It seems scarcely credible, but Bungie have been making games for the last 30 years. A lot of people playing their games today wouldn’t have even been born when they started to produce video games, but now the time has come for them to celebrate the past by introducing a new bunch of gear and activities into Destiny 2. So, is the 30th Anniversary Pack a worthy way to wish Bungie a happy birthday, or have the candles on the cake caused a conflagration? Let’s blast off to the Tower and have a look…
Now, like any expansion worth its salt, the majority of the stuff available in this pack is cosmetic, with a couple of meaty bits thrown in. As soon as you buy the pack, it gifts you a set of cosmetic enhancements, one for each class. There are ornaments for each piece of armour your Guardian wears, based around 90’s fashion in an interesting move. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Hunter Ornament set, as although all the armour ornaments are called the Bungie Streetwear Ornament set, the set that the Hunter can equip looks like the hoodies that all the cool kids were wearing back in the day.
The other two Ornament sets, for the Titan and the Warlock don’t look quite as cool as the Hunter, but are still fairly decent nonetheless.
The big news this time around is the return of Gjallarhorn, the ultimate rocket launcher from Destiny 1. I still remember to this day the time that the first Gjallarhorn dropped for me, from Aetheon in the Vault of Glass after a clutch victory; it was such a big part of the game that if you tried to join a group for Destiny back in the day, a lot of them wouldn’t even consider you for inclusion if you didn’t have it. To have it back and to have to follow a quest to get it is a real pleasure.
The party piece of the exotic launcher, the fabled wolfpack rounds, are now also available to the other members of your fireteam if they are also using rocket launchers, which helps with damage output.
In addition to the headline news, there are a range of new weapons to find if you are lucky, all based around games from the last 30 years of Bungie’s back catalogue. And, to be fair, you can’t think of Bungie’s back catalogue without mentioning Halo, and this appears to be the inspiration for the weapons. There is a rifle based on the famous Battle Rifle, a hand cannon inspired by the Magnum, and so on. The names have been changed, as I imagine the rights to the weapons went with the Halo licence, but the inspiration is clear to see.
Now, we need some more content to bulk out this pack and make it worth the price of admission, and luckily Bungie have us covered.
First up is a new dungeon called Grasp of Avarice, and the basic setup is that it is based on the infamous loot cave from the early days of Destiny 1. As the people who were there will remember, players spent hours and hours just shooting into a particular cave in the Cosmodrome, where baddies spawned, all in hope of the increased chance of decent loot engrams spawning. Now, we have to kill a load of enemies, pick up the engram shaped loot they drop, and carry them to a crystal in the loot cave. Once enough loot has been returned, then the crystal breaks, the floor gives way and we are into the dungeon proper.
I’m not going to go into the mechanics of it too much, but suffice it to say that you need to bring your A-game for this jaunt, as not only are the enemies challenging (don’t get me started on the big ogre boss!), but there are some very difficult platforming/parkour sections to get right. As luck would have it, the quest for Gjallarhorn requires you to complete this dungeon (amongst other steps) so grab some teammates and crack on.
The other new activity this time is a bit odd and that’s because everyone’s favourite squid faced Messenger of the Nine, Xur, has been transformed into a German TV quiz show host and presents a new game show themed event called Dares of Eternity; something that is free to all players. The best part is that the entity in charge of the whole shebang is a horse. One made of stars no less. Yep, you read that right, the Starhorse is in charge of this new activity, and luckily Xur can translate the whinnies and neighs of Starhorse and tell us what it would like to see.
As you spawn in (and luckily, this new event is matchmade as you really need a full team of six), you have to spin a wheel to see what foes you will face, be that Fallen, Taken, Vex, Cabal or Hive. From there you have to kill everything that appears, all before taking on a kind of assault course, testing your control of your character to the max, and then another random enemy selection, and finally a big boss fight. Oh, and at any time, Xur and Starhorse can trigger what is called a Lightning Event, which basically swamps you with about a million enemies. Luckily, the reward for doing this is some pretty good gear, so it’s worth your time.
So, the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack for Destiny 2 then… is it worth the price of admission, for a game that is free to play? Well, on the whole, I think it is. The new dungeon is so challenging, and Gjallarhorn is so great – even today – that getting it makes Destiny 2 just that little bit better.
You can grab the Destiny 2: Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack from the Xbox Store