Review | Destiny: The Taken King
Destiny’s The Taken King: Destiny’s biggest expansion yet, and for the price they charge for it, it should be. Well, where do we begin? Let’s go over the new Taken enemies that appear throughout the planets and the Dreadnaught. These enemies were, well, you guessed it, taken from their original looking states and “upgraded” to this new dark, and evil look. Each enemy was taken from different parts of the universe (depending on where you encounter them in the main story). The mighty Oryx (the father of Crota… you know, the one you killed) has built up an army full of these Taken. The races vary between Fallen, Vex, and even Cabal and they multiply in an instant if you don’t kill them fast. They also have new abilities to fight you off with: the Cabal use their shields to push you away from them if you get too close, while the Vex form three orbs over themselves that track you and can kill you. Hive knights spit out three orbs of fire at you and can kill you with burn damage, and Fallen enemies didn’t really get a new ability, but do look cooler.
There are also story missions you have to clear in the beginning before any of this can happen (like always). You also get to set foot in the Dreadnaught (a new location); being the first guardian sounds scary to set foot in Oryx’s house, but it’s not as intimidating as you’d think. You also get a great view of Saturn from the Dreadnaught. Sadly you can’t go to Saturn and look around. The only bad thing about the Dreadnaught is that you can’t use your Sparrow inside, which means that it would take a while to get from one place to another without a vehicle.
Did you know there’s a new way to level up now? Now you have to kill enemies to level up to 40 and then you have to increase your armor defense by just getting lucky and finding better armor to increase your light level. Armor won’t tell you how much light it has on it anymore, you just have to keep finding better armor or infuse it with higher level armor. Sometimes it’s a pain trying to find new armor that’s higher than what you have on especially after you surpass the armor level the vendors are selling. You may have to just keep grinding on weekly strikes and hope you get something good. The new light limit is 310, but to perform the new raid you must have a light level of 290 or higher. Right now the light level cap feels perfect right where it’s at (until the hard version of the raid comes out). From light level 280 and up is a good place you should be in if you want to play the raid or Iron Banner. The same goes for your weapons and ghost as well. Yes, your ghost now has a defense level and can help you rank up your light level. This means you will also have to look for better ghosts as you play through the game now. Also, ghosts now can help you track down crafting materials like spirit blooms, spinmetals, and others whenever you’re on a specific planet that has those types of materials.
Bounties are streamlined compared to the original way you turned them in. Instead of turning them into the Bounty Board on Earth (or the Reef) you can turn them in via a menu where you are, but you still have to go to a Bounty Board to get more. Quests are now in Destiny as well; think of them as more exciting versions of bounties. You can access these quests from the Vanguards and vendors in the Tower. You can also collect an exotic quest, but it might take a while to do depending what it is. As a note, whichever character you choose first seems to get more quests and missions, so choose wisely when you’re making your first run through the new content.
Swords are finally in Destiny! You can choose only one of three swords offered (each class). You can choose to go for an arc, void, or a solar sword. The sword that you choose from there will also be the same element that you get as an exotic later after completing quests. Each sword has its own abilities and are useful against different types of enemies.
The Taken King’s raid (Kings Fall) reminds me a lot of the game’s first raid: the Vault of Glass. In this raid there is a lot of platforming and the combat was also very tricky in some places. There are some parts of Kings Fall where it feels like a puzzle. I personally liked it, it made the raid much more fun. The boss fight with Oryx at the end is pretty exciting though, and the best part of the raid. Enemies spawn in at every corner, and I ended up telling myself “Man I have to kill these guys and time everything perfectly if I want to finish off Oryx and not let my team down!”. This last, epic fight with Oryx made my heart beat faster and faster as I got closer to killing him. Communication is key, since every player counts and if someone does something wrong or dies, everyone may have to start over.
The Taken King also updates Destiny’s PvP mode, Crucible. There are new maps and two new types of crucible modes you can fight in Rift and Mayhem. In Rift you have to collect the spark in the middle of the map and run to the enemy’s side to score (kind of like American football in a way… your character does spike the spark like football player after all). On the other hand, Mayhem (my personal favorite) is a deathmatch where you get your super attack, grenades, and melee attack recharge faster than ever. Also ammo spawns in faster as well and yes that includes heavy ammo. This game mode is more fast-paced than the other game modes in Crucible and like it a lot.
Finally, the DLC does also include new exotic and regular armor, weapons, and your new abilities for Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters. The Taken King, still, is $40 and is still very expensive in my opinion for a DLC, but you do get a lot of content for it. If you’re really interested in Destiny then pick it up; there’s plenty to do until the next expansion.