Destiny 2 will tackle a number of sweeping themes when it hits in September, including exploring loss and recovering with both its player characters and the game's main antagonist, developer Bungie's narrative team told a gathering at San Diego Comic-Con last week.
Recounted on Activision's official blog, design lead Gavin Irby cites the game's villain, Ghaul, as an example of the way the developer is experimenting with themes of loss and recovery. Rather than create some "mustache-twirling villain," he says, the team wants to make the player become close with their enemy. "For me it started with a passionate idea we had that we would create a villain that the players had a personal relationship with," Irby says. "We wanted Ghaul to have a reason to hate the Guardians and to hate the player as well. That meant we had to introduce the player to Ghaul very early."
"We wanted to talk about not just a bad guy who was evil, we wanted to talk about recovery as well. We wanted to talk about what people in this world care about, which is why we wanted to focus on the Light," Guillaume Colomb, narrative design lead, explains.
In Destiny 2, Gaul has stolen the player's Light, bestowed upon them by The Traveler, "who is more or less a god, which is a sort of a validation that you are worthy," Colomb says.
He continues, saying Ghaul must feel a "huge injustice" by not being given the Light, as if humanity holds sway over its choices.
"Ghaul sees this as a noble quest to free the Traveler." Colomb says. "Ghaul thinks he is doing the right thing. He thinks he is there to save the Traveler."
The main story of Destiny 2, the developers say, is about how the main characters deal with the loss of Light, as well as what it means for someone to be chosen by the Traveler. "They had a relationship that they took for granted, and we called that into question," Irby says.
Destiny 2 is currently expected to be released on September 6th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. For more on the game, check out our impressions of its recent beta, which we considered a "promising glimpse of what Bungie's been building for almost three years."