It was the digital equivalent of watching paint dry. As missile streaks appeared in the sky throughout the 1 p.m. hour, I actually went up to the screen to count the number of pixels moving via the aliasing to determine whether anything actually was happening. Sure enough, the streaks approached the H-shaped Almighty, setting off a series of distant explosions you couldn’t hear and could barely see.
For those who missed it, this Twitter user sketched a depiction of the event.
Some joked that Bungie was going to end the event with a big “Black Lives Matter” message, mocking the recent attempts by gaming companies to show solidarity with the current protests and political anger. Bungie did make its own statement on June 1, announcing that it was making donations to various organizations.
The story event was a long time coming. Rasputin has been in the game’s lore since the first game back in 2014. It was an AI superweapon built by humans to protect against destruction. It went rogue, killing humans, and the project failed. Earth’s warriors decide to reactivate to stop the Almighty, a Cabal superweapon, once and for all. It’s all pronoun-heavy science-fiction fantasy silliness, part of the “Destiny” identity since its start.
More important, this was Bungie’s first big attempt at a headline-grabbing live event, similar to how “Fortnite” closes out its seasons, with large-scale, game-changing ceremonies like last October’s “black hole.”
“Fortnite” made headlines and caught global and political attention for its successful Travis Scott virtual concert event, which saw as many as 12 million viewers on its opening night. The experience was dynamic, engaging, trippy, and, most important, on time. The experience on “Destiny 2” was like watching a less-interesting, less-busy Windows screen saver. Players waited an hour and a half before anything happened.
Eventually, the missiles landed, and the Almighty broke apart, crashing onto Earth. There were two big explosions. The dust settled. Someone on my balcony blared the “sad trombone” once again.
Over on the “Destiny” subreddit, where the Internet’s most dedicated players gather, the reaction wasn’t much better. “You mean i [sic] spent an hour and a half to watch two little flashes of light and get an emblem? are you kidding me?” one user wrote.
While some fans enjoyed the explosions, most agree that the entire event should’ve lasted five minutes, not an hour and a half.
Forbes reporter Paul Tassi, probably the most dedicated “Destiny” beat reporter in the galaxy, said that while he enjoyed the event, Bungie should’ve given “more of an indication of how much time people should budget.”
The event itself was fine, especially for Bungie’s first attempt in their extremely complicated engine that wasn’t built for emergent events like this. It was the wait that soured people’s grapes.
For now, it’s uncertain what exactly in the game has changed. Bungie has been mum about what the next season would entail. For “Destiny 2” players, it’s another game of wait and see.