I’ve touched on this a little bit in the past but it seems with the most recent 7/7 update during Season of Arrivals, Destiny 2 has finally created a world that feels alive.
In the past we’ve seen little things here and there attempting to make the world feel lived in, from Ikora building a giant Vex portal week after week, to the threat of the Almighty aiming to strike the Tower. While all that was nice to see, it never made me feel that Bungie achieved the ultimate goal of world based storytelling.
All that changed this past Tuesday. Let’s break it down:
So we know that the Fall expansion is basically about the Darkness and last season we saw the looming threat approach. Season of Arrivals is essentially the start of the invasion and after the first wave appearing on Io, the Pyramids have now invaded other locations like Titan, Mercury, and Mars.
Not only can they be seen in the Director menu, but the actual skyboxes have changed to now show the pyramid ships. Vendors on each of these worlds now have specific quests related to the situation as well as the Vanguard works to save lives. Naturally, all of this implies a doomsday scenario that players already have a clue of.
Besides the UI and visual changes, the worlds impacted by the Pyramids have also changed slightly to show players that things are changing on the ground as well. Savathun’s influence is now more apparent than ever thanks to her Marionette champions now roaming around most patrol zones. On Io, there are even little pyramid ships zooming around in the sky. It’s menacing and still pretty cool.
To me, this helps generate a feeling of a looming threat on the horizon. Like we’re building towards something instead of just getting an update in September that changes things.
After Bungie’s reveal stream earlier this summer, the studio announced that it will be sunsetting content, placing it into a virtual vault to not only make way for new content (and to keep the game size reasonable) but for it to also potentially return at a later date improved and better.
What’s interesting here is that all of the planets and moons that the Pyramids have seemingly infected are the locations planned to be going away in the Fall. Tying a narrative element to this major game change is a pretty cool thing to do rather than simply make them disappear. It helps the player prepare for the coming changes.
Logging into the game following the update was surprising but very welcomed. It’s cool to see actions and decisions that have happened in the past, all leading up to these moments. We’re finally getting those moments Bungie promised us last year, where the world continues to evolve and I’m definitely much happier for it. These are the type of “You Had To Be There” moments I think we all wanted, rather than actual good content getting cut at the end of each season.
Honestly, I hope Bungie can find ways to keep this mechanic going as the game continues to receive new content. This level of world building and interaction is exactly what many players have been wanting for quite some time so here’s hoping this is a glimpse at what is to come in Beyond Light and in the future.