Destiny 2
The new Arcstrider Hunter subclass in action. Bungie

Destiny 2's huge open beta gets under way this week on PS4 and Xbox One, giving players the chance to sample a lot of what Bungie's anticipated sequel will have to offer when it's released this September.

The beta begins globally on Friday 21 July, running until Sunday 23 July. Those who pre-order the game will gain early access from today (18 July) on PS4, and tomorrow on Xbox One. A PC beta for Destiny 2 will take place in August.

On each start date the beta will begin at 6pm UK time (7pm CET, 1pm ET, 10am PT). Bungie has not confirmed when exactly the beta will end on Sunday.

Players will be able to play the opening mission of the game, called Homecoming, and a new strike called The Inverted Spire, set on Nessus, a planetoid and one of the game's new locations.

In Homecoming, which was the subject of Destiny 2's gameplay reveal, an invasion destroys the Tower which acted as the first game's social hub space. In Destiny 2 there will be new hub areas, and those who play the beta will get to see one of them.

The Farm is located on Earth in the 'European Dead Zone'. It will only be available to visit for one hour on Sunday (at 6pm UK time, 1pm ET, 10am PT) and its various vendors won't be open for business.

The purpose of including it is so Bungie can stress test how many players The Farm can occupy at any one time.

On the competitive side of Destiny 2, beta participants will be able to battle each other in a new game-type called Countdown on a new map designed specifically to support the mode.

In Countdown one team is tasked with planting a bomb in an area the other team defends. Once the bomb is planted it must be defended until it explodes. If that sounds an awful lot like Counter-Strike, that's because it's an awful lot like Counter-Strike.

Of course, players will also be able to sample the changes to base gameplay Bungie is introducing with Destiny 2, including the new subclasses for each of Destiny's three main classes: the Dawnblade Warlock, Arcstrider Hunter and Sentinel Titan.

When it's done and dusted, Destiny fans will have to wait until 6 September when the game launches on PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version launches on 24 October.