How "Destiny 2: Season of Opulence" Closes a Major Story Arc
Coming Full Circle
, when it was released in fall 2017 threw everything we veteran players knew on its head. The Cabal, a rather minor villain group in the first game, was finally able to take the reins and were able to show themselves as the big bads for a change. Destiny 2
And holy heck did they hit us hard.
The Cabals Attack
Dominus Ghaul, a ruthless Cabal Leader captured the Traveler, the game world's God-figure, and stripped Guardians of its Light, the powers and abilities that give them immortality among other things. This pushed Guardians on the brink of extinction, and sent them scattered all across the galaxy for the sake of survival. the once powerful warriors were now as fragile as normal humans.
Onward to the Leviathan
Our characters, naturally out of luck, find a shard of the Traveler in a murky forest in Europe, with just enough energy to recharge our abilities and give hope for a counterattack. One by one, we locate the Guardian leaders, the Vanguard and strike back to reclaim the Last City and defeat Ghaul once and for all. Ghaul, infused with the stolen light, attempts to go after the Traveler in one last ditch effort, only for the dormant sphere to suddenly "wake up" and send out a Light-based EMP that shoots all across the foreseeable galaxy, eviscerating Ghaul. In the Post Credits scene, we see that the wave hits Mercury, Mars, the Asteroid belt (known as the Reef), Saturn (and the Dreadnaught, a major area in Destiny 1), the outer universe...
And a fleet of black tetrahedron ships, which respond and begin to make their way forward.
Some time afterward, on Nessus, our characters intercept a transmission in the form of an invitation and after some investigating, we learn that it was from the real Cabal Emperor, Calus. And his ship, the Leviathan is intending on sucking up Nessus to turn it into wine. A 6-man team is sent to the Leviathan to stop Calus and stop the Leviathan from destroying the satellite.
The Carefree Villain
Immediately, we notice how carefree Calus is. Unlike other antagonists we faced in the past, he's different. The Vex attempted to control reality through the Vault of Glass. Crota attempted to be resurrected to resume his campaign of destruction for the Hive. Skolas sought to become the Kell of Kells over the Fallen through the traitorous House of Wolves. Oryx, the Taken King sought vengeance for his dead son Crota. Aksis and his House of Devils augmented themselves with the dangerous SIVA tech to revive their House and transcend beyond their capabilities.
Calus, on the other hand, actually invites us to his ship, as a reward for defeating Ghaul. No revenge scheme, no plot to take over the universe. Just, "Hey you did me a favor, come on my ship and I'll treat you to your heart's desire." And naturally for the sake of the universe (and free loot) we take him up on his offer and after fighting mobs of space turtle rhinos, bathing sumos with axes, a deadly pack of super hounds, and a relay race (all of these test mind you) we finally get to meet the Emperor.
And then we shoot his cup out of his hand for making us go through all of that.
He gets up, we fight him, and once we get him down far enough...
He turns out to be a fake. It's only after we beat "Calus" that we see that there's a multitude of these robots underneath the throne room. He then says the following words:
"If you seek the means to live to your potential, I can guide you to it. There is power in the universe beyond your feeble Light. I leave you with those words, and these parting gifts. Take them, and grow fat from strength. Emperor Calus has spoken."
We find ourselves returning to the Leviathan twice over the next year, heeding his call for assistance. The first instance is when he accidentally sucks in the Vex Mind in Nessus' core known as Argos. And the second instance, Calus calls us again to slay the last remaining forces of the Red Legion, lead by Val Ca'uor. One of Calus' remaining robots helps us and together we take Ca'uor down. Calus' acknowledges our growth and says that someday we'll be by his side.
Light vs. Darkness
Since the end of Destiny 2, each expansion going forward introduced us to legendary faces, as well as blurred the line between Light and Darkness, starting with Calus. The story has had an overarching theme about the morally gray area we as Guardians are in. Just because we were born from Light, doesn't make us holy, benevolent beings. It was a mentality we had back in Destiny 1, Light vs. Darkness. Destiny 2 has us question that philosophy. And it's thanks to Calus' words at the end of the Leviathan Raid that kickstarts this idea in the back of our heads.
Will We Give In?
While we met those like Osiris and Ana Bray, legendary Guardians in their own right, they admittedly defied the status quo and allowed themselves to find their own paths as Guardians. Are they by definition "against the city" then? Petra Venj, Mara Sov and even Uldren, are Awoken, born between both Light and Darkness. Their focuses are on themselves, and the Awoken people at the core and will do whatever it takes to survive, siding with the Guardians, or the Darkness if need be. But we still consider them allies right? Uldren's resurrection into a Guardian makes us wonder what that'll mean for him as well. And the Drifter, well, he's seen some things. And after his story arc is revealed, we can understand his perspective and sympathize. Does that make him a threat? Overall it begs the question: when Calus returns, are we going to accept his offer? If it means being ready for the Darkness when it finally comes, and the ensuing Second Collapse, are we willing to fight fire with fire?
We may not have a choice, with the way things are going. Because when it boils down to it, as much as we would like to hope, Light may just not be enough.