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Destiny 2’s breakout stars are a sarcastic robot and a smooth-talking sniper

Two unlikely new heroes have become fan favorites

Devrim Kay at ease in his church tower, far inside the European Dead Zone.
Devrim Kay
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The funny thing happened on the way to the Nessus Centaur: Destiny 2 actually made me laugh. Hard. A lot.

The most surprising thing about this game, to me at least, is how rich and endearing the game’s characters are. And it seems that I’m not alone. Two in particular have captured the hearts of fans all over.

What follows includes spoilers for the narrative campaign in Destiny 2.

Early in the game, players are sent to the European Dead Zone, a deadly and wild place somewhere outside The Last City. There you’ll find Devrim Kay, or the “gentleman sniper” as he’s referred to in game, who patrols the EDZ.

Devrim is a smooth character, quick with a joke and easy on the eyes. He’s also been wrapped tightly into the lore of Destiny 2. He’s a skilled warrior, an able gunsmith and a confidant of Earth’s newest guardian, Suraya Hawthorne. He even wields The Land Beyond, an exotic sniper rifle from the original Destiny.

He is also the franchise’s first openly gay character. Outlets reported earlier this week that Devrim’s in-game idle chatter has him reminiscing about the man he left behind, his partner Mark, and the letters he sends home to him from the front line. In an interview with Eurogamer, the actor behind Devrim’s buttery-smooth voice told Eurogamer that it was part of the dossier that Bungie gave him when he signed on to play the role.

"I knew that he was gay — not much beyond that or what his relationship was like," said Gideon Emery. "But the 'letters home', if I can call them that, were lovely touches of emotion and I'm all for games being more representative.”

Fans might remember another of Emery’s famous video game roles, as the voice of Fenris in Dragon Age 2.

The other fresh new face in Destiny 2 is actually an incorporeal artificial intelligence named Failsafe. Players meet her on the centaur Nessus, a large rocky body in the Sol system with a highly irregular orbit. She’s part of the crew of a crippled starship that crash landed there centuries ago. When the safety measures that restricted her growth as an AI were lifted as a last-ditch attempt to save the expedition, she began to develop a personality. The long period of isolation has given her a somewhat ... irregular speech pattern

At times she sounds like a better, more chipper version of Siri. In the next sentence she can turn into the nightmare version of an angsty, 14-year old babysitter. Actor Joy Osmanski shows an amazing range, and her timing is impeccable. She provides for some good laughs in the mid and late-game scenarios and plays well off Nathan Fillion’s Cayde-6, who spends the most time with her out of the three iconic guardians.

Failsafe has become so popular, that fans are asking for her to record new lines for the Crucible. I think putting her in the same voice booth with Lennie James, who plays Lord Shaxx, would be hysterical.

Or, if we’re very lucky, maybe she’ll turn up as an exotic ghost somewhere down the line.

This is all just to say that if you’ve been skipping those cutscenes on your way to 280+ power, maybe slow down a little bit and enjoy the ride. Destiny 2 is well worth your time.