Destiny 2's Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack is A Successful Celebration

With the release of Destiny 2's Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack, how well does it work as a celebration of the studio's past work?

Published: December 28, 2021 12:00 PM /


A robot wearing a denim jacket covered with pins and symbols from Bungie's history as a developer

While Season of the Lost is still on hiatus, Destiny 2's players have been waiting for the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack. Not only is it a celebration of the developer's long history in the industry, it is a much needed shot in the arm for the playerbase desperate for new content. But while a lot of these new activities are fun, nostalgic, and well presented, it can't fully shake the feeling of the game just jogging in place.

Destiny 2 Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack - Dares of Eternity

First, we will start with the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack's biggest draw: the new six-player activity Dares of Eternity. This is the content that has been the most meme'd and referenced since this content has gone live. It is not hard to see why. Xur, the enigmatic peddler of exotic weapons who drones on about how his will is not his own, hosts this activity. In fact, the term "host" is quite literal. In an absurd break of character due to the presence of a cosmic space horse (just roll with it), Xur narrates and treats the entire PvE activity like he is the host of a game show, complete with inside jokes and appeals to a nonexistent studio audience.

Somehow, this doesn't completely break the inherent fiction of Destiny 2's universe. In fact, this deliberate artifice makes the whole affair feel more entertaining. While a lot of six-man activities have existed in the past, they're mostly treated with the same pomp and circumstance as the central threat of its respective season. Sundial runs were all about you stopping the Cabal from getting their hands on time-travel technology. Override was framed as a race against the clock from stopping a Vex threat. Dares of Eternity by contrast is just a giant fireworks show complete with wacky power-ups, door prizes, and lightning rounds.

A giftcard for appliances that don't exist seen in a Guardian's inventory
This had me howling in my chair. Also it put the Price is Right theme music in my head.

In addition to the usual progression system tied to this activity -- bounties, weekly challenges, and so on --  the rewards from Xur are wall-to-wall references to prior Bungie games. There is a claymore sword from their RTS, Myth. There is a shotgun and armor set that references the Marathon series. There is even a new grenade launcher that is a shout out to Pathways Into Darkness. But the most recognizable of these easter eggs have to be the multiple weapons that homage the series that cemented Bungie's name in gaming forever: Halo.

The latter gets particular treatment since it's the only Bungie series that gets its own new Exotic. It is called Forerunner, and it is the notorious Halo 1 Magnum Pistol in all of its handheld sniping glory.

If there are shortcomings, it's mostly tied to this being such a blatant case of celebration and indulgence. If you're a huge fan of any of Bungie's work, the fan service and winking nods will hit harder. Alternatively, If you are not that versed in Bungie's history and are starved for new content, then Dares of Eternity and its rewards will provide just that; nothing more and nothing less. Thankfully, all of this above mentioned content is available to all players at no additional cost. On the one hand, this is filler, but on the other hand it's free, so throw some confetti around and get into the spirit.

The gunsmith Banshee talking about the Forerunner sidearm
Kicks like a warthog? Ha, I get it.

Destiny 2 Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack – Grasp of Avarice and Gjallarhorn

As for the premium content that is an exercise in monetizing nostalgia, we have the new Dungeon: Grasp of Avarice. The big draw for finishing this Dungeon is the return of the Destiny 1 rocket launcher that has melted many Raid bosses in the past: The Gjallarhorn.

While my walkthrough guide for Grasp of Avarice does highlight some of the Dungeon's novelties, I do appreciate the extended deadpan joke of a story that it manages to tell through the environment. Way back in the days of vanilla Destiny 1, the dark times where there was barely any content and the loot system sucked, there were tales of the Loot Cave, a place on Earth's Cosmodrome where players could abuse enemy respawns and RNG to just kill thousands of enemies and rack up lots of loot. Bungie decided to canonize this part of their history by having the entrance of the Dungeon be the Loot Cave and have you follow the expeditions of several greedy Guardians hoping to get their own piece of the pie.

A fake door with several spikes shooting out of the threshold
Oh thank god. That would have annoyed me for like 15 seconds until I respawned.

Because of this, the Dungeon is packed with death traps and misleading information, all left behind by the expedition team beginning to turn on one another. It's a fun framing narrative that makes for not just a fun challenge for you and your fireteam to take on, but an extended bit of self-awareness on Bungie's behalf. While I have groused in the past about paywalling this kind of content within Destiny 2's ecosystem, credit must be given to the quality and polish given to this particular lark.

As for the Gjallarhorn itself, it still packs the same punch that Destiny veterans remember. The rockets have homing tracking now, the payload is large, and the accompanying wolfpack rounds still pop like deadly fireworks. The only way it could get any better is if you could load more than one rocket at a time and that if the wolfpack rounds launched additional mini-rockets -- which it can if you earn the catalyst.

A team of Guardians fighting Crota in Dares of Eternity
How many times must we teach you this lesson old man!?

Despite certain accusations and issues coming to light within the company, it is still impressive that Bungie has been around for as long as it has. Better still, it is great that they had the resources and the time to basically throw a celebration for themselves within the world of Destiny 2. The new weapons all stand out either as fan service or as meaty additions to your Guardian's arsenal. But above all, it has a weird interdimensional host taking orders from a space horse.

The very fact I wrote that last sentence with a straight face should be grounds for an award.

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| Staff Writer

Ever since he was small, Tyler Chancey has had a deep, abiding love for video games and a tendency to think and overanalyze everything he enjoyed. This… More about Tyler

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