The Taken King Review
It’s safe to say that Destiny didn’t quite reach the dizzy heights initially expected by so many upon release. However it’s a game that’s loved by so many and if you fast forward a year you’ve no doubt played the two sets of downloadable content, countless strikes and completed the same story mode level more times than you can count just with the hope of picking up that all-important, light-boosting, piece of armour gear or exotic weapon. Well just like the release of Destiny, The Taken King content hasn’t arrived quietly.
Like many, I wasn’t sure what I made of the fact that The Taken King was pretty much going to cost the same price as a brand new game. I mean, who wants to pay £40 for something,which in theory, they should already have. Surely some new content can’t completely change the way a game is played? Surely.
I was wrong and I was happy to be wrong. Bungie has had a plan all along, and they’ve also been able to listen to gamer feedback throughout what they call Year 1 of Destiny. The Taken King brings Year 2 and along with it an entirely new setup to how you play the game as a guardian. There’s a new light system, changes to the bounty system, brand new quests – of which can sometimes get out of control in terms of sheer volume of outstanding quests – new multiplayer modes, new gear, new subclasses, a brand new skin and generally lots of new pretty stuff, including what I think is an improved story.
Year 1 Destiny didn’t provide the most enthralling story mode ever produced, however with Year 2 the story comes into its own. Yes it can still appear very linear at times and yes it isn’t actually that big – a mere eight missions – however the story itself is more developed and the cut-scenes, despite not bringing any new characters into the limelight, is thoroughly enjoyable to watch and at times actually quite funny. Instead of it just being the ghost voice of Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones if you didn’t know), the dialogue between characters like Eris Morn and Cayde-9 shadow you along your way. The premise is simple, a dark bat-like bad guy named Oryx wants to kill you to avenge the death of his sonCrota, and he has an army of taken enemies ready to battle with you. New enemies include everyone you’ve already met i.e. Fallen, Cabal, Hive etc. however they have been “taken”. They have a particular set of skills. A set of skills that make them a nightmare for gamers like us. They will find you, and they will most likely kill you. Or in other words, they have been possessed and they appear in an interdimensional goo-like format that shift left and right as you’re shooting on occasions.
As already covered, the story is only part of the new content as it really comes alive with the new array of raids, strikes, quests and new maps and game types within the crucible. The raids still require six players to play and also a lot of communication, organisation and general all round good play to conquer. One of the new raids also sees the return of Oryx and is a real handful. It’s a shame that they haven’t included matchmaking for raids as it can be difficult to obtain five other compatriots, never mind five compatriots who actually know what they are doing.
The crucible is where I spend most of my time and if you’re the same, Bungie have catered for you here also. New game types include Mayhem rumble which is pretty much just super weapon and crazy recharge rate ability mayhem. It’s fun and you can rack up a lot of kills … and deaths. Rift is a personal favourite of mine; in this mode, there are similar rules to Capture the Flag but instead of a flag, there’s a spark. Grab the spark, ignite the enemy rift and gain points for doing so. It can become really tense particularly when you are the runner and are 20ft away from winning the game for your team.
Something completely new is the Court of Oryx based upon the Dreadnaught ship. Players can team up and summon increasingly powerful enemies that take a lot of patience and timing to defeat. Similar to raids they are really challenging, however, you don’t need six players to participate and sometimes that’s the reason I haven’t played as many raids as I would’ve liked.
Overall if you’re a fan of Year 1 Destiny, you will love Year 2. It might cost the price of a new game, but it will most certainly extend the life of a game you already love, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Raid anyone?