Destiny at its best: Bungie finally finds storytelling groove in Season of the Chosen

Zavala stands in Destiny 2 Season of the Chosen story cutscene.Bungie

The last few years of Destiny 2 have been relatively hit or miss for many Guardians, but I think we can all agree on one thing ⁠— Bungie seems to have finally found their storytelling rhythm with Season of the Chosen, in a big way, and damn does it look good on them.

This week, Bungie unlocked the Proving Grounds strike.

The strike itself was solid (though I’m always a sucker for new strikes), but the real kicker was the reward for completing it; a short, two-and-a-half-minute cutscene.

In the clip, Last City commander Zavala meets with the Cabal empress, Caiatl, to broker a peace deal between the two factions. During the discussions, one of the Cabal warriors tries to kill the Guardian after disabling his Ghost. Zavala, who likely would have died, is saved by Caiatl and the mysterious “Crow,” revealed to be former villain Uldren Sov.

Article continues after ad

That’s a lot of story, yes, dumped in just minutes.

It’s exactly what Guardians have been crying out for though. When pieced together with the bigger Season of the Chosen picture, it creates a living, breathing story.

The “Proving Grounds” cutscene in question. Warning, spoilers:

Now, as we continue to soak in the episodic story ⁠— an evolving narrative some have likened to Fortnite’s season-by-season chapters ⁠— I feel pretty comfortable saying this is just about the most enamored I’ve been with Destiny 2 since the release of “Forsaken” all the way in 2018.

And, incredibly, the community actually agrees too.

Article continues after ad

It’s rare the Destiny 2 fandom truly comes together on something. So far, though, “Season of the Chosen” has universally been given the green light.

Guardians are loving Destiny 2's new storytelling direction in Season of the Chosen.Bungie
Guardians are loving Destiny 2’s new storytelling direction in Season of the Chosen.

The question we’re left with now is, can Bungie keep it up?

I certainly think so, though I am sticking to my guns that “The Witch Queen” will be a pivotal moment for the Destiny franchise. I do have a lot of faith now, however, that the next expansion should up the game story-wise, after this showing.

Bungie has got it right in Season of the Chosen. Now they have at least one more season this year—Season 14, still unnamed⁠—to prove this wasn’t a fluke.

Article continues after ad

For my money, I don’t think it was.

Bungie has always had the writing chops to pull off a long-winding epic story; I mean, just look at the original Halo trilogy and icing prequel “Reach,” their last hoorah on the franchise. Some of the best games ever made.

There may be a few dips again as Bungie settles back into its groove, but it looks like we’re heading into a new age of Destiny 2: one led by “live” storytelling.

Bungie has a proven track record with well-loved gaming stories.Bungie
Bungie has a proven track record with well-loved gaming stories.

So what’s still in play, story-wise?

What happens next with The Crow is a big one. Many have been tipping the resurrected Uldren Sov as the game’s new main character” moving forward. It makes sense too; expect to see plenty more of the villain-turned-guardian Awoken warrior as the game barrels towards Year 5.

Article continues after ad

There’s also still plot threads around the Fallen. The iconic Destiny enemies have a host of powerful soldiers and lords vying for power in the vacuum left by ambitious kell Eramis’ defeat last expansion.

And finally, looming over all is The Darkness. We locked horns with the Destiny big bad for the first time in “Beyond Light,” but that war is far from over.

Season of the Chosen will end on May 11, 2021.