Monday, December 14, 2015

Destiny's SRL Sparrow Races - Initial Impressions

Destinys' sparrows have become a drastic afterthought. Blindly throwing up a sparrow to get from point A to point B is second nature. The latest update has begun efforts to make more of a change in utilizing these in the way most have yearned for since their inception; racing.

The SRL League features two races thus far: Mars and Venus. These two tracks feature six guardians racing against each other for bragging rights. Instead of just navigating the turns and twists of the maps, players gain boosts to speed by passing through gates littered across the track. The gates vary in size depending on your current place in the race; leading the pack makes them smaller and harder to hit and losing the lead gives them a wider span to help close the gap.

Handling sparrows, it turns out, is a lot harder than expected. Often you will slide past a gate or drift into a wall. Getting the handling takes time, but soon you will follow example and become adept at hitting gates and taking the lesser known paths. The sparrow is still subject to random crashes and flips, which can become fairly frustrating when you have a clear lead and the lift you take to cross the chasm decides it would like to flip you this time around...

The most disappointing facet of the event is the missed opportunity. This is an enjoyable new mode but is incredibly stripped down. Adding in powerups or weaponry could make the races more interesting, but the predictable placement of the gates and limited number of tracks produces the similar feeling of grinding for rep. The main quest line is over before it even begins in most cases, leaving you with three daily bounties to accomplish.

But in the end we are all playing this for a reason - the gear. You gain exclusive armor and shaders by racing and gaining reputation with the SRL faction. Upping your "license" is achieved through a main quest by racing efficiently, hitting gates, and placing in top three. You also have daily bounties that range from taking out enemies with your sparrow to keeping your sparrow in tact for an entire race. The bounties are finished relatively quickly, so expect to grab three of them every day.

So far the races are fun, but are already growing stagnant. I find myself caring little about victory after hitting Rank 3, grinding to get there in order to get the 320 helmets that can drop randomly. The shaders are nice, the event can be fun, but the limited tracks and variations in the races are sure to have you diving back into the raids.

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