“Destiny” is going from trick-or-treating to extreme speeding by giving players something they have always wanted to do: Race sparrows.
Starting Tuesday, guardians can enter the Sparrow Racing League and compete for new sparrows, gear and who knows what else. Bungie’s announcement during PlayStation Experience also included news that there would be new race-related goodies on sale. In the style of October’s Festival of the Lost, the racing will be around for just a limited time.
Bungie describes the action as a “six-player free-for-all death race through enemy territory.” Gameplay appears to be similar to the only good part of “Star Wars: Episode 1,” with some Taken Vex playing the role of Tusken Raiders. Check out how it looks:
For those who have never played “Destiny,” sparrows have been one of the biggest forgettables in the game. The only purpose they have is to get guardians from one point to another, or to earn a rather obscure medal during PVP games. Guardians could upgrade their sparrows for speed, change the color of their contrails and earn some legendary models, but nothing as remotely dynamic as what is available for weapons and armor. The only story missions with sparrows give you special ones armed with weapons.
So a special racing event giving so much attention to sparrows is a fairly exciting announcement, and should add one of the game’s most unique gameplay elements.
Watching this leaves me with some thoughts and questions:
- Maybe this will take the sting out of Sunbreakers’ hammers getting nerfed.
- There appears to be some slalom-type checkpoints and enemies on the track, and there’s a fair amount of sparrows crashing into each other, so these races look pretty hectic. And awesome.
- One of the interesting mechanics of sparrow gameplay is that a guardian can wreck or fall off their sparrow and produce a new one instantly. I would LOVE it if this racing league somehow incorporated a mechanic where a guardian could strategically dismount in order to use some heavy weapons.
- WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!
- I also wonder if we’ll be able to use our regular sparrows available to us in game. Not trying to brag, but just last night I got myself a hot new upgraded SR-1 Swiftriver I’d love to run in these races. Just sayin’…
- The racing will be available for only three weeks. Bonus content for all “The Taken King” players, but it won’t be around forever.
- I really hope Tess lets us do the Ricky Bobby. Or shake and bake. THAT JUST HAPPENED.
Some of my above questions were answered in a video Bungie released about the sparrow racing. Mainly:
- Looks like we will have racing gear that we can customize, but we’ll also be able to wear our exotics. Or our skull masks. GHOST RIDER!
- Looks like we will NOT be able to bring our own sparrows. We’ll use special ones for the races.
- Two tracks, Mars and Venus. Mars is the easier one, Venus is tougher. The Venus one includes jumping off a dropship, and is a continued descent — kind of like skiing with a transporter back to the top of the mountain.
- Racing will be very skill based: Looks like light level won’t have a thing to do with performance on the race track.
- Looks like we can do tricks.
See the madness for yourself: