‘We had no idea what it was’
Destiny 2 developer Bungie is trying to make things easier and less confusing this time around. The story will be in the game, not in Grimoire cards. You’ll be able to fly between destinations without having to hop out to orbit. And Destiny 2’s writers aren’t even going to try to explain what the hell the Darkness is.
In a 22-minute interview with Kotaku’s Splitscreen podcast recorded at E3 2017, Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith spoke about a variety of features that will and won’t be available when the game debuts this September on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You should listen to the full episode, but Kotaku helpfully pulled out some of the most interesting tidbits — let’s get to ’em.
As previously announced, Destiny 2 will include an in-game map, which was an inexplicable omission from the original Destiny. Smith confirmed to Kotaku that the sequel will also offer “some fast travel options,” although players will have to unlock them. Currently, Guardians on patrol in Destiny’s Old Russia have to ride their Sparrows all the way from the Forgotten Shore to the Divide — and sometimes look up fan-made maps on the internet to know which direction to go in.
“One of the things that we’re doing with Destiny 2 is, we’re trying to unhide a bunch of that fun,” said Smith. “You know, instead of finding the fun on Reddit, let’s find the fun in the game.”
During the Destiny 2 gameplay livestream a month ago, Bungie discussed a number of new kinds of activities that players will find while on patrol. Lost Sectors sound like mysterious dungeons, while Adventures are side missions with unique mechanics and rewards. Smith also told Kotaku about a type of event called Silent, in which “a bunch of monsters show up and start doing stuff.” And there’s another one with the tentative name Flashpoint: a featured location with special items.
Bungie is adding these elements because, said Smith, “We know that players in Destiny are always looking for, in a bunch of ways, excuses to spend time in the world.”
The main antagonists in the universe of Destiny are aliens of various races — the Fallen, Hive, Vex and Cabal, as well as their corrupted Taken versions. They are related in some unknown way to a cosmic force (or enemy?) known as the Darkness, while Guardians are beings powered by the Light.
“when we’re going to talk about Darkness next, we need to know what it is”
The thing is, across all of Destiny’s voluminous lore, nobody ever explains who or what the Darkness is. Smith acknowledged this in a previous interview with Game Informer, and said that while “we do owe our players a story there,” it won’t come in Destiny 2. Kotaku asked him to elaborate.
“So, I think that at a point, just totally candidly? We had no idea what it was,” Smith told Kotaku. “Straight up. We had no clue.”
Smith explained that because Bungie’s writers didn’t know what the Darkness was, they just decided to “lump all the races” together as “minions of the Darkness.” But he admitted that players — and the game itself — deserve a better explanation. So for Destiny 2, the story will focus on the Light and “what it means to be chosen” as a Guardian by the Light.
“Because when we’re going to talk about Darkness next, we need to know what it is and have a plan for it,” said Smith. “And we do.”
Destiny 2 will be released Sept. 6 on PS4 and Xbox One, while its Windows PC version will launch seven weeks later on Oct. 24. For more, check out our hands-on impressions of the PC version.