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Thoughts on Deep Stone Crypt *Spoilers* (Destiny)

by CyberKN ⌂ @, Oh no, Destiny 2 seems complicated, Sunday, November 21, 2021, 17:12 (14 days ago)

I wrote this review about two weeks ago just after the assembled DBO crew helped me finish the raid. I neglected to post it right away, to let my thoughts marinate a bit, do a bit of research, and see if my opinion on it warmed up. It did not.


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This section of Cairo Station is burned into my brain. Not because I died a lot to the jetpack elites (I did die a lot to the jetpack elites on legendary), but because it’s the first time in Halo that a player ventures out into the vacuum of space.

The skybox opens up, gravity is suddenly a fraction of normal, and this chill tune starts playing as I play cat-and-mouse with the remainder of the enemy forces in the area:

Shortly after I re-enter the station, I venture outside again, but now my battleground is the firing mechanism of Cairo station’s skyscraper-sized MAC gun. I have to contend traversing it in low-gravity with dodging incoming fire from another trio of elites.


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The MAC’s barrel towers overhead, and I watch an absolutely massive covenant cruiser tear past the station, on its way towards the earth below. It always takes me a few moments to get my bearings, with the platform rhythmically inverting it’s slope as the gun reloads and fires, over and over.


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In contrast, Deep Stone Crypt’s “spacewalk” section didn’t really elicit any emotional reaction in me whatsoever. It’s a bog-standard platforming puzzle with static platforms and slow-moving turbine obstacles. The music is nice. The atmosphere is fine. I would have expected the encounter’s unique twist on the Destiny jumping puzzle formula to be altering the gravity, since we know that functionality is a thing Bungie can alter on-the-fly in D2. But no, it’s just some pretty music and VO from the station’s caretaker. Occasionally, shanks appear to harass you.

The raid’s main mechanic, of having select players with specific buffs that allow them to see or interact with things that other players can’t, feels so incredibly formulaic at this point. It works as a thing to keep players on their toes, but personally I’m just kinda sick of seeing this mechanic pop up, over and over, in D2's raids.

The final boss… exists? It does its “job” in that it makes use of all the prior introduced mechanics, but it also feels really anti-climactic, especially after the conclusion of the prior encounter.

The narrative motivation of the raid feels a bit same-y to Rise of Iron, where we just need to stop the Fallen from getting their hands on golden-age tech. I had to go back and read a transcript of the raid dialogue afterwards to get the whole thread of what led from one encounter to another. It seems a bit easy to miss in the moment.

I can’t figure out why many people hold this raid up as “the best”. The encounters present a decent level of difficulty, but nothing jumps as new or interesting. I wrote a little piece five years ago (Wait, what? That can’t be right...) about how I believe those are the most important qualities of a raid. Maybe there was some incredible, unmatched zeitgeist around DSC when it was new, I don’t know. I’d like to hear people’s thoughts, now that I don’t have to worry about spoilers.

The one exception I can think of, where I actually felt that twinge of old-school raiding excitement, was when I was performing the role of operator in the initial security room encounter. I’m alone, separated from everyone else in my fireteam, dodging stealth vandals in a mysterious, poorly-lit server room, as I path around to my objectives- objectives I must complete quickly, before the room catches on fire and my guardian begins to cook. That was my favourite part of the whole experience.


In summary,


DSC is “fine”. It’s a perfectly acceptable piece of endgame content. I just think everything it does has already been done much better, by Bungie themselves.


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