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The 'Destiny 2' Trailer Is Amazing and Makes Me Hate Myself

Hello, old friend, it's nice to see you again, and again, and again.

There was a time I loved Destiny, which, not-coincidentally, was a time when The Taken King had just come out and I was stuck in my apartment for six weeks recovering from ankle surgery and Destiny's endless loot chase through gorgeous-but-meaningless locales was a welcome diversion.

I stopped playing so much Destiny shortly after I regained the ability to walk and never quite managed to sort-out whether I loved Destiny as a game or merely as an escape, a kind of digital Oxycodone in which familiar voices told me how awesome I was for playing Destiny while in the real world I was having trouble sitting down or standing up from a toilet.

The Rise of Iron expansion settled the matter for me, as both the humor and haunted tone of The Taken King were supplanted by an incomprehensible story told by a collection of the most boring mannequins this side of Peter Dinklage's indifferent and now-departed Ghost. It was a return to the Destiny I heard about during its first year, an expansion that might as well have been titled Actually It's Bad After All.

So my first reaction on seeing today's teaser trailer is simply one of relief. Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 is back in the spotlight with a rambling and ridiculous monologue that instantly offers reassurance that Destiny has both rediscovered its sense of humor and the writers who were apparently lost after The Taken King.

And yet, because it's me and because this is Waypoint, I'm still unsure whether I like this because it's good, or because it's comfortable. I loved reading Laura Hudson tee-off on Ernest Cline's Armada and pumped my fist at its indictment of an endlessly recursive and self-referential "geek culture"… and then I watch a Destiny 2 teaser featuring Robo-Mal Reynolds explicitly channeling Fillion's character in Firefly and my first reaction is, "This is going to be awesome." Is it, or is Destiny 2 just going to be a game that reminds me of something that used to be?

There was an always a heavy referential and—as they evolved their own internal histories— self-referential element to Firefly and the other Joss Whedon sagas that did so much to invent modern "nerd culture." But at their best, they were shows that found inspiration and originality in their references, not merely reflexive obeisance. They had characters and worlds that were more than passable forgeries. Watching the Destiny 2 teaser, I worry that all the game is promising, and (more importantly) all that I've conditioned myself to ask for, is something comfortably situated inside the echo chamber of my own tastes and experiences.