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Destiny's script could have been very different. Bungie brought in two comedians to provide some jokes for the game but decided not to use any of them.
Arrested Development and Mr. Show actor David Cross revealed his unused work for the shooter during an IGN UK podcast:
Brian Posehn and I got asked and jumped at the chance. We were flown up to Bellevue, Washington to do a punch-up on the Ghost character in Destiny about a year ago. We were both very excited about it. They did not use a single, solitary thing that we wrote, which is a shame because we wrote some stuff that – you know, we’re gamers, and they… – I would imagine somebody somewhere said, 'We can’t inject this levity or humour into it'
In the final version of the game, Ghost is a completely serious character in spite of being played by the hilarious Peter Dinklage. Come to think of it, every character is serious. While we don't know what the discarded jokes were, it's hard to imagine they would have made the game worse. I would have appreciated some attempt at livening up the game and making the characters at least somewhat vivid. The lack of memorable characters made the story hard to get into.
Cross ended up playing Destiny after launch and was disappointed as well:
I was way into it and way excited about it, and when you’re at an hour 20 of that thing, it’s like the Ghost is kind of monotone saying this thing, 'We must get over the ridge. That’s the cabal – we’ve got to defeat him.' Whatever, it’s boring as sh*t, and I speak for myself and Brian, and I know thousands if not millions of other gamers would be like 'It would be nice to have a joke or something in there.' You think we’re going to f*ck with the tone?
I'm very curious to find out exactly why Bungie went with such a serious tone for Destiny. You can still have humor in a game that's dark or gritty or whatever. The Witcher 3 can be a gory and twisted experience at times but it has plenty of comic relief throughout. For every grisly death, there's a random pop culture reference. Those lighter bits make it easier to endure the grim moments.
One of the TV commercials for Destiny encapsulates the sort of game I wish it was:
Ultimately, Destiny is a game about teaming with friends to kill scores of aliens. You're joking over voice chat while plowing through a raid together. Why isn't that levity part of the actual game's writing as well? I understand if Bungie didn't want to make the game as goofy as Borderlands or let Samuel L. Jackson play ghost but there was plenty of middle-ground to explore.