It’s hard to believe that it has already been three years since Destiny first hit the scene. It came from a developer that had, and still has, an incredible track record when it comes to space shooters, so it’s no surprise that their next project after Halo took off in the way that it did. Love it or hate it, Destiny has quickly become one of the biggest new franchises released this generation thanks to tight mechanics and addictive gameplay.
With Destiny 2 is quickly approaching, everyone going in should have a decent understanding of the plot. Maybe you played through the first game and don’t remember what happened or decided to skip it entirely; well we have a general breakdown of what happened previously on Destiny. Before getting into events that transpired throughout the course of the relatively short-storied campaign, let’s give a little bit of background regarding the world.
One day long ago, a gigantic intergalactic sphere called The Traveler appeared in our solar system, most notably making contact on Mars. This mysterious colossal-sized globe was not a world conquering alien, but instead friendly, helping humans accelerate technological advancement dramatically, allowing them to traverse the stars, terraform planets and build towards a better future. This was considered the Golden Age of humanity, even boosting the average lifespan of man threefold. Unfortunately, that prosperity didn’t last long as a deadly and ominous force called The Darkness appeared, destroying anything in its path and nearly tearing down everything Humans had built. This kicked off an event called The Collapse and everything in the galaxy took a toll because of it. The most important and unfortunate casualty was The Traveler itself as, in its last act, protected the Earth with its unresponsive body shielding the newly-built Last City.
The Last City
As the name suggests, The Last City is the central hub of Destiny and is the only safe haven on Earth. Well, maybe safe haven isn’t the best description of the city and the state of civilization, especially considering the events at the beginning of Destiny 2, but it’s certainly better than what awaits those on the outskirts. The massive walls weren’t built for show, nor are they there to keep Titans out, but instead hostile alien races that have been left over from numerous battles following The Collapse. Most notably are The Fallen, but you’ll also see a monstrous species called The Hive on Earth, as well, due to their hideout being relatively close to the planet.
Following The Collapse, the remainder of Humanity was not too happy to see The Fallen mysteriously appearing. While Humans were picking themselves up after nearly being wiped out, these tribal scavengers swooped in to pick at the remains. With constant battles against the Guardians, most notably the Battle of the Twilight Gap, The Fallen were relentless with their assaults against The Last City in order to gain access to the Traveler. Unfortunately, they were mostly unsuccessful (with both sides sustaining high casualties), at least not until they were able to section off an area of Earth that contained SiVA technology, but that’ll come much later. One of the most well known tribes, The House of Wolves, went to battle with The Reef during this time, which they ultimately lost. Now, while The Fallen are plentiful, their houses have become disorganized and their allegiances varying.
Outside of The Hive, The Cabal are arguably the biggest threat to Humanity. Similar to the Fallen, because apparently aliens like to follow one another, these hulking beasts came after The Collapse, but the difference comes in the form of rank and organization. While the Fallen are more multiple competing tribes, the Cabal are a consolidated race that doesn’t reason with other species; they only take what they want and do what they believe is best for their empire. Sure, there are mutinies, but they’re a militarized civilization. Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known about them prior to the events of Destiny outside of their constant advance of colonization within the solar system, namely taking over Mars and its moon, Phobos.
Arguably the most dangerous force alive, The Hive are a deadly ancient race hell bent on war. While their appearance seems more of a feral and radical race, they’re actually quite organized, with hierarchy of ranks and stature. With their current residence in the Solar System being on the Moon, with constant plans to advance on Earth, these beings originally came from the gas giant of Fundament in a galaxy far, far away. They are the most advanced race known to anyone, tapping into the Ascendant Realm which houses their gods, and constantly researching alternate dimensions. They also have the most connections with other races, most in particular with the Vex and the Darkness. They have been known to use The Darkness in their favor, creating The Taken in the process, which are just enemies who are possessed by the mysterious Dark force.
The most mysterious force anyone has ever discovered, the Vex are a machine race that are beyond ancient. They aren’t even from Destiny’s current universe. Crota, son of Hive God Oryx, accidentally unleashed the Vex into their universe by cutting a hole between dimensions. This unleashed the beings into their universe as they began to understand a method to move between worlds. They are incredibly intelligent and aggressive beings that have ruins within Venus dating back billions of years. They were first found by humans during the Golden Age, and ever since, have been nothing but a thorn in the side of every race.
As for yourself, you are a Guardian which, thanks to a ghost, is bestowed with the power of light (from The Traveler) to battle the Darkness. These are mechanical drones that originally came from the Traveler attach themselves to a deceased soldier. They serve as scouts, librarians, and mechanics, being able to access different types of machinery and bypass alien decryptions. They are vital to the survival of mankind, ensuring their warriors are properly guided and revived when need be. As for the allied races, there are Humans, Awoken and Exos. We really don’t have to talk too much about Humans as it’s pretty self explanatory what they are. Awoken were formerly human, but were transformed during The Collapse, and now they stand divided, either on Earth or with their recluse Queen on the Reef. Finally, Exos are mechanical beings created by Humans long ago to be proficient in combat. At some point they became self-aware, but unlike the Terminator, they stand with humanity.
Now that we’re done with the background, lets get onto the actual events that occurred throughout the first Destiny.
