For all of the collating and colonization during an unprecedented time spent amongst the stars, The Collapse has halted humanities rapid ascent dead in its tracks. The Golden Age has ended, and the daunting fear of the unknown has returned.
This is the basic pretence for Destiny, and the reason as to why our position in the universe is as fragile as it ever has been. After a long time basking in the warm glow of prosperity, humanity has been forcibly regressed. Here we are, once again a miniscule fleck on the cold cheek of the universe, a race of minnows huddled around the fire.
But where there is defeat, there exists hope, and in Destiny, you are that hope. You are a Guardian, and be you an EXO, Awoken or human, your goal remains the same; to unravel the mysteries of this much-changed universe and ensure the survival of humanity. Ahead of you however lies a galaxy more unfamiliar than it has ever been before. Our colonies have been overrun by nefarious creatures, our work undone and our universe altered from beneath our feet, but now, with the world festering and our inaction damning, it’s time once again to venture forth beyond the walls of The City.
It’s time to explore the cosmos anew. It’s time to reacquaint ourselves with the universe of Destiny.
I, the relic.
For all of the changes to Mars, Mercury and Venus, it’s Earth that will warrant most of our attention. For it’s here that we continue to live, survivors of The Collapse packed tightly between the walls of the planets last remaining city.
The sole preventative measure that separates us from them is The Traveller, the cosmic entity that afforded earth its technological advances and ushered us into the age of the Golden Era. But as it disappeared, The Collapse occurred, resigning humanity to its most resounding defeat. Moments from total eradication, The Traveller returned to stave off our attackers and gift us our salvation, only to leave us ever-reliant on its mere presence ever since.
Perhaps a smaller-scale reflection of what has happened to the universe as a whole, Earth itself has borne the brunt of the telling effects of The Collapse. Several landscapes are unrecognizable, one of which is Old Russia, or as it’s referred to by some of Earth’s survivors, the ‘Skyward Steppes’. The site of the real-life Russian Cosmodrome that fronted the Russian space-program, Old Russia’s legacy now remains in the towering, charred wall that surrounds it, as well as being home to an enclave of Fallen.
Much more obscure is the European Dead Zone, a location theorized to span most of mainland Europe that, presumably during the events of The Collapse, has become completely uninhabitable. Irradiated? Home to an all-powerful being? Or perhaps its uninhabitable status is fabricated and it holds some of the answers that we’re seeking. There may be only one way to find out…
Earth isn’t all decrepit, war-torn infrastructure though, as some of its cities and towns may have remained untouched during the sporadic siege on the planet during The Collapse. Based on its concept art, The Mumbai Push in India has completely overgrown in its dormancy, although with little-to-no knowledge of it status since to the return of The Traveller, it, like many other places on Earth may be unwittingly housing our foes.
But with so much of Earth unfathomably altered and permanently scarred through all of its wars and skirmishes, perhaps unlocking some of the secrets behind its most notable landmarks and fixtures should take precedence before we free ourselves from its grip and journey once more into space. This is and always will be our home, after all.
I, the marauder.
As we prospered during the Golden Age, we began to readily slip away from Earth’s shackles and make homes among the stars. But with Earth’s colonies either completely destroyed or overrun, our once fervent desire to explore and charter has been replaced by the nagging feelings of dependency and tentativeness. However, our time of stagnation is nearing an end as humanity endeavors to rediscover its ingrained passion for exploration. It’s time to journey forth once more.
Among the planets that we will likely visit are the some of the solar systems most prevalent entities, such as the infamous ‘red planet’, Mars. As I sit here typing this on a cool spring afternoon in 2014, no human has ever set foot on its surface, and yet, in Destiny, Mars was once home to an entire city that now lies buried beneath a mass of red dust. Also notable is the ‘Mars Exclusion Zone’, the home of the Cabal, a race of beings that don themselves in thick metallic armour and seem bred for war. Uprooting them may be a little challenging at the very least.
And then there’s Venus, a planet once home to a large research laboratory that now finds itself slowly falling into the Venutian ocean. Already a treacherous enough place to visit given the sulphuric skyline and constant lightning bombardments, Venus is also home to the Vex, a race that have holed themselves up in a jagged geometric tower that they vigorously defend.
Our planetary pursuits may be numerous, but they may be dwarfed by our preliminary task of eradicating our very own moon of its unwanted inhabitants. “For centuries they have waited, growing stronger, buried deep within the core of the moon” stated the Destiny trailer, and given its significance as the closest Earth colony, maybe our journey won’t be able to truly begin unless we first take back what is rightfully ours and liberate Earth’s moon.
Each with their own look, feel and purpose, the planets of Destiny are uniquely perilous, unforgiving and littered with dangers the likes of which we’ve always imagined could be waiting for us beyond the black vacuum of space.
I, the cosmonaut.
We may not be able to pilot our own ship and jut in and out of the stars at will, but space travel will play a big part in Destiny. After all, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, and I don’t think a Shrike has space-flight capabilities…
In an interview with IGN back last October, Destiny writer Eric ‘Urk’ Osborne stated “We’re not making a space sim where you’re flying through the stars. We’re making a first person shooter. So the primary way you’ll get around the world is on foot, then space travel is a cool way for you to customise your ship and get around.”
He continued “You can see the ship when you arrive in public spaces and they sort of herald your arrival. You can upgrade them, but they’re also the way that you’re moving around in the story and they’re primarily that story vehicle to get you from Earth to the Moon, then Venus or Mars.”
Also seen on the Destiny party menu, it would seem that spaceships in Destiny are little more than vessels to take you from one world to the next, and yet the ability to personalize your ship through customization seems like a fair compromise. So, no vaulting asteroids and destroying enemy freighters then, but this is an FPS as Osborne stated, and even if a bit lacking in the space-flight department, Destiny looks set to be a substantial enough game that won’t suffer from the lack of a mechanic that wasn’t integral to its success anyway.
Here, I’ve taken a look at the Destiny universe, and pretty soon I’ll be concluding this article series with a look at the inhabitants of Destiny, so keep an eye out for that. And if you’ve enjoyed this article, be sure to check out its predecessors, The Personalization of Destiny, The Armaments of Destiny and The Lore of Destiny as we edge closer to the games release this September.