Back at Gamescom, Bungie bosses assured me Destiny 2: Shadowkeep would move the franchise's overarching story forward in a meaningful way. It looks like they were right!
Shadowkeep's short set of opening missions, designed to reintroduce players to its reprised Moon location, begin with a whopper of a surprise. And, relatively quickly afterwards, they end with quite a tease for where things will go next.
If you're still reading this and don't want to be spoiled, this is your final warning.
Pyramid ships! Or ship, singular. There's one right there, hidden away underneath the surface of the Moon, and you find it in a stunning moment early in Shadowkeep's story. Turning the corner to see it is a massive shocker and perfectly played by Bungie. The accompanying blast of the Darkness' musical leitmotif only serves to reinforce the stomach drop moment.
If you need a reminder, it's at the 16:00 mark in the video below:
Destiny fans have been waiting to see a pyramid ship up close for years - since they first popped up in Destiny 1 concept art. It wasn't until the very end of Destiny 2's Red War campaign we got a glimpse of them in-game.
And now they're here - or, one of them at least. Shadowkeep's pyramid ship has been left on the Moon since the Darkness was seen off last time around, but it still allows for your character's first proper interaction with the faction through a couple of spooky sequences.
This is Destiny, of course, so much is kept mysterious. It's clear this questline is an introduction to a much bigger story, presumably continued through the expansion's raid, which goes live tomorrow, and through future secrets on the Moon being unlocked similar to how Forsaken expansion's Dreaming City granted more story over time.
But the final cutscene, where you meet and chat with an apparition of the Darkness in your own image, is clearly playing on the long-theorised idea the big baddie faction is actually not bad after all.
The Darkness view - or view it is trying to convince you of - is that the Light spread by the Traveller has allowed for untold suffering. "In Light, there is only death," the Darkness says. By contrast, it is a respite.
"We are not your friend... we are not your enemy... we are your salvation," the Darkness concludes, in a vision set within Destiny 1's Black Garden location, where other pyramid ships now float overhead. It's the location of the Garden of Salvation raid, where we're likely to delve deeper.
These are still fairly meagre offerings, but they provide more on the much-discussed Darkness than anything else in Destiny to date - and set up many storytelling avenues for the future. Entering into the pyramid ship for the first time is an astonishing moment, one that made me wonder whether the art and level design on show was being pulled from some early work for Destiny 3 being made elsewhere in the studio. And for a game which has busied itself on side stories and lesser enemies until now - Ghaul, Osiris, Rasputin - this shift back to Destiny's big bad is a welcome move.