Bungie celebrated their 30th anniversary this week, and the party is inside Destiny 2 with a new, season-sized piece of content you can either play for free or pay for some added extras. We have a new Dungeon, new 6 person activity, loads of loot from past Bungie games including iconic weapons from Halo, plus other secrets too. Today I’m going to round up my first impressions of the event.
Bungie has been creating games for 30 years including Myth, Marathon, Halo, and of course Destiny. Bungie hit the big time with Halo back in 2001, when that launched on the original Xbox. Bungie would go on to make 5 Halo games including Combat Evolved, 2, 3, ODST, and Halo Reach. Bungie then split from their partnership with Microsoft, leading them into the open arms of Activision. In 2014 they released the original Destiny, following that up with Destiny 2 in 2017.
The 30th Anniversary event is a celebration of Bungie’s games over the years and we start of with Dares of Eternity. This is a new 6 person activity, which follows the format of a game show, hosted by Xur! Xur is our trusty Agent of The Nine, who’s been visiting Destiny at the weekends for 7 years, giving us exotic and legendary loot. Now, we have to run through the Dares of Eternity to earn our loot.
Dares of Eternity operates in multiple stages, where we have to spin a wheel to determine which enemy race we’re going to fight. The mechanics are varied, there are champions, and there’s good variety in this activity. It’s good fun, injected by Xur’s great voice lines. So far I am loving it. There are also jumping puzzles, which if navigated successfully we gain a buff. If you do well in your encounters you have the chance for a bonus round at the end, which ultimately leads to more loot.
Talking about the loot, for this activity we have a bunch of Legacy Bungie themes weapons here including the Battle Rifle, Energy Sword and Carbine from Halo, and the Shotgun from Marathon. There’s also a surprise Exotic Quest included in the free-to-play track for Forerunner, which is an exotic Sidearm, based on the Magnum Pistol from Halo. Halo is never directly mentioned in the game, however, it’s heavily referenced not only in the weapons but the ornaments too.
The interesting, and strange element here is the Star Horse. That is correct, STAR HORSE. Xur is accompanied by a mysterious Horse in Eternity, and he’s asking us to constantly impress the horse through our feats of endurance and combat. The setting is Eternity, and apparently, the horse is able to travel through space, time, and dimensions, which explains why all the loot has come together.
At the end of Dares of Eternity, we earn keys, which can open treasure chests in Xur’s Treasure Hoard. Essentially we run the Dares of Eternity, collect Strange Coins and Keys, open chests and get a lot of loot. The activity is rewarding, plus the addition of the exotic quest was great to see.
The other main component of the content drop is the Grasp of Avarice Dungeon. This is a 3 person activity and similar in size and scope to the other dungeons in the game, which are like mini raids. The mechanics aren’t too complex and the power level requirements aren’t crazy, they are like mini-raids, which offer unique loot.
Grasp of Avarice is pirate-themed, which makes sense since The Fallen are based on pirates and this is set in the original loot cave on the Cosmodrome. Looking at the loot cave for one minute, this was a cave that Destiny 1 players would shoot infinitely spawning enemies, and gather a bunch of loot before it was patched. Plenty of players would spend hours and hours in front of the loot cave, mindlessly killing enemies to gather the loot before the patch, and this whole thing is a homepage to that. In fact, to enter the Dungeon, we have to go to the same cave and destroy a crystal in there to open up the entrance.
What follows is a great dungeon experience with traps, boss battles, there’s even a sparrow race in the middle, followed by some complex-ish mechanics. The boss battles are fun, my only piece of criticism is that it’s quite long and takes a lot of time to get through. However, I am sure speedrunning strats are being devised as we speak.
The loot is an assortment of Destiny 1 weapons, plus some brand new Thorn armor, which looks very cool. From D1 we have Matador 64, 1000 Yeard Stare, Eysluna and The Hero of Ages Sword, which I believe is from Myth. I managed to bag myself some good thorn armor as well as all the weapons except the one I wanted, which is the Eysluna. No bother, I’ll run it again next week!
The Gjallarhorn is also back, this is an exotic rocket launcher from Destiny 1, perhaps one of the most overpowered weapons in all video games. It’s back, and it’s in Destiny 2 for the first time. Xur originally sold this in week 2 of Destiny 1 and the joke is that no one wanted to buy it because they didn’t think it would be very powerful, only to find out later it was clearly the most powerful weapon in the game, and everyone either missed it or passed on it, saving their currency for something else. Gjallarhorn would go on to dominate the meta in Destiny 1, to the point where raid groups would require gally. The good news is it’s just as powerful today, if not more powerful.
The good news is the 20th-anniversary pack is fun, there is great loot and the core activities are very good. I like the new Dungeon and have run it on each of my Guardians so far. The Dares of Eternity is great fun, it has good humor and it’s great to see Xur get more involved. There was some backlash about paying for the event, but I think you could easily get by on the free mode. The Halo weapons are fantastic, and the whole event is a fantastic celebration of the history of Bungie. If you have the money, then I’d recommend buying the pack, as Gally and the dungeon are great.