Review: Destiny: The Taken King
Score: 9 out of 10
Bungie released Destiny on September 9th 2014. Since its release there has been a roller-coaster of opinions on the state of the game. Some people stopped playing the game soon after release, some people continued playing with the 2 expansions that released in “Year One” of Destiny, some have never left(myself included) and some are just now jumping in the game. Destiny is tackling new territories in the console world. The Taken King kicks off “Year Two” of Destiny and fixes a lot of issues from “Year One”.
One of the biggest criticisms of Destiny is the story or lack of story. There were so many questions and few answers. The Taken King gives us an interesting story that connects to a former Raid Boss that we had in Year One of Destiny. We get a few cut-scenes, a lot of dialogue that is given before, during and after missions, and of course Grimoire Cards that are available on their website. There is a lot of very fascinating conversations from characters that until now have only had glimpses of their personalities from short one lines in the tower. It was a lot more satisfying playing through missions and feeling like you are involved in the world of Destiny.
The Taken King introduces an entirely new playable area called The Dreadnaught. This is the enormous ship of Oryx(the main antagonist). The Dreadnaught includes patrol missions, events that are player triggered, and more. The Court of Oryx is an event that requires a player to place a rune(item that can be acquired various ways) and then face one out of a few different mini boss fights. There are 3 tiers. The first tier is one mini boss. The second tier is 2 mini bosses at once. The third tier is a unique boss that is specific to that week. Most of the mini boss fights have certain mechanics to follow that prevent you from just team shooting the boss. This type of event is to encourage you to work as a team with not only your fireteam, but with other players in your area.
Weapons are a huge factor of this game. Shooting is everything and the weapons truly matter. They have left behind most Year One Weapons, but they are still relevant in Year One Content and regular crucible (Competitive Multi-player). They have re-balanced the weapons with Year 2. Year one had a lot of weapons that were overpowered and made the game a bit annoying for some people. Exotic weapons are the top tier of weapons in Destiny. There are some you can buy or get as drops, but there are a lot that are tied to Quests.
Quests are multi part missions that lead to a reward. The reward could be experience points, armor upgrade, weapon upgrade, type of currency, or, as mentioned previously, an exotic weapon. There are various Quests in Destiny. When you complete the main story of The Taken King it continues with a variety of quests. Quests can be as simple as killing enemies with certain weapons or completing new missions that open up just for that particular quests. When you complete one part of a Quest it will unlock another part. The amount of quests can add up and be a bit overwhelming at times, but it adds more play time to the game as well as give some pretty cool rewards.
Crucible is the competitive multi-player mode for Destiny. The Taken King has added a couple new modes as well as maps. Rift is a capture and deliver mode that relies on you to work as a team to capture the rift and ignite it at your enemies’ spawn point. Mayhem mode is a mode where all abilities cooldowns are greatly reduced. This means that you get more grenades, more melees, and your Super recharges faster. Things can get pretty crazy in this mode. Another mode added is Zone Control. This differs from regular control with controlling the points matters over kills. In the previous control mode(which is still available) Kills matter a lot and if your team gets enough kills they don’t have to worry about capturing and controlling the points. Last point for Crucible is the Mercy rule. This will end the match if one team is winning by a huge lead. This will keep players from struggling in a match where people keep quitting on their team and they are stuck losing till the final point is scored or time runs out.
End game content is very important to a game like Destiny. Quests help with that, but the Raid is another huge piece of End Game Content that keeps gamers playing Destiny each and every week. The raid takes place where the main story ends. It takes place on the Dreadnaught and consists of 4 different Boss Fights, 2 mechanic driven missions, a few jumping puzzles and a small maze to get through. Overall The King’s Fall Raid is fun and is designed to make your fireteam work together. This requires you to have a team of 6 players. There is a normal mode that suggests a Light Level of 290 and a Hard Mode that suggests a Light Level of 310. I have found the Hard Mode to be playable around 303-305. The last fight with Oryx is where a light level of 309-311 would be required for most people to play through it without tons of difficulties. They have announced there will be challenge modes with this raid. The raid is the best way to get high level gear. Normal Mode drops 300-310 light level gear and Hard Mode drops 310-320 light level gear.
Overall I feel like Destiny: The Taken King is a huge improvement to Destiny. $60 gets you all of Year One and The Taken King content. It is hard to beat that value if you haven’t picked it up. They continue to support the game with patches, bug fixes, special events, and promises of more to come. This review only scratches the surface of what Destiny: The Taken King has to offer. If you are looking for a game to sink a lot of time into then I would suggest picking up Destiny: The Taken King.