Feature Article

The Season Of The Risen Is Destiny 2's Next Content Season Alongside Witch Queen

Destiny 2 is expanding on The Witch Queen's story with a season that brings players into a closer alliance with their former enemies.

With its new Witch Queen vidoc, Bungie has revealed some new details about the Destiny 2 live content season releasing alongside its next expansion. It's called the Season of the Risen, and it's going to continue the story begun in 2021's Season of the Chosen, deepening players' interactions with the Cabal empire.

Along with details gleaned from the vidoc, we learned a little more about the Season of the Risen from a hands-off preview Bungie provided GameSpot of The Witch Queen. The season is a direct response to the rise of Savathun and her new Light-infused Lucent Brood of Hive enemies. While The Witch Queen is about exploring Savathun's throne world to figure out how she's taken control of the Light, a power previously reserved to just Destiny 2 players, the Season of the Risen is about that threat spreading out to the rest of the solar system.

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Now Playing: Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Hands-Off Preview

In last year's Season of the Chosen, Bungie introduced Caiatl, the Cabal empress and daughter of exiled Emperor Calus, a character we've been interacting with for some time. The season's story was all about diplomatic tensions between the Cabal and the Guardian-governing Vanguard, but eventually, an uneasy truce was reached between both sides. In the Season of the Risen, the diplomacy that kicked off last year is taking on a new dimension, because the threat Savathun and her immortal Hive Guardians pose is a threat to everyone, human and Cabal alike.

The Season of the Chosen hinged on Cabal agents, working without Caiatl's knowledge, using special technology to disable Zavala's Ghost, cutting him off from the Light and making him mortal--and, thus, opening him up to assassination. Though the attack on Zavala was stopped thanks to Crow, the Cabal Light-blocking technology still exists. In fact, this is a new, miniaturized version of the same tech used way back in the Destiny 2 vanilla campaign, when the Cabal empire's then-leader, Dominus Ghaul, attacked the solar system and used a similar device to block the Traveler's Light, thereby rendering all Guardians mortal. This season, the idea is that Caiatl and the Vanguard can use the Light-blocking technology against the Hive Guardians the same way Ghaul and the Cabal once did against us.

During Bungie's preview, we got a quick look at some of the practicalities of the Season of the Risen: namely, Cabal-inspired guns. Expect to find weapons that seem like they signify the cooperation of the Vanguard and the empire, similar to those that were available from activities aboard Calus's Leviathan. We also know they'll come with a special perk, as part of the new Origin Trait system that's also being introduced with The Witch Queen. That perk is called Land Tank, and using the Cabal guns that carry it will boost your damage resistance and Resilience with every kill you rack with them.

We don't know too much else about the Season of the Risen yet, but Bungie's discussion of it in the vidoc suggests that the Vanguard might get more than it bargained for in allying with Caiatl. After all, the Cabal are known as ruthless conquerors; Ghaul was willing to destroy the solar system if he couldn't dominate it, which triggered a whole mess of related story with his star-destroying ship, the Almighty. There's also lore from the Season of the Lost, when Savathun encased herself in a crystal in the Dreaming City to ask for Mara Sov's help, in which Caiatl asked Zavala if the two powers should just nuke the Awoken to get rid of the Hive threat. Zavala turned down the offer, but the fact that Caiatl would go to war with the Awoken (and kill a whole bunch of innocent potential allies, besides) in order to get rid of the more dangerous Savathun says a lot about her tactics.

It does seem like the Season of the Risen will help pick up story threads from Destiny 2's Year 4, however. We should find out more about what was learned on the Glykon during the Presage mission, as well as what's happening with Crow, who has been serving as a diplomatic liaison to the Cabal for the last few months. As for what else is in store, though, we'll have to wait until The Witch Queen launches on February 22 to find out.


Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw has worked as a journalist for newspapers and websites for more than a decade and has covered video games, technology, and entertainment for nearly that long. A freelancer before he joined the GameSpot team as an editor out of Los Angeles, his work appeared at Playboy, IGN, Kotaku, Complex, Polygon, TheWrap, Digital Trends, The Escapist, GameFront, and The Huffington Post. Outside the realm of games, he's the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero's Guide to Glory. If he's not writing about video games, he's probably doing a deep dive into game lore.

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