With the release of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, players got a new campaign that progresses the overall narrative of the game and the franchise in general in a way that should continue throughout at least the next year of the game. Despite Shadowkeep's somewhat abrupt ending leaving some players confused and frustrated, the place to where the campaign's ending takes players is a big revelation for the franchise.
Spoilers for Shadowkeep follow.
As Bungie promised, the story of Shadowkeep in many ways is the next chapter of Destiny 1's original campaign from 2014. After that campaign led players to the Black Garden to destroy the dark heart within it, which was some sort of manifestation of the Darkness, the ultimate enemy of the Traveler, the past five years has taken players on narrative journeys across the breadth of Destiny's universe. But over that time, Bungie has never been willing to take the plunge into the depths of that main antagonist of the Darkness. But that all changes in Shadowkeep.
The first campaign mission of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep reveals that there is a pyramid ship hidden deep within the Moon and Eris awakens it there. This sets off a reaction of many of the Guardians' most powerful enemies of the past coming back in Nightmare form. Throughout the campaign, it is also revealed that the pyramid has been hidden there for a long time and may have also had a role to play in the Great Disaster, an event told in the lore where the Hive led by Crota killed thousands of Guardians, the red ghostly visages of which now float on the Moon in Shadowkeep.
This all leads to the end of Shadowkeep's campaign, which sees players board the pyramid ship itself as what is currently understood as the Darkness takes over the player's Ghost to communicate with them. As players make their way through the pyramid ship, they finally recover an artifact. Touching it gives a vision where players are suddenly in the Black Garden. The final cutscene of the campaign shows a menacing mirror version of the player with a fleet of pyramid ships floating in the distance.
This conduit of the Darkness tells players "We have heard your cries for help. And soon we will answer." When asked "Who are you?" this clone says "Don't you recognize us? We are not your friend. We are not your enemy. We are your Salvation." While this line and its meaning will remain a mystery for now, the ending of Shadowkeep's campaign makes it clear that the Darkness is becoming a more tangible enemy in the franchise.
It also appears to lend some credence to rumors that have circulated about Destiny 3, including the existence of dark Guardians and the enemy race of the Darkness being called the Veil. The statue at the end of the last mission aboard the pyramid ship where players pick up the Uknown Artifact is a figure enveloped by a giant veil.
Then the lore book introduced in Shadowkeep that tells of the Darkness is called Unveiling. The first lore entry in the Unveiling book is called Pleased to Meet You, which mirrors this moment in the story where players meet the Darkness through this alternate version of themselves. The second lore entry is called Gardener and Winnower, which tells of the existence of the Light and the Dark and uses the metaphor of a garden and the role of the gardener (who plants and grows life) and the winnower (one who removes chaff from grain) to explain the duality and opposites of Light and Dark in the Destiny universe. The word veil also appears within dialogue during the last mission, which definitely reads like a hint that the Veil are in fact the Darkness or at least a race that the Darkness controls.
The story is set to continue throughout Year 3 with Shadowkeep serving as the jumping-off point. Bungie has talked about how each of the game's seasons will lead narratively to the next, so while the ending of the Shadowkeep campaign does seem abrupt, expect this story to continue developing over the next year. And while many of those rumors in the past have been centered around what would happen in a Destiny 3, from the way Bungie is talking about Destiny 2 being the main entry in the series for a while, it will be interesting to see how many of those rumors actually come to Destiny 2 instead of Destiny 3.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.