Previously on Destiny 2…
Destiny 2 has never been a series that is good at storytelling. Be it the infamous and bad dialogues such as “I don’t have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain”. Or the many “villains of the week” which we got in Destiny 2. Just for fun, why don’t we list them:
- Ghaul from Destiny 2 Campaign
- Panoptes from Curse of Osiris
- Xol the worm god from Warmind
- The three Psion Flayer sisters from the Season of Dawn
- Amtec from Season of the Worthy
- Even the big boss of the latest expansion Beyond Light, Eramis the Kell of Darkness
- High Celebrant of Xivu Arath with the Season of the Hunt
These villains are even more pointless when you think about why they are going against us, the Guardians, as we have literally destroyed god after god in this universe. This in turn leads to stories in which there is no real tension as we know that we are gonna win in the end.
The Signs of Change….
The time we really saw the start of this change was with “The Season of the Hunt” which as mentioned had its own pointless villain, but the story was mainly focused on freeing Uldren Sov, the resurrected murderer of Cayde 6 who now goes by “Crow”. He has no memories of his past and is in servitude to the Spider. We also know that many are afraid or hurtful to him due to what he had done in his previous life.
So most of the season was left for our Guardian to free him from his servitude and this was at the heart of the Season, not the High Celebrant. And I do think this story worked but the season itself was marred by the weak villain, poor seasonal activities and lackluster rewards.
Now the good stuff
Before I start, this is filled with ton of Spoilers for the Season so read at your own caution…
The main plot with the Empress
All this has led us to the Season of the Chosen. Here, unlike the other seasons, we don’t have a stupid villain but rather a compelling antagonist with Empress Caiatl. She is not just an enemy we shoot till we kill her but rather a calculated ruler. She wants to team up with the Vanguard in order to combat the bigger threats of the Hive and the Darkness which destroyed her home planet. But her Culture of Cabal does not allow her to partner with us as equals. But rather with her as leading us. This doesn’t go well with the leader of the Vanguard, Zavala and Lance Reddick as the character says one of the most powerful “No’s” ever.
That is the setup for the season. We have disagreed with her and this forces her to contact all the other Cabal forces in the system to join her. And in accordance with the Cabal tradition, they need to prove themselves to her. That’s where we come into play with us disrupting all her future war council members. And them killing them to cripple her forces even more. This is what we are doing in this Season’s activity with Battlegrounds.
This is just the setup, with us having a war table along with Zavala the Leader, Osiris as his advisor, Saladin as a weathered warlord, Crow as the young & optimistic scout, and Amanda Holiday as our Transport. All these characters have conflicts on how we are dealing with the Cabal. And this often leads to interesting conversations where there is no real good or bad guy.
This story has progressed week to week where we gradually pushed the Empress and champions to the brink.
The oh-so interesting B Plot with the Crow
This is just the main story but we also have a very interesting B Plot with Crow. He is hiding in plain sight as only our Guardian and Osiris know his real face. This is because we are not sure how everyone is gonna react to seeing the man who killed one of the main heads of the Vanguard now being a Guardian. Crow has many close calls where he almost gets caught and is scolded by Osiris for his carelessness when he was just trying to notify Zavala of an assassin.
Assassins which he finds out are most likely not even from the Empress but someone else who seeks to disrupt her empire and us. This all culminates with him acting as a bodyguard to Zavala in order to look out for the assassins.
And then the plots converge
All this came to a convergence with the new Strike of Proving Grounds where Caiatl, who has been pushed by us, is now forced to enter a fight of the champions from both sides where we promptly destroy her selected champion. This leads us to partner with her in an uneasy alliance.
But even as she performs the rites, there’s an assassination attempt on Zavala. And is saved by the Crow and Caiatl as one of the two the assassins runs off. Crow breaks his mask in the process and is seen by Zavala. And this scene is the replica of what happened to Cayde when Uldren killed him. But now shows a shocked Zavala choosing to help him instead of Uldren killing a fallen foe. This scene shows how Uldren had changed and how Crow is not really the same person as Uldren.
And now that was a satisfying story. One of political intrigue and personal drama. If the season was just this, it would have been awesome but it still had one trick up its sleeve.
The secret horror sub-pot with the season….The Presage mission
I spoiled all the rest of the stuff but I am not going to say much here as this is a mission one should experience. This takes place in the void left by the darkness and is filled with weird scientific experiments of our once quasi ally and the father of the Empress Caiatl…Emperor Calus. This is a creepy mission, with us exploring it with Osiris and Caiatl being our guide. Caiatl hates her father as she thinks that he is a weak man unfit for the role of a leader. This brings more drama into their conversations.
That’s all I am gonna say about this mission because I want everyone to play it for themselves. And after all that, in the end you get one of the best feeling weapons in Destiny 2.
My final thoughts and the rest of the Season
I think that this is undoubtedly the best storytelling Destiny has ever done. Even though we are in the middle of the season I think we are mostly done with the story content for it. And the upcoming weeks of the season are most probably catch up (along with guardian games). The one plot thread established is that both Crow and Caiatl are investigating the failed assassination of Zavala but nothing major. I am interested to see how that pans out.
Overall, This season of Destiny 2 made me intrigued and excited for the future of the game. I hope that this sets a standard and is not the peak for storytelling for Destiny.