The Sordid Truth Of Destiny’s Lack Of A Story
Destiny has had a lot of criticisms since its launch – many of which our Destiny review touches on – but key among them is its lacklustre and barely existent story.
But a post on Reddit has drawn to light on a startling revelation, comparing elements of the story from pre-release footage to the barren equivalent in the released version of Destiny. Since we’ll be talking about Destiny’s story, if you read a spoiler we really can’t be held responsible for any broken dreams.
The post itself is long and detailed – and we won’t replicate it here – but it focuses on the character Crow, who is an Awoken and the brother of the Queen. Video footage of the Crow prior to release has him pointing a gun at your Guardian in an in-game cut-scene, while a mission to assault the Archive on Venus was originally designed to be assisting Crow. This mission still exists in the game, but rather than be accompanied by Crow it instead has you assault it alone – bar the incessant babbling from Dinklebot about the Darkness.
The Crow was supposed to expose the truth of the Traveller and how it brought the Darkness, rather than imbue the Golden Age of humankind. But at no point throughout the game’s story does this Crow character make an appearance.
What is interesting is that this content was in place as recently as a year ago, and considering the game’s development has spanned five years or so it’s surprising how dramatic the change is. At no point throughout the current game are you given a reason to be shooting at all the things.
An old IGN article even references locations such as Old Chicago and a fleet of derelict ships floating in the rings of Saturn – locations that did not appear in Destiny yet have been discussed by Bungie developers. Admittedly this content could simply be planned content; but when so many complain about repetition in Destiny, you have to wonder why Bungie hasn’t included these if they were being planned – or at least talked about them more openly with regards to the game’s future.
The Reddit post attributes the change in story to a number of things, one of those being the need to retroactively tell some semblance of a story through Grimoire Cards – collectible lore items that can only be read on Bungie’s Destiny website, not in-game.
The post also links to an article on Penny Arcade where Jerry Holkins – better known as Tycho – says he played Destiny a long time ago (presumably as part of a preview of some form) and that gamers “are not playing what I played before. It coulda gone a lotta ways. That’s always the case with software, obviously. But I think they found the path.”
Which is interesting.
While it’d be easy to point a finger and shout ‘conspiracy’ at Bungie, it’s unlikely the developer would have just scrapped large portions of story in favour of, well, nothing at all. What likely happened was that this content was in place and that this planned story was complete, but either Bungie or Activision realised that once the game is released there wouldn’t be much for players to go at until the first expansion pack – months away.
This likely means Crow and his story is yet to happen – and probably will in the run up to the release of The Dark Below. Even the first PvE content added to the game focused on the Queen and, if that’s the case, it could be more of a slow build to reveal Crow and his exposé.
But let’s not ignore the fact that The Dark Below and the House Of Wolves are still separate expansion packs, and that this content has already been designed and developed – but isn’t included in the final release. Whether or not this was planned then later removed or always intended to be released separately isn’t the point; it’s that it was developed alongside the content that is available but not released alongside it.
When Destiny’s biggest complaint is its lack of story and content, you have to wonder who made the to remove (or postpone) this content from the game.