The Destiny 2 Lightfall launch has arrived, and it’s sadly looking like far from perfect news for developer Bungie. Teased as the climax of the ongoing Light and Dark saga for the FPS game, the campaign promised some real highs with the arrival of The Witness, and answers to many big lore questions. But while the Destiny 2 Lightfall missions are packed with exciting gameplay, the community appears to largely feel let down by the story direction.
“As far as gameplay goes it’s bombastic and fun, but narratively it misses huge opportunities and I cannot in good conscience recommend it – at very least to new players, potentially for returning players. And that breaks my damn heart.” Damning words indeed from a man who has been described affectionately by the community as Destiny’s “lore daddy.” James Byford, better known as ‘My Name Is Byf’ or simply Byf, has been at the forefront of laying out Destiny lore for many years.
From individual deep-dives into specific aspects of Destiny lore to full timeline explainers, Byf has acted for many players as a sort of librarian, cultivating all the great nuggets of detail scattered across Bungie’s games and organising them into delicious meals for easy consumption. But in a 26-minute video following his completion of the Lightfall campaign, Byf digs through his major gripes and places he feels let down.
“This campaign was the moment, and I feel that is something that needs to be absolutely pressed home,” he begins, explaining just how much has built up to this point and the final introduction of The Witness. So what, in Byf’s mind, went wrong? “Nothing is explained… at all. In a moment where Bungie needed to start answering questions that they had been posing for a very long time, they are tight-lipped, narratively speaking.”
In particular, Byf points to one of the core concepts in Lightfall, the Veil: “I am the lore guy in this community,” he exclaims, pausing out of courtesy to note some other key contributors, “I am the ‘lore daddy’ and I can’t tell you what the Veil is, because I don’t know. They don’t explain it in the story.” The full video digs much deeper into spoiler territory, which we’ll avoid here for those of you yet to play it, but suffice to say that Byf feels let down.
He certainly isn’t alone, either – Destiny 2 Lightfall Steam reviews currently sit at ‘mostly negative’ at the time of writing, with just 28% of more than 2,000 reviews handing the expansion a positive rating. Many of these reviews go so far as to compliment the gameplay systems and even some of the mission design, but there’s an overwhelming sense of disappointment in the narrative. Even many of the positive reviews include comments like, “the story and pacing was a mess,” or saying the “story doesn’t explain a thing.”
Byf does credit the primary antagonist, saying, “The Witness is done well, it’s just a shame that everything they’re pursuing is so nebulous, because that impacts the character as well.” As a result, he notes, it’s tough to feel strongly about opposing them. On the other hand, Byf calls the game’s teases about Nezarec “really good,” saying that he’s excited to see where those story arcs go. “We have an idea of something remarkable that’s going on in the background of the story, and it’s just slowly starting to reveal itself.
With follow-up The Final Shape set to arrive soon after Lightfall, there’s some questions in the air whether Bungie is holding onto its cards to play its final hand down the line. However, that brings little satisfaction in the moment – and if the community as a whole feels this let down by Lightfall, it’s possible that some may decide not to stick around and find out what’s next. One comment in a hugely upvoted thread sharing Byf’s video perhaps sums up the sentiment best: “When not even Byf knows what the **** happened, you know the story is ass.”
Hopefully the Destiny 2 Lightfall raid release will help shine some much-needed light on things – get it, light? In the meantime, we’ve got everything you need to know to get ready, including all the Destiny 2 Lightfall Exotics, a guide to the Destiny 2 Strand subclass, and even how to beat the Destiny 2 Lightfall Calus fight if you’re finding it tough.