I’ve tried so many times to get into Destiny 2. I love shooting games, I don’t mind MMORPGs, and I love loot. Despite spending hundreds of hours in the first Destiny game, I usually drop into Destiny 2 and play the latest season for a few hours and then forget about it, mostly because I’m not as hooked as I was before. One of the main reasons for this is that I cannot get hooked into the story anymore – and I don’t think I’m alone in the struggle to keep up with the ever-expanding narrative. Surprisingly, I think that Final Fantasy 16 has the answer Bungie is looking for: Destiny 2 needs FF16’s Active Time Lore feature.
For those who haven’t got the chance to play one of the best PS5 games yet (or can’t, sorry Xbox and PC players), Final Fantasy 16 is oozing with lore. A lot of it is based on the political landscape of Valisthea or on events that took place before the game’s start, which can get confusing. However, Square Enix has developed a genius mechanic called Active Time Lore. What this does is offer up simplified, essential information on-tap for those curious about the current cutscene they’re watching or the mission they’re taking part in. This includes characters, locations, terminology, and more. It’s a remarkable tool, and we even mentioned that Destiny 2 could use this feature in our Final Fantasy 16 review.
Let’s say you’re a new Destiny 2 player, and you start the New Light quest line and head to the Tower. You’re asked to speak to plenty of characters like Zavala or Ikora, and various other citizens. But if you’re new to the universe, why should you care? Being able to bring your Ghost out and have it give you the option to read details on each character, as well as the Tower, will give you that initial hit of context that makes everything easier to understand. Then, it can continue to drip-feed you lore as the story progresses, as you visit new places, and as you meet new characters, which gives newcomers the opportunity to understand who they are and what they stand for within the universe.
But what makes Final Fantasy 16’s Active Time Lore feature even more amazing (and useful in Destiny 2 as a live-service title) is the fact it regularly updates to match your place in the story. For example, details regarding Zavala, or The Witness, or whoever it is you want some info on, will get progressively outdated as more of the story unwinds, so if you’re playing the current seasonal content and it relies heavily on your knowledge of certain people or places, it can update as you progress to reflect the current situation.
Or let’s talk about The Veil in Destiny 2. There were hundreds and thousands of theories and ideas about what The Veil could be during the Lightfall expansion, as Bungie didn’t exactly make it clear as to what we were fighting to protect during the story. If Destiny 2 veterans don’t have a clue, why would new players? An Active Time Lore feature would be able to fix these issues, as well as have a useful mechanic for both new and returning players to catch up on what the hell is going on. It’s not there to give spoilers or to dampen any mystery, it’s just there to give people some kind of idea of what they’re even looking at.
Another thing that Final Fantasy 16 offers is a book called The Thousand Tomes, which directly ties in with the Active Time Lore to offer an accessible book in the main hub of operations, the Hideaway, which has every bit of lore in the game. I think there needs to be a similar feature within the Tower or in the menus that give you everything that you need to know in one large lore-filled book. Sure, Destiny 2 has a huge collection of lore in-game, but much of it is extremely detailed, or in many cases, intentionally cryptic and mysterious. While I, and many others, would prefer to get things piecemeal so as to not be overwhelmed, there are plenty of players who would happily prefer to read as much as they can in one go to get a sense of what has happened within the Destiny 2 universe. And giving that option to those players should be done too.
Of course, none of this is easy work for Bungie, and its developers likely have their hands full with the upcoming The Final Shape release date, especially after that Cayde-6 reveal during a recent trailer (an Active Time Lore feature would catch new players up on why everyone loves the Exo Vanguard who died in a vaulted expansion). But with Destiny 2 becoming more bloated with content, storylines, and lore every season, the risk of alienating and confusing new or even returning players increases. And let’s be honest, whether you’re a veteran Guardian or a newbie, Destiny 2’s story is worth witnessing (rimshot plays).
Well, I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be writing about Destiny 2 and Final Fantasy 16 in the same article, but I genuinely believe something like Active Time Lore would be so beneficial to Bungie’s looter shooter. For those diving into the deep end with the Season of the Deep content right now, find out how to unlock the Wicked Implement in Destiny 2, which is the latest Exotic quest. For those of you here on the Final Fantasy side of the aisle, check out our full FF16 walkthrough to help with your playthrough.