Let’s unpack the new Destiny 2 trailer.
A live-action Destiny 2 trailer dropped overnight and since I’m sick this week and Matt is letting me do whatever I want out of fear I’ll die and leave all the email to him, we’re going to talk about it a bit.
The first thing I thought upon viewing the trailer was “what an oddly English-sounding opening. Cup of tea? Morning fry up? Is Cayde-6 … British? Somehow?” Given that video games marketing tends to assume that everyone who views their marketing is several eggs short of a carton, it seemed unlikely that the Destiny 2 trailer would include elements which might concievably confuse a small number of Americans.
I popped over to the official Destiny YouTube channel where, as usual, there were a dozen or so variants of the new trailer. This is standard practice, because trailers need to show the right ratings body markings as well as present in multiple languages, but if you click through the different versions you’ll see that each is slightly different. The American version substitutes a skinny no foam vanilla latte for both the cup of tea and the fry up, says ketchup for red sauce, and includes surprise birthday parties and Taco Tuesdays instead of Sunday roasts and comfy slippers.
Many of the other variants are much the same as the US version, but generally include at least one regional food speciality for those nations who don’t embrace tacos as lovingly as the rest of us, and may include a reference to garden gnomes, which just form part of a montage in the English language versions. Here’s the German one, for example:
Isn’t that interesting? I think it’s interesting, but I popped some cold and flu meds this morning. It’s also a little frustrating, because it reminds me that Bungie hasn’t made any efforts to really dive deep on its fiction and think about what human culture might be like after being reduced to just one city (and as of Destiny 2, not even that) and instead gone with just generic western culture, slightly tailored to the viewer’s perspective. Well, whatever!
The trailer itself is alright, although Sabotage is a bit tired and the emphasis on bang-bang-action somewhat detracts from the enormous dignity and majesty of the game about shooting space faces I sometimes catch myself believing in before I quickly shut my hand in a drawer and shout “it’s just a video game, Brenna!”
But I’ll tell you what I do like about the trailer: a look at some of the Cabal troops. The Destiny Grimoire suggests the Cabal has absorbed multiple species in its time, and most specifically that the Psions may be a subject race. Who knows whether Bungie will retain this or chucks it out now that we know it doesn’t really have a lore bible (or, ha ha, whether it ever actually explores this interesting matter or just ignores it like most of Destiny’s terrific potential story hooks), but let’s just assume it’s still canon for now.
So anyway: how creepy is the wet-looking Psion with its bulging brain pan with throbbing veins! Is that a tattoo around its eye? I love it. (Side note: I don’t love that Psions are snipers now, because they kept shooting me during my hands-on, but at least they’re not as annoying as Taken Hobgoblins, and they certainly needed a little buff.)
Here’s a more familiar Cabal species – maybe the original race, or maybe one they bred up to be their front line grunts. Turns out our space rhinos have terrific angler fish-like teeth. You could see this sometimes in D1 if you managed to pop a helmet and the corpse fell just right.
Worr! Well, that’s the end of my Destiny fan nerdery for the moment, although you can expect me to continue spamming headlines for the foreseeable future since Destiny 2 releases on consoles next week and I don’t care about anything but it and cough syrup.
The PC beta ended today, by the way, but we’ll see Destiny 2 on PC at the end of October.