On Tuesday, Destiny 2 did not in fact wait five months to finish its Season of the Wish storyline, instead opting to chuck Crow through the Traveler portal early, and have him wait for us to catch up.
It was an odd, anticlimactic ending to cap off what I would consider to be the strangest year in Destiny 2’s history, at least from a storytelling perspective. There were some good moments, but overall this does in fact feel like a year of content that was not really supposed to exist, with Lightfall and the subsequent seasons inserted so The Final Shape could have more time. Let’s recap:
Lightfall – Obviously this is the biggest story offender, which wasn’t just strange, but actively bad. We are introduced to two new characters, one who dies in a completely expected fashion, but who we have zero connection with. The other is Nimbus, universally agreed upon as one of the most irritating characters in Destiny history.
Neomuna is a dead city filled with holograms and the entire quest was in pursuit of something called “The Veil,” which is of extreme importance to The Witness and Traveler, though we ended the expansion knowing next to nothing about it, and it needed to be explained more in future seasons. All this time later, even after much more Veil discussion, it’s still pretty hard to parse and seems like a macguffin insert that exists for its own sake.
Season of Defiance – At this point it’s difficult to remember almost anything that happened in Defiance as an actual season, other than the bizarre decision to kill off Amanda Holliday, one of the game’s few human characters. Death is always strange in Destiny as at any moment, some random ghost could choose to resurrect you, but Amanda’s “sacrifice” felt entirely unnecessary to the larger story and did not work as an emotionally compelling development. The theory that perhaps Amanda was meant to die in the Witness’s initial assault makes a lot more sense, to be honest, and this was inserted as a replacement when the plan changed.
Season of the Deep – I was kind of excited to return to Titan and see how Sloane survived but once we got there it was…strange. We did not actually get Titan back as a patrol space, and once we returned we learned that Sloane had…made friends with the giant sea worm in the ocean. This devolved into weekly telepathic communications through Sloane that lasted a few sentences at a time.
Then, randomly, in I think week five, the worm revealed the answers to all the central mysteries of Destiny. A single cutscene in the middle of this season talked about the past of the Traveler, the ancient civilization of the Witness and how it came to be, and the nature of its pursuit of the Traveler. It was a massive lore dump in a bizarre place that seemed like it should have been put in Lightfall instead. Then, nothing of real significance in the weeks surrounding it.
Season of the Witch – Certainly the best season of the year. I also enjoyed the concept of the storyline, the idea that we would feed Eris Morn sacrifices to elevate her to the level of a literal Hive god to take on the alien race and its gods that she has so much history with. This all went well until the deeply odd finale where she resurrects then kills Savathun, then does…something with Xivu Arath.
We have to learn that what we’ve done is not kill Xivu Arath, but cut her off from her Throne World, making her “mortal,” in effect. And then, most importantly, we learn offscreen that Savathun is resurrected again, and is allowed to wander off to do who knows what so long as we keep her ghost as a hostage. A huge, huge plot development put into a radio message and a lore book.
Season of the Wish – Just…very dull. We got one bit of interesting history about Riven’s former mate, but that’s it. We spent this season collecting her eggs to realize a plan about sending Crow through the Traveler portal where he will be able to summon us through it to hunt The Witness. We already knew we’d get through due to Final Shape promotion, though I guess Crow going first wasn’t broadcast. But the season just ends completely straightforwardly. No wrench in the works, just getting the eggs, Crow going through the portal and…now we wait. There was just no meat here.
Outside of a few good story moments put in extremely random places, this was a largely incoherent year on the story front, one that did in fact feel like it had to be invented to fill space with the addition of the Final Shape expansion. We’ll see what The Final Shape and the Episodes bring, but I am not sorry to leave this year behind.
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