With E3 now a distant memory, we’ve entered the wasteland that is July and frankly, it shows. The news has basically dried up these days and as a content creator, it has certainly impacted me. Even with no much to talk about, inspiration can strike at any moment like the recent announcement that Bungie has teamed up with Level52 Studios to create a $300 statue of Prince Uldren Sov.
What’s interesting here is that this is a character that has been involved in the entire franchise for probably less than five minutes. Hell, many of you probably only know of the character because of the cool E3 trailer Bungie put out showing his shocking inclusion into the upcoming Forsaken expansion for Destiny 2.
Yes, I know why he’s been given a statue considering his (probable) large role as the antagonist in the Forsaken expansion. I’ll even admit that the character design is very cool. I just find it interesting that Bungie is basically leaning heavily on lore to sell us merchandise, an aspect of the franchise that Bungie hasn’t really proven it has a handle on to this point.
More after the break…
As we’re all well aware, the first Destiny essentially squandered its setting. The game featured a ton of interesting characters and locations but really didn’t do anything with it. If you wanted to learn more about the world and its fascinating lore, you had to completely exit the game to read unlockable Grimoire cards on Bungie’s website. Seriously.
Uldren was featured briefly inside the “campaign” with his sister, Mara Sov aka the Queen, though neither had very many lines and were pretty much forgettable. It’s unfortunate because Uldren apparently had a very different character arc during development, which was seemingly scrapped when the game was rebooted. According to reports, Uldren would have been called “The Crow” who would help players loot the Academy archive on Venus. His personality was less angry and more like Cayde-6, ultimately helping to track down Osiris.
The Taken King, Destiny’s best expansion, improved upon the storytelling considerably, though when the bar was set so low by the base game, anything would have been a major revelation. Uldren and Mara were featured within the intro cinematic, lending a hand to the Vanguard when the villain Oryx and his fleet invaded Saturn.
Their appearance was short lived however as Mara, Queen of the Awoken, appeared to die after getting hit with a laser strike while her brother’s ship was heavily damaged. Clearly, he survived and while the game never really confirmed the fate of Mara, The Taken King wanted players to believe she was indeed dead from the failed attack on The Dreadnaught.
This is where Forsaken likely picks up. The way I see it is that an angry Uldren returns to the Reef, hellbent on getting revenge on the Vanguard who he likely views as the group responsible for his sister’s death. If you’re asking me, I’d imagine that she somehow survives and makes a surprise appearance at some point in the new expansion.
In the end, I honestly hope that Bungie follows through on all this interesting pre-release marketing. I want to know more about Uldren and why he’s pissed off. I hope they take the time to really flesh out his character, rather than just label him as “Cayde’s killer.” I want to see this man put his plan into motion. Why does he release the Reef prisoners. Why is he specifically mad at Cayde? Does he plan to strike at Ikora and Zavala as well?
My fear is that Bungie is ultimately going to save a lot of this juicy information for other mediums outside of the game. It’s a pattern they’ve employed int he past with Osiris’ backstory, and the one they’re currently exploring with Ana Bray. Honestly, I don’t want to have to read other material to get the complete story. Supplemental material should not delve into content that is pertinent to the actual game. If you need other material to help tell a story, then that’s just bad writing and storytelling.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried however as Bungie has done this to us in the past. I mean, just look at the previous Destiny 2 expansions which introduced two legendary characters into the series: Osiris and Ana Bray. Both characters have had their names mentioned throughout both games, so naturally, fans were excited to get to interact with them finally. Well, Osiris was featured in a very cool CG trailer then showed up for maybe a minute. While Ana fared a little better as she becomes the Mars vendor, she wasn’t featured all that much in the Warmind campaign either.
I want Destiny to envelop me in lore and storytelling though, for whatever reason, the franchise just feels unwilling to do so. I hope Forsaken finally bucks the trend and doubles down on the pre-release marketing because it certainly has a very cool premise. I’m excited for Forsaken and I remain hopeful that this story problem won’t be a pattern Bungie is set to repeat with the Sov siblings.