By Rick Warren / Gfn2112
As I'm sure every gamer knows, Destiny 2 recently made its console release (and arrives on PC in October). It's a legitimately great game that I had the pleasure of reviewing, and you can find a link to that review in the comments down below. In it, I mentioned one of the problems I had with the sequel: Ikora Rey and Commander Zavala. These Warlock and Titan Vanguards, despite time in the spotlight, remained as unlikable as they were in the original Destiny. The only moments where they came through as even remotely interesting were their interactions with each other (and even more so with everyone's favorite Hunter, Cayde-6). They both need better writing and more of a personality to become characters I care about. If Cayde had died in Destiny 2, I would have been heartbroken. If Ikora or Zavala were killed, though? I don't imagine I'd care. That's a problem, and it will only get bigger as time goes on and these characters continue to remain flat. There's a way to fix this issue, though: make them the stars of their own spinoff game. Show us their backstories. Let them interact. Plus, Cayde can be there too, which instantly makes things better. Essentially, what I'm asking for is something that a large portion of the Destiny community would likely jump at: I think that Bungie should hold off on a proper Destiny 3 for now, and instead give us a prequel to the series that focuses on the same vanguards that shaped it.
Did you know that Cayde-6 was once a human, forced to become an exo due to a debt he owed? Did you know that Zavala was one of Lord Saladin's students during his time building The Last City's wall? Did you know that Ikora runs a Game of Thrones-like ring of spies known as The Hidden? Admittedly, I knew none of these things, and I'm sure many players share my ignorance. They're all interesting pieces of backstory that are glanced over in-game, only being mentioned in small excerpts attached to Destiny's weapons and armor. I want to see all of these moments, though. I want to see the great Battle of Twilight Gap. I want to see the building of The Last City and its massive wall. It's a bit of a stretch, but I'd even like to see flashbacks to The Collapse (and maybe even a glimpse at who our unnamed guardian was in their first life). I want to see all of these things; I want to see the early stages of Destiny's universe. See, a game like this wouldn't just make Destiny's vanguards better characters... it could make Destiny's entire universe better, too. Having so much lore is great, sure, but it works much better in a video game if players can experience it themselves as opposed to reading it on an app or piecing it together in forums.
The only downside to this game would be, admittedly, a huge one: it's changing everything that Destiny is. Restricting players to three main characters automatically eliminates so much of Destiny's current content. Public events. Crucible. The beloved Raids. These can't work without player-created characters, at least not in the way that they do now. Strikes and story missions on the other hand, which could now focus on major events in the lives of the vanguards, would be at their highest point in Destiny. Yes, this comes at the cost of nearly everything else a normal Destiny game offers, but I still think it is worth the risk. I want to see Bungie take a chance with the Destiny universe and try something new in between the mainline games.
Bungie can deliver just as strong of a game with this proposed prequel; they already proved that it's possible themselves with Halo Reach seven years back. They can explore things that they normally couldn't in Destiny games. They can add a survival/horde mode and they can add a legitimate use for the ships. They can offer twice as many strikes, side quests and locations to explore by being able to devote all their resources to one area. Essentially, this Destiny spinoff would function like a Borderlands game. It could open the Destiny universe up to a wider range of gamers and set up deep plot threads that can be finished in the main Destiny adventures. There is so much potential here to mix up the formula. Ultimately, Bungie and Activision have a ten year, four game plan with this series. Two games are left in that plan, and I'm truly hoping that this is one of them.
Thanks for reading, guardian - Rick