During for three chaotic years I had slain gods, saved time itself from being destroyed, and performed dozens of other impossible feats of heroism through space magic called Light. Then came a brash alien emperor with the courage and technology to take it all away.
Since the release of the first game in September 2014, the Fate The franchise has always been an otherworldly power trip. Set in the distant future long after an apocalypse that humanity narrowly survived, it’s decidedly science fiction. And yet, the way it approaches magic is on par with the greatest high fantasy epics. You can channel the hell of a star into a hand cannon that can go through anything, or maybe turn your whole body into a floating lightning rod that would make Emperor Palpatine cry.
Fate has always been good at making you feel powerful, so for Destiny 2 removing that power at the start of the original campaign released in September 2017 – five years ago – was downright groundbreaking. It’s a pity that you still can’t play it anymore.
The official Destiny 2 launch trailer.
Out of nowhere, a fleet of Cabal (a race of chonky, highly militaristic alien rhinos) attacks the Last City on Earth, and they even hijack the great orb called the Traveler that empowers the countless Guardians protecting the city. Throughout Destiny’s three-year run, the Tower was the game’s social hub where Guardian players teleported to collect bounties, organize their stored gear, and dance alongside their favorite NPCs – all from a third-party perspective. nobody.
Destiny 2However, the thrilling opening mission disorients you by putting you in your battle-ready first-person perspective. You look at your home with new eyes as it is destroyed, and you fight alongside characters who, for the most part, were never more than talking heads. You shoot a group of aliens, then face off against Cabal leader Dominus Ghaul.
Just when you’re about to destroy this rude rhinoceros, Ghaul activates a device that siphons light from the traveler, rendering you utterly helpless. Without the space magic that resurrected your ancient pile of bones in the middle of nowhere in Russia a few years ago, you’re just a wobbling corpse.
Ghaul makes no effort when he sees you from the top of his ship, and you fall into oblivion.
Psycho! You wake up two days later barely able to move and have to sneak around (in third person, another change that felt pretty new to Fate) out of a dangerous place. For a fast-paced game with great gunplay, it just feels claustrophobic as you head for a pistol and limited ammo, then a submachine gun. A pack of Cabal War Beasts (alien dogs) descend on you just before you go to the desert. Normally you can mow down these bad boys with ease and glee, but you’re feeling hopeless here just trying to survive.
Because, you know, you’re still basically a limping corpse.
Inevitably, a stray shard from the Traveler summons the player character, a beacon of light in the darkness that allows you to rekindle the Light needed to fight the Darkness. This gives you enough power to eventually defeat Ghaul and reactivate the Light for everyone. But all that conceit offers a compelling narrative reason for your character to start with a clean slate in the sequel. Fate has always had a strong ludonnarrative: your chirping little robot Ghost channels light to resurrect you countless times, even giving player vs. player matches some canonical logic in the Destinyverse.
It’s part of what makes it a complete disappointment that the opening storyline of Destiny 2dubbed “The Red War”, is currently unplayable as it is locked in the Destiny 2 Content Vault, which began in 2020. Essentially, the developers created an in-universe reason to shroud huge swaths of content in a cloud of darkness. (Hey there ludonarrative!) Practically speaking, it made entire expansions and planets unplayable. Mars, for example, was a staple from the very beginning of Destiny, but the Darkness swallowed it as it made its way to beyond the light. It was not until Savathûn came to power in February 2022 The Witch Queen that the Darkness sent him away.
“Instead of building a Destiny 3 and leave D2 behind, every year we will be pushing older, less actively played content out of the live game and into what we call the Destiny Content Vault (DCV),” Bungie’s 2020 community manager wrote. reason was to keep the overall game size more manageable. This makes sense especially for Red War, which involves a number of unique game environments. The real secret sauce in Destiny 2The game’s design is all about recycling and revamping the same environments to tell new stories, so the Red War campaign is probably massive by comparison.
Allow diversion here, but why isn’t it fair”Fate” with rolling annual updates that revamp the core experience? This is essentially what is already happening.
Fate always felt like a pioneering new game model. In 2014, everyone had a hard time describing Fate in simple terms. It was a looter-shooter at a time when the subgenre was still gaining traction, but it also had a strong focus on online multiplayer. Still, it wasn’t quite the FPS MMORPG that some believed. This was several years before Battle Royale games popularized the live service model, so Fate endured some growing pains and an identity crisis or two trying to figure out where he fits in the industry. (It’s only Destiny 2: Shadow Warden in 2019 that the developers finally accepted the “MMO” label.)
Destiny 2 was a soft reboot that felt decidedly different from both Fate and everything that was available at the time. While I will always have fond memories of the original, I have even fonder memories of how my obsession with Destiny 2 comes and goes with each new major content update – and some of the most interesting seasons in between.
Really, Destiny 2 is better than it’s ever been right now, but five years after its launch, I’m still vaguely annoyed that there’s even a “2” attached to its title. I’m also looking forward to maybe hopefully replaying Red War at some point.