Destiny 2’s “followable” campaign tells the story of the Red War, but other tales are layered around it

By Brenna Hillier
27 June 2017 02:34 GMT

Destiny 2 is going to have a story you’ll actually notice happening around you – and other narratives to explore, too.


Destiny 2 is going to have a “followable narrative”, addressing one of the most notable criticisms of the original vanilla release. A significant proportion of Destiny players could not tell you what happened in the first game’s story without a long think and six or seven wiki pages.

As such, the “inclusion of a story” is “probably” the biggest change to the formula this time around, Destiny 2 director Luke Smith told GamesRadar.

“[Destiny 2 is] actually focusing on having a followable narrative, and having a big sort of storyline, epic scenario. Layering the story content in a way we haven’t done yet for Destiny,” he said.

Smith said the main story campaign in Destiny 2 is called the Red War. This is the central storyline we’ve seen in marketing materials so far, which focus on Ghaul, a leader of the Cabal and Destiny 2’s main villain.

Giving you a single villain to battle against is an effective narrative device in gaming, and it’s one Bungie has already had a go at in The Taken King, Destiny’s 2015 expansion. Smith as one of the leaders of this team, which then moved onto Destiny 2 – which may be why 2016 expansion Rise of Iron dropped the ball a bit in that regard.

“In Taken King it’s certainly something myself and the team tried to bring in and improve. We’ve got the space in Destiny 2 to let that breathe a little,” he added.

Smith hopes Bungie’s attempts at a “cohesive campaign” will help attract new Guardians to Destiny 2, but fans of the science fiction setting will be pleased to learn there’ll be other story content, too.

“That main campaign, that’s what the trailers are about. Then, below that in the layering, you have adventures that are stories about the worlds, the planets and the particular enemies contained therein – it doesn’t directly relate to the Red War, it tells a different story, Smith said.

So we can probably expect to see more of the Fallen, Hive and Vex as we wrack around Destiny 2’s four destinations with Vanguard leaders Commander Zavala, Cayde-6 and Ikora Rey. (Hopefully that makes up for there being no Grimoire cards in Destiny 2; since vanilla Destiny was so light on story and lore, all the best stuff was locked away in these archives, and it’d be a shame to think that sort of thing was gone for good.)

Speaking of story, we know Destiny 2’s narrative teaches us more about the Light, the mysterious power granted by the Traveller and locked away by Ghaul in Destiny 2. Bungie is saving the story of the Darkness for another day, and has admitted it didn’t really have a plan for that back in 2014.

Destiny 2 releases in September for PS4 and Xbox One, with PC release to follow. As ever, anything you might want to know about it can be found in our Destiny 2 guide. Perhaps most pertinently, the Destiny 2 beta start times are available.

The test kicks off next month, so it’s definitely time to book some leave and get in non-perishable foodstuffs.

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