We are heading toward the end of Destiny 2. Well, not really. But the end of the first ten years of Destiny 2, the story of the Traveler’s Light and the Darkness which has been the driving force behind the entire series. And now it’s time for some reflection before The Final Shape.
This article was sparked by a pair of posts I saw circulating, one that said Savathun is the better villain that The Witness, and a second which remarked how bizarre it was that when the great fleet of Pyramid ships arrived they were…empty.
I remarked that I believed this was an inflection point for the game, and I really do think that’s true. It felt like a key moment where suddenly, Destiny simply could not be as big as it needed to be. That there was no fully new race of enemies that poured out of those ships when it came time to reveal what was inside. That they were infested with old enemies and just one lanky dude we hadn’t seen before.
This “empty” idea worked for a while. I was fine with the discovery of the first, buried Pyramid under the moon, as that seemed like something that obviously would have been long abandoned, and that was extremely cool moment to see it for the first time.. Then, hype built as Destiny 2’s Season of the Worthy had the little dots appearing on the radar that showed the Pyramids, activated during the Red War campaign, were heading toward us. Then, in Season of Arrivals, they arrived. Nothing emerged from the Pyramids, but they did vacuum up some of our planets and moons which seemed like a big deal.
But then…nothing. Over the course of time, the next few expansions and seasons, we slowly learned that the Pyramids are just…Pyramids. Like the Traveler, they are paracausal objects that are simply that, objects. Some of them contain a single Disciple, like Rhulk, but are not full of say, Rhulk’s race, given that you have to be the last surviving member of your species to gain true Disciple status. Eventually we learned that The Witness, the thing controlling all these paracausal Pyramids was too, in a sense, the only surviving member of its race, embodying an entire civilization in one being.
This is…exceedingly lame, if you ask me. And the fact that the Pyramid arrival did not come with a new system-invading force was a poor decision and use of resources. By Beyond Light, Destiny desperately needed an infusion of a truly new enemy race, something not uncommon in other long-running games. We had gotten Taken, but that was a reskinning of old enemies with new abilities, and Scorn, modified Fallen. But nothing from those Pyramids, which has been an event hyped for years.
This goes back to the long rumored arrival of “The Veil,” which was supposed to be the name of the enemy race, but as we have seen now, transformed into The Veil, the big tadpole macguffin in Lightfall that will soon help beam us through the Traveler portal. Not quite the same thing.
The thing is, it sure feels like the pieces of this were already starting to be in place. By this point, we have gotten a number of enemies that absolutely feel like they all could have been part of a “Pyramid race,” but instead they’re been slowly trickling out for 2+ years now. We have Rhulk, the definitely unique enemy model as the raid boss from Witch Queen. We got Tormentors in Lightfall, and a Super Tormentor with Nezarec. We got Pyramid-mechanic shields for Cabal during that time. And now with The Final Shape we are getting Subjugators, mini Rhulks that either have Strand or Stasis powers, somewhat similar to Scorn Captains.
That adds up to what, at least a third of the total units you’d probably need for a full race, but ones that have been crawling to release and were certainly not ready for a post-Arrivals invasion. The Scorn and Cabal, for instance, have eight total enemy types, so here we’re up to what, 3-4?
I think all of this feeds into why the finale of Destiny 2 feels so hollow. We are not fighting a war against anything other than disloyal versions of Hive, Vex, Scorn and Taken being puppeted by The Witness and its servants. And they’re right, The Witness is a far, far less fleshed-out villain that I mean, almost any other villain we’ve had. Especially Savathun, but even Calus, Eramis, Riven, Oryx, even Xivu Arath who we’ve never actually even seen. How are we really supposed to care about this confrontation against a thing that has had maybe a dozen lines in this entire series? It doesn’t work.
My greatest hope for Destiny 2 after The Final Shape is that after ten years, we will finally get a full new race of enemies to fight, not one built on an old race, and we’ve only had two of those in ten years. Whether it’s finishing this Rhulk enemy race type or something else, we are long past time, and the fact that this race did not end up existing was a turning point for the game’s story that moved it in a much worse direction.
make an article about The ‘Destiny 2’ Invasion That Wasn’t
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