Destiny 2’s Biggest Lore YouTuber Recaps 10 Years of Story with 10 Hours of Video Before The Final Shape, So I Know What I’m Watching This Weekend

Destiny 2: The Final Shape, the capstone expansion to Destiny’s decade-long Light and Darkness Saga, is slated to come out next week on June 4. To help new players understand the plot, factions, and characters of this 10-year long story, James “My Name is Byf” Byford — the biggest Destiny lore YouTuber — has created an incredible 10-hour video that recaps the events of the entire franchise. The video includes narration and editing from Byford himself, along with bespoke fanart, community-made animations and music, relevant gameplay footage, and more.

After 10 long years, Destiny 2’s Light and Darkness Saga — a gargantuan narrative arc that’s been building since the original game came out in 2014 — is finally reaching its climactic crescendo with The Final Shape expansion. Slated to go live on June 4 next week, the DLC represents a conclusion to that decade-long journey, as well as the dawn of a new era for future stories and adventures in the universe of Destiny 2.

Part of what makes this imminent final showdown with the Darkness and the Witness feel like such a big event is the scale of the conflict and the history of its participants; much like the heroes and villains of Marvel’s cinematic universe, players have spent years with Destiny 2’s vast cast of characters, with developer Bungie exploring countless themes throughout their developments, seasonal narratives, and an ocean of rich background lore. All of that coalescing into one bombastic climax makes The Final Shape a can’t-miss-it experience for longtime Destiny fans — but if you’re a newcomer, you’ll be missing that connection to everything that’s led to this moment.

Destiny 2’s in-game Timeline feature does a solid job of catching “New Lights” up on the basic plot of past events. However, the removal of old base game, expansion, and seasonal content — and also the fact Destiny’s story is split between two games — means there’s a lot that new players can’t directly experience and get invested in. Don’t worry if you’re one of them, though, because Destiny 2’s biggest lore YouTuber, James “My Name is Byf” Byford, has created a colossal overview video that recaps the entire Destiny story in incredible detail, complete with faction and character backstories, bespoke fanart, community-made animations and music, relevant gameplay footage, and more.

Clocking in with a runtime of 10 hours, one minute, and 11 seconds, the video is so long that its length nips on the heels of The Lord of the Rings movie marathons, and it’s got two intermissions intended for folks watching the recap’s premiere live. It’s actually premiering shortly as I write this, so if you come across this article soon after publication, you can tune in and chat with other viewers as you watch.

Byford — now with 1.6 million YouTube subscribers — has been closely covering the developing lore and story of Destiny ever since the space fantasy looter shooter debuted a decade ago, and I’m willing to bet you’ve watched or listened to some of his videos if you’ve ever been interested in learning more about it. I’ve always greatly enjoyed the way he narrates and edits his content, and even for big Destiny nerds like me, his discussions and coverage is useful to refer back to. For that reason, I’ll definitely be checking this project out this weekend.

“I also have no shame in admitting that I teared up a bit at the ending to this,” said Byford of the video, one day before it went live on his channel. “For the first time in a long time, I feel really, truly proud of this thing that I’ve made and of all the people who pushed so hard to help me bring it to life. It’s a really special project.”

Whether you’re a New Light hoping to learn everything there is to know about the Destiny universe or a veteran looking for a refresher on specific parts of the Light and Darkness Saga, Byf’s new video is a must-watch (its description has timestamps in the event you want to skip around to different sections). Just make sure you keep some snacks and beverages handy.

In terms of gameplay, The Final Shape will take players inside the Light-bestowing Traveler itself and give them access to Prismatic, a wild new “multiclassing” subclass that allows you to wield and combine abilities, Aspects, and Fragments from all five of Destiny 2’s other subclasses together. Accompanying it will be Exotic class items with two randomly rolled Exotic armor perks, several new Exotic weapons and armors, a ton of new Legendary weapons to grind for, and a wholly original race of Darkness enemies called the Dread.

Destiny 2 is one of the best Xbox games and best PC games for fans of multiplayer and looter shooters, and The Final Shape — the final expansion in the Light and Darkness Saga — looks to be the biggest DLC that Bungie’s popular live service game has ever gotten. Notably, preorders for it are on sale right now, and Destiny 2’s older expansions are available for big discounts as well.

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.