destiny_story

Oryx wants revenge for the death of his son Crota, and Destiny players couldn’t be more excited. September 7th saw the release of a massive game changing patch that introduced a dizzying number of changes, ranging from quality of life fixes like in menu bounty collections to weapon tweaking and a brand new leveling system. Now The Taken King has dropped a week later to make full use of Bungie’s improvements and usher in Destiny’s year 2 content. Let’s examine the newest expansion to help you determine if it’s worth your $40.

Story:

One of Destiny’s biggest weaknesses was its story, and lazy (Lawsuit worthy) writing. The Taken King remedies that complaint with a bevy of cut scenes that actually give characters personality and introduce many of the inhabitants of the Tower in a manner that the original content never did. The story is receiving a fair amount of praise, but in comparison to the original content that shouldn’t be too surprising, though that shouldn’t diminish what Bungie has done. I will be avoiding the details of the story, specifically because the first cinematic is a major plot point that ignites that engaging story. Chances are you’ll get more story and character out of this expansion that the original disk’s content.

Missions/Enemies:

The September patch introduced new bounties and quests for all players, but the Taken King injects more missions than some people can handle. There are story missions, side quests, weekly multiplayer quests, faction specific assignments, new strikes and a brand new raid. With a daily/weekly refresh of missions to tackle this should certainly help players that felt the game had become too stagnant.  The new missions feel like the matter, even some of the smaller bounties have better explanations as to why they want you to do them.

The Taken King also introduces brand new enemy types. While they may look like reskinned versions of old enemies these “Taken” versions have unique abilities that make them far deadlier than their regular counterparts. For Example, Taken Captains fire out spheres of darkness that blind players, the already annoying Psions can now multiply if they’re not taken out quickly enough. These new enemies inject even more variety into the game and make players approach combat differently. The same old system of approaching combat doesn’t work against these guys, which amps up the intensity and makes the game a lot of fun to play again.

Equipment/Weapons & Subclasses:

The hunt begins anew! With a re-mapping of weapon and armor attack/defense numbers we can begin looting all over again. Old legendary weapons can now be replaced by rare weapons, everything has scaled to meet with the demands of stronger enemies and nothing could be better for kicking players back into Destiny. There is something just fun about gathering better weapons and armor, but Bungie wisely added options for improving your old Exotic gear (rarest items) to new levels of use and strength. Bungie also added use to old groups of equipment like class items which used to be solely cosmetic, now offer defensive stats and other attribute bonuses. This remapping has added meaning and use to items that many had waived off. To make matters even better Bungie has completely overhauled the system for distributing rewards, meaning that you’ll receive better loot more often and avoid repeat rewards.

Finally, players get to unlock the third subclass for their Guardian, which opens up a brand new way to play the game regardless of which type of Guardian you pick. The Warlock and Titan classes received two new offensive based subclasses and the Hunter class has gotten a defensive/support subclass. The Warlocks can channel their inner Darth Sidious and fire lightning from their hands, Titans can turn into Thor and hurl burning hammers (finally a ranged super) and Hunters use a void bow to tether enemies in one spot for easy destruction of the clustered enemies. The new subclasses also come with new melee attacks and grenades along with all the other expected buffs and boosters.

(Quick Note: The Taken King has added emotes which if you’ve ever wanted to see your Guardian do the Hammer Dance, well now you can see that, among others)

Multiplayer:

Due to the nature of weapon fixes and new reward systems multiplayer has never been better. Where Thorn (a special poisonous revolver) once terrorized the players of the Crucible, weapon fixes has made the majority of weapons a viable option in the Crucible. The addition of weekly multiplayer quests means that players who enjoy the multiplayer portion of the game now have access to a means of receiving higher level loot by completing the seven step weekly quests. New maps, better rewards, more balanced weapon options combined with a new game type (Rift) which plays like capture the flag. Multiplayer enthusiasts should be excited because The Crucible is now worth your time.

Negatives:

Now with anything there are bound to be negatives, some of them seemed avoidable but given the context of the business you can understand why certain choices were made. First off the price tag can come off as quite high, traditionally $20 would be expected but Bungie felt they added enough to warrant a higher price tag. As a standalone $40 is well worth the price of admission but including the price of the game and the other expansions, many people will have a hard time justifying the purchase. If you haven’t bought Destiny, now is the time because for $60 you get the game and all three expansions. Sadly Bungie/Activision felt that the people who have played the game since day one should pay the most. If you bought the game day 1, you dropped $60 then an additional $20 for the first expansion $20 for the next and now they’re asking for another $40. Bungie is charging their most loyal players a whopping total of $140, seems rather messed up to do that to your loyal players.

It would be easy to say, “Just don’t buy it then”. The problem is that with the release of the expansion certain aspects of the game are now locked off, as they require the expansion to access them. The weekly Nightfall Strike is inaccessible to players without The Taken King, the best weapons are unattainable without reaching the locked level cap. It’s hard not to buy the expansion when you’re taunted by the prospects of better loot and can’t access some of the missions you usually tackled to gather some of the better loot in the game. If you don’t buy it you’re going to be left behind.

Final Verdict:

It’s worth it. New players will get a full experience and so much content that they won’t get bored anytime soon. Players that got bored and stopped playing will find a new life in the game with all the added content. Loyal players I’m sure have already purchased the expansion but if they haven’t I’m sure they’ll buy it soon in order to keep up with their friends. Oryx is waiting Guardians.

Michael Gomez covers Gaming for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelGom3

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