Home | News | Reviews | Previews | Hardware
Destiny: The Taken King
Score: 86%
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Bungie Software
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 12 (Online Only)
Genre: First Person Shooter/RPG/Online

Taken Four? Not Exactly:
Congratulations, Guardians! You’ve survived Year 1 of Destiny. You upgraded your gear, met up with your fellow Guardians, and successfully driven away the darkness. That would be cause for celebration, but Year 2 is upon us now and it would seem that someone is out for revenge. Dust off those weapons Guardians, because we’re about to dive right back into the thick of it with Destiny: The Taken King.

For the Single Players Out There:
With The Taken King, Guardians will find that their Level Cap has increased yet again. The limit has now been set to 40, so players have a new goal to work towards. In addition, Bungie has made your Character Level separate from your Light Level and you can level up your Character Level by gaining experience points. Of course, with the increased limit comes new gear for you to use. Your Light Level still comes from the quality of your gear, but it is now comprised of both your Attack and Defense stats. The higher your Light score, the higher your damage output and also the better your defense is. Keep your items up to date to avoid having trouble with the stronger enemies.

Campaign lovers, this one is for you. The Taken King continues the story introduced in The Dark Below DLC. Crota is dead thanks to your efforts, but now his father Oryx has awoken. Your job is to figure out how to stop him, and trust me, it’ll take some effort to put this guy down. With Oryx up and about, players now have access to some new environments to play out the story. The Dreadnaught is Oryx’s awesome ship which is more like its own planet and located in the rings of Saturn. The ship is huge and much of the story takes place here as players explore the ship, setting up a waypoint for the Tower reinforcements to land. Phobos is a small little rock located in Mars that the player will need to access for information on Oryx. Between and during missions, you’ll mostly be in contact with the class leaders in the Tower, as well as Eris Morn. They’ll be your guides as you work towards taking down Oryx. They’ve even got some nifty upgrades to help you out, but more on that later.

The Taken King introduces a new event type for players to sink their guns into. With Oryx out for revenge against those who killed his son, he has to have his own force to fight with, right? Enter the Taken. The Taken are comprised of the different enemy classes such as Fallen and Cabal that you’ve come across. The difference is that Oryx now controls their will and has them fight for him. You’ll be able to receive new quests from the class leaders and also be able to do new Patrol events to stop Taken forces from having their way across the universe, courtesy of Petra Venj at the Vestian Outpost. Completing these side events for Petra will net you some Queen’s Wrath points so you can purchase some of the equipment and items she’s got up for grabs, as well as earn some much needed experience to level up. You’ll be able to track her quests from the Quests tab in the Options Menu. A noteworthy update regarding quests is that you are now able to track them and quickly check them with a quick press of your track pad. You’re also able to track bounties, and I’m sure many players will use this feature to keep track of all the bounties they’ve got since you can now accept a maximum of 16 at once. With the update comes the ability to turn in bounties wherever you are. Gone are the days where you’d have to fly all the way back to the Tower to turn in a bounty! Just keep in mind that you can only track 4 bounties, so prioritize the ones you’d like to finish quickly.

Subclass Updates:
Remember when I mentioned that you’d be getting some nifty upgrades? Those upgrades come in the form of power-ups. It’s time to fill up that empty node for Subclasses with a new Subclass for each Class. Hunters gain access to the Nightstalker subclass and unlock the Shadowshot ability. This ability allows the Hunter to forge a bow from void energy and shoot an enemy, creating a tether to the void which suppresses and weakens enemies close to the tether. Warlocks unlock the Stormcaller subclass and they are granted the ability Stormtrance. This allows Warlocks to shoot Arc Lightning from their fingertips, devastating the enemies in their paths. Titans unlock the Sunbreaker subclass, granting them the Hammer of Sol super ability. The Hammer of Sol is a powerful weapon which Titans may use to carve a path through enemy resistance. Unlocking and mastering your new abilities will make your journey to defeat Oryx much smoother and more manageable. I’m sure we all need a new Subclass to max out anyway.

So Much for the Ruined King:
While you’re running around with your new abilities, you’ll need somewhere to test them out. Story missions are fine for that, but the real fun begins with the new Raid mission. The Taken King gives players access to the new King’s Fall Raid mission. King’s Fall comes packing a pretty hefty level requirement which is set at 42. That’s a bit intimidating, but the reward is well worth the risk. Victory will net you some pretty sweet new King’s Fall weapons and gear. I highly recommend that you and your team be well prepared because this Raid is anything but a walk in the park. If you’re not at the top of your game, you’ll quickly find that it is pretty easy to be taken down in this mission. If you’re into the more casual missions, The Taken King also boasts four new Strike missions for players like myself. The mission Echo Chamber is a PlayStation exclusive (Sorry Xbox fans) mission located on Venus. Fallen S.A.B.E.R. is located on the Cosmodrome, while Shield Brothers and Sunless Cell can be tackled on the Dreadnaught. These three missions are available on all platforms and Echo Chamber will only be exclusive until 2016. I think by then most people will be done with the Strikes, though.

Here's Your Crucible Fix:
Worry not, Crucible fans, you have not been forgotten. The Taken King introduces a total of eight new maps to the rotation for PvP fans to learn and adapt to. That’s a pretty big map selection for DLC, although I’m sure most of you will say it’s well deserved and I do agree. Be on the lookout for the new maps The Drifter, Memento, Vertigo, Bannerfall, The Dungeons, Crossroads, Frontier and Sector 618 as you’re making your rounds cleaning up noobs in the Crucible. A new experience is always welcome and I’m sure all the Crucible veterans will gladly welcome these eight maps with open arms. You’ll be switching from wide open maps perfect for the sniper pros and smaller maps which will appeal to the close quarters fans, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Final Verdict:
Honestly, I really believe Bungie has done a fantastic job with this batch of DLC. From the wide array of fixes to all the content offered with The Taken King, I believe every Destiny player will find something they can enjoy. Even though these changes may be late, this update really shows that Bungie has been listening to fans and sincerely wishes to improve their game. Newcomers and veterans alike will be able to experience Destiny the way it should have been on launch and as I always say, "better late than never." Hopefully you’ll be willing to give the game another chance for redemption. See you starside, Guardians.

-SS-54, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ren Plummer

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox One Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 4 - Escape Plan Bravo Microsoft Xbox One Destiny: The Taken King

This site best viewed in Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Firefox.