No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, and even fewer people expected the Destiny 2 Bungie 30th Anniversary celebrations to feature a mythical space horse running a game show. Expected or not, here we are and it is glorious.
Players loading into Destiny 2 during these celebrations aren’t met by the usual screen of their ship floating in space but rather by Xûr – a minor character who usually spouts cryptic lines such as “I have information, I do not yet know if you are the one it is meant for.” Xûr has now found his voice and has temporarily become the companion and interpreter for Starhorse, a mythical creature who has decided that the Guardians should enter a game show called Dares of Eternity.
Dares of Eternity, part of the free content for the 30th Anniversary celebrations, is a new six player activity spread over a number of rounds, each of which has as set of rotating objectives. The mechanics should be familiar to seasoned players and mostly involve taking down a specific enemy to gain a buff so that you can then destroy a shield or crystals. Which of the five races of enemy you will be facing is decided in a classic game show mechanic º a big spinning wheel – and to help you out there are power-up pads that spawn across the map to boost speed, melee, grenade or super regeneration.
Finish the first section and and it’s time to traverse an obstacle course which the horse describes as “utterly bonkers”. Think of this as a mini Fall Guys level with moving walkways, spinning blocks and undulating walls all designed to push you off the course. Then there’s more shooting before we get to another different game show mechanic where players get to guess the race of the final boss. Get it right and you get bonuses that include infinite heavy ammo, get it wrong and your powers are drained, putting you at a disadvantage.
Finish the event and you can visit Xûr and the Starhorse in a new area to pick up bounties and exotic quests. It’s going to take a fair bit of grinding to unlock everything, but players do have over two months to get things done.
If you have paid for the 30th Anniversary pack then you also get a brand new dungeon that is themed around a classic Destiny meme: the loot cave from the early days of Destiny. This was a bug, a cave in the Cosmodrome that could be farmed for unlimited loot for a short period before it was patched out by Bungie, but it has gone down in video game folklore.
The new Dungeon takes players back to the loot cave for a series of challenges and, surprisingly, quite a few laughs. After a short battle which introduces a new mechanic, the players will find themselves in a new area packed full of instant death traps. Spikes spring out walls, trap doors open and barrels speed down ramps causing my fellow Fireteam members to laugh out load when the Guardian in front stepped on a trap and was pinged across the map.
The dungeon has a good mix of objectives to complete, including a rather excellent race section in which Guardians must hop on their Sparrows and barrel their way through the landscape, hitting checkpoints before the time expires. However, near the end of the dungeon there is a rather tedious section in which players must use Scorch cannons to switch on launch pads to bounce their way round an enemy base. It’s rather cumbersome and really slows down pace of the dungeon.
One top of that there’s new Triumphs to chase and the Destiny 2 winter festival, The Dawning. This once again finds
evil witch lovely little old lady Eve Levante back in the tower with a bun in her oven. It doesn’t take much grinding to unlock the new Stasis Sword or indeed any of the other festive treats, and Bungie have tweaked the event so it’s slightly different to last years which is nice. In previous years the annual events have been identical from one year to the next.
Since the Season of the Lost concluded it’s been a barren few months for Destiny 2 players, so all the new content is very welcome and should fill some time until The Witch Queen launches in February. Its also nice to see Bungie having a little fun with the game. Destiny 2 is usually very serious, so the amusing dialogue really lightens the tone. It’s worth turning on subtitles just to see the many variations of neighs and huffs the Starhorse utters.
However, £22.99 for the 30th Anniversary pack, which only includes the dungeon, an Exotic weapon, cosmetics, and some “Bungie themed” weapons is rather pricey, that’s nearly half the price of an entire years worth of seasonal content!
Many thanks to IgnorantSage and Posem for the assistance running through the dungeon on day one!