike mission pool needed enhancing, it's frustrating that we're in for yet another season with no new Crucible or Gambit maps. We're approaching two years since Season of the Drifter—aka, the last time Gambit was blessed with some new maps.

This season will also see the return of the Guardian Games, introduced for the first time last year to... an unenthusiastic response. Hopefully Bungie will tweak this year's version to be about more than just bounties.

In a recent update, Bungie outlined a new progression system for earning XP and Bright Dust in Season of the Chosen—swapping weekly bounties for a weekly rollout of challenges, similar to Apex Legends.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.