22 Mar 2021 9:17 AM +00:00

Destiny 2's Presage Mission Is Bungie's Best Effort Yet

Season of the Chosen is here, and while it made a very strong first impression, I'm very pleased to say it's gotten better.

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Sure, the new Cosmodrome-based Battleground is nice, but I'm referring to the new Presage mission. Honestly, it's one of my favourite pieces of content from Bungie in quite some time.

Here's why.

Read More: Destiny 2 Season of the Chosen LEAKS: Release Date, Armor, Roadmap, Trailer, Weapons, Season Pass, Exotics, Quests And Everything We Know About Season 13

Destiny 2's Presage Mission Is Bungie's Best Effort Yet

Back when I was playing the original Halo, one mission always stood out to me. Sure, crash-landing on the Halo ring remains a big moment in my gaming history, and escaping the Pillar of Autumn as it blew up felt like living in an action movie, but the introduction of The Flood felt perfect.

Up until this point, Master Chief had been slaying Covenant like it was no one's business, before searching for Captain Keyes. On his search, he stumbles upon a grisly scene and watches back footage of an attack from an unknown force - The Flood.

Compared to the colourful, noisy Covenant forces, these parasites made your skin crawl. They infected humans and turned them into monsters, or burst into hazardous spores. While the subsequent level design arguably wasn't the best in the game, battling The Flood felt entirely new.

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Destiny 2 just had its Flood moment.

For a universe with a wealth of lore, over six years of characters and storylines, and players that haven't spent hundreds or even thousands of hours playing, it's genuinely quite a feat that Bungie managed to make its latest exotic quest stand so clearly apart from the rest of the game.

Other than the Dreadnaught that was added in 2015's Taken King expansion, Destiny locations have almost always been planetary. Sure, some raids take Guardians into space and back down again, but this feels different. Landing on an abandoned Cabal ship, devised as some elaborate puzzle box, Presage sees players hunting the source of a distress signal knowing that the ship is drifting through space, listless but not lifeless.

Unlike Halo, it doesn't introduce a brand new enemy type (we're still battling The Scorn here), but it uses them in a new way. Rather than open sandboxes with multiple tactical options, we're siphoned through corridors and platforming sequences. Things scuttle in the dark, while Osiris reveals story tidbits about what happened on the ship before our arrival.

It's at once fascinating and bizarre, feeling like you've been transposed into a different title entirely. Platforming sections are nothing new for Destiny players, nor really are puzzles to solve, but the way Presage pulls back on combat for the most part and makes exploration feel dangerous is to be applauded - especially given the usual familiarity of running through old locales.

Sure, there's a randomly rolled exotic at the end of it, but I can see myself replaying it just for the foreboding atmosphere and the way it's entirely different to anything else. It's more Aliens than Alien, still, and it's no Dead Space, of course, but the entire mission feels so intricate and absolute in its focus that I can't wait to see what comes next.

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