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Bungie’s Narrative Shortcomings in Destiny 2: Lightfall

Destiny 2: Lightfall is an expansion that has received tons of criticism for its story. It is considered by the community to be largely vacuous and a filler expansion. Barely adding anything to the larger narrative of the story. Some players have been left wondering why some of the exciting narrative developments in Destiny 2’s Season of the Deep were not included in Lightfall. Something as integral as the explanation for what the ”Veil” is, had been entirely left out from the campaign. Only explained a season and a half later in a cutscene many in the community are calling the ‘the most important cutscene in Destiny history”. You can watch the entire cutscene here to have a look for yourselves.


Developer response

In a recent interview, Bungie leads addressed criticism of Lightfall’s story and explained that the expansion was partly a narrative experiment meant to set up more engaging seasons for the current year. But the players see it as padding, extracted from the narrative of the now final Destiny expansion ”The Final Shape”. The community thinks, this is so Bungie can sell more seasonal content to extend the light and dark saga one more year. Senior narrative designer Nikko Stevens explains that they are now at the point where the events of one season lead directly into the events of the next. Senior design lead Tom Farnsworth adds that they are building the path to The Final Shape, which is a 10-year saga and at this point everything is pointing towards its conclusion in Final Shape.

Destiny 2 senior narrative designer Robert Brookes adds that these are some of the most serialized and interconnected seasons they’ve ever done. He explains that normally they ramp up to an expansion and then start new stuff with the seasons that come after it, but with this one, Defiance and Deep are kind of like the fallout from Lightfall. Brookes also clarified that since the Season of the Deep was in production before Lightfall was even released, and because Destiny 2 content is developed well in advance, writing something as a reaction is just physically not possible.


Cut Content from the Witch Queen

There are also theories that Lightfall’s story shortcomings come from development issues during Witch Queen. Some speculate that the new, “Strand” subclass was supposed to release with the Witch Queen expansion. What gives this speculation credence is the logos from the Witch Queen armor sets and Strand logo are the same, even following the same green color theme. Witch Queen had to be delayed and worked on for a few extra months before release due to the pandemic and the workflow shift from it. So its suspected that Bungie probably took the new subclass which was yet to be finished and other narrative elements and stitched them into a new Frankenstein expansion.

Currently, the seasonal stories are going strong, we can hope that The Final Shape is a far more complete and coherent expansion than Lightfall was.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out more content on Poggers Memes. You can check out how Overwatch Genesis could start an extended cinematic universe!

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