Destiny 2 developer Bungie celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a content pack that offers just enough content to be worth the asking price.
Destiny has always had a problem with value. The first game launched with a truncated campaign following reported last-minute cutbacks at the studio, and subsequently added two small DLC packs and two annual expansions. The second game offered a sizeable campaign (that you can’t play anymore), and then added two small DLCs (Curse of Osiris remains the franchise’s low point), before moving to annual expansions and season passes.
In a lot of ways, that makes Destiny an expensive game to keep up with, and the addition of another pack has led to some expected blowback from the community. Intended as both a celebration of Bungie’s 30th anniversary as well as a stopgap of sorts before the next big expansion, The Witch Queen, arrives next year, does Destiny 2’s 30th Anniversary content justify its existence?
As with most things in Destiny, the answer is complicated.
Disclaimer: It feels important when discussing this DLC, essentially a victory lap of sorts for Bungie, to denote the current situation at the studio as reported. It’s important to celebrate a studio’s output, of course, but we also need to hold them accountable for their actions, and inactions, as we would any other company.
Destiny 2 30th Anniversary Pack – Key details
- Price: $24.99 (USD) | £21.99 (GBP)
- Developer: Bungie
- Release date: December 7, 2021
- Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X
Destiny 2 30th Anniversary Pack trailer
The difficulty in reviewing the 30th Anniversary Pack is that there’s a lot included – but many of it is free to all players. The Halo crossover weapons, presented as off-brand versions of the Energy Sword, Battle Rifle, and more are all available for players that don’t buy the pack.
Even the new exotic Forerunner, a weapon inspired by Halo: Combat Evolved’s magnum, is able to be earned by everyone through the new Dares of Eternity mode.
- Read More: Halo Infinite review
Strip away that free content to the stuff you’re paying for, and all of a sudden the 30th Anniversary Pack starts to look on the anemic side. There are new ornaments to decorate your Guardian with, and a new Exotic Sparrow, as well as a new sword and some returning Destiny 1 weapons, but essentially you’re paying for a dungeon, The Grasp of Avarice.
It’s a good job that it’s pretty great, then. Beginning as a spelunk into the first game’s infamous Loot Cave, Grasp of Avarice has some mechanics that perfectly walk the line of being complex enough to pose a challenge while never feeling as daunting as anything you’ll find in a raid.
There are Indiana Jones-inspired traps, secrets to find, a nod to Sparrow Racing League, and plenty more. It’s also a rewarding way to spend your time, because it adds weapons like the Hero of Ages sword to your arsenal. Oh, and Gjallarhorn – Destiny 1’s most infamous weapon.
- Read more: Returning to Destiny 2 is a nightmare
Its Destiny 2 version is perhaps stripped of some of its mystique by being told exactly what you need to do to get it (rather than a random drop), but it hits hard and it’s been exciting to see the community test it on as many bosses as possible.
Who dares, wins
While the new Dares of Eternity mode is free for all players, it’s hard to express what a joy it is to see Destiny lower its narrative walls somewhat and just have a bit of fun. It’s the first mode in a long time where it feels like the franchise is leaning into the insanity of being a death-dealing space zombie.
It’s got Xur dropping lines like “get your Ghost spayed and neutered,” it’s got a mystical horse made of starlight (literally called Starhorse), and the whole mode is a game show that feels like Destiny by way of Fall Guys. There are puzzles, guessing games, obstacle courses, and some chances at pretty decent loot.
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Destiny is undeniably at its best when it takes itself a little less seriously, and this really hammers that home in a way we’ve not really seen since Cayde-6 was killed off.
While we’re on the subject of free content, the Destiny 2 version of Halo’s Battle Rifle has become one of my favorite weapons in the game, as has the Forerunner exotic (which has some incredible flavor text, too).
There are new perks, too, and it’ll be exciting to see which of these will be added to potential rolls for Destiny going forward.
Destiny 2’s 30th Anniversary Pack is expensive for what it is, especially if you have no interest in playing through the Grasp of Avarice dungeon content. If you’re ready to go treasure hunting for an Eysaluna, though, rest assured that this is one of Destiny 2’s best dungeons.
It’s a tricky thing to score a pack based on both free and paid content, but it feels like a celebration of Destiny. And, like Destiny as a franchise, it’s at once bizarre, hilarious, thrilling, and the perfect power fantasy.
Reviewed on PC