Friday, April 16, 2021

Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen marks a turning point for the better

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Destiny 2 Season of the Chosen Is Coming closer closer to completion, but this week’s stage in Proving’s storyline presented an incredibly satisfying pinnacle of narrative design that left many people feeling pleasantly shocked by how this game turned out. Season of the Chosen is vital for many. reasons, the most important being that it marks an important turning point for Bungie and the future of the series.

When Destiny 2 first launched, the comments left little to be desired. While Bungie walked out the door with a fleshed-out story that resonated with fans of the space shooter, the endgame content was paltry at best. The first year after launch was hell, filled with a community fed up with paywalls and excuses to do better from the studio. Next, Bungie announced that it was officially separating from Activision, the publisher leading the launch of Destiny 2. From there, the team had more freedom to realize the vision they originally had. , not an experiment based on microtransactions and half-armed content.

The turn for the better began with the Forsaken DLC. While not the first expansion in the sequel, it was the first expansion to breathe new life into the Destiny community. Much like the Taken King expansion did for the first game, Forsaken took the story Bungie was trying to tell to a much deeper place. With a movement that should ended in disaster by killing fan favorite Hunter Vanguard Cayde-6, this DLC was a catalyst for a brighter future. This future is very visible in the final season of the Beyond Light expansion with the latest development in the Proving questline alongside Caiatl, the daughter of Calus.

The premise of the new season is that Zavala and the rest of the Guardians have reached a shaky truce with the Cabal with Caiatl at the helm. To prove their worth, the Guardians had to travel to the proving grounds to fight the best of the best when it comes to the Cabal fleet. Each week brought a new milestone, including investigative work with The Crow. This reincarnated iteration of Cayde-6’s killer Uldren Sov is a character many didn’t expect to like at all, but with this season? Many of us have grown up not only to love him, but also to love what he brings to the table.

I have already written on how much i hated how much bungie made me love this character, even knowing the motivations and manipulations Uldren went through. It didn’t matter to me, the endgame was always the same: Cayde, my favorite character, was dead and by his hand. I wanted to hate Crow, even knowing it wasn’t fair. While I was ready to perhaps do not totally despise him, I was not ready to sympathize with him and appreciate his character. After the last reset and story progression this week, I can safely say that he’s now my favorite character in the entire franchise. Boy, let me say that this turn of events shocked me, but here we are.

Spoilers ahead

There is a distinct parallel that floods the communities of Destiny. I’ve seen the image below in almost every Facebook and Discord group I’m in. The power of this scene was felt throughout the player base, and while the strike that preceded it had mixed reception, this scene here had universal approval from the other Guardians:

The parallel in question has to do with the scene below from the Forsaken DLC when Uldren (now Crow) kills Cayde. Is the art deep, subtle and when combined with the composition of colors to elicit a more emotional response and a signal that the overall story is evolving? It is powerful.

Color theory in entertainment media is nothing new. The most recent “popular” example is the Snyder cut from Justice League. The extended version is much darker, aesthetically speaking, and this color choice is meant to evoke a more sinister and powerful feel as you watch the narrative unfold. Games, movies, television – they all do; it is an effective way to convey certain messages through a given story. The Forsaken and Shadowkeep expansions were gritty, visually dark, and dripping with desolation. Beyond Light took a different turn with Europa, but the final chapter of Season of the Chosen went in a completely different direction with vibrant hues, as shown in this first screenshot.

As mentioned in my description of the evolution behind Uldren and his transition to the Raven (which you can read here), his need to hide his face because others don’t understand that he’s not the same man who killed Cayde was heartbreaking. When Bungie began to suggest that Zavala, the Titan Vanguard who was arguably the hardest hit by Cayde’s death, would soon discover Crow’s identity, many thought the revelation would be explosive. When Crow instead foils another assassination attempt on the Titan by speaking with Caiatl, his mask falls and Zavala learns the truth. In a moment of total stillness, I didn’t know which direction it was going to take. I hiccupped audibly and waited to see what his reaction would be to Crow’s identity. This is when the above interaction happened. Instead of revenge, Zavala offered his trust. Support. Agreement. Everything Crow had been deprived of. It was so heartwarming and really gave off a feeling of “calm before the storm”, especially when you look at the current of corruption felt in Crow’s own story throughout this season and last.

The evolution of Caiatl

But this season has been a turning point for more than Crow and how he fits into the bigger picture; Caiatl was also an interesting development. Throughout this season, it was not clear whether there would be a peaceful resolution with the Cabal leader or not. After the failure of the first assassination attempt and the discovery of knowledge via the grimoire, the story could have turned either way. When the second assassination attempt failed, Caiatl really showed how badass she was. The way she absolutely toughened up the Psion who tried to take down our favorite Titan was nothing short of epic. She wasn’t a badass because she had been given “permission” to be; she’s a badass because she’s a full-fledged badass. She is powerful and not because this power was given to her by Calus. She deserved it. Sharp. I bent it to its will, and that alone makes me incredibly excited to see where Bungie takes their story next.

Finally, more than just quests

The entire Season of the Chosen setup fixed many of the issues players encountered with previous seasons. With seasons in the past, pacing issues were noted, erratic progression, and insignificant squeak all played a part in why the previous story’s arcs were hit or miss. Season of the Chosen has taken all of these comments and expertly applied them, providing players with a season that feels natural, rewarding, and like the perfect setup for the future of Bungie’s narrative. The cinematic parallels, the meaningful goals, the actual storytelling that happened all come together to create a gaming experience that truly feels like a fresh start. Bungie has stated that the story of Destiny 2 is far from over. If Season of the Chosen is any indicator, we are on a wild and incredibly fruitful ride.

What do you think of Season of the Chosen so far? Do you agree that this is a turning point, or did you not vibrate in the same way? Where would you like to see Bungie take Destiny next? Sound off in the comments section below. Do it for Cayde.

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