Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris Exploring Mercury Hands-On Preview
Exploring Mercury on a (time) budget.
This is my second look at the Curse of Osiris expansion for Destiny 2 after being given some hands-on time with the game as Activision's guest at Bungie's headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. Last week I took a look at the Curse of Osiris campaign, and now I'll turn my attention to the expansion's new zone.
Open the map in the Director after launching Destiny 2 with Curse of Osiris for the first time, and you'll see a new world at the top center. This is Mercury, the planet that is the location of the new zone, the Lighthouse, that comes with the expansion. The Lighthouse is a temple complex maintained by the Cult of Osiris that was only briefly visited before by the few Destiny players who managed to complete the Trials of Osiris in the original game. Now the full Lighthouse is open for anyone to explore, well, anyone who buys the expansion, that is.
The Lighthouse has a large circular central area that has the entrance to the Infinite Forest along one side and the location of the Cult of Osiris in the Lighthouse proper on the opposite. Within the Lighthouse tower you'll find Brother Vance, who serves as the vendor and collector of tokens on Mercury. You'll have the chance to interact with Brother Vance periodically during the expansion's campaign, but during open play on Mercury he's there to make the same sort of musings as other characters such as Devrim Kay and Field Commander Sloane do when you visit their worlds. The entrance to the Infinite Forest remained locked during my time roaming the Lighthouse, so you can probably only traverse the Infinite Forest while making your way through story missions or to one of the two new Strikes.
The Lighthouse draws upon Osiris' love of all things Ancient Egyptian. The architecture is heavily influenced by the pyramids, and a pyramid motif is found in the structures on Mercury, large and small. These structures all appear in a sandstone color, suggesting that they were at least constructed to resemble Ancient Egyptian monuments if they're not made out of the ancient building material themselves. The effect is completed by the surrounding desert and the sand drifts that blow across the grounds of the Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse is smaller than any of the other destinations in Destiny 2, with the central plaza of the Lighthouse and the surrounding Fields of Glass desert forming the majority of the zone's space. Looking at the map shows what look to be extensions radiating out from the central area, but during my time in the zone it seemed like these were only accessible while taking part in the zone's public event. This gives the zone a circular arena feel to it, especially with the Vex and Cabal combatants that keep entering it.
The public event is called Vex Crossroads, and if it's not the most complex public event in the game it certainly ranks among the top ones. The goal is to shut down a series of warp gates opened by the Vex while Vex are pouring out of those gates. Defeating particular Vex will drop light orbs that can be used as the keys to shut down the gates. Closing all the gates will summon a Vex Gate Lord, which is the event's culminating boss fight. The event moves all across the Lighthouse and the platforms surrounding it, forcing players to immediately navigate a series of Vex jump gates to reach the next objective once a gate is closed. The Bungie devs told us that there is a way to transform the event into a heroic event, but they weren't sharing any tips or hints on how to do this. The first time I joined the event it was pure pandemonium; it's the kind of event that takes a playthrough or two just to figure out what you're supposed to be doing, as you can see here:
The Lighthouse also contains a Lost Sector and there were hints that Adventures will be available in the zone, but I didn't see these during my short time touring the area. I didn't see any indications of patrols, either, but they opened up the Lighthouse for exploration before we completed the campaign, so these may become enabled once the story has been completed.
There are two new Strikes included in the expansion, but they are not on par with those included in the original game. They take place in areas that looked to be recycled from the campaign missions rather than letting you enter new areas of the Lighthouse, Fields of Glass, Mercury, or the Infinite Forest, and both Strikes are essentially runs towards a boss fight. The boss fights themselves were enjoyable enough, but I can't say any portions of the Strikes were particularly memorable. We weren't allowed to capture any of the Strike gameplay, so I'll reserve judgment on the Strikes until I can spend a little more time with them.
That's it for our quick tour of Mercury, watch for a look at the expansion's new Crucible maps coming next week.
Transmitted: 1/17/2021 8:43:41 PM