My Destiny 2 Countdown team got wiped, but it was fun anyway

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When someone playing their third-ever Destiny PvP game is leading your team, your Destiny 2 Crackdown team is gonna suck. It was still an exciting time, though.

When I was covering the Destiny 2 live stream reveal, one of the ideas that felt most prominent was that plenty of these features should have been added to the base game much sooner. It certainly looks to be a complete package leading up to its Sept. 6 release date, with a bevy of more gameplay modes and options for competitive and PvE-oriented players.

One of those new 4v4 modes coming to Destiny 2’s Crucible is Countdown, a “plant the bomb” style of combat where character death (unless revived with one of four team tokens) is permanent for a round. It takes a minute for a bomb to explode but just five seconds to detonate. This puts a much-needed emphasis on team dynamics, making offensive groups work cohesively in units of two or four and defensive teams looking out for the detonation points.

At E3 2017, I got the chance to check out the Midtown map from Earth’s Last City, and boy, did our team suck. Like, we got skunked; a complete 6-0 domination on an almost impossibly embarrassing level. Yet, as I continued to persevere and actually attempt to complete the mode’s objectives, I still had a blast failing spectacularly.

It was how Bungie handled the mode’s dynamics within its settings that sold me on Destiny 2’s Countdown. Pushing on the enemy’s defenses in Midtown meant an elaborate game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, where balanced (or imbalanced) mini-groups met at one of two bomb plant zones. Even if one player matched up against three, the opposing group can deliver the bomb and run back in time to revive the teammate, and there’s a tense rush to make sure a round’s death isn’t permanent.

Destiny 2 Countdown Crucible
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Of course, there’s always going to be a certain amount of strategy and tactical play involved in FPS balance, but the shift to 4v4 player limits increases the intensity. Each player’s failures and successes are that much more important to a team’s success or failure in Destiny 2, hence our complete and utter destruction.

Yet, the hope of a success was always there. Trading off between offense and defense every round, it felt like I could turn it around. Maybe the best strategy was to guard the long corridor instead of getting torn up in the hallways between the bomb zones. Perhaps it was better to go as one big team, or split up into teams of two covering each side.

However, with the inclusion of new super attacks, players can get an added layer of control over a match. Choosing when to use them plays into the ongoing mind games that are home to this mode, as you can re-balance the scales or create an early player deficit.

Destiny 2 Countdown Crucible
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No matter what, Destiny 2 still primarily relies on skill, with player imbalance taking precedence over all. Midtown looks amazing, showing off bright crimson colors contrasted with blues and oranges. I know this well, as I got the chance to look at it from multiple viewpoints during the brief but repeated moments of death cam.

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By establishing a wish to expand the types of PvP combat players can expect, Destiny 2 looks to serve players of all varieties of action-shooter fans. Countdown is just one of the ways they can earn the trust of the competitive audience, and I’m convinced this will be a great step forward for the Crucible come September.