It’s been teased since the launch of the original Destiny in 2014, but at long last the enigmatic Darkness arrived in Destiny 2 during an in-game event last night, which saw several planets consumed ahead of the new expansion’s launch.
In a move reminiscent of Fortnite‘s “end of the world” cataclysm, Bungie ended Year 3 with a bang. Players were ejected from activities and given a limited-time quest, a rare opportunity to explore the Last City and find a viewing platform to watch the Traveler heal itself. The ninety-minute wait escalated with Guardians being wreathed in light, and having their movement enhanced.
“The last time this happened,” the Ghost warned, “the world ended.”
At its culmination, Eris Morn warned players that the Traveler was healing itself, “an escalation” in the Darkness’ eyes. Players were kicked out of the world to watch a cutscene unfold via the game’s Director menu, where four planets — Io, Mars, Mercury, and Titan — were swallowed by a tide of Darkness, before the Traveler reformed itself and protected the remaining locations, including Earth, its Moon, Nessus, and the Tangled Shore.
Afterwards, the game went down for maintenance, warning any who attempted to login “The Light cannot save you. Seek us out on Europa.” Destiny 2‘s social media channels went dark for a time as well.
As the game returns online today with the launch of the Beyond Light expansion, any content on the four affected planets and the Leviathan will be temporarily retired, shuffled into the Destiny Content Vault. The DCV also technically contains the original game’s content, including content like the Cosmodrome and the Vault of Glass raid, for instance. There is “potential for vaulted content to return to the game in the future,” presumably with some tweaking.
Bungie has stated that “a new, expanded Guardian origin story on the Cosmodrome that will launch alongside Year 4,” replacing the now-inaccessible campaigns from Year One for new players and characters.
A new story trailer launched earlier this morning, summarizing the game’s backstory of conflict between Light and Darkness, the Traveler and the Pyramids, and the upcoming conflict against Eramis and the Stasis-wielding Eliksni.
In Destiny 2 lore, the Traveler is the source of the player-characters’ powers, the Light. It was damaged during the events of the game’s original campaign, the Red War, and has sat in disrepair since 2017. Players will now be able to access a new element, Stasis, which is a power of the Darkness — the first time in the series’ history that Guardians have received a new power type.
Bungie has often kept the larger mythology of its live-action franchise too far shrouded in mystery, or revealed in teases through cryptic in-game lore dumps, so it’s refreshing to see the story-telling take such a dynamic turn. With any luck, this bodes well for the plot of the Beyond Light expansion, now live.
Destiny 2 is free-to-play, but the Beyond Light season pass is required to access the majority of the content, including the new campaign.