I like jokes, which is why I’m here to celebrate a good video game joke from last year. No time like the present, eh?
I’ve been playing some Destiny lately, mainly to get ready for the upcoming expansion. Yesterday I wound up replaying “Lost to Light,” an old mission that takes place in the tunnels beneath the moon. Near the end of the level, you have to fight your way out and back to the surface.
As you make your escape, you’re introduced to the concept of “tomb husks,” which are little globes you have to pick up and use to unlock doors. The first area is blocked by a door that requires one husk to open. The second area has a door that requires two.
After you open the second door, you come upon a tomb husk with no door or enemies nearby:
Naturally, you pick it up. “Better to have a tomb husk and not need it, than to need a tomb husk and not have it,” Ghost quips.
As I played that section yesterday, I was reminded of what a good joke that was. That was a good joke! It’s also a joke that only really works in a video game. The writers have set you up over the course of the level, knowing that you’ll grab the husk the moment you see it. You could always blow past it and grab the other two husks in a different order, but the first time you play, that’s pretty unlikely. You’re baited into helping deliver the punch line. The joke is all the funnier because you helped tell it.
For all the various improvements The Taken King brought to Destiny when it came out a year ago, I sometimes don’t give it enough credit for how funny it could be. Video games should tell these sorts of jokes more often.