As I chose my Warlock and loaded into the world of Destiny, excited to see what cool surprises lay in wait, I was greeted with a longer load screen than normal. While staring into the abyss of anticipation, I was accompanied by the familiar, raspy vocals of my favorite Agent of the Nine, Xûr. He apologized for kidnapping me and bringing me to the nearly forgotten Eternity realm, where I was introduced not only to his new stalwart companion, Starhorse but the Dares of Eternity offensive activity/paracausal game show. This is our introduction to Destiny 2’s Bungie 30th Anniversary Event. A mid-extra-long-season refresh with new things to do, and it is, without a doubt, way better than it has any right to be. Sit back, and enjoy tonight’s entertainment with the XboxEra review of Destiny 2: Bungie 30th Anniversary Event.
The 30th Anniversary Event is an especially unique one for Destiny. As I said, Season 15 of Destiny 2 was announced to be an extra-long season, spanning 7 months in the lead up to the delayed “The Witch Queen” expansion releasing on February 22nd, 2022. When this was announced, a collective groan could be heard around the world as Destiny fans knew that a long-term content drought would mean having to actually play other games for a change, myself included. While the fall releases were a nice reprieve for content-hungry Destiny players, the arrival of the 30th Anniversary Event has brought a ton of both free and paid content.
The most notable of everything is of course the brand new free, six-player activity, Dares of Eternity. In this new, Menagerie style offensive, players are thrown into a massive arena and will face waves of either Fallen, Taken, Hive, Cabal, or Vex. Each one has a unique objective for each wave: the Cabal requires you to kill a Major enemy to pick up an orb, throw it at one of several shielded bosses, and call down an airstrike. The Vex use a similar mechanic to the now Vaulted Eater of Worlds raid, in using Void Craniums dropped by similar major enemies to strip the shield from a big bad boss to melt him away with your favorite god-killing weaponry. These first rounds are set up in such a way to ease players into the challenges of the activity, which with no Power Level increase to accompany the new content which may anger or delight certain players, is relatively low. The Normal Mode version of this activity is placed at a measly low 1150 Power Level requirement with the Legend tier at a far more challenging 1320. There are a ton of really fun challenges to accomplish along the way, including solving certain puzzles which grant you a buff that gives players infinitely regenerating Heavy ammo. Dare of Eternity may be one of Bungie’s best seasonal activities: it’s short enough to have a good time repeating and long enough to feel like you’ve earned the loot you hoover up at the end.
Speaking of loot, there’s more than a ton of it to go around. With it being Bungie’s 30th Anniversary, we hoped for some cool Halo-themed armaments and Bungie delivered, albeit in a legal-adjacent sort of way. Stand out weapons like the Halo Battle Rifle, aptly named the BxR-55 Battler with it’s unique intrinsic perks, the trusty Halo: Combat Evolved Magnum debuting a the Exotic Sidearm, Forerunner, and the Legendary Energy Sword arriving on the scene as the Half-Truths with a fun new perk that allows for the fastest sword flying ever seen in Destiny, there’s a lot going on. That’s not to mention a couple of other Marathon- and Pathways into Darkness-inspired weapons, calling back to even more of Bungie’s earlier work from the ’90s.
It’s made all the better by the silly commentary from Xûr and Starhorse, who is humorously voiced by a person rather than a real horse, referencing things like “Wheel of Fortune” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Even the references to original Destiny 1 content and lines like “Whether you wanted it or not, you’ve stepped into a war with the Cabal,” had me laughing as I died, unable to control my Guardian.
Of course, no Destiny release is complete without a whole slew of paid content. The 30th Anniversary Pack includes much of what makes this event stand out amongst other, similar events in the past. At $24.99USD, the 30th Anniversary Pack includes not only even more weapons, armor ornaments, and other Thorn (the Exotic hand cannon) and Marathon themed cosmetics, but also the new Grasp of Avarice Dungeon, a three-player activity that has become a staple of Destiny’s endgame content since the Forsaken expansion in 2018. Grasp of Avarice is themed around solving the mystery of a Guardian who went plundering the depths of the infamous Loot Cave, losing his sanity in the process. This Loot Cave was first found by players all the way back in September of 2014. While the loot cave of course paid homage to itself back in October of 2014 after the farming spot had been patched with a pile of dead bodies where the player could Disturb the Remains to hear a frightening voice whispering “A million deaths are not enough for Master Rahool,” players now get to go and explore beneath the Cosmodrome in one of the best Dungeons that Bungie has produced to date. I ran it back with a couple of my clanmates and had a wonderful time, as I assume Bungie did too, setting up the hilarious boobytraps found littered within. This Dungeon has an easy-to-understand mechanic at its heart, innovative new encounters and puzzles to solve, and enough challenge to make me excited to run it back week over week. The Sparrow section was fast and frenetic, the final boss room is cramp and cluttered not only by eons of overgrowth and deadly water hazards but by the enemy density that only the best Destiny content can provide. All of this together with yet another incredible new piece of music to accompany it, the Grasp of Avarice is one for the history books.
The loot inside the Dungeon is comprised of some returning Destiny 1 favorites like the Legendary tier Eyasluna hand cannon (now with Stasis elemental damage and perks), the 1000 Yard Stare sniper rifle, the Matador 64 shotgun, and everyone’s favorite Exotic rocket launcher, Gjallarhorn which itself has two new perks: the intrinsic Pack Hunter which grants it’s Wolfpack Rounds to any Legendary tier rocket launcher used by your allies, and the new Catalyst perk More Wolves which not only increases its magazine size, but also makes final blows with Wolfpack Rounds spawn a faster, more powerful missile at the target’s location. If it wasn’t already a beast in Destiny 1, it certainly is now.
If you’re a fan of Destiny’s endgame, the Dungeon alone is well worth the price of admission, but I can also see that $24.99 being a bit too high for most players. This content isn’t due to be Vaulted any time soon, so know that the cost/value proposition may differ for you depending on when Bungie finally does decide to put that expiration date on the content within.
Destiny 2 continues to live up to the quality standard that I expect out of Bungie. The 30th Anniversary Event is ridiculously fun, adds a ton of new things to do for your typical Destiny fan, and while this likely won’t be enough to keep me solely grinding Destiny into the weeks leading up to The Witch Queen, it certainly has my attention for the time being.