Destiny 2 Warmind Extension introduces a new explorable area on Mars. Like the other patrol areas of the game on Earth, Io, Nessus and Titan, the Mars map initially seems to be simply an area with some public events and some hidden chests. It is actually much more interesting.
Warmind was the March extension Curse of Osiris which introduced an explorable patrol area on Mercury. This was more or less a single circular space in which a single public event took place. Every now and then there was a big drop, which took up almost the entire card. Apart from that, the actual exploration of space was a disappointment. It's even worse to return there after spending some time on Mars Warmind which offers players a great map with abandoned outposts, twisted cliff roads and hidden nooks and crannies.
Mars is closer to the main patrol areas launched with the game, such as the sub-alpine European Dead Zone and the red forests of Nessus. In many ways, it outshines these areas and is closer to the labyrinthine Dreadnaught, Oryx's Beehive flagship, which was added to the first Destiny in the grandiose Taken King expansion of 2015 ,
Mars is full of hidden secrets and interlocking collection systems that work together to feel like a layered ecosystem. It's not perfect, but it's done well, making Mars a fun place because I always feel like I'm making some progress. I had a lot more fun screwing around Mars than the story campaign, and that's because of how well all the activities work together. Here's an example of the kind of things I'm talking about:
If you make a public event or plunder a lost-sector chest on Mars, you get the usual rewards: a glimmer, maybe a blue object, or two a purple engram, if you're lucky. You also get a Resonatorschaft, the purpose of which initially seems mysterious.
Get four of them, and you can combine them in your inventory and get an override frequency. Zoom into it and you'll see a text:
The text is an indication of a place you can find anywhere on Mars. I know the area of Mars quite well now and I know there is a downed Warsat in a cave. This text shows that I should go there. When I go there, I can hear weak classical music …
… suggesting that there is something on the rocky outcrops below. I climb down and find a floating "Sleeper Node" playing music that I can unlock with the code I created. (Rasputin, the AI that monitors Mars, has a well-known taste for classical music.) When I unlock the box, I get loot and count my progress on an emblem tracking how many of the 40 sleeper knots I've found  It's a funny little loop in itself: play the game normally, collect Resonance Stems, make Override Frequencies, solve them with your knowledge of the Mars Map, then keep an ear for music to show you the final location of the emerging node. But it's just a layer of what's happening on Mars.
I also got some Rasputin key fragments that I can collect to make something of the Planet Vendor. I've just completed the task of unlocking the Sleeper Simulant Laser Gun, which makes me run across Mars and do a lot of activity. I know that one step in this quest requires unlocking 15 Sleeper Nodes, so I save my Resonance Stems for it.
Then there are these little caches, 45 of which are hidden out of sight:
Each is coded arc, emptiness, or sun, and must be destroyed with a weapon or skill that causes this type of damage. They work in the first game much like the calcified fragment collection pieces on the Dreadnaught; Unlock a specific number, and you'll get an exotic weapon.
In addition, the extremely challenging public event is Extraction Protocol, in which I can not make any progress because I'm still not powerful enough. There is also this mysterious symbol that players have been trying to decode, and probably a few other things no one has ever found. As I climbed down the rock wall in the cave to find the knot I showed earlier, I found the following:
What is that? What does PAVONIS mean? (Do not tell me!) I'm assuming it will open as soon as I've found all 45 caches and is probably related to the exotic weapon I mentioned earlier. But I'm not sure what's in there, and I will not look. For me it's just a mystery to find out.
For some people, all this sounds probably overly complicated and not very funny. For others, like me, that's exactly what has been missing so far Destiny 2 . It's really just a few collectibles and bars that need to be filled, but it makes me feel like I can just poke around in the game and achieve something. It is a low, constant path. It makes the game noticeably less shallow.
Mars is a significant improvement over the patrol areas that were launched last September with Destiny 2 . It's closer to what I expected from the game at the start, a few steps away from the intricacies and secrets of Dreadnaught. The people who made Destiny were ready to undo some of the changes made and return to what worked in the first game, and the Mars patrol zone is a sure step in that direction.