*Pat and Zahra are not responsible for injuries sustained herein*
With the release of the Taken King we now have two new modes of player v player combat to enjoy, Rift and Mayhem. Let’s start with rift. It’s a bit like capture the flag actually, you need to take a spark into the other parties rift. Cue “I’ll put my spark in your rift” pick up lines but I digress. It’s an adaption of warlock lore to assist in training of guardians. The premise is quite simple, wait for spark to charge, pick it up, bolt for the rift, hope your teammates are behind you and don’t die on the way. In practice it’s a fair bit harder then it sounds, there’s huge points bonuses for picking up, carrying, and depositing the spark so if you’re getting the spark most of the time you’ll win.
Some games were quite dramatically one way, and others came to the wire because teams were organized. If they missed the spark they’d drop back and defend and no one would get very far at all. Luckily the crucible has been updated so where a team gets slaughtered or dominated they will be reshuffled to make it more even. Personally I loved this new mode of combat. Running with the spark is exhilarating. You actually have to work as a team because if you go it alone not only will you do poorly as an individual, but your team will lose. I prefer a cohesive team to each man to themselves in player v player combat, but that’s just me and potentially has something to do with the fact that I’m not as talented as I think I am when playing autonomous humans as opposed to enemies with patterns of behaviour.
Mayhem is all out chaotic warfare. There’s heavy weapon and special ammo drops all over the place and re-spawning is instantaneous. Dying is frequent but so are kills. You super recharges much faster and it’s golden gun and nova bombs wherever you look. It reminded me a little more of the hectic fun of Borderlands. That kind of manic intensity that is both infinitely frustrating and incredibly fun. The mayhem either suits you or it doesn’t. If you find yourself dying constantly, before you can get rockets or reload you won’t have much fun at all. You will probably find yourself wanting to throw a controller at the wall (Pat and Zahra recommend you don’t do this). If you’re on a roll, whether through skill or luck this is certainly one of the most furiously fun forms of player on player combat.
You’ll also find some fun new levels to explore. I’m loving the Memento (Europe level on earth) for its old buildings and small, intimate arena. Plus the anti-gravity at The Drift on the reef. It’s something about the weapons and ammo floating past that gets me. Rift provides new mechanics for exploring the levels and being the runner with the spark has lead to many confused runs through unfamiliar levels will continue to be amusing for some time yet.
Keep your eyes peeled Guardians, the Taken King drops at 7pm AEST tonight!
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