Destiny: The Taken King Review

Christians should beware, there is a lot of conflicting information when it comes to the story in this game. It is a sci-fi based First Person Shooter (FPS) that seems at first not carry a lot of story or dialog in to the game. Then you start playing as a resurrected warrior who is also a source of light in a fallen galaxy and working for some benevolent alien life form called the “Traveler” who is the source of light (good). Even your powers that you unlock to fight the darkness comes from the “Light” which is a power system from which all your abilities stem. Your role seems to be one of good against the forces of evil as you battle the darkness and devastation from what the game refers to as the “Golden Age” of mankind. Sounds pretty straight forward, but there are some conflicting concerns as outlined in a popular YouTuber that describes how the Gamers might be the bad guys and not the NPC’s we fight. As Christians, some of the elements of the story hit close to home, I mean you are raised from the dead as a chosen being to fight the darkness and await the awakening of some being called the traveler? Also I find the enemies often called “The Fallen” tend to be rather evil in nature with little more told about them. There are other enemies in the game which also worship their deity called the “Dark Heart” whose sole purpose is to drain the “Traveler” and all mankind of there light. The one redeeming point of this is that being a Guardian means you use the power of light to destroy the darkness which is a nice concept.

Story

In Destiny: The Taken King expansion (which I want to mention are also the creators of Halo) you are known as Guardian of the last city on Earth. And they mean the one and only city left on earth, meaning most of the earth has been devastated and is not safe to live in. You are found dead, brought back to life and are able to wield crazy powers. These powers are based on Solar (fire), Void (gravity), and Arc (electricity) and now in the Taken King, all three classes can wield these powers.  Now the darkness that attempts to envelope our solar system after the traveler saved us, but now he can no longer fight. So he makes thousands of these small robots called “Ghosts” that go looking for the remains or soul (also unclear) of those worthy to be a Guardian. Yeah that is you and it is us playing as “Guardians” that can be the only ones who can wield powers and are entrusted to protect mankind and the Traveler from the forces of darkness.

Game World 

If you are a Halo fan or just want to enjoy an immersive and beautiful environment, this could be the game for you. You find yourself exploring the huge semi-open worlds going from lush jungles on Venus to massive deserts on Mars. You feel pretty epic as you speed around on a hovering space bike (speeder) and no matter how many times you think you have been there, it always seems like a new tunnel or hidden path opens up and you find new areas to explore.   Along the way the story seems to unfold with you as you level up and take on new enemies and tougher fights.

Game Play 

With that said, let’s cover classes! While choosing your class they all have subtle but unique enough differences that make there play styles differ. I mean it is a shooter so pick up a gun and go to town. But because they support different abilities and powers that play differently, there is a lot of options, weapons support those options also.  Each Class now has three sub-classes that change the powers they use, that means some enemies may be more susceptible to one set of your powers vice one of the other. For example, some enemies take extra void damage, so to make your attack effective, you need to not only select that sub-class but level it up to make it the most effective. This really only becomes critical if your goals include Raids.

Hunters are designed to be like a stealth or rogue type play with a focus on agility and mobility. They can be a Gunslinger (Solar) which supports the “Golden Gun” super, a very powerful, flaming magnum with a base magazine of three shots. The next sub-class is Bladedancer (Arc) that has a heavier focus on close combat with the “Arc Blade” super (which allows the player to quickly dart between and kill enemies) with a temporary invisibility option. The Taken King added the Void-based Nightstalker (Void) sub-class that includes a bow-like super called “Shadowshot” that tethers enemies together, limiting movement and preventing enemies from using abilities for a short time.

Warlocks are something like a space mage with focus on offensive abilities, recovery, and melee attacks that can reduce the cooldown time of its abilities. They start with Voidwalker (Void) sub-class and “Nova Bomb” as their first super which is an explosively powerful sphere of Void energy. Next, my favorite, is the Sunsinger (Solar) sub-class in which the abilities are based around the “Radiance” which allows the player to temporarily improve their statistics while replenishing  their grenades and melee abilities, or revive themselves if killed. The Taken King added the Stormcaller (Arc) sub-class that includes the super “Stormtrance”, which produces lightning bolts that chains between enemies.

Titans are basically the tanks of the game with a focus on withstanding large amounts of damage to allow close quarters combat. They start with Defender (Void) sub-class which offers the ability to generate a shield with its “Ward of Dawn” super. The shield can also provide temporary shelter or stats to other players that step within it. Next is Striker (Arc) sub-class which allows them to use “Fist of Havoc” which is a ground slamming attack that destroys all enemies in its radius. The Taken King added the Sunbreaker (Solar) sub-class, which features “Hammer of Sol”, creating a flaming hammer that can be thrown at enemies, or used for close-quarters combat.

PVP

I think this is the real heart of the game. Now you can easily get your light level up to 280+ while never doing any PvP in the game. It is not required by any means, so if you don’t like PvP don’t fret as there is no open world version of PvP as it is all based on selectable content and special events. But I really did like my time in the PvP system.  All the maps are well thought out and different which adds replay-ability to me. Now there are some balance issues still between classes which bothers me since the game has been out for over a year. I mean video games are a part of our lives and a major market, why is this is still an issue with class balance? Unless the goal is to make players unfairly overpowered and cater to one class over another leaving the rest of us to be cannon fodder. In most cases, there are weapons that give unfair advantages over others due to some unique power or skill, so everyone uses the same weapons. I think Bungie make some cool weapon with some sick skill on them, maybe it could have different stats in PvP? Maybe I am just really easy to kill and the 11 head shots I made with a hand cannon missed? With that said, I find myself quick to join events and give my best attempts at it and I am impressed it doesn’t seem like grinding if I do it an hour at a time.

Verdict

I chose to wait until this expansion before reviewing this game because to be honest, when I first played on original release, I felt it was mostly based on hype and didn’t really enjoy myself after the initial story was completed. Back then, you only had two of the powers based on what class you played so it is nice that you are not denied based on your chosen class. If you feel like you missed out or were left behind two years ago and now it is too late to get into this game, Don’t! When you buy this new version of the game (calling this an expansion is a bad description), you get all the previous expansion content.  So with one price you get it all!  That’s not all, there is more! The developers wanting to bring in new players, revamped the leveling system and how you increase your stats by using a modifier called “Light” which increases your gear making it better.

Let me leave you with this! The lore and story are shrouded in mystery and that steals from the fantasy based game. With that said, I find it funny how the story shows the near destruction of mankind and the last hope is a Guardian of the Light, yet some subtle twist of story or lore and now the good guys are seen as the enemy and the Darkness is justified in seeking its revenge on the Light! Ok, well that is not compelling and makes you question all the hours put into the game to get geared out? If you are looking for a solid FPS, that has amazing graphics and fun gameplay this is the game for you. Just be sure you are not a story or lore buff, and keep to the run and gun mentality and you will be fine.

Write a comment