Destiny 2’s Freelance Experiment Actually Had Me Enjoying Trials of Osiris

I am not a big Crucible player in Destiny 2. But for better or worse, Bungie seems to want everyone to dip into every mode the game has to offer. So it was that this weekend, I hesitantly stepped into the Trials of Osiris with the intent of gritting my teeth and knocking out the 20 round wins I needed to complete a seasonal challenge. Hours later, I realized something disturbing — I was having the most fun I’d ever had in a Destiny 2 PVP mode.

Normally, Trials of Osiris requires that players go in with two teammates. It’s meant to be a high-stakes mode where the goal is to make it to seven wins without any losses (“going Flawless”) and requires a lot of communication, knowledge of the current PVP meta, and solid tactics to come out on top. Compared to some of Destiny 2’s other PVP modes, Trials is a simple 3v3 combat scenario, with the added wrinkle that players can revive their downed teammates.

I usually stay far away from Trials — it has a reputation for being brutal, and as much as I like playing Destiny 2 with friends or clanmates, the pressure of breaking their Flawless streaks with my bad play is a little more stress than I’d like. But this weekend, Bungie implemented an experimental Trials Labs playlist where players go in “Freelance,” meaning everyone queues up solo — no premade teams.

Since I’m not up on the Crucible meta, I went in with the weapons and gear I felt most comfortable with. In my first couple of rounds, I made amateur mistakes — rushing the enemy and dying in the open where I couldn’t be rezzed, wasting my abilities — but I started to learn pretty quickly. I stuck with my teammates, scored kills with my grenade launcher, won some gunfights with my pulse rifle. In one round, I wiped out the enemy team by casting my Stasis Rift as they ran around a corner, freezing them all and leaving me free to slap them to death.

Throughout it all, I was pretty upfront with my teammates about my (lack of) skills and my reasons for being in Trials at all. Most of them said they were there for the same reasons, and I only encountered one instance of shitty behavior — a frustrated teammate telling us to “quit thr game” after a loss. Nobody else seemed to be taking it too seriously, maybe because they, like me, weren’t expecting to go Flawless in such a chaotic playlist.

I came away from my first experience with Trials with a new appreciation for PVP in Destiny 2 — as well as a bunch of neat gear. In fact, it was the most fun I’ve ever had in the Crucible. Trials play feels more impactful and less random than 6v6 modes, and it’s faster than the typical 3v3 Competitive playlist. The fact that you get progress and gear even when you lose, and that progress is tracked by round wins as well as game victories helps too. In short, Freelance has made a convert out of me — if Bungie makes it a regular part of the Trials experience next season, I’ll be back at it every weekend.