There was a lot of hype that had been built up for Destiny before the science fantasy shooter saw its initial release. However, when interested individuals started playing it, their reactions were rather mixed in nature. Yes, Destiny was an excellent shooter with much to recommend it. However, it had plenty of serious flaws as well, with an excellent example being its story. In fact, the story of Destiny was so lackluster that players started speculating about some kind of mid-development shake-up in that regard, which was not wholly baseless because there was content seen in the marketing materials that never managed to make it into the finished product. Eventually, it came out that said line of speculation was indeed true, though it seems probable that the public won’t be getting the full details on what went down anytime soon.
What Is the Theory for the Original Storyline of Destiny?
For those who are curious, the initial writing for Destiny was entrusted to a team headed up by a well-respected Bungie veteran named Joseph Staten. Eventually, said team produced a two-hour “supercut” that was supposed to cover the major beats of the story, thus providing the viewers with a rough idea of what they could expect from the story that the writing team had come up with. Unfortunately, the senior leadership at Bungie hated it because they considered it to be not just too linear but also too confusing, so much so that they made the choice to start over while the game was in mid-development.
As for whether the supercut was that bad or not, well, that remains unclear in the present. In short, Bungie employees have been asked about the issue, but there has never been a consensus on the matter from them. Some have said that the supercut was indeed that bad, whereas others have provided much more positive responses on the issue. However, what might be interesting are the people who stated that the story had potential that wasn’t made clear by the supercut, particularly since it would’ve undergone further refinement before the game was finished up.
Whatever the case, we will never know because the story was tossed out so that something new could be put into its place. Except, it should be noted that its replacement wasn’t exactly 100 percent new. Yes, some of the concepts and characters from the original story were tossed out wholesale. However, others were retained in some sense, with an excellent example being how the Crow was turned into the basis for Prince Uldren. Overall, the result was rather Frankensteinish in nature because the people put in charge of coming up with the new story were determined to make use of completed bits and pieces from the original story by slapping them into their new framework. This might have been necessary because Bungie was operating under a very tight schedule, but it isn’t exactly a system that facilitates the creation of outstanding stories. For proof, look no further than the resulting mess seen in the launch version of Destiny, which was either bad, bland, or a horrible mix of both.
Regardless, there is no way to predict what would have been because the story that was tossed out wasn’t the completed version but rather something that was still in the process of being made. However, there are nonetheless some pieces of information that have managed to make their way out into the wild. For example, we know that much of the story would have been focused on rescuing Rasputin, who would have been kidnapped by the Hive and then brought to the Dreadnaught. Eventually, it would’ve been revealed that while Rasputin seemed independent, he was being puppeted by a Warmind. Likewise, we know that Osiris would have played an important role as the player’s mentor from the start in the original story, though it is interesting to note that Osiris’s robotic assistant was repurposed for use as the Stranger in the game that we got.
Summed up, the mid-development re-do of the story explains pretty much everything about why Destiny‘s story was so lackluster upon launch. Luckily, the people at Bungie have since managed to put themselves on a much better footing, not least because they received some very timely advice from Blizzard on the matter, which was helpful because said developer had had a very similar experience with Diablo III.