WHAT UP INTERNET?!
As frequenters of this blog know, I’ve been critical of changes implemented to the world of Destiny throughout its inaugural year-but there’s no doubt all the criticism comes from a place of love. At its core, Destiny is a shooter with damn-near perfect mechanics, and this coupled with developer Bungie’s outstanding pedigree has kept me coming back despite changes I’ve “learned to live with.” I, like millions of others spent 2/3 of Destiny’s original price tag on The Taken King. Now that I’ve had a solid two weeks to immerse myself in all The Taken King has to offer, I thought I’d hit y’all with a quick review of the content.
The Taken King brought with it a wealth of changes to the world of Destiny including new weapons and armor, as well as three new strikes, a new raid, several new story missions and side quests and new multiplayer maps. If you’ve played Destiny with any regularity over the past year and have tackled everything offered in the base game and the first two expansions, the day TTK launched felt as if the world had increased exponentially, as the number of tasks needing to be accomplished felt substantial-a welcome change for many of the Destiny faithful.
The wealth of changes to the world felt odd at first-the introduction of Legendary Marks as the main source of currency, the consolidation of Plasteel Plating, Hardonic Essence and Sapphire Wire into the generic Armor materials, the inclusion of Class items and Ghosts into your overall defensive rating, the changes to Light and how the impact your overall ratings-but seem to have simplified the economy of the game and the process for figuring out how to make your Guardian as lethal as possible. Eliminating the division between currencies (PvE vs PvP) only makes things easier for players, even if Legendary Marks are harder to come by and are used for essentially everything. Additionally, simplifying both types of bounties (Vanguard and Crucible) and increasing the number of bounties players can carry was a welcome change.
Perhaps the most unexpected improvement to Destiny introduced by the TTK was the drastically improved storytelling. For the first time since the game’s inception, players are given tasks by NPCs with distinct personalities-a staple of the MMO/RPG genre which Destiny was sorely lacking from the beginning. The use of voiceovers as the primary source of information introduced during The Dark Below continues here to great success, and Guardians are given clear-cut objectives for each mission. While there are still several “lol” moments (Eris screaming “Fingertips on the surface of my mind!” during the first mission-looking at you) littered throughout the course of missions and strikes, players finally feel as if they’re participating in a world with distinct characters-a necessity for any story-driven game, which Destiny surely aims to become…one day.
While I’ve never been enthralled with the Crucible, TTK has introduced several new maps and game modes for those who crave PvP. “Rift” and “Mayhem” are the two new game types, and both provide a unique twist on the classic death-match/team-based objective types included in Year-One Destiny. “Rift” requires a team to carry a ball of energy (for those who require further explanation, this is similar to an Oddball/Flag/Bomb) to the opposing team’s base and score, with the caveat the ball cannot be passed from one teammate to another. “Mayhem” is both a singles and team-based game type where Super cool down time is reduced significantly, meaning the tide of battle can shift quickly and substantially with a well-timed use. These two game types coupled with brand-new multiplayer maps which appear to be designed to appeal to all game-types ensure those who crave Lord Shaxx’s approval (Crucible NPC for you Kinder-Guardians) will certainly find themselves at home in TTK.
While the value of content included in The Taken King is certainly up for debate (I for one don’t feel the $40 price tag is justified based on content alone), the legions of Guardians who have spent countless hours raiding and completing bounties will certainly welcome the changes implemented by TTK…hopefully. Although I’ve always had a bit of a “love/hate” relationship with Destiny, I for one cannot wait to see what changes will come down the line. Until next time, Bros!
*All pictures stolen from Gameinformer