Destiny 2, like the first game, got stuck in a rut right away. The game was published by Activision, and while the team did include a more in-depth storey as requested by fans of the previous game, the endgame content and most of the subsequent expansions failed to connect with players. With paywall controversies, convoluted narratives, and a grind that didn’t seem to be going away, Destiny 2’s future appeared to be in jeopardy..
Then Bungie split from Activision and became its own studio again, and while it takes time to unravel influence on that scale, we first saw the teams gain their footing with the Forsaken DLC (which was pre-separation but marked a significant turning point in how the storey evolved), and then again with Shadowkeep. With Season of the Chosen and Splicer, Bungie found its stride, weaving meaningful stories that go beyond what we’ve seen before in the game. Bungie chose to explore themes that had only been briefly touched on in the past, and it has paid off.
Bungie confirmed during the recent Witch Queen showcase that the team has seen positive reactions from the community regarding the previous two seasons and that the team wants to capitalise on that, eschewing the use of grimoires and making the storey more accessible to all. Season three of Lost has only just begun, but it has already shown promise in terms of maintaining the show’s strong momentum from the previous two seasons.
Beyond this point contains spoilers for an important scene in Season of the Lost, if you do not wish to be spoiled
do not read past this point.
If you’ve been following my coverage over the last two seasons, you’ll know that I’ve been adamant that Osiris was the persona Savathun was posing as, a fact we discovered during Season of the Splicer after Chosen heavily teased her corruption throughout the City. I was also convinced that the takeover occurred after Osiris’ Ghost, Sagira, died, so imagine my delight and trepidation when both theories proved to be correct. But it wasn’t the fact that I was correct that I liked about this confirmation; it was the way Bungie told this particular storey.Just like with Chosen and Splicer, it’s clear that the various teams working on Destiny 2’s creative vision have found their stride, and that flow can be felt throughout the storey. It’s no longer just about the storey; it’s also about the tone and manner in which it’s told, and this has taken a significant turn in the past year when it comes to exploring the complexities of the human experience – even if we aren’t all human.
Savathun explained the moment when the Osiris we know became something else when she detailed all of the ways she “helped” the Guardian and the City against various threats, including the most recent aid against the Vex and Lakshmi’s influence. Season of the Chosen focused on Zavala’s grief and how it affected his life, perception, and relationships with others. Saint’s self-actualization and growth as a man were explored in Season of the Splicer, while Crow struggled to find his place in this new world. The first episode of Season of the Lost focused on Osiris’ grief after losing his closest friend, his ghost Sagira. When Sagira and Osiris began investigating the Cryptoliths, they were killed by a High Celebrant of Xivu Arath. She died in the service of Osiris, a fact that he couldn’t accept.
Savathun discovered her “in.” in his grief and guilt. Taking on the form of Osiris, the Osiris we’ve grown to love over the seasons, the Osiris who helped Crow figure out who he is after Uldren Sov’s death, isn’t Osiris at all. Saint-14’s lover has gone missing, and we’ll have to help Mara Sov in her quest to rid the Dreaming City of its curse and recover the tech witches who have also gone missing during the game’s events. But it wasn’t just that she was able to keep him safe in the midst of his grief; it was the way she explained it that made this arc so poignant.
Savathun is known as the Queen of Lies, implying that she has the ability to shape our perceptions and upend everything we believe to be true. Her silver tongue has already begun to influence Season of the Lost, tampering with the tapestry of truth that we’ve thought up until this point, with her gathering of the Light and creation of Hive Guardians.
Her account of her takeover to the Guardian struck a balance of empathy and condescension, almost as if she were speaking to a child. That blade edge made me feel bad for Osiris and hurt for Saint, but it also made me fearful that another theory I had might come true: are we the bad guys? Is there any such thing as bad guys, or are we all just floating in a sea of grey?
We’re only a few weeks into this season and our mission to aid Mara Sov. This season is already shaping up to be a wild ride, with Mara’s comments about Uldren’s death and transformation into Crow, as well as the trepidation felt at the prospect of conspiring with Savathun. I’m excited to see what comes next, especially with all of the new features coming next year with the release of Witch Queen. If you missed the showcase, you can see a recap of everything we’re most excited about here.