'Destiny' Trials Of Osiris Impressions: How Does The Crucible's New Mode Work, And Is It Any Good?

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated May 25, 2015 01:28 PM EDT
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Destiny's House of Wolves expansion added whole new game modes alongside the more subtle content that is now part of the very core of the game. One of these is Trials of Osiris, a new Crucible mode which is only available over the weekend.

Watch Our First Runs Through Destiny's New Trials Of Osiris Mode 

This week marked the first time the limited event was accessible, and I was able to sink several hours into the mode. Trials of Osiris pits two Fireteams of three players against one another in a more competitive playlist with no respawns. Your teammates can revive you, but otherwise you're down for the round--the first team to win five round wins.

You get a special pass from the Trials of Osiris vendor, Brother Vance, which allows entry into the arena. This pass--and your attempt at Trials--runs out when you either lose three games or win nine matches. Your success determines the rewards you get: win only two or three games, and you can only buy the low level reward packages. Winning up to seven gets you a weapon and armor, and eight is the gold tier reward. If you can win all nine games, you gain access to a brand new area that only the mode's best players can enter, which contains a chest with high-level rewards. My Fireteam went on a perfect 9-0 run, which you can watch the second half of below (excuse the chat audio, which was somehow only recorded from one player).

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The mode itself feels high stakes for several reasons. One is the reward system described above, which urges you to do well and makes losing feel like a real threat. Missing out on the highest level rewards because you got your third loss just one or two wins short hurts, but it's not just the loot that gives the mode meaning. Because of the competitive nature of the mode--and because you have to put together your own Fireteam (no matchmaking)--losing feels like it would be a blow to your pride. Several players I spoke to expressed this feeling, as the mode is somewhat intimidating. It makes every match more intense, like the difference between playing casual and hardcore playlists in Halo.

The Burning Shrine, the map for the first week, was a good choice for Trials of Osiris. The mode uses the same map for the duration of each week, and this map provides a good mix of team standoffs, small corridors, and long sniping alleys. Map choice will be key for the mode, as competitive gametypes rely on balanced maps with good player flow and key choke points.

I really enjoy Trials of Osiris. To me, it's what Destiny's PvP has been missing. The Crucible is fun, but I lose interest in more casual matchmaking rather quickly, and always enjoy the more competitive playlists (such as those that mimic eSports settings). That may not be the case for everyone, but luckily the incentives are there to play the mode whether or not that applies to you. The armor offered can help boost your Guardian to the next level, and most importantly, the mode feels fun to play.

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