There’s no doubt that the core Destiny game felt like a work in progress when it initially launched in 2014, lacking majorly in one key area – the story. Bungie were clearly playing the long game though which has led to expansions and updates throughout the past year. Now, year two has begun with a massive patch that should give Destiny an overhaul in certain parts of the game to prepare it for the latest expansion – The Taken King.
Will this DLC be able to lure past players, like myself, back into Destiny’s arms whilst keeping a firm grip on those that never left? Yes it will; hold me tight Bungie and please don’t ever let me go again!
The Taken King expansion tells the tale (yay there’s a story) of a rather aggrieved monster going by the name of Oryx. It seems like us Guardians took down a very close family member of his and that didn’t go down well at all, in fact, now he wants to bring forth vengeance upon us. Long story short, Oryx, an ancient King, has ‘taken’ a shed load of enemies that we’ve already fought and took them as his army, whilst turning them into darker beasts than they already were.
Even the most die-hard Destiny fans longed for the inclusion of better storytelling and the only disappointment is the year-long wait. It’s above and beyond the main game’s pitiful offering thanks to plenty of cutscenes where the story can be followed and thoroughly enjoyed. I doubt I’ll be the only one singing Nathan Fillion’s praise but in the role he voices, Cayde-6 the Hunter, positively steals the show for the humour and charisma he brings to the table. Why we couldn’t have anything close to this on release, I’ll never fully understand.
This story adds nine new missions to proceedings across Earth, Venus, Moon, Mars and the brand new area the Rings of Saturn. Time-wise for the average gamer it’ll take around six hours to get through them all and that’s not bad on its own. Fortunately the party can continue on with the three extra Strikes and multiple Quests that are easier to keep track of after the update. And then there’s the Raid for the more hardcore Guardians who have the skills to survive the many tests it throws at them.
When it comes to fighting the Taken army, on paper it sounds lame that they are just corrupted versions of Hive or Cabal for example. Their mindset is different though, hence the offensive and defensive strategies are changed up. I wouldn’t have minded seeing a completely new enemy; however this is the next best offering.
Destiny would occasionally bore me, especially during regular quests whilst patrolling an area, but this time on the Rings of Saturn, on the Dreadnaught, it just feels better. The public events are crazier and the Court of Oryx section which is a sort of arena can be a great way to put your might to the test. Here you can summon a variety of boss-like enemies to take down with your Fireteam and any helpful Guardians passing by.
The Crucible isn’t left out either with the inclusion of a mode called Mayhem Clash which is basically a more chaotic Team Deathmatch due to recharge rates for abilities being increased. There’s also Rift which works similarly to Capture the Flag just with a spark instead of a flag and you need to take it to the enemies rift. I’m pretty sucky at the PvP nowadays but I still want to slam dunk the spark for victory one day… hopefully before Destiny 2.
Hold on; don’t stop reading just yet because there’s more. Each class has had the level cap raised to 40 and there’s a new subclass to be unlocked for each of them via a quest. And you know what that means? New special abilities! Warlocks will get an electrical storm, Hunters can craft a void bow and Titans wield a fiery hammer. I won’t lie; I bloody loved wielding the hammer like I was the lovechild of Thor and the Human Torch!
Although The Taken King expansion benefits greatly from the most recent update, it brings a great amount of quality content to the table itself. The whole experience feels more rewarding in regards to loot and levelling up. I was actually interested in the story of Oryx’s proposed revenge, so credit to Bungie for finally delivering what the fans wanted.
The Taken King is almost everything you could ask for in an expansion, until you see the price. Charging almost £40 for DLC is just crazy money when that’s what I paid for the full game in the first place, so I can only recommend that you buy the Legendary edition instead if you don’t already own any of the Destiny content. This way you’re getting three expansions and a full game for £54.99. Otherwise just wait for the sale and get an excellent piece of DLC for a more reasonable £20.