Bungie unloaded a full clip of Destiny to the face and the feels are real. Remember when I said to pay attention to Zavala? Destiny 2 immediately proves it has more heart than the first game, even with all the expansions. Using the opening of the showcasing of Destiny 2 as a platform — having Zavala introduce the player base to a more serious tone which immediately sets the stakes higher — is a strong move. Zavala’s more serious demeanor isn’t all brooding, but a calculus of everything going around him. Which is why the story to Destiny 2 is already immensely important. While there are a number of things in Destiny 2, the PvE aspect of things makes for the skeletal structure that holds up the Destiny universe. In other words, lore matters.
It’s a bit nerve-racking that lore, while mentioned, didn’t come up that much, other than story content. With such a serious overhaul to story, gameplay and the two combined, it’s odd that Bungie would leave out what they’ve done for Destiny lore access to the player base. They introduced a number of needed fixes (maps) and while these are already a drastic improvement to the core Destiny game, lore seems out of reach for the moment. It’s not to say that Bungie won’t talk about it later, but still. While not showcasing access to lore, it’s most certainly there. For lore nerds like myself, Destiny 2 already looks to be a dream come true.
The most immediate change is the environment. The Tower always seemed like an elusive thing; my Guardian didn’t feel close to those she was supposedly protecting. How is one supposed to feel like a hero when there really isn’t anyone worth saving? Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, whether fighting actual battles or just being that person someone looks up to, heroes aren’t made without those to protect. Although, it could be argued Guardians are more warriors…never mind, no need to go down that path. Needless to say, Guardians are now invested in the people they are protecting; they are going out into the world and fighting back whatever might threaten a community broken. It connects Guardians to something worth fighting for: relationship.
Whether they intended it or not, when Bungie stated during the livestream that community was what bound Destiny together, they made relationship clear. Destiny is about playing with friends new and old. It could be a one off, with the new Guided Games or something more concrete with friends who have banded together again to face the encroaching darkness. If community is so important to Destiny, it was only understandable that this path would be traversed eventually. Relationship, is something most of us take part in everyday whether we like it or not. Even the Guardians in the Tower couldn’t escape the inevitable crouchers that would surround you or the dance parties. Oh, the dance parties. People can’t help but be drawn to each other, even if it means joining others only in digital spaces.
What does relationship mean for lore though? Of course, the actual relationship aspect of Destiny is there, but it’s always been there. Destiny 2 is not only creating worlds, though, it’s actually telling stories within those worlds. The people that inhabit these spaces are important and Bungie seems to be doing everything to make the player care about them. From the looks of interaction with those around you while traversing the many environments Destiny 2 has to offer, the aspect of relationship is everywhere. Zavala giving command to the player and other NPCs around him. It creates a sense of urgency immediately invoking a compassion that only comes from feeling connected to others. Then there is the EDZ a new area for players to call home. The people they were protecting have started forming communities here. Actively participating in these places will create a more grounded sense of community. It’s the reason WoW cities felt so lived in; the people that inhabit these spaces are going about their daily lives. It isn’t about, go out, kill aliens, return. It feels like being the Pavlovian dog waiting for the treat. None of that seems to be in Destiny 2.
Many familiar faces filled the screen as the hour of Destiny 2 played out, characters any player could recognize (Holiday did look slick flying that ship.) Destiny 2 means introducing new faces to the fold, folks that may have been there the whole time, but Guardians were to busy running around the galaxy to pay attention too. At least, that’s what I like to think. Getting down on the people’s level though, actually coming down from their Tower, Guardians will hopefully see firsthand the struggles that the Last City had to go through on a daily basis. New places and new faces means new content. Guardians always had a pretentiousness about them. I enjoyed my Guardian, but it felt like we were all on a high horse policing the universe without a care for those we were actually supposed to be protecting. This isn’t a new concept, though, even having been written into the lore. It’s known that children are told stories at night about Guardians to frighten them. Protectors or a something worse? Guardians are undead soldiers after all, Zavalas haunting speech while returning over and over again, shook me. My guardian has done this exact thing, but actually seeing the impact and hearing how twisted it sounded made me feel like one of the children that lives in the Last City.
The Last City isn’t the only thing out there. One of my first memories of Destiny is one of the story missions, the name of which escapes me at the moment. In this particular mission, after activating some beacons, your Ghost makes the comment of things deeper out in the universe, things unseen and ancient. While this may have been a reference to Crota at the time or even Oryx, it still felt as if Bungie was hinting at a lot up its sleeve. When really digging into the Destiny Grimoire or even just playing the game, it’s obvious humans expanded across the stars at rapid pace. Destiny 2 is following in suit, with the three new locations Titan, Nessas and Io they couldn’t be digging the heels more into lore. These are spaces that will show off how humanity took control of their…Destiny. The Traveler brought with it the Golden Age and Destiny 2 seems to want to show just what that means.
Humanity isn’t the only thing occupying the wide-open galaxy; there are the other two races as well. The Exos are powered by the light and that seems to be a living source. Besides humanity fighting its war there are the Awoken and Exo, both related to humanity while not being human. Equally as important to the scope of it all. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of these two races, just know that Bungie does plan on telling their stories eventually. The other major tie in for these two races is all the other high sci-fantasy space stuff going on. Without getting into space dragons (because they exist), there are also things in this universe the Destiny community has yet to encounter, unless counting Xur. Which brings this to the Nine. The Nine have been a known part of Destiny since the game’s release, but the only contact anyone has had with them is strictly through Xur, an agent of the Nine. With Destiny 2 taking us to Titan, players just might get closer than ever before to this elusive group of who knows what (hint space dragons). Doing some digging, it’s known the Nine occupy either Europa, a moon of Jupiter, or Titan, one of the new locals in Destiny 2, a moon of Saturn.
Destiny 2 is laying the groundwork for outstanding storytelling and unforgettable moments. It’s setting a solid foundation for the game it always wanted to be, while delivering the things Destiny never could. It’s an exciting time to be a Guardian even if it means the Last City falling only to pick ourselves up one more time. At least this time, there are those worth fighting for.