Today’s Destiny 2 video preview features a discussion regarding the development of the sequel’s story, titled “Creating the Story of a Lightless World.” IGN yet again has exclusive hosting privileges for the developer discussion, but it’s primarily focused on the thoughts of Matthew Ward, Cinematic Lead, and Jason Harris, Senior Narrative Lead from Bungie. Ward and Harris each make their pitches for why story in Destiny 2 will establish a pillar for the franchise going forward.
Both Ward and Harris appear to have been coached a bit for this developer video, as they both lean in on the rhetoric a bit strongly. On the other hand, you can tell they’re both excited about their game and don’t want to misrepresent it. Nevertheless, as the video opens the two developers discuss the original Destiny in a way that’s certain to cause some fans some consternation:
“If Destiny 1 had a heartbeat, it was a nice, methodical, rhythm that just kind of underpinned the entire experience. It was steady, it supported the world. Destiny 2? This is like the heartbeat of someone who is over at Orangetheory Fitness. It’s like a machine gun.”
Ward’s definitely trying to exaggerate the comparison in order to focus in on what Bungie’s doing with Destiny 2‘s story, but leading with understating the issues with the original Destiny‘s story might not be the best way to do that. The takeaway is what’s important though, and that takeaway is that Destiny 2‘s story is designed to be fast-paced, adrenaline fueled, and maintained for the duration of the game.
After that introduction, the two developers get into more specifics regarding Destiny 2‘s story. In Destiny 2 players will be going through an introspective journey about what it means to be a Guardian, what it means to be a hero. Those themes of starting over and learning what it means to be a hero again seem to be recurring throughout Destiny 2. Ward paints the picture for how Destiny 2 will position players at the start of the game:
“Without the light, am I a Guardian at all anymore? What does it mean to be chosen? What does it mean to be special in this world? What does it mean to have a higher power, or a higher authority choose you to go onto a golden path, to accomplish some Earth-shattering, universe-shattering, system shattering goals?”
From there Ward and Harris branch into a number of different narrative-related subjects in Destiny 2. They discuss how those themes of renewal in Destiny 2 tie into the gameplay decision to make players abandon their armories, but also how they want the experience of being a Guardian to be more than just the tchotchkes a player is wearing. It’s implied that Cayde-6, Zavala, and Ikora Rey are being designed for players to connect with in a variety of ways, something Destiny 2 trailers so far have pointed to as well.
The video does a great job of setting the stage for Destiny 2 without giving out more information than players already know. It’s more about how and why Bungie is approaching Destiny 2‘s narrative in the manner they are. Altogether, it’s something that was certainly never provided for the original Destiny and that’s meaningful in a profound way.
Destiny 2 is scheduled to launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting September 6, with a PC launch to follow on October 24.