One of the most exciting elements of the packed Destiny 2 Lightfall reveal on August 23rd was the announcement of the new Darkness subclass, Strand. Coloured green, Strand will allow Guardians to access extra-dimensional energy and bend it to their will. Essentially, this means fashioning weapons from emerald light and, more crucially, using it to reach the unreachable.
With much of the action expected to take place in the cloud strider city of Neomuna on Neptune, verticality will play a big part in Lightfall’s new play spaces. As a result, Bungie has added a new grapple move to the Strand repertoire, allowing Guardians to literally swing from point to point. While we were shown very brief clips of Strand being used outside Neomuna, the big question remained of how it would slot into a Guardian’s arsenal. Logic dictated that it would replace the Strand movement ability, or even come as an intrinsic ability within Strand that required no cooldown.
However, in a recent interview with GamesRadar, Bungie’s game director, Joe Blackburn, confirms that the Strand grapple will reside in an unlikely place, and will be as much about offence as manoeuvrability.
It turns out the grappling hook will occupy the grenade slot – or at least be one of the options for that slot – and will be identical across Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks unless altered by Aspects and Fragments. There are even some interesting elements in the set-up, including a grapple-specific finisher.
“Because it is in the grenade slot, we made sure there are some offensive capabilities with grapple,” Blackburn explains. “If you’re the kind of person who wants to grapple in, there’s a finisher on grapple that you can do. I’m going to go in, fuck somebody up at the end of this grapple, then I’ll pull out my shotgun. Some Guardians are gonna use this as an escape, some are gonna use it to be aggressive. What is that gonna mean? Why would you take [the] grapple over a different Strand grenade?”
This means that the grapple will be beholden to your grenade cooldown, so certain Exotic items may allow you to grapple twice before cooldown – but you won’t be swinging from point to point on the battlefield and you will be sacrificing standard grenades to use it. Interestingly, Blackburn also confirms that “there are some Strand grapple points in Neomuna that will instantly reset your grapple cooldown to enable exploration.”
So while you will be somewhat able to swing around Neomuna’s urban jungle like a cyberpunk Tarzan, you won’t be quite as mobile off Neptune. That being the case, it makes sense to add some offensive capabilities to the grapple to make it worth using in other play-spaces. Whether that will include some crowd-clearing moves or just something to get you out of immediate danger, we don’t yet know, nut it’s likely to be a deadly asset when paired with some of the best Destiny 2 weapons for close-range encounters.