Whole new worlds of possibility
Destiny is a brilliant game to explore, and promises only to become an even bigger, even more intriguing prospect as time goes on. But aside from the huge number of possibilities already available in its launch content, there's a wealth of cool, additional things to do, master and discover.
These are the things that you won't find in Destiny's core mission objectives or levelling structures. These are the hidden, off-kilter and self-made activities and experiences that turn Destiny's universe into a wider, crazier, living place. Some of them are serious training opportunities. Some of them are great new ways to experience existing activities. Some of them are just flat-out silly. So join me, if you will, and click on, as I detail the ten lesser-known things (so far) that you really must do in Destiny before you die.
Simulate a wedding-reception disco
One for the chilled-out, goofily sociable locale of The Tower, this. Get your entire fireteam to start a dance-off in the middle of the main market square, and wait for a bunch of random passers-by to get involved as well. They will. Everyone loves a big-ass dance-off. Its in our nature as silly, communal-minded human beings, whether were really there or just present as sexy computerised space-us.
Once youve got a full-scale, sci-fi shuffle on the go, to make it an authentic wedding disco you must nominate one person to be the obligatory excitable ten-year old. The person fulfilling this role should then use the slide move (sprint, then crouch) to simulate the age-old, skimming-across-a-polished-dancefloor-on-your-knees manoeuvre. Right through the middle. Repeat until you all get bored and wander off. Trust me, it will take a lot longer than you currently expect. Bonus points if one of your party plays Come On Eileen through their mic.
Take on a Heroic mission on your own, and succeed
A simple one, this. In terms of concept, anyway. In execution? Ha! Ahaha! Ahahahahaha! But its worth the difficulty. While Destiny is incredibly good in fireteams, there are some joyful elements of its combat that youll only see if crank up the challenge and go it alone.
The strength of the opposition, the multi-tiered, hierarchical interplay between the enemy units, the hard demands on your use of cover, positioning, movement, and spatial control All of these things are apparent in Destiny no matter how many people youre playing with, but alone? Oh boy, are you in for an exhilarating, seat-of-the-pants kind of time. When youre really up against it, Destinys combat explodes. It demands far more of you, but the rewards--as you find yourself pulling off moves, strategies, and last-ditch, showboating flair-kills youd never otherwise have imagined in your most strident, FPS cheese-dreams--are immense.
Get the Never speak of this again medal
You know how you can spawn your Sparrow hover-bike at any time during a PvP match? And you know how, having no offensive capabilities of its own, it seems to be there solely to zip around the larger maps with more efficiency? Well youre wrong about that second part. Boost into someone, dead-on, and youll skewer the poor fool into an early and highly embarrassing grave. Hence the name of the related medal for scoring this particular kill.
Crucible players love going after big targets. Theyll swarm to a marauding Pike or Interceptor, all wanting to be the Jimmy Big-Balls who takes down the guy with the hardware. And theyll usually see the unarmed Sparrow as an easy target. Theyre wrong. Show them that, and laugh all the way to the end-of-match report. A rocket-bike with a plasma cannon? Yeah, thats cool, if you need guns on your vehicle to do the job. The more refined of us just boost through our enemies ribcages and then get on with our day.
Get on a ridiculously tall thing, confuse everyone
When youre in The Tower, your more extravagant character abilities are switched off. That means no double-jumping, no air-control, and no teleporting. That should mean that you can only reach designated reachable areas, using sensible means like staircases and officially sanctioned doorways. Fortunately though, you have two powers that Bungie doesn't switch off. The power of glitches, and the power of imagination.
Those big flag-poles at the front of the market square? You can totally get up on one of those. All you need is the the secret, rooftop fan and some soul-destroyingly sharp jump-timing. Get up there, blow some minds, and explain nothing. You can also reach some of the high gantries and awnings around the edges of The Tower, but Im not going to tell you exactly which clipping exploits will get you there. Largely because we havent 100% cracked it ourselves yet. But we know that it can be done. Help!
Hold and defend a cubby-hole of your choosing, for an entire Crucible match
Simple pleasures, people, simple pleasures. While Crucible PvP matches hold a rapturous bounty of high-flying, rocket-throwing, tank-busting possibilities, they provide few more satisfying experiences than the tense, precise, tactical defence of a little homemade base. Much like Halos maps before them, the Crucibles arenas are riddled with small caves, rooms and bolt-holes, designed for intensive, back-to-the-wall stand-offs. My favourites right now are The Little Cave on Bastion (the location of Control Point B in, er, Control) and The Meat Corridor in the middle of Twilight Gap.
Alongside Official PlayStation Magazine Editor Matt Pellett, Ive had some hilariously brutal times locking those two down, shouting out tactical calls, laying grenade traps, and otherwise mincing all who come near. All you need is a buddy, and a decent shotgun or fusion rifle, and a small area with a couple of entrances and ideally an ammo cache. Hole up, let the opposition know youre there, and then refuse to leave, whatever happens. Not only will you have a great big, murderous hoot, but your score will likely go through the roof.
Perfect the slide-tackle kill
Another evil little PvP tactic, this one. You see that natty little slide move isnt just for evading into cover and paying tribute to local mobile DJs. It also chains beautifully into offense. Hardly anyone seems to use it that way though (presumably because its pretty tough to pull off), so they wont be expecting it when you do. And you should, Even just once. Because when it connects, its brilliant.
