In September 2018, games studio Bungie shocked fans by doing the unthinkable; and doing it in the brashest, boldest way possible. It announced the release of an expansion pack for Destiny 2 and promoted it by promising the death of its most popular character. It’s a bold move for any studio but particularly one as prone to controversial decisions as Bungie. After causing outrage with the decision to lock off parts of Destiny 2 behind DLC paywalls, it took a big risk revealing the demise of Cayde-6 before Forsaken was even released. It seems to have paid off though as it’s all fans can talk about. And not all of them are taking Cayde’s death at face value. Some believe the wise cracking hunter still has one more story to tell. Let’s take a closer look at the death of Cayde-6 and discuss the possibility of a future revival.
What Happened to Cayde-6 in Forsaken
Firstly, if you haven’t played Forsaken, you might want to give this one a miss. Surprisingly, Cayde’s death is not a spoiler. If you’ve been paying attention, particularly to developments in late 2018, you’ll know his exit was revealed early on. However, there are details about the gameplay and subsequent story that you may want to approach fresh. Destiny 2 expansion pack Forsaken pretty much opens with Cayde’s death. He’s helping you tackle a jailbreak at the Prison of Elders. Sadly, things go awry and the Vanguard Hunter is murdered by vigilante Uldren Sov.
The rest of the game is spent trying to avenge Cayde’s death, with big questions being asked about the nature of justice and revenge throughout. Fans of the franchise are enthralled and enraged in equal measure. They’re sad to see the character leave but can’t deny the move has injected tension, emotion and energy into a sometimes flagging narrative. The question is, would Bungie really kill off Destiny’s most beloved figure? Are they making a statement or building up for a dramatic twist?
Why Cayde-6 Really Isn’t Coming Back
Well, for one thing, Bungie has repeatedly stressed the impossibility of bringing Cayde-6 back, particularly as part of a narrative twist. The studio has been very clear about this. No, it wouldn’t be the first time a studio lied to create momentum for a shock reveal. The problem, however, is there’s no real advantage for Bungie in doing so. Destiny 2 received a lot of lacklustre feedback upon release. That is, until Forsaken came along and shook the franchise to its core. The game hasn’t been this exciting, passionate or absorbing in a long time. The fans may want Cayde-6 to return. What they need is for Bungie to give them a real story; a story of love, hate, redemption, rage and hard choices.
The studio knows this. And it knows Destiny 3, the next instalment in the franchise, is an opportunity to establish itself as a studio that can make brave and innovative gaming experiences. Cause let’s be honest, much of Destiny 2 felt hollow. It started dramatically enough, with the Guardians being stripped of power. Yet, within no time, they were back on top and all that drama and tension seemed intended more for promotion than story development.
So, when Forsaken appeared and Bungie built hype for it with the death of Cayde-6, it was hard not to assume a similar emptiness. Surely, it was nothing but shrewd advertising – make it look like the hunter dies and pull a fast one before the plot takes off in earnest. He is the favourite after all. But Bungie has stayed true to its word (for now at least). And fans have never been more eager to find out what’s next.
When the Demise of One Brings the Rise of Another
If you’re completely up to date with the story of Destiny 2 and its expansions, you’ll know all about the next twist in the tale. It should be noted that this is a recent development; mini expansion Black Armory was released on December 4th 2018. There are big spoilers ahead and, sadly, another nail in the coffin for Cayde-6. In Black Armory, Bungie does resurrect a recently deceased character. But it’s none other than Prince Uldren Sov, the one responsible for Cayde’s death. Sov was dramatically put to death by the Guardians as retribution for the slaying. In this expansion pack, he returns as a Guardian himself to (shock, horror) take on Cayde’s former mantle of Hunter Vanguard.
Some fans are arguing that this means Cayde-6 will be back at some point. We reckon it is more evidence the fan favorite will stay dead. Uldren Sov’s revival is story enough all on its own. A murderer, yes. But we know he was being controlled by malevolent forces and doesn’t even remember everything that happened. Yet, he was murdered, in turn, for it by the Guardians. This messy, manic mix of questionable justice, dirty resolutions and murky morality is going to make Destiny 3 a game changer.