Destiny: The Taken King Expansion
Game review on Xbox One
David Hull / Thu 19th Nov 2015
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OVERVIEW Initially, a large number of gamers were disappointed after playing Destiny due to delivering a poor storyline. However after its previous failings of delivering next to nothing of a storyline in their preceding expansions, The Taken King is here to ease our woes.
The Taken King's narrative is an improvement over the previous instalments. Following Crota's death at the hands of the Guardians, his father Oryx arrives unexpectedly in an enormous Dreadnaught.
Now, on a zealous rampage, Oryx seeks revenge for his son and builds an army of corrupted foes to defeat the Guardians. The story is more coherent, focused and has a flair that's been missing since the days of Halo.
Taken King's cutscenes give players insight into the charismatic characters of Destiny; with humorous and quippy monologues, players are more informed of what's actually going on behind the red tape.
One of Destiny's biggest strengths has always been its gameplay and The Taken King is no exception. Three new subclasses have been introduced alongside new weapons and armour, composing of unique and formidable abilities. Whilst some new abilities feel overpowered - such as Stormtrance for Warlocks; they don't feel any more dominant than the previous subclasses.
Another newish feature is an enemy race called The Taken, which is a possessed version of the current enemies - not particularly an innovative move from Bungie. Difficult and obnoxious, The Taken can be very frustrating additions to an already crowded environment.
Anyone who has played Destiny knows that recycled content is fairly common. The Taken King has made a strong effort to rectify this but hasn't been entirely successful.
For example, the mission "Lost to Light" is almost identical to the mission "The Wakening" from the first expansion pack The Dark Below, but with a few different mechanics to open doors.
The Taken enemies are also not entirely new. The Taken consist of pre-existing races, Fallen, Hive, Vex and Cabal, but with glowing spectral skin. In combat the Taken feel different, but visually it's hard to forget that you're just fighting the same enemies dyed in another colour...
Bungie's effort to deliver a sublime audio experience never ceases to fail in each of their expansions. With realistic space-themed sounds, weapon effects and alien war crys; there's nothing that seems out of place in this unique era that Destiny presents.
Special mentions go to the talented cast for The Taken King. Nathan Fillion (Halo 3, Halo 5: Guardians, Guardians of the Galaxy) assumes the role of EXO Cayde-6 and Nolan North (Assassin's Creed series, Uncharted, Deadpool) takes over from Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as the Ghost companion, after Peter was criticised for delivering a fairly flat performance.
Destiny has done quite well despite a partial amount of gamers departing because of the storyline. The Taken King is somewhat of a reboot for the franchise, hoping to engage with new fans and reconnect with year one players.
It does both these things well, however the future is unclear as to whether Bungie's potential ten year plan can continue this trend of improvement.
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