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Last night we finished Destiny 2: Shadowkeep‘s Garden Of Salvation raid for the seventh time, and once again I held everyone up while I paused to take screenshots. I am sorry. Ish. Sorry-ish. As I told you when I paused beneath the vast paddlewheels churning up canals of liquid consciousness to take snaps of a cherry tree, it was definitely necessary for work. See, look, here’s a post about how the technorganic garden is so very pretty, sharing some of my photos of vast landscapes for people who can’t or won’t visit it themselves. It was for work.
Garden Of Salvation is chuffing lovely, though. This post shows things you’d enjoy more if you first saw them in-game yourself, but scroll on if you won’t and wanna see some nice plants? Destiny excels at sci-fi vistas and there’s plenty to gawp at in this sculpture garden world built by time-travelling robots venerating some dark god.
Consider the first room of the first encounter. Functionally, it’s a semi-circle with some lumps of cover. So sure, add a huge half-pipe stretching back towards distant cliffs, statues kneeling in worship, and a spiked technohalo framing the first boss.
And this is functionally a straight corridor, made twenty metres high and draped in flowers:
Or with spacefungus:
And I wholly adore the jumping section past glimmering wheels turning in deep canals of radiolaria, the ‘Vex milk’ which seems to be the mind of the robots.
This is just spectacle, an area with a few trifling enemies on the way to another boss. This! All this! Just for adventure’s sake!
Destiny 2 can demonstrate a sense of spectacle that I tend to only see in walking simulators. I talked about that years back with Pip, about how Césure was one of the few games to make a strange sci-fi space large enough to inspire awe rather than have characters act like they’re awed by something small and bland. Destiny understands the importance of that feeling and has some of my favourite game spaces (the Whisper zone inspires such magnificent dread).
The underside of the Garden is grand too, revealing the surface as wholly false. And yet! Roots penetrate from above, the rigid and ordered construct giving way to the organic.
This portal isn’t even important but I still stop to frame a few snaps:
I often forget to check my drop from the final chest because I’m held rapt by the creepy statue cupped by branches in a hollow of trees whose bark glows with veins of energy.
Destiny: a pretty video game.
But really, I wouldn’t need to spend so long taking screenshots if other people were not getting in my way all “going to the objective” or “doing this platforming bit” or “Alice are you taking screenshots again?”
Move, please. I’m clearly doing work for business reasons.