Destiny 2 ‘European Dead Zone’ Hands On – A Loot Lover’s Paradise

Destiny 2 European Dead Zone Hands On

In Destiny 2, gone are the days of repeatedly engaging in the same mindless patrols for hours on end. Patrols remain at your disposal but are accompanied by a myriad of new and reimagined activities to fulfill your deepest desires for loot and lore. Grind enthusiasts will be pleased to find that said activities inhabit significantly larger worlds than seen in the previous game providing plenty of exploration, aliens to kill, and goods to acquire. I recently went hands-on with Destiny 2 and traversed every inch of the European Dead Zone on Earth. From adventures following short stories to discovering hidden caves, there’s a lot to unpack. Let’s dig in!

First and foremost, the inclusion of the destination map is a significant improvement over the original game. When viewing it you can quickly locate key locations, active public events, adventures, patrols, NPCs, and fast travel points. Each world is massive, so, being able to determine points of interest, set waypoints, and instantly travel to and from objectives was a marvelous revelation as I traveled to the first public space of the game.

Destiny 2 Destination Map

Following the fall of the Tower and loss of your light, you wind up taking refuge on Earth with a band of new and familiar allies. In the distance, a shard of the Traveler resides in the European Dead Zone, home to a multitude of enemy combatants. Before entering the forsaken land, you select a Landing Zone. These zones serve as fast travel points that enable players to swiftly trek around the expansive world and are unlocked by discovering them. You begin Destiny 2 without a Sparrow, so, you spend a lot of time sprinting through dense woods, wide open spaces, and dilapidated structures. It’s a smart choice by the developers as it encourages players to absorb all there is to see, hear, and discover along the way.

The first notable area I discovered during my trip through the EDZ was the humble town of ‘Trostland’. Within it lies destroyed buildings littered with a faction of Fallen and Red Legion enemies. A steeple resides in the center of town, serving as a defensive position for a friendly NPC. Devrim Kay is an Englishman who possesses class, wields a sniper rifle, and manages to hold his own against the onslaught of all who oppose humanity within the EDZ. Devrim serves as a Dead Zone scout and regularly communicates with your allies at The Farm social space. He supplies you with objectives of rescuing lightless Guardians, reclaiming enemy controlled areas, and offers all forms of gear as rewards. Devrim is one of a few non-guardian characters making a debut in Destiny 2. He’s simply a man born and bred in the wilds fighting the good fight alongside powerful allies and against enemies with superior strength. The witty Englishman is a welcome addition to the rich cast of heroes and villains and brings life to the open world.

Destiny 2

Side quests come in the form of ‘Adventures’ and are scattered throughout the world similar to patrols. Activating an Adventure sends you and your Fireteam on a mission containing a short narrative and multiple objectives. They’re an excellent new addition to the gameplay as they provide insight to the backstories of the world, introduce players to unfamiliar areas, and supply commendable gear or upgrade points upon completion. Along the way I found myself distracted by scannable objects in the environment, high-value targets, and treasure chests aplenty. If you hear that familiar glistening sound nearby, it’s in your best interest to pursue it. Scanning surrounding objects grants additional information pertaining to a planet’s lore and sometimes leads you to collecting hefty loot. During your exploration, high-value targets will periodically appear on the destination map. Hunting and bringing them down makes for intense mini boss battles, rewarding you with, you guessed it, more loot. Despite continually engaging in the distractions around me, I was able to jump right back into where I left off with my active adventure. The story based side quests serve as an exceptional tool in immersing players into the lore of each world and are capitalized by the core gameplay.

Public events return in Destiny 2 reimagined and are more accessible than ever. Thankfully you no longer have to wait around for public events to spawn. Ongoing events can be located on the destination map, and can also be activated at a moment’s notice. One of the more memorable events I participated in featured The Red Legion dropping a massive drill into an area in an effort to mine the Earth’s glimmer. My fellow Guardians and I laid waste to waves of the treacherous Cabal until they gave up on their heinous crusade, resulting in some sweet treats. Standard public events are amplified by triggering Heroic Public Events, which spawn bonus objectives, stronger enemies, and bosses. Prevailing over the additional challenges rewards players with better loot in comparison to regular public events. The option of activating public events at will is great, as it constantly provides players with goals to complete, experience to gain, and loot to collect at their own pace in addition to the slew of alternative objectives.


“Adventures are an excellent new addition to the gameplay as they provide insight to the backstories of the world, introduce players to unfamiliar areas, and supply commendable gear or upgrade points upon completion.”

Public events are boosted with the inclusion of Flashpoints, which serve as ever-evolving weekly events focused on featured destinations. Flashpoints task Guardians with completing every public event in a designated space. Throughout the quest, players will encounter rare enemy types and can seek valuable treasure with maps supplied by everyone’s favorite Exo, Cayde-6. As with everything else in Destiny 2, completing Flashpoints compensates players with glorious loot, and aids players in familiarizing themselves with the spaces they populate. Having Flashpoints move to a new location every week certainly keeps things fresh, but unless the public events on each planet also continue to evolve, they may begin to feel dull after the second or third go-around.

Destiny 2

For those who possess the heart of an explorer, Lost Sectors exist to amply reward players who seek and discover them. While adventuring through the EDZ I came across a large boulder possessing a curious insignia. These markings exist on every planet and hint that there’s a hidden location nearby containing powerful enemies and even greater loot. The symbol on the boulder led me to a cave called ‘Scavenger’s Den’. Inside I faced off against an abundance of Fallen and their captain. Defeating them endowed me with a standard loot box full of rare gear and EDZ tokens. Locating Lost Sectors for the first time is a lot of fun, and far more exciting than discovering a loot box within a tiny cave like in Destiny 1. Although Lost Sectors vary in scope, I can’t imagine they’re as thrilling to explore once you’ve determined all of their locations.

Destiny 2’s gameplay feels nearly identical to the original game, but players are given far more to do in the European Dead Zone and beyond. The addition of Adventures, constant public events, Flashpoints, Lost Sectors, and high-value targets all administer a greater sense of exploration and progression. Devrim Kay’s presence breathes life into the open world in comparison to the spaces seen in Destiny 1, and there’s loot to collect around every corner. I myself am a moderate fan of the first game but was surprised at how much I enjoyed scavenging all of the EDZ in the sequel. If you’re a hardcore fan of Destiny, you’ll be happy with all there is to accomplish and discover within the public space. If Bungie continually updates all of the worlds with new Adventures, public events, and Lost Sectors, the gameplay should remain fresh for the foreseeable future. In addition to the time I spent within the EDZ, there’s still a ton of Destiny 2 content to analyze including the other public spaces, main narrative, strikes, PvP modes, the raid, and more. Be sure to keep it locked on COGconnected for our full Destiny 2 review closer to the game’s release on September 6th.

***Travel and access to preview event provided by Activision***