Destiny starts off as you’re resurrected by a Ghost in the desolate ruins of Old Russia. Things aren’t looking great as there are Fallen roaming around and you need to make it to civilization. Finding a ship, you make your way the Last City where you meet a whole network of faces, including Ikora, Zavala, Cayde-6, and The Speaker, who now represents the Traveler. They instruct you to go back to Earth and search the Cosmodrone in which you find the Hive holding out underground in the abandoned subway system. Seeing as these beings usually reside on the Moon, you’re tasked to travel outside of the atmosphere and investigate.
On the moon you find a deceased Guardian, not to mention a mysterious figure shadowing you. It’s revealed that the Hive have been in contact with an unknown presence are making preparations for an invasion of Earth, something you need to stop. Thus, you dive deeper into the Hive ruins only to find the Sword of Crota. By destroying this, the Hive’s communications have ceased with the unknown force, and for the remainder of the vanilla story, the Hive threat has been squashed. Unfortunately, they’re not the major problem as the mysterious figure who has been stalking you hails you to Venus.
Traveling to Venus, you run into the Vex for the first time and finally get to meet the mysterious Exo who has been watching you this entire time. She informs you that the Vex are the real threat and it’s up to you the find out what’s going on. It’s implied that the Awoken know the location of where you can find the Vex headquarters, so it’s off to the Reef.
At this point, you visit The Queen who is less than hospitable upon your arrival. She and her brother have no interest to give you the information for free so they task you with bringing them the head of a Vex Gate Lord. You then travel back to Venus and take the giant down and present it to the Queen. The Brother has little interest in helping you, but the Queen decides to point you in the right direction: Mars. It’s off to the red planet to find the Vex Gate.
This is where the Cabal are fiercest, and it doesn’t help that they have also been looking into the Vex Gate, so you will need to get past their forces to make any progress. It’s revealed that the Vex are returning through this gate to the Black Garden for an undetermined reason, so like any good Guardian, you follow them through. This is where you will arrive at a very unnerving location as the Vex seem to be worshiping a Black Heart. The final boss of the vanilla game, the Sol Progeny, is summoned to defend this heart, and upon defeating them, light is restored within the Traveller.
Now we are onto the post-release downloadable content that tries to add a little bit more to the world. Unfortunately, the first two pieces of DLC don’t much story-related content. The Dark Below does set things up for the Taken King as it introduces the semi-important NPC, Eris Morn, who was the lone survivor of a six-person fireteam when attempting to kill a Hive God. It would seem that the destruction of Crota’s Sword back on the Moon wasn’t enough to completely squash the Hive threat as they’re back with Crota himself, trying to gain access to Rasputin, an AI that’s protecting Earth. After stopping the invasion of Earth once more, you go down into the depth of the Moon and kill Crota. He’s the prince to a Hive God, so he’s not exactly easy to take down.
House of Wolves
House of Wolves is almost completely avoidable as it mainly sets up a wave-based cooperative experience. Here, the Fallen leader of the House of Wolves, Kell Skolas, breaks out of jail and sets forth plans to attack the Last City. The Queen requests you capture him and throw him back in his cell. Skolas has beef with the Queen as The Wolves and the Reef did battle at some point, at least until Variks, the current Warden of the Prison of Elders, switched sides and betrayed his Fallen brothers. You catch him and put him back where he belongs.
The third piece of DLC starts off with the Taken King, and Hive God, Oryx, travelling the stars in his colossal dreadnaught ship to kick off the Taken War. Apparently he wasn’t too thrilled with the Guardians killing his baby boy. The Awoken rally a pre-emptive strike, but it ends up being a massive failure, with their armada destroyed, and their Queen presumed dead. After this, Oryx begins enslaving members of other races, ala the Taken, so it’s up to the Guardians to put a stop to this. The Guardians obtain a new set of powers and are able to land relatively safely on the Dreadnaught where the Cabal are also waging war.
The Cabal play a significant roll in The Taken King, even though it’s not entirely apparent, which helps lead into Destiny 2. Like every alien race before it, the Cabal were planning an attack on Earth, but they were instead interrupted by the Taken. While their operations were put on hold, they believed that they could salvage the opportunity by boarding the Dreadnaught and obtaining some of the Hive’s technology to be used against the Last City. The Guardians were successful in stopping their efforts, but due to their intense casualties, the Cabal ready an even stronger attack against The Last City which is to be seen in Destiny 2.
Getting back to the main story, though, you kill one version of Oryx in his chambers, but that’s not good enough, so you need to track him down once more in the Ascendant Realm and put the final nail in his coffin. This come in the form of the lengthy and well organize raid.
The final piece of DLC is more of an isolated incident on Earth, with a couple of overlaying issues after the fact. This takes the player to the Plaguelands, a sealed off area within the Cosmodrone that houses a familiar but new threat. You meet with Saladin Forge, the last remaining Iron Lord who seeks aid from the Guardians. For clarity, Iron Lords are essentially noble Guardians who have taken up the mantle to defend and rebuild civilization, protecting the walls of the Last City.
It would seem that the Fallen have been able to get their hands on the Golden Age SIVA nanotechnology, transforming them into technologically enhanced beings capable of mass destruction. This story is pretty cut in dry as you’re initially tasked with investigating the Plaguelands, which leads you to gain further information on SIVA itself, and then you need to destroy the Splicer leadership.
There you have it. While there is a lot more history and detailed information regarding specific individuals and enemies during the conflicts of Destiny, this is a broad overview of what happened throughout the course of the game. You should now be prepared for Destiny 2 when it hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 6, with the PC version coming October 24.