Destiny 2 dev explains why that iconic weapon was in a Lightfall cutscene
Why the first gun you picked up in Destiny made an appearance in the final moment of the DLC's campaign.
What you need to know
- When Destiny 2's Lightfall expansion launched last month, many players were confused by the fact that its final cutscene featured their Guardian using the Khvostov 7G-02 Auto Rifle instead of their equipped weapon.
- This weapon is the first one that players can acquire in either Destiny game, and an Exotic version was added to the original Destiny in 2016's Rise of Iron expansion. As a result, many have a soft-spot for the iconic firearm.
- Many speculated that the weapon's appearance in Lightfall was hinting at the return of the Exotic variant to Destiny 2.
- In a new blog post, Bungie's Cinematics Director James Myers explained that the weapon was used in the cutscene because the studio needed a "default weapon" to use for carefully animated scenes that wouldn't look right with Bows, Glaives, and some other weapon archetypes.
When Destiny 2's new Lightfall expansion arrived in February and fans played through its story campaign, they noticed something strange about its final cutscene: instead of showing the player's Guardian with one of their currently equipped weapon like Destiny cinematics usually do, it depicts them with the Khvostov 7G-02 Auto Rifle instead. Notably, this is the very first weapon players can acquire in both Destiny games, and eventually, a highly customizable Exotic version was added to the original title in 2016's Rise of Iron expansion. As a result, the weapon is quite iconic, and has a special place in the hearts of many Destiny fans.
Ever since Lightfall's launch, fans have wondered why the Khvostov was included in this scene, and also where it came from since the weapon appears regardless of whether there's a Khvostov in your inventory or not. Some speculated that Bungie was teasing the return of the Exotic variant, while others thought it might have been chosen specifically for its reflex sight as the cutscene shows the player's Guardian aiming carefully. In a new blog post, though, Bungie's Cinematics Director James Myers offered concrete answers.
"During the production of Lightfall, a certain story beat was pitched related to reluctantly aiming a weapon, and we quickly realized that we would need to animate that moment much more specifically than we typically handle Guardians pointing weapons in previous scenes," Myers explained. "Many players have noticed some of the sillier results in some real-time scenes, even when we avoid extreme poses (like our Guardian holding a Bow at the end of The Witch Queen.) So, I ... suggested that we decide on a “default weapon” that we could feature if we ever needed something specific like this. I suggested the Khvostov because it’s the very first weapon every player receives in Destiny. Literally every Guardian has tinkered around with this weapon, so it felt like the right call."
"At the same time, new systems were being developed that would feature Guardians (like Commendations), and similarly, there were a lot of visual bugs popping up with certain weapons like Glaives and Bows," Myers continued. "The animation team was stretched thin closing on cinematics, and a new set of animations was, unfortunately, something that would cost us other content. Because of that, we made the decision to use the same default logic in the instances where a visual bug would detract from the quality bar we aim to achieve."
So, there you have it. Bungie used the Khvostov for Lightfall's final cutscene not because they were hinting at a new Exotic version of the weapon, but because the studio's animation team needed a basic weapon to give Guardians during carefully animated scenes. Considering past cutscenes have looked pretty strange when gun animations are applied to Bows, Glaives, Grenade Launchers, and some other weapon archetypes (see the above image), I'd say the developers made the right call. This is also probably why everyone's Guardian is using the weapon on Commendation screens, too.
Some will undoubtedly be disappointed that the Exotic Khvostov wasn't being teased here, but perhaps Bungie will add it in the future. After all, the developer has recently experimented with customizable Exotic weapons like Revision Zero and Vexcalibur by allowing players to tweak them with weapon crafting — something the Khvostov would be perfect for.
Destiny 2: Lightfall is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PCs, and PlayStation systems. In it, you'll take the fight to Emperor Calus, gain access to Strand subclasses and their unique abilities, and more.
Destiny 2: Lightfall
The Lightfall expansion takes players to the neon-soaked city of Neomuna on Neptune and pits them against the fearsome Shadow Legion — all while the threat of Darkness Pyramids, The Witness, and his new Disciple Emperor Calus looms overhead.
See at: Microsoft | GMG (Steam)
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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.