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Destiny 2: Forsaken’s campaign begins with glorious trolls

Pawing at our emotions like a cat with a cornered mouse

Bungie, High Moon Studios/Activision

At E3 2018, Destiny 2: Forsaken developer Bungie spoiled its own game. In a trailer that weighed in at a svelte minute and 39 seconds, only one thing happened, but it was a Very Big Thing: Cayde-6 died.

I thought it was weird for a developer to give away something so big until I got my hands on the first level of Forsaken behind closed doors at E3, and I realized that the beginning of the campaign is a giant troll in the best kind of way.

If you’ve watched the trailer above, then you know what’s going to happen — and Forsaken’s creators know that you know it. In the first half-hour of the Forsaken campaign, Bungie and High Moon Studios (who it’s safe to call co-developers of Forsaken) don’t miss an opportunity to put Cayde-6 in several precarious situations — every one of which seems like it’s obviously going to lead to his death. Because we already know the ending.

Except that they don’t lead to his death, and that’s a pretty good goof.

Instead, I spent 30 minutes or so in the Prison of Elders, fighting a greatest hits of Destiny villains. The prison break unleashes Cabal and Hive, Vex and Taken. They don’t like each other, but they liked me even less, which means I was everyone’s favorite moving target.

As the Prison of Elders burned around us, I defeated them all and pushed ahead through perforated prison cells, across dramatically lit, mangled bridges. Behind the scenes, Cayde-6 quipped and fumbled his way into success. When the prison erected barriers, Ghost appeared at my side and cleared a path. It was, in short, a classic, unsurprising Destiny campaign. The difference this time was that every step I took felt like a foot closer to doom.

It’s a weird feeling, knowing that your favorite character is about to die. And then watching him not die.

Every few minutes, Cayde-6 showed up and got himself in the most lovable kind of trouble. “This is it!” I thought. “He’s not getting out of this one!” I cringed as Cayde fell off a cliff but giggled when he reappeared a moment later. He was fine. He’s always fine. Except …

The demo ended with a video that went way farther than the trailer, showing us the last moments of Cayde-6’s life at the point of Prince Uldren Sov’s gun. I won’t spoil his last moments or words here, but I assure you that, even in his darkest hour, Cayde-6 loses none of his charm or wit.

Destiny 2: Forsaken will be released Sept. 4 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. And at some point after that, Cayde-6 will die.

For now?

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