It’s Monday night as I write this. I was out all of last week gathering some intel on something I’ll be able to share with you guys next week, so after a weekend of decompression, I was prepared to get back into the standard workflow today (as much as there is any kind of standard workflow for a games writer), starting with my review for the finale of Telltale’s Tales From the Borderlands. Opening my laptop was as far as I got.
A ding from my phone indicated I had a new PSN message. “This is why Shaxx is my favorite,” it read, referring to Destiny’s Crucible handler. An attached screenshot showed Shaxx saying how ridiculous it was that he needed to hand out candy.
Wait, what? Candy? What the hell is going on in Destiny? Curiosity got the better of me, and I loaded up my Titan to see what was going on.
Long story short, it’s the Festival of the Lost. Bungie’s Halloween celebration redecorates the entire Tower with a new aesthetic, adds some quest lines that involve collecting candy, and incorporates wearable masks of other Destiny characters into the RNG. Suddenly I am more worried about whether or not my random mask drop is going to be Atheon than I am about getting my third Zhalo Supercell from an engram in King’s Fall. Not only are the masks completely aesthetic, but they actually weaken your character because they take the place of your helmet in your light level calculations.
The inside jokes for longtime Destiny players are also hilarious, from the mission where you must “trip” off the Tower wearing the Atheon mask, to Eris handing out a box of raisins instead of candy, and even the Crptarch saying that he always gives out the good stuff. It’s a self awareness that keeps the world feeling fresh and connects the game world with the actions of its players.
That’s not all that’s part of the celebration though. Tess has two new dances and a new emote at the Eververse Trading Company — you know, the place where you can spend real money in Destiny for completely aesthetic add-ons? One of those dances is Destiny’s longest animated dance yet, mimicking Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller dance. For the price of 700 silver, or around $7, this dance can be yours too, and you had better believe I’ve already got it equipped and am dancing it up anywhere I can put two feet on the ground.
If you don’t play Destiny, this probably seems ridiculous, but the social culture in the Tower is just something that non-guardians fail to fully understand. There’s nothing complicated about it though. I’ll let you in on the secret: it’s fun.
That’s right, I said it. Destiny is fun. And limited time events like this serve to further cement the sense of community that guardians have with each other. “Were you around for the Festival of the Lost?” will be a question that veteran guardians can ask new players. They’ll be able to show off their new dance moves. They may even be able to put on a few masks, becoming someone like Xur, the Cryptarch, or even Crota.
When reminiscing on this event, we can remember the time that we all took a little break from taking on hard mode Oryx to instead wear papercrafted masks and fill bags of candy. Is it helping us get some kind of amazing exotic weapon or armor piece? No, but it sure is a fun to take part in the celebration, and isn’t that what games are all about, just having fun playing?
Even if you do play Destiny and don’t want to fork over premium prices for emotes or
Halloween Festival of the Lost masks, just feel happy that there are other people out there who do. Bungie can utilize the money earned from those of us that spend a bit on cosmetic enhancements to continue to update and support a game that you aren’t paying a subscription fee for, and perhaps we’ll see less expensive or even free content updates in the future, as opposed to the moderately priced expansions of the previous year.
I see it like making a pledge to a public radio station. You get to listen for free, and $50 may seem like a lot to just be getting some inexpensive pledge gift, but what are you really paying for? Think about it for a moment.
Whether you’ll be spending any money with Tess at Eververse or not, enjoy the Festival of the Lost, guardians. Bungie is continuing to prove that Destiny is a living and breathing universe, and I have no problem supporting the dedication to the platform, whether it was a $20 content expansion last year or a $7 dance emote today. I may even pay a bit more just so that I can buy the one where my guardian goes “Boo!” I’ve gotten so much out of Destiny that it’s the least I can do to show a little support and appreciation for the work that goes into it and all is said and done, I get a pretty cool emote or two out of it.
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this article is solely that of the author’s, and does not represent PlayStation LifeStyle and its staff.