Reviews

Destiny: The Taken King

Well folks, Destiny is back! To be fair, it never went away and I have still been playing a lot with occasional breaks for other games that have appeared on my list. But then the live action trailer hit our screens and made me want to get back to the grind!

Now if you haven’t played Destiny at all and are thinking of picking it up but are thinking ‘oh man, everyone will be way ahead of me and there’s so much to catch up on’. Basically don’t think like that, because all of us year one veterans are having to put in the hours to get our gear back up to scratch so we can carry on with the story and strikes. Buy it and get cracking. If I didn’t love my characters so much and could be bothered to set up a second PSN account, I would restart just to experience it from the beginning again to see how different the experience is. If you haven’t played, you may not appreciate some of the bits in this little overview and I will try not to spoil anything, but hey, if it tempts you to play then awesome!

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The Taken King is here. We killed Crota in the Dark Below (second expansion), which looks to have been a little bit of an error on our part as guardians because daddy is coming and…. he isn’t best pleased. The Taken King starts with an awesome opening in which the Awoken are taking on a mysterious Hive ship which is causing some serious issues around the rings of Saturn (yay new planet!). It was an a stunning opening and really got me ready for the first mission. And so we head to Phobos, a Cabal stronghold a stones throw from Mars which is being decimated by the ‘Taken’. I actually felt sorry for the Cabal as they were getting trounced by this new breed of enemy! Fighting your way through to get back to the Vanguard to discuss what you found so you can get stuck into the story.

Straight away there are a few things that veterans will pick up on. Firstly, Nolandriod is here. Dinklebot is no more. I miss Dinklebot for many reasons, but Nolandroid is a good replacement ghost which reveals scan sections which give you a little bit more insight into some of the things you might normally pass by otherwise. Secondly, the ‘Taken’ are almost as crafty as the Fallen… and that might be because the Taken can be any race that Oryx decides to consume. So watch your back. Thirdly, Cayde. I love Cayde and am so glad that the writers gave Nathan Fillion some amazing lines to really make him the best character in the game. Simply fantastic.

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But back to the story… Zavala, Ikora, Cayde and Eris Morn are backing you to locate Oryx and seek him out to destroy him. So off you go on your quest eventually facing Oryx in battle. But it doesn’t end there. After this altercation, there are many more quests, strikes and activities you can be doing. Exotic bounties, crucible fun, gunsmith weapon tests (oh yeah!) and of course the raid (which I haven’t tried yet as not happy with my gear load out at the moment). It has come to light that there are secret ways to obtain exotics too which could prove interesting, if not hella crazy. But let’s not forget the new subclasses! Wowzers! Ok so the Hunter’s Nightstalker is pretty awesome and at first you’ll think, ‘oh yeah, this is kind of neat but not really useful’ but once you play with the perks, boy are you in for some fun which can help get you out of a sticky spot if used correctly. The Warlock’s Stormcaller is pretty showy but doesn’t seem to pack the punch I would hope for. Still, I haven’t maxed it out yet so could be in for a surprise soon! Then there is the Titan’s Sunbreaker…. nothing says holy shiz like a flaming hammer hurtling towards your face. It’s amazing and so much fun! You have to try these out guys!

Lots of little things have changed and in my opinion, for the better. You can infuse gear, which I am still getting to grips with to make sure I don’t waste rare items in order to increase my legendaries. Still, if you find a bit of gear you want to keep, try infusing with something a few light/defense more instead of replacing it. The nightfall doesn’t ping you back to orbit if you die and returns you to your last checkpoint which means no getting to the last boss and getting wiped out thus making you less inclined to give it a go again. Legendary packages seem to actually be useful now and although the separate vanguard and crucible marks have become legendary marks instead, you can come by these nice and quickly. ‘Old’ strikes have been given a little make over in the sense that you might have Taken spawn instead of your expected enemies which leads keeps it fresh. Although I imagine this will not be much of a surprise after a couple of weeks, it’s still nice to not be repeating the exact same plays all the time. Well played Bungie.

Couple of things to mention though…. rare gear should not be better than legendary gear. I know it’s a light level thing they’ve got going on but it can be a little bit of a kick in the teeth. Also, I’ve only had 1 exotic actually drop for me so far even when using Xur’s Three of Coins which has a chance of getting Exotic engrams out of Ultras you kill (which has since been nerfed so now won’t drop as frequently, which sucks as I haven’t had anything drop yet!). Clearly, the year 2 stuff isn’t on my disc and I’ll end up buying it all from Xur! Not that I’m bitter or anything.

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All 3 of my characters are doing pretty well now but there is so much to do. So many quests, more story missions and so much other stuff going on! They have definitely put a lot of thought into this but is it too much? I never thought 32 quest slots would be needed but I was so wrong. Every time you speak to someone they are giving you something else to do which is a great way of making sure you don’t run out of missions to complete, but I have found it a little overwhelming. The personal reason for this is due to work, because I don’t always finish at 5pm(ish) thus allowing plenty of time to hang out with the fireteam and share in the spoils of shooting stuff in the face. Another reason is sharing the console with Kuniku. While not a major issue, because we are awaiting the arrival of a second PS4 at some point soon, it can put us both ‘behind’ everyone else. Although we are both nearly at the stage where we could have a crack at the raid, there’s still a way to go before either of us will be happy with our load out.

So far The Taken King has made me feel that the extra £40 is worthwhile as it is more than an expansion like Dark Below and House of Wolves were. It wouldn’t be right to call it an extension either because it goes beyond that. Destiny has grown and developed. This is largely down to Bungie/Activision but is ultimately down to the players who keep coming back for more and continually play on a nightly/weekly basis. It’s great and the community is growing. I did a post a while back about why I keep playing Destiny and a couple of months after that I was struggling to play anymore. But Taken King has certainly kick started my enthusiasm for the game. So I will continue to play this game. People will say ‘It’s rubbish’, but how is it any different to gamers who still play last years CoD or Fifa? No game is perfect but I certainly enjoy my hours playing with friends or watching Kuniku play. I would highly recommend picking this up if you are thinking about it. If you wish, wait a little while and see if it comes down in price. If you don’t have the expansions, just buy the Legendary Edition and get everything so you are covered. Hopefully I’ll see you out there, Guardian.

 

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