The trailer and the month of release for the next installment of Destiny, House of Wolves, has been released. May 2015 is the window given for when the next piece of DLC will be available from Bungie. Fans of the franchise will be excited to see a very dramatic and cinematically rich trailer, especially in light of the numerous cut scenes from the game that lacked the power and emotion one would hope to see in a big AAA title. As someone who has been consistently critical of Destiny because I enjoy it enough to want to see it improve, I couldn’t help but get excited at the experience teased in the almost 2 minute clip. But as I thought about the reality that the content coming in May probably should have been in the launched version of the game, the quality of the trailer and the story contained within it made me realize just how counterproductive Bungie has been with the way they have treated their title.
Hello story, where have you been?
I can’t help but ask… Where has this level of drama and story telling been? With just a single one minute and forty second trailer I was more excited and more interested in the story than in all of the countless hours of their campaign, strikes, and bounties. Some of this is related to the nature of a game that is repetitious by design, but none of the story missions or cut scenes have this level of intrigue, emotion, or cryptic excitement. It’s almost like, this is the kind of cut scene and story element we should have been seeing with regularity, but instead they spread everything so thin that it probably would have been too drastic of a juxtaposition to be suddenly thrust into an emotional and narrative heavy sequence, so they just cut a lot of it out. This type of cut scene would not have worked within the game they released, but it shows just how good things could have been. That’s why I say the trailer proves they are their own worst enemy. Like a musical savant who can’t seem to get his life together, so all his talent and brilliance is squandered, Bungie is showing just how good they can craft a story and a movie sequence. In fact, watching this trailer reminded me of when I created my third character. As the opening cinematic played I sat sort of dumbfounded at how awkwardly it fit with the game I knew I was about to play. Almost like when a really good movie is turned into a video game, and it’s just really bad, that’s what these cinematic sequences feel like, they are too good for the game they are attached to. Again, that’s probably why the story isn’t full of rich, dramatic, and emotional cut scenes, because it would further highlight how bland and repetitive most of the game is. My hope is that this is a small glimpse into where things are headed with the level of story telling and richness of experience and content.
Time will tell
I’m not going to hold my breath, however, since the hype and marketing for Destiny has consistently been able to convince people something epic was on the horizon. House of Wolves could easily be a repackaged version of the Dark Below DLC, with similar missions, leveling paths, and a newly minted glitchy and unrewarding raid. But since I’ve already paid for the season pass, I will definitely play the House of Wolves DLC, stream it on my twitch, and be sure to write honest and fair reviews about it. So, at the end of the day, the trailer gives me hope, but makes me sad. It’s a window into how good Destiny’s story could have been, and not just because of what it lacks, but because of the skill, artistry, and potential that Bungie is proving they have to tell a good story. Fans of the franchise should rally behind this trailer and say, “Yes, this is the level of story telling we want!” Now, we will all have to wait and see if the content delivers, and if they did in fact avoid the mistakes and annoyances that were in the Dark Below DLC with respect to invalidating raid gear and hours of leveling. But we can, as gamers who want the franchise to improve, show Bungie that we see their ability to tell a good story, and we just want more of it.
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