You know the set-up. Youve just run around a corner, and hey presto, theres an enemy player, with the exact same gun as you, letting rip at the exact same instant you do. You know how this plays out. You keep peppering each other, desperately hoping you can finish the other guy off before he gets you. But you know its a crap-shoot. So stack the odds. Once his shield is down a bit, sprint towards him, slide, throwing off his aim, and hit a melee just before you pull up. WHAP. Blind-sided with an express delivery of cold, hard death. No-one ever sees it coming. Advanced tip: It also works delightfully with a shotgun blast.
Go up against a group of too-tough enemies and see how long you last before inevitably being destroyed
Throughout Destinys Vanguard missions, youll sometimes find areas beset by enemies of ludicrously high level. In fact sometimes their level indicator will be replaced with a question mark. Yeah, theyre so tough that Destiny itself doesnt know how tough they are. Placed in certain spots as living road-blocks, or a kind of lethal, gun-toting alternative to the invisible wall, theyre used to steer you along the right path for a particular mission, ensuring that you dont go off-radar and start wandering into the wrong parts of Destinys open-world maps. You cant beat these guys. Youre not supposed to. But that doesnt mean you shouldnt try.
Have a go. Go on. You will die, but see how long you can last. Theres a great, homemade game of attritional, bull-headed, slow-burn suicide to be had here. And its far more fun than it sounds. Rage hard against the dying of the Light-equipped armour, and not only will you feel pretty badass for a while, youll probably learn some cool new strategies for dealing with sensible versions of those enemies, and maybe get a few tasty drops along the way. Get stubborn. Set some records. Die anyway. Respawn and start again. Because nothings cooler than than a gun-toting loon who doesnt know when theyre beaten. Just ask Rambo.
Have fun with stalking. Start a sneak-procession!
This one really shouldnt be as funny as it is, but the first time I found myself involved in one and alerted my fireteam to the occurrence, we nearly broke our mics with a cavalcade of unstoppable honk-laughing.
The scenario is this: Just like in Vanguard and Crucible, you can crouch-walk in The Tower, The difference is that the third-person perspective makes it look like youre doing some sort of hilarious, cartoon infiltration, particularly if youre wearing a long coat or cloak. So the challenge is to crouch furtively behind someone--an ideal target is in a shop, and so distracted by the menus while you get into position--and then stealthily follow them around for as long as you can before they notice. You need to be careful to stay far back enough, so that you dont show up in their camera view, but if you can get a few other people involved in a long conga-line of surreptitious slinking (it wont be hard once they see how funny is it), the results will be spectacular.
Silently bond with strangers over a really hard Strike mission
Tough missions are better with a team of organised friends. Thats inalienable fact. Between the scope for co-op tactics and the camaraderie of getting each other through multitudinous, hair-raising scrapes, its the finest way to hit Destinys biggest challenges. So why play with randoms? Why, the undeniable bonding moment of a good sit down, of course.
You see theres a certain kind of enjoyment, a particular, transient closeness you can only experience by being thrown into a hard situation with strangers. With no presumed relationships, roles, or--often, in Destinys matchmaking--direct means of communicating, youre all forced to step up and do the best you can for the greater good, lest you become the architect of everyones destruction. Lone wolves become a temporary pack, and--partly through working for the shared good, partly through competing to show off your skills--all who arent rampantly incompetent tend to do a pretty good job. Youll feel weirdly close to your silent compatriots by the time that last boss or mob is downed. And then, nine times out of ten, youll instinctively sit down together, the imaginary camp-fire between you blazing up to signify the well-earned rest at the end of a rough day.
Make a holiday photo album
In stark contrast to all that intensive slaughter, never forget that Destiny is a beautiful game, full of quiet, ambient moments and sprawling, almost painterly vistas just waiting to be soaked up. Every so often, its good to take a moment, drop the smoking rifle and the blood-soaked combat blade, and unwind to take in the picturesque environs surrounding you. And after that, you should take a picture of those environs.
If youre playing on the PS4, the Share button should be as fundamental a part of your control scheme as the fire and melee triggers. Seriously, it sounds pointless, but over the course of your adventures, its well worth taking some shots to catalogue your journey. Find the right angle, the right mountain, the right valley or skyline, and snap it at the right time of day. Make a point of investigating the possibilities, and theres bona fide travel-art to be had in Destiny. Every PS4 player should keep a log, show it off, and compare it to those of their fellow Guardians. First-person, third-person, striking or silly, theres almost as much photo potential here as in Grand Theft Auto 5. Have at it.
So there are my current favourite extracurricular experiences in Destiny. But how about you? Do you have any more? Have you discovered any other cool little quirks, challenges and escapades that we should all be having a go of? Let me know in the comments.
And while you're here, check out some of our other premium-grade Destiny coverage. My review, written after two intensive weeks' play and 50 whole hours, is a strong bet for a complete overview. And if you're already knee-deep in Destiny and looking for granular guidance, have a look at our constantly updating guide compendium, covering everything from class-building, to endgame leveling, to Crucible PvP, to loot chests and collectibles.