Destiny provides many challenges to the Guardians brave enough to take up arms across its worlds. Some of the most daunting are the Strikes that can be within each major area. These tests of skill and cooperation can spell the end for the uninitiated, or provide rewards for those who overcome the darkness.
But, as with all things in Destiny, not all strikes are created equal. Strikes come in many different forms. Some are short and simple, with a quick scuffle before a large boss fight. Others test your skill throughout the entire experience. As the game evolved, Bungie got better and better and creating team-based experiences for players to really test their skills.
Of course, the studio did get some thing right early on, allowing for the ranks to be mixed up quite a bit.
The Devil’s Lair was a Guardian’s first taste at what strikes had to offer in Destiny. Fighting through countless fallen to reach the leader who ends up being nothing more than a huge Servitor was sort of bitter sweet. With all of the great Fallen warriors that were spoken about as players moved through the Cosmodrome, one would reasonably expect a knockdown drag-out fight with one of the many-armed aliens. Instead, it was just a long range shooting fest with a floating robot ball. The Devil’s Lair gave a hint of the intensity to come, but kept the dial turned relatively low.
The Nexus strike is an interesting one. The Vex are possibly the most interesting of all enemies that guardians must face, and the sheer number of Minotaurs and Hobgoblins will keep even the best players on their toes, especially during Nightfall. Working your way down into the area where Sekron, the Nexus Mind was, was fun and engaging, but the boss fight lacked that same appeal. Thanks to huge splash damage and an endless stream of spawning minions, many turned this encounter into a game of hide and snipe. Just sit behind a wall and pluck away with critical hits. With an Icebreaker in tow, this was like shooting fish in a barrel.
Cerberus Vae III was easily the most frustrating strike of Destiny Year One. For starters, this activity felt as if it had many more bosses than it should have. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, as players welcomed a real challenge. Fighting Val Bo’ourc, Val Ma’aurg, and Val Zu’uarc before getting into a shooting contest with a tank was extreme. You could try your luck on equal footing or try to pick it off from afar.
Things began to crumble once players finally reached Valus Ta’aurc, the big boss of Cerberus Vae III. Here was one of Destiny’s most notorious bullet sponges, and he had an endless supply of rockets. The fight went on for far too long, no matter how good at the game you were. The only challenge here was getting through without getting bored and quitting after all the excitement from the first two segments wears off.
The Undying Mind was one of the strikes introduced as part of Destiny’s first expansion, The Dark Below. Helping to lure in players was the fact that it took place in the spot where the main story ended. Getting to work your way back through the Black Garden brought back plenty of memories to players as they reminisced over saving the world… at least for now.
Other than the nostalgia, the strike wasn’t all that special. The boss, who shares its name with the entire strike, was similar to Sekron from the Nexus Strike, only a bit more aggressive. Having to place shots between the three constantly rotating shields added a bit of challenge, but the construction of the arena made this a fairly simple, straight forward encounter. While there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it, there were certainly better strikes to be enjoyed.