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Review: Destiny: The Taken King

Destiny, the first project of Activision and Bungie, wasn’t that successful at launch. Gamers complained that it was too short and there wasn’t much left to do once you reached the highest level. Grinding and upgrading gear wasn’t fun forever. Slowly, the game got better and better however thanks to great expansions as House of Wolves. Today, with the launch of The Taken King, Destiny finally is the MMO shooter we all wanted at launch. The Taken King isn’t just DLC, it’s a true expansion set in the Destiny universe.

The story

The Taken King refers to Oryx, a new and powerful enemy who seeks vengeance for the loss of his son. He wants to end humanity by sending over his corrupted ‘Taken’ forces. The Guardians are the only ones brave enough to try to stop him. Where others would run, the Guardians rise as humanity’s last hope. The story of the Taken King is a very brutal and action-packed story featuring devastating new enemies and unknown danger. It feels fresh and it really looks and plays like a new thing in the Destiny universe. You’re no longer going from planet to planet, you’re fighting evil at the home base, the gigantic ‘Dreadnaught’ ship.

Welcome to the Dreadnaught

This ship forms the main environment of this expansion. Some might think it’s a step backwards, going from several planets to just one ship but take note that the ship is huge. The ship isn’t bigger than planets of course but the playable area is by far the biggest one yet. Where only certain parts of planets were playable in the past, the entire Dreadnaught is open for exploration. You’ll spend most of your time searching for clues inside the detailed ship but you’ll also be forced to go outside from time to time. So most of your time will be spend on this ship. However, some of the more iconic environments are still playable in The Taken King but this wasn’t necessary if you ask us. It’s fun for the fans to see these environments return but the Dreadnaught is interesting enough without those.

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The taken army

Oryx has to power to use the darkness in his advantage, turning forces into corrupt slaves of the Taken King. During our first steps, we were witness of some enemies being trapped and swallowed by the darkness. The setting was very dark and even reminded us of Alien: Isolation. The fact that you’re running around in a dark ship filled with scary monsters and noises results in a rather thrilling experience. The real challenge started when the enemies attacked us however.

 

Destiny 2.0 is finally here

 

Since they are consumed by the darkness, they move with unnatural speed and are able to use a kind of teleportation. Fighting this type of enemy is intense and asks a lot of your reflexes and gun power. We played as a hunter and could count on stealth for some kills but it never was an easy task to complete. The new enemies truly are dangerous and bring a new challenge for the veteran Destiny players.

What about the multiplayer?

So the Taken King expansion is focused a lot on singleplayer but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on in the multiplayer. The expansion comes with some new maps, modes and subclasses. The Titan, Warlock and Hunter will all get a completely new subclass for you to discover. This in combination with some new modes and maps will definitely bring new players to the online battlegrounds of Destiny.

The first new mode is called ‘Rift’ and can best be compared to a Capture the Flag done backwards. The goal of this mode is to take the orb, the Rift, to the base of the enemy. If you’re able to drop it there and stay long enough for the explosion, you’ll gain a point. Rift-bearers can of course be shot down on their way to a base, resulting in a drop. The orb won’t respawn to a camp but will stay on the ground until somebody picks it up. It’s a fun Capture the Flag-like mode that a lot of Destiny players will enjoy for sure. Setting off the Rift with stylish special moves will get you some more points; so be prepared for stylish takedowns!

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The other new mode is called Mayhem and is a fan-demanded mode. Since the launch of the game, fans asked to play with their Super Abilities more and that’s exactly what Mayhem does. In this mode, players will get their Super Abilities every 30 seconds and even faster if you’re killing enough enemies. It’s a very chaotic but brilliant new mode.

New missions, new gear, new levels

Aside of the main story, the game also has a lot of new missions and gear. Missions are now being tracked using a handy logbook, like other MMOs, showing you the missions you currently accepted. A small update but a very crucial one for the players, thanks to this you’ll finally know what you have to do. There are a lot of new missions and the maximum level of your character has also increased.

Reaching this level is still rather easy and you get there pretty fast, so that’s something fans won’t like that much for sure. Once you reached this level however, you can still go on a lot of missions to gain better gear and weapons. Keep in mind that your collected gear in ‘older’ Destiny versions is worthless and you really need to collect the new and better gear of The Taken King in order to keep your street credit. Bungie really went all out when it comes to this gear and weapon updates so fans will keep going until the next expansion hits stores. 

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Don’t be afraid newcomer

Since the Taken King is such a big expansion it’s no surprise that a lot of newcomers will pick up Destiny in the future. To make sure they get the complete deal, a Legendary Edition is available in stores. This pack includes the original game and all its DLCs so far. Aside of this, newcomers will also be able to use some kind of boost to jump ahead in the multiplayer of the Taken King. So if you don’t want to play the original Destiny but want to jump straight into the action of The Taken King, that’s a possibility for sure. It’s a smart move since this will attract a lot of new players to the gorgeous big world of Destiny.

Conclusion:

The Taken King is far more than just an expansion; it really marks the start of Destiny 2.0. There’s a lot more to do and a lot more gear and weapons to collect. The solo story is very interesting and action-packed; it finally puts a face on the Guardians and their enemies. Aside of the story there’s a lot new stuff to do in the multiplayer as well with special new modes as Rift and Mayhem and new subclasses for your Guardians. The universe of Destiny got a lot bigger and more interesting thanks to this Taken King. Forget all the negativity, this is the Destiny we all hoped for when the game was first revealed.

9/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.