It’s Bungie’s 30th Anniversary – their birthday, and yeah the package is $25, yet their desire to give outweighs the price tag. Xur is the host of this pack and with him is a trusty (or not so trusty?) Starhorse who seems to have an insatiable taste for violence. A major concern of this pack was the lack of desirable content, since Bungie held most things close to their chest and with absolute great reason too – preservation. After booting up my Warlock, I was greeted with a black screen and an introduction from Xur – which catapulted me to one of the best additions Bungie has created since their new seasonal model was introduced about 4 years ago.
It Dares You For Eternity
Let’s start off by saying the free 6-man Offensive, Dares of Eternity, is astoundingly fun; you are thrown into an IX themed world where you’ll be faced with the usual adversaries, and included in the mix are puzzle mechanics that flips the script. You’ll be placed in front of a huge sundial structure that spins to determine your fate. My first encounter was with the Hive where I needed to defeat these huge Knights that’ll spawn these buffs for 10 seconds – took me some time to realize that the text was saying to destroy Hive crystals before time runs out. And that’s the beauty of Bungie’s activities – they’re so engaging that you forget there’s objective texts flashing to the left of the screen.
You go through a series of zones in the activity where the transitional zones can be anything, including obstacle courses – which is a hilarious change of pace. Periodically, Xur would narrate on what Starhorse wants us to know, which often makes Xur sound reluctant to speak – which adds to the overall mystery! I love the idea of Starhorse, but like…. its existence changes my perspective on what the IX are, entirely.
After the end of each Dares run, you’ll be granted with loot plus Keys based on your team’s performance – which can be used in a social hub called Xur’s Treasure Hoard, where Xur and Starhorse are stationed. This social hub is a gloriously designed treasure palace littered with specialized chest that would help you, the fellow player, focus farm specific cosmetic/gear. Additionally, there’s a portal that would take you to an open zone where you can platform and test out your new weapons. I’ve seen screenshots of this place, but just walking in it truly brings out the beauty and effort Bungie put into this pack.
Players who play Dares of Eternity will get access to getting the new Halo Themed weapons including The Forerunner exotic pistol quest which, truly is baffling. My first drop was the BR themed pulse rifle called BxR-55 Battler, which even has the same reticle as Halo – and a new weapon frame that benefits hip firing. It’s absolutely amazing and really changes up my playstyle for a more old-school feel. There’s the first ever Legendary Trace Rifle called Retraced Path that literally looks like the Covenant Type-51 Carbine! Which, if you pair that with Harmony….man. Plenty of returning D1 weapons are also included, all of which are obtainable, for free!
Loot Cave is for the Loot
Now, onto the paid stuff (I know, I know….you don’t like paid stuff, but all this work ain’t free.) When purchasing the 30th pack, you are given a cosmetic armor set for each class – inspired by what makes Bungie such an amazing place, an exotic quest for Gjallerhorn that is tied to the new Loot Cave inspired Dungeon called Grasp of Averice – let me tell you, it’s the easiest dungeon in the game but the most ambitious in overall design; quite lengthy too.
You are thrown into the Cosmedrone close to the cave that started it all, floods of Hive thralls are infinitely spawning from the cave and upon killing them, 1 – 4 exotic engrams flies right out of their bodies! I’m talking “it’s raining men, hallelujah it’s raining men” here! At first you’re just entirely overjoyed by the nostalgia until you realize maybe this is going for far too long; there’s a hidden mechanic that leads to the underground of the whole environment. And truly, it’s wonderful. You have to stack yourself with these engrams with limited time to spare for these crystals to absorb your loot before you are dead. That’s a pretty jimmy-rigged mote deposite mechanic that I’m all for!
Soon after you are exploring a deep cave designed with crystals all over the place. Soon you’ll find an open area with multiple paths and let me tell you – I honestly don’t want to spoil this part because it’s way too fun to talk about – it must be experienced first hand.
Much like the previous Dungeons, you are given trickle down mechanics that would eventually be entirely utilized in the final encounter, though this time around, when you think things are about to end, more encounters open up for you – and I guess the goal of this Dungeon is to keep you surprised but also have a blast; I can say they definitely succeeded. There’s a 1360 Master version of this dungeon I haven’t tried yet, but plan to after I’m done with Halo Infinite.
With Grasp of Averice, it opens up the chain quest for Gjallerhorn and let’s you earn a Thorn-themed armor set alongside returning weapons like the Metadore 64 shotgun, 1000 Yard Stare Sniper and Eyasluna which are fan favorites that we were eagerly waiting for.
There’s controversy with the pricing of Bungie’s 30th Anniversary Pack – but if there’s any indication with the first day of this event is that, there’s way more bang for your buck – even going as far as saying that it’s entirely rewarding with fun, deep activities aswell. I think with the balance of the free rewards and exotic quest alongside the paid Dungeon, the best of both worlds can coexist without clash. Sure it’s not perfect, but this is a fantastic first step in the right direction for their business and for us as players.
Bungie, Congratulations on your success and thank you for providing excellent content.
REVIEW SCORE: 9/10
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