If you’re like me, using the same loadout for an entire night of Crucible carnage is a no-go. There are so many guns in Destiny – why should we limit ourselves to a select few, just because they’re the best in the game? Okay, that’s the reason, but hear me out. No Land Beyond can be one of the most fun weapons in the game.
Don’t believe me? Here’s why I almost always have the NLB available at a moment’s notice.
You Automatically Un-Sweat
The Crucible can be a stressful place. That’s especially true these days, with a meta that’s in flux, shotguns ruling most engagements, and seemingly sweatier-than-usual Crucible engagements. So, think of the No Land Beyond as your de-stressing tool. A meditation, even. Although the gun is no longer entirely regarded as the butt of a bad joke, it’s still a slightly silly choice, and equipping it is a declaration: I will get sick MLG plays or die trying. And when you die, it’s much easier to laugh it off – you’re using a bolt-action sniper rifle in space combat, after all.
Every Hit Blazes the Path to Gitting Gud
The No Land Beyond is one of the most unforgiving guns in the game. Hit your shots, and you’re a deity. Miss them, and you’re probably an orb. The NLB rewards thumb skill, strategy, and great map movement. Part of that is because it’s a sniper rifle that doesn’t excel at sniper distances: the iron scopes can’t compete with a fully-zoomed rifle at range, but if you’re at close- to mid- ranges, the No Land Beyond is a force to be reckoned with.
It’s a gun that really pressures you to practice hitting your shots. If you’re a sniper who’s looking to work on your accuracy or experiment with a new playstyle, the No Land Beyond might be right up your alley. If you’re a shotgunner interested in branching out, but want to keep a dynamic, fast-paced strategy, the No Land Beyond keeps the carnage close – and lets you hang on to your shotgun while practicing your flicks ’n drags. And if you’re a new player and dipping your toes into sniping, the No Land Beyond offers what is probably the “purest” sniping experience in the game.
Finally, the No Land Beyond demands map awareness, clever movement, and strategic planning, especially in the 6v6 playlist. If you can’t predict your enemy’s movements, it will punish you. But if you know where your opponent is coming from, you can make their lifespan very short. It’s at its best when you’re not quite in the thick of things, but not camping outside the engagement – diving in and out of cover, watching choke points, and controlling power areas of the map. If you’re interested in a more strategic breakdown, you can check outthis video:
It’s Time to Get Weird
Equipping a sniper rifle in your primary slot opens up a host of entertaining and sometimes hilarious loadout options. Double snipers? Sniper/shotgun? Sniper/fusion? Not only are these choices obviously different from the Destiny standard, but they encourage you to think of new ways to play. Want to focus on a mid-range build? Play with a fusion rifle and voop your foes into oblivion. Want to stay close range? Use your iron sights to watch corners, and counter any rushing enemies with a shotgun. Or play with a sidearm, for a variant of the always-popular Last Word/sniper build that feels even more crisp and rewarding.
Do It For the Montage
There’s nothing like making a big play with the No Land Beyond. Sometimes the stars align, and you go huge. You catch a striker Titan sliding around a corner, or nab a triple kill while popping in and out of cover. Or you might no-scope a close-range opponent and follow it up with a melee kill. Even just hitting a headshot with the No Land Beyond is one of the most satisfying moments Destiny has to offer.
If you’re playing with a fireteam, all of these moments make for a lot of laughter and an equal number of audio spikes. And once you start using it, there’s a good chance you’ll find your media library full of No Land clips.
No Land Beyond is the Essence of Destiny
“Some believe its origins predate the Golden Age and served to liberate the old Earth nation from a terrible cycle of war.”
There are a few weapons in the game that, in my opinion, define what Destiny is as its core – both as a shooter and as a story. Think upon them: the space-western wonder of The Last Word. The dark mystery of the mighty, Hive-born Thorn. The time-bending design of the Vex Mythoclast. Visually, thematically, and performance-wise, these guns bring the world of Destiny to life.
The No Land Beyond, as PrimeDerektive pointed out on the Bungie forums long ago, takes its name from the epitaph written on the monument to Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev. He was famed for his kills, his aid in the defense of Stalingrad against Hitler’s armies, and his development of battlefield techniques that are still used today.
His rifle of choice was the standard-issue Mosin-Nagant, upon which the No Land is based. It’s as though someone took a WWII-era rifle, and…space-ified it. That, to me, is what Destiny is all about. A sense of nostalgia. A sense of loss. And the will to keep pushing forward, no matter what lies ahead.
“For us, there was no land beyond the Volga,” reads Zaytsev’s memorial. And for us Guardians, there once was no land beyond the Tower. But every hit blazes a path to our reclamation, so keep those eyes up. I’ll see you star-side.