11 Aug 2021 9:08 AM +00:00

Destiny 2's Epilogue Shows The Challenge Faced By Live-Service Storytelling

Yesterday saw Destiny 2's Season of the Splicer epilogue, an event that had leaked but still offered plenty to get excited about as we edge towards the joint reveals of Season 15 and The Witch Queen.

If you've not logged in since the weekly reset, I'd recommend doing so before reading on.

Read More: Destiny 2 Season 15 - Everything We Know

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Destiny 2's Epilogue Shows The Challenge Faced By Live-Service Storytelling

As expected, Lakshmi-2 and Future War Cult rounded up the Fallen and were preparing to shove them through a new Vex Portal within the Eliksni quarter of the Last City. That went awry, though, with Lakshmi-2 falling and the Vex needing to be repelled once again.

In gameplay terms, that meant fighting through another Override activity, although something about it felt more exciting. The music swelling, a few new lines of dialogue, it all felt a tad more urgent – even though all we were really doing was depositing data like we've been doing for a couple of months.

Perhaps most enjoyable was the new cutscene at the end of the battle. As Saint-14 and Mithrax stand, side-by-side, certain to be overwhelmed, Osiris stood and watched.

Even as Ikora Rey, Commander Zavala, and Amanda Holliday arrived to fight, he stood high up and watched the battle. Sure, Osiris hasn't got his light now, but it's looking pretty nailed-on that he's going to be a pawn of Savathun – if not the Witch Queen in disguise himself.

We've had lore passages describing Savathun's disguise as covering her mouth, which certainly fits in with Osiris' look, and to see him stand back and watch Saint-14 battle the Vex was more evidence that he's not the Guardian we once knew.

Check out the new video below:

It's not exactly Avengers: Endgame, but it's always a treat to see these characters fight together since we've been getting to know them since 2014.

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Then there's the 'unkillable Vex', spotted in the Override encounter. It beeps a lot, and the Raid Secrets Reddit has already translated the morse code to the word "Assistant" - what Io vendor Asher Mir refers to our Guardian as. Could he be back for Season 15, trapped inside a Vex Harpy? It'd be ironic, given his extensive research into the time-travelling alien race.

He's mentioned in the flavour text for Stochastic Variable, too, suggesting Asher could be back before we know it – which begs the question of when we'll be reunited with Sloane and, uh, Brother Vance.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Epilogue is how tough it is for a season to carry a central plotline over a series of weeks. I like Bungie's drip-feed approach to storytelling that we've seen in the last few seasons, but it feels a little like the Solstice of Heroes event just kind of marched in and stole focus from one of Destiny's better narratives.

I get that any big narrative beats need to wait until later in the season, but it feels like the whole Osiris vanishing, Lakshmi-2 causing her own downfall, and the sight of multiple Vanguard leaders fighting alongside each other would have been a lot more impactful if we hadn't spent the last few weeks grinding for prettier armour.

I guess that's always been Destiny's inherent disconnect, though – it's an MMO/shooter, and that means not only is there a heavy degree of grinding, but there's also one key way to interact with its beautiful worlds: shooting.

It's a dichotomy that I think Bungie has worked on for some time, but with Season 15 expected to intersect with this year's Festival of the Lost, it'll be interesting to see if anything changes.