Destiny 2’s secret missions set it apart from other live service games

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Last week, with no fanfare, Bungie opened a door in The Arms Dealer strike. Likely many of the players who loaded in to complete the week’s Nightfall: The Ordeal didn’t even notice—passing through the first corridor as normal. Those that did, though, got to run a gauntlet of Cabal turrets, and eventually found a mysterious distress signal leading to a new mission off The Tangled Shore, on a seemingly abandoned Cabal ship.

The mission, Presage, is a triumph—a claustrophobic showcase for why Destiny 2 would make a great horror game. Your exploration of the doomed vessel Glykon strikes an unnerving balance between quiet, creeping dread, tense battles, and even a bit where you get squished by a giant, room-sized trash compactor. It takes a previously defanged enemy race, and puts them in a context that makes them feel properly creepy again.

More importantly, though, it’s the continuation of a trend that helps to set Destiny 2 apart from other live service games. Presage is the latest in a series of secret exotic quests—a tradition that dates back to Destiny 1’s The Taken King expansion. Back then, players stumbled upon a new section of the Lost to Light heroic story mission, which led to a version of the Traitor’s Ketch that had been infested with Taken. If they cleared the Ketch within 10 minutes, they were rewarded with the exotic sniper rifle Black Spindle.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Fittingly, the first secret exotic quest in Destiny 2, The Whisper, was a timed challenge that rewarded Whisper of the Worm—essentially a new version of Black Spindle. Originally, The Whisper was only available on weekends. Players had to wait for a specific public event in the Lost Oasis region of IO, and find and kill a Taken boss while it was active. That opened a portal that would lead into the mission proper.

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