Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4
Reviewed on: PS4
Release Date: 18 September 2015
Disclaimer: This review is based on the main mechanics and story of The Taken King as the Raid has not launched yet and will be covered in a separate article.
Destiny has been out for just over a year now and managed to split the Internet in half. There were a range of problems such as the need to grind for gear and materials, a complicated level system and a shallow story but conversely there was some truly amazing gameplay and multiplayer that has built up a massive number of devout Destiny fans.
Bungie released two sets of DLC (The Dark Below and House of Wolves) which added some extra content and increased the character level cap but didn’t make any major changes to the base game. Fast forward to year two and the launch of The Taken King and you will be glad to know that Bungie have listened to fans and fixed many of the issues.
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The story in The Taken King (TTK) follows on from the House of Wolves DLC and focuses on Oryx, the father of Crota, in his quest to avenge his son’s death. In case you forgot you were the one responsible for killing Crota and will now have to face the consequences. It introduces a new game area called The Dreadnaught (Oryx’s massive alien spaceship) as well as a new enemy The Taken (enhanced versions of existing enemy races).
The first 30 minutes of TTK have more story than the whole of Destiny up to this point. The difference couldn’t be more pronounced. The cutscenes deliver an impressive amount of drama with far more character dialog from characters who are actually interesting i.e. Cayde-6, voiced by Nathan Fillion, who delivers a great performance and some sure-to-be-infamous one liners.
The Taken King also delivers some of the most fun that I have had in Destiny to date, the pinnacle of which was the Warlock Stormcaller subclass quest. The key to this quest is something that rolls across the entire game – the soundtrack. Powerful and emotive it adds tension to every mission. Couple that with the superb sound effects and you get one of the most rewarding gaming audio experiences around.
There is loads of content in TTK thanks to the introduction of Quests which provides a near endless stream of missions for you to embark on as well as the new Strike maps and new Crucible modes.
The new story is great, however the biggest factor in TTK is the introduction of new weapons, simplified currency and experience-based levelling. TTK brings with it a new subclass for each character class (Stormcaller, Sunbreaker and Nightstalker) which bring a bucket full of freshness to each class.
A whole new set of exotic armour and weapons are now available and more powerful than anything you may have earned in year one. Each piece of gear goes towards your overall Light Level which dictates the damage that you deal. This light level is now separate from your experience level (now increased to level 40 cap) which is great as previously they were annoyingly intertwined.
Also there are swords now…
If you are a fan of Destiny then you should already have a copy of TTK (why are you still reading this? Go play…). If you played Destiny but weren’t blown away then this may be the reason you need to get back in the game. There are loads of small tweak and changes that have been made to the game that improve the overall experience. Overall I think Bungie have done a great job with The Taken King in delivering an exciting and ultimately fun experience to fans.