Adam 'Griz' Mathew recently decided to leave his log cabin (hence the nickname 'Griz') for the rainy streets of Seattle to see if an old flame in Destiny, with its fresh sequel, could be reignited within. Here's his thoughts and journey...
Don't let the name fool you: Destiny 2's European Dead Zone is lively AF. For one thing, jettisoning the last-gen versions has allowed Bungie to invite a lot more enemies to exist in this overworld space. Also, the new Adventure missions, which are often triggered by other players elsewhere on the map, will happily mix more shoot and loot into whatever you're already doing. Basically, even if you're not thirsty for more action, Destiny 2's clever director system will order you a big cocktail of chaos, on the house.
I was lucky enough to spend two (very) full days playing Destiny 2, and my first landfall into the EDZ was like dropping into a meatgrinder. The opening area, Trostland, is dominated by a dilapidated cathedral that holds Devrim Kay, the main mission-giver of Earth. My plan was to dropship in, knock out a bunch of his missions, earn some EDZ tokens, and swap them back for loot, however, I got sidetracked by a public event that had triggered in a nearby graveyard. The skies darkened, and half a dozen Cabal-made meteorites smashed into the ground and spewed forth high-level enemy mobs. One of these transports missed my fancy helmeted head by a pixel, and I involuntarily flinched in my seat.
Two rando guardians spilled out of the cathedral to come help me, and the battle was joined. One feature I'm immediately a fan of: whenever any public event begins in Destiny 2, all nearby guardians have their super meters instantly filled. My impromptu posse and I took full advantage of this: I arc-danced about like a lethal, electrified version of Patrick Swayze, dicing enemies and generating orbs so as to rebuild the supers of my fellow guardians (a favour they return). Pretty soon we're all lost in the rhythm of Destiny's best-in-class pew pew. We were few, somehow standing against many. It was some 300 shit, I tell you.
Here's Griz's example of a public event
And then everything changed. I'm not sure if it was our massacre that caused it, or another trigger I missed, but all of a sudden we were informed that our public event had transitioned into one of the new heroic events. Red Legion troops (think: Cabal on steroids with zweihanders and flame-throwers) started to stream in. A new mission timer appeared, along with a unique "named-enemy" with a ridiculously long health bar. We got to work, but it was clear we'd bitten off more than we could chew.
Just as the jaws of defeat began to clamp down, something magical happened (and I'd go so far as to call it “space-magical”). Backup arrived in the unlikeliest form imaginable: a triumvirate of Fallen Dregs on pikes (speeder bikes with large cannons on the front). My crew broke contact and we all made a tactical retreat behind the outer wall of the graveyard. With no humans to maul, the two groups of AI went ham on one another.
I would find this out later, but the spawning of our Dreg saviors was no random event. A small fireteam of guardians were in the next area over, playing through one of the new Adventure missions (fully narrated, multi-part affairs that take roughly 20 minutes to complete). That crew had started their particular Adventure fifteen minutes ago, more than half a world away. It was sheer serendipity that caused these Dregs to spawn in such a way as to be a future mission objective for those guardians, and tide-turning lifesavers for us.
Right on time, our mysterious benefactors (two titans) rocketed into the mix on their sparrows and joined the great explodapalooza with the rest of us. All of this happened so seamless, so stylishly. I can't imagine I'll ever see the exact same set of circumstances get replicated again when I play this with my mates.
Here's his example of an Adventure
As my journey continued through the EDZ I triggered Adventures of my own and found myself marveling at how well these tasks were interrupted by other players, events, and randomly spawned vehicle convoys. There's so much mischief out there to be lured away by. Destiny 2 offers a much appreciated fast travel option, that whisks you to three or four designated spots on the map in ten seconds flat, but you'd be mad to use it. Behind every hill is some new emergent bit of fun to get caught up in.
Vanilla Destiny spruiked this exact sort of gameplay at its first reveal, way back when, but what was delivered felt like a concept still in beta; the spire had not fully formed. Now that Destiny 2 is free of the shackles of the last-gen, it's living up to the promises of 2013, a glorious time when Destiny was surrounded by nothing but enthusiasm. From what I've played and seen so far, Bungie is well on the way to making that golden age come again.