Destiny: The Taken King Review
Destiny: The Taken King
Wow. What can I say? This game does have some flaws, but it fixed a lot of the problems Destiny had. The interface had a major overhaul, the story is more fleshed out, cut-scenes are used more to help deliver story, and the items are just as varied as ever. If you were hesitant to get the game because of what you heard, or quit because you gave up on the series, now is the time to get the Taken King.
As I mentioned, the interface has had a major overhaul. When Destiny first came out, they seemed to go with a lean interface that worked well with a thumb stick. However, in doing so, they left out key information. Most of that has been fixed since the initial release. You can see all your faction reputations. You can see your currently active quest chains, you can trade in bounties on the fly. Accidentally deleting your armor is a thing of the past. They really heard the complaints on their UI and gave it a good fine-tuning. However, there is one huge flaw they have yet to overcome, and I honestly don't think they will: The system for viewing Grimoire Cards. I want to read them, in-game, while waiting for people. Why do I need a phone app or laptop to do that? I can understand it for complexities like managing your inventory across all your banks and characters on the fly (which is amazing and also introduced mid-cycle), but to read a half-paragraph of text? Seems silly to me. They have their reasons though, I just hope they are good ones. In one of the aforementioned UI tweaks, they added a "Quests" tab. They use that tab mainly as a tool for the players to keep track of the progression in the story. Which brings me to...
The Story. Arguably, the biggest problem of Year 1 (The term given by Bungie for Destiny, The Dark Below DLC, and The House of Wolves DLC) was the lack of tangible story. You got tidbits if you wanted, but it was hard to decipher anything below the largest of world events. Not true in The Taken King. In TTK, everything is managed in quest lines that tell you when to do what mission and where. While there is a maximum number of quest lines you can have active at a time, you will have a hard time actually hitting that. And, if you do, you can abandon some and pick them up later at the brilliant little kiosk. Also, remember Dinklebot, your sidekick voiced by Peter Dinklage? Well, Dinklebot is gone. Long live the Nolandroid! Nolan North is now your conscience, and in my opion sounds a lot like Baymax from Big Hero 6. Personally, I love it. It did take a little getting used to though. And did I mention they had North do all of the Ghost's lines? All of them. Even things from Year 1. This is great, because it was a big undertaking and adds value to the game. The most recent story revolves around the Taken King and the Dreadnaught. Actually going into the Dreadnaught though. Ugh. Fantastic. Don't even get me started on the Dreadnaught, because I'm trying to keep this more as a short read and less of a novel.
Well... I'll talk a little about the Dreadnaught, but mostly about the items. There are several runes, keys, and other do-dads that you get will exploring the King's creepy flagship. My favorite is the rune system they use for the Court of Oryx, a public PvE event in the bowels of the ship (see above photo). There are three levels: Reciprocal, Stolen, and Antiquated. Those are in order of easiest to hardest. You can use them at any time, given you have them charged (and aren't on cooldown, but that's barely worth mentioning). How do you charge them? You have to complete several of the level below it. Reciprocals simply work, but Stolen need victorious tier 1 battles, and Antiquated need victorious tier 2 battles. That normally sounds like a pain, but it works well because you get into a groove with the people you are fighting with, which is SUPER important for the tier 3 Court of Oryx. Seriously. I've tried 4 times now. Only succeed once. And they only take about 5 minutes, so they are super fun to get a fireteam (or hopefully 2-3 fireteams for the highest tier) and play for 30-45 minutes at a time.
Overall, if you gave up on the series, or you just haven't gotten it yet, this is the game you want to play. This is the game that should have been released a year ago. There is a large end-game, lots of things to do until that point, and a recognizable story line that you would expect from the creators of Halo. For those of you that really enjoy ratings,
Score 4 out of 5
Good show Bungie, I can't wait for the next DLC.