Destiny: Take Two
Ah Destiny, it has been strange year for you and me. I remember writing my first ever article for RCM about your playable Alpha back in June of 2014. I remember the excitement and hope I had for the future adventures I was going to have playing you, and delving into a future apocalyptic world where I would wield weapons and have abilities so technologically advanced that it was considered magic- space magic. But we all know now how it turned out. You were still a fun game to me and many others who purchased you, but the great promises you made were not totally fulfilled. Now, after a year and two expansion packs, you are in Year Two of the ten year plan that Bungie has for you. Now The Taken King has come.

Let us first talk about the changes and additions to Destiny that have come which do not require the purchase of The Taken King expansion. First big change is to how your level, gear, and weapons now affect your performance in the game. The old way was that your gear would have “light†stat that would increase your level and thus dictate how powerful you were. The new system splits the “light†stat and your level. The max level you can currently achieve is 40. The “light†stat itself now is a measure of how powerful your gear and weapons are in total. In the end to me it is just six of one and a half of a dozen of the other.

The menu screen now has an additional tab where you keep track of the quest and daily bounties. Also, you do not have to return to the Bounty givers to turn in said bounties. Once they are complete, you may simply click on them to turn them in. It is nice not having to waste loading times to just to turn in a single bounty anymore. The questing system, though, is a very welcomed addition which I believe would had alleviated some of the narrative problems Destiny had when it first released. The quest system greatly helps in directing what to do next story wise and what activities you can do after completing the different storylines in the game. Also Bungie has expanded the storage slots for many of the games items.

Of course I cannot forgot to mention Nathan North replacing Peter Dinklage as the voice of your flying robot companion. I understand the reasoning behind the change. Having the voice of your companion suddenly changing between doing the old missions and activities to the new one could be off putting, but Bungie has a much greater chance of having Mr. North record new lines than they ever did with Mr. Dinklage.

Now for The Taken King expansion itself. Bungie has learned a lot from their previous mistakes with Destiny. The new missions and group activities are greatly improved on nearly all fronts from the original game. The missions actually have some variety this time around. The Strikes (the dungeons of the Destiny universe) are not monotonous as they once were. The types of enemies you may encounter during the Strike can and will change with multiple run-throughs. Also, the boss fights are no longer the slog fest that plagued the original Destiny. Bungie took note of people’s enjoyment of the raid mechanics and have placed some of them into the new Strikes. I am very glad they did this. The old way was mind numbing with the bosses just soaking up bullets and explosion as your team sat behind cover.

As for the story missions, they are much better executed. The plot is better and presented a whole lot better, but that is not all hard considering the bar was very low begin with. Having the major characters of the Destiny universe converse with you throughout your adventures helps bring some well needed life into the game.

God Bless you Nathan Fillion, you robotic bastard

A major sticking point for me though, is the lore of the Destiny universe is still stuck outside the game. The only way to see it is on Bungie’s website, and you can only read the “Grimoire cards†you have discovered (doing different missions, finding items, or killing things). There is some great stuff in these “cards†and Bungie still has not figure out how to incorporate into their game.

Good news is there is plenty to do after “beating†the Taken King. Several more mini plot lines open up. Although these missions do sometimes reuse the older content as their set piece, they do provide a nice means of gearing up your character for the more difficult content the game has. You can also continue exploring the Taken King’s Dreadnought. The Dreadnought holds a lot of secrets to discover. Certain high level enemies will drop keys that will open specific chests hidden throughout the Dreadnought. So exploring for the sake of exploring can lead you to cool loot.

Sadly I cannot really comment on the PvP section of the new expansion. I have almost entirely focused on playing the PvE side of the game and have only played PvP side once or twice since the new release. So I have no opinion to offer about the new game mode or maps introduced this expansion.

Now is all this new content for Destiny actually worth the cost of admission? Well, as with all things in life, it depends on what you value. Were you on the fence on trying Destiny? Give it a shot. You can get the Legends Edition which includes all the expansions and current content for $60. For those who already have the base game and the two other expansions? $40 is kind of steep for the content we have seen so far, but if you already bought the game, the two expansions, and one year of the online services for either Xbox or Playstation, you have already spent close to $150 for playing the game. For me, Destiny has started to show promise again. Hopefully Bungie can continue to recognize when they make mistakes and correct them.
Comment thread »
No comments!