- + More focus on the story
- + Finally earn XP to level up
- - Expensive for seasoned players
Start Replay: “Back With A Bang”
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Damn you, Destiny. After leaving you last year due to boredom and lack of content, you’ve come back into my life and now I’m addicted. Again.
When Bungie launched Destiny in 2014 I couldn’t stop playing it. Despite having a number of games to review I managed to clock over two days of play time within a week; that’s more than 52 hours. Returning has always been at the back of my mind, however, there’s never been enough reason to – until now.
Those who have already played the main campaign will know how thin the story is. There’s hardly anything for players to sink their teeth into, and aside from sparse moments of dialogue explaining one or two events, the meat on its undoubtedly thick bones was none existent. That said, The Taken King is a wholesome expansion full of tasks to complete and secrets to discover. It almost feels like everything up to now should’ve been included in the beginning, but better late than never, I suppose.
It’s not just the DLC that’s exciting though, the recent patch notes change the game in an incremental way. Instead of needing Light to increase your character level, experience can be earned through each and every task you complete. Plus there’s a whole host of amendments to controls, balancing weapon power and tweaking finer elements. The current level cap is 40, but beyond that your light level can be increased through collecting and upgrading your gear, which will enable you to take on tougher enemies and challenges over time.
It was initially hard to realise, but Destiny essentially started as an incomplete product. Having content tapered over months was lacklustre and the fact that its most substantial add-on has taken a year is kind of a joke. Regardless, now the game is in its second year I couldn’t be happier about filling the boots of a Guardian again, and I dare I say it, I’m actually enjoying myself more than I thought I would be.
My biggest sticking point initially was having to grind endlessly in order to progress, as initial enjoyment was suddenly hit by hours upon hours of repeating certain segments to get better gear and level up. It was sickening, but because the gameplay felt solid and the world was interesting it was still addictive. With The Taken King introducing more cutscenes and substantial story content, Destiny feels like it’s gone from being paper-thin to something more tangible and worthy of my time.
If you’re a veteran player like myself that left via a lack of passion then I’d strongly suggest returning. Remember those little packages (Engrams) that would randomly generate after killing enemies and provide you with new weaponry or gear? Originally billed as unfair and frustrating, they’re now a lot more rewarding and appear at a much faster rate. No longer will you have to take advantage of a respawn point in order to farm them, and as a result you’ll be able to focus on the campaign.
I definitely envy newcomers. Not only do they get a much more refined experience, but they can pay a much more reasonable price and get every single piece of content in one pack. It costs £40 for The Taken King, and that doesn’t even include the two expansion packs released earlier in 2015. Though as a returning player it’s comforting to enter a more balanced and fair world, whilst teaming up with old friends and facing the changes together.
Brimming with content and extras, The Taken King expansion has brought Destiny to where it should’ve been at launch. The solid gameplay and fascinating design are now backed up by extensive dialogue and story quests. No longer will you feel the need to repeat certain missions, because there will always be something new around the corner. Even though the high price of entry will turn some people off, I believe there’s enough content to warrant its purchase. Grab your gear and get ready to enter one of the best first person shooters available today, because Bungie are on the path to success so far.
*Destiny: The Taken King was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Activision