Destiny has been plagued with backlash, horrid fan complaints, and constant refreshing. The Taken King finally shows what Bungie is capable with this game, and hopefully this continues.
The Taken King’s designs are based on the reversals of mistakes made by Bungie and its first couple of expansions. The Taken King shows off its new loot system, new mechanics, mission design, and new subclasses.
The Taken King is based on Destiny 2.0, with everything being based on this beneficial system that improves the game’s general quality, fun, and longevity. Destiny 2.0 was launched before The Taken King, so it gave players plenty of time to get used to the new system. The new expansion isn’t affected at all by the new system, or riddled with lop-sided loot systems. The Taken King makes it clear how the past 2 expansions failed their fans, and you immediately see the changes.
The best thing The Taken King does is change the general gameplay. The Taken are a new breed of ‘enemies’ that are ghost like silhouettes of current enemies in the game, but they behave in totally different ways. Thrall teleport side to side, vandals use bubble shields similar to Titans, goblins link up to nearby foes to make them impenetrable, and phalanxes charge towards you with their shields often trying to push you off platforms.
The majority of the boss fights don’t put you up against a bullet bouncing machine. Bungie actually puts you up against the environment as you have to avoid hazards, pits, and other things just trying to drain your light. The new subclasses all feature super’s that are better in groups. The Nightstalker lets you pin enemies, Stormcaller lets you deal major damage to grouped enemies, and Sunbreaker allows you to create power zones.
The Taken King’s story is nothing special, but it’s a major improvement to what we have seen so far. It expands the world that players have already run through, adds an actual backstory, and lets you get personal with the vendors. One thing I absolutely loved was the hilarious and sarcastic dialogue. This gave a good refresher to the entire game since we finally have what we have been asking for: a story and knowing who the heck everybody is! I have a new found love for the hunter mentor, Cayde-6.
Bungie also improved a lot with their mission design. Destiny has always been a repetitive, dry grind fest if you wanted anything worth the time. The Taken King missions give you the best missions so far with some platforming, surprise boss fights, and environmental puzzles with firefight going on in the background. In order to get anything enjoyable, you actually need to complete a mission for it. To unlock the new subclasses and their respective supers, you need to beat the quest for it. Within that quest is a walkthrough on how to work each new super which allows you to get familiar with the new subclass. It’s a neat and enjoyable feature.
Missions can now be tracked thanks to Destiny 2.0. Once you run through all the new base content, you can dig deeper into the new expansion that has you explore new areas. Most of these work in a step-based mission guideline where there can be up to 10 steps, or 10 individual missions. This allows you to have some time to level up and get better gear for the end game, high level content.
Many of the quests line you up to take on Destiny’s new territory, the Dreadnaught. The hive spaceship contains several different areas that include the Court of Oryx, which is a new public boss arena. It feels a lot bigger than it is, but that’s because there are a lot of hidden areas. I don’t even think I have found them all yet.
The Dreadnaught has a bunch of hidden items, chests that aren’t obnoxiously obvious, and interactive quests that make you face off against a wave of enemies. Regardless of how much time you spend in the game you will still feel like there is more to uncover. These unique things definitely add personality to the Dreadnaught that makes it stick out. All of the different planets in Destiny have always looked beautiful and unique, but they felt try and repetitive.
Destiny’s new progression system isn’t static like the previous. The Taken King introduces a longer, but more enjoyable, way of leveling up. Instead of just grabbing gear and watching your light level jump dramatically, you now need to rely on your gear. The better your gear, the better the drops. There is still the grind factor that everybody has a love/hate relationship, but it’s also Destiny. As much as this game is labeled a shooter, it is still an RPG.
The end game of The Taken King is rough, but still fair. This especially goes towards the King’s Fall, which is the new raid. The requirements alone are tough to reach, but the margin of error is virtually 0. It is the most challenging raid Destiny has given us yet.
I am still worries about the longevity of the content in The Taken King. It’s difficult to know if the quest log will stay as full as it is now a few months down the road. Bungie remains adamant that they will keep up with content, and I would like to believe them. Lately Bungie has been repeating missions and side quests, but recently some community members have found hidden rooms that have some of the best weapons in the game. It creates a surprise element for active players, and in turn it brings more players online to try and get these items.
Overall this is easily Destiny’s best expansion yet, and I still have yet to beat everything. If Bungie continues on this path, then Destiny can count on a long life span.
- Best expansion as of date
- Lots to do in-game
- New subclasses
- Still a grind-fest
- Expensive Price Point
- Hard to find players for events