A new season launched in Destiny 2, and with it came a brand new activity that ranks up with some of the best things the series has done: Menagerie, a gauntlet of light puzzles and tough encounters.
Like everything else in Destiny, Menagerie is all about shooting aliens, but it’s not your average horde mode. It feels more like a miniature raid, with a variety of interesting (and challenging) mechanics designed for six-person enemy blasting.
You unlock Menagerie by grinding through the Season of Opulence’s first quest chain, which takes an hour or so. (Start it by talking to Mr. Broom Robot in the Tower.)
Along the way, you’ll learn how to use the Chalice of Opulence, a new item that lets you tailor what kind of loot you get at the end of Menagerie. Using a new currency called Imperials, you’ll be able to upgrade your chalice and hook it up with runes that will drop specific rewards—the Rune of Joy, for example, guarantees you a class item. Rune of Jubilation will get you a Sniper Rifle. And so on.
Once you get into the activity—which starts at power level 690, but completing the aforementioned quest will get you a set of level-690 equipment—you’ll start fighting your way through a series of themed segments in the labyrinthian tunnels of the Leviathan warship, presented in random order.
There’s The Hunted, a creepy set of tunnels reminiscent of the old Crota’s End raid, in which you have to capture lanterns and fight off Cursed Thrall. There’s The Gauntlet, which tasks you with fighting waves of Vex, then hurdling through an obstacle course as quickly as possible. My favourite is The Crystals, in which you have to pick up Vex orbs and use them to shoot laser beams at crystals and enemy aliens.
As you play through each of these sections, you’ll rack up points and gradually fill up a meter. Once the meter is filled, you’ll get to fight a boss, and then: treasure.
Here’s perhaps the most unusual part: You can’t lose. There are no timers or party wipes. No matter how bad your team is, you’ll always get the reward at the end—the only friction is that if you’re not earning a lot of points in each segment, it’ll take you quite a long time to finish the whole thing. (I learned that the hard way on my first run!)
All in all, it’s a fantastic mode. There’s much more left to be discovered in Season of Opulence—it just went live today, and people are already finding intriguing new secrets that may be linked to the next expansion—but Menagerie is one very good reason to keep playing.