Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Destiny 2's latest cinematic makes me excited for a game I've not played in years

Ta-ra, Rasputin.

Bungie's eye-catching new Destiny 2 cinematic arrived this week to cap off the game's current Season 19 in style.

Perhaps more excitingly, the trailer successfully hypes up both the impending arrival of Destiny 2's Lightfall expansion at the end of the month, as well as the fact Bungie is finally bringing its overarcing 10-year narrative to a long-awaited finale.

I've previously put hundreds and hundreds of hours into the original Destiny and its sequel, but in recent years just kept up with its story, unable to devote the time required to keep up with the game itself each week. Even for someone like me, this new video has plenty to get excited about.

Bungie's eye-catching new Destiny 2 cinematic sets the stage for the saga's penultimate expansion.Watch on YouTube

For starters, the cinematic includes a large proportion of Destiny 2's cast all coming together to observe the activity of the Traveller - Destiny's great space golf ball which has been hanging out over Earth.

Here, a threat to the Traveller from a more recent enemy, Eramis, sees the Traveller attempting to flee Earth's orbit and escape annihilation. But wait! That threat can be averted by the newly-personified Rasputin - aka the AI intelligence you've befriended over the years since it was first introduced as a Russian music-loving computer terminal housed under the Cosomodrome.

Four people stood looking over a balcony at a city below.
The Traveller departs low orbit... | Image credit: Bungie

Sadly, the solution here is that Rasputin must destroy himself to remove his network of attack satellites aimed at the Traveller. In doing so, Eramis' plan is foiled and the Traveller screeches to a halt.

This is good - after all, the Traveller gives you and everyone else on Earth your powers, and it leaving would be bad. But as Destiny's gooey-headed villain The Witness, the saga's ultimate Big Bad, states: with the Darkness now bearing down, where else could the Traveller go?

Destiny 2.
Anastasia Bray pulls the plug.

Destiny's overarching story has been one of the Traveller and the Pyramid Ships - the Light and the Dark - and at this point, finally, the ultimate showdown is now firmly on the horizon. Removing Rasputin is a big story beat for this cinematic and the saga as a whole, but one which feels justified after the series' recent focus on him, and makes sense to raise the stakes for everyone else left behind.

Say what you will about Destiny's story over the years - and I was there for those early Peter Dinklage and Paul McCartney days - the fact there's a game franchise that gets to tell a decade-long story is still remarkable to me. Obviously, the narrative route to the saga's upcoming end has shifted over the years - the return of the Exo Stranger, the shifts in role for the Crow - but that's all part of how a story gets laid out. And - as the image below shows - seeing elements such as that final shot of the Traveller weaved into the plan Bungie has had all along is a wonderful touch.

After Destiny's forthcoming cyberpunky jaunt to Neptune as part of Lightfall, the saga will conclude next year in Destiny 2's eighth expansion, The Final Shape.

I cannot wait to see how it all wraps up, even if I'm still not able to find the time to get properly back involved. I want to see what happens to Zavala and Ikora, Osiris, Variks, Eris and company. I want to see those Pyramid Ships finally at Earth! And I want to see how Bungie satisfyingly conclude the story while still leaving room enough for the inevitable continuation of Destiny in the future.