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October 21, 2015

Video Game Review – Destiny: The Taken King

by Joseph Benton

September 15 kicked off the long awaited expansion to the Destiny series, the receiver of 180 awards and nominations in 2014, and 2015 winner of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Games Award for Persistent Game, Game Design, and Multiplayer.

The game is a ten year-long experience that will take you through a vast and ever-expanding universe that has secrets hidden in every nook and cranny. Destiny The Taken King features a new story, new powers, and a new feel. Despite the controversy and lack of a story in what has come to be known as “Year 1 of Destiny”, The Taken King takes it’s rather jumbled and confusing predecessor by the reigns and steers it in the proper course. Essentially taking the template of the story itself and re-envisioning it in a way that flows beautifully from one intriguing mission to the next.

If you want to further immerse yourself in the universe of Destiny  you’ll have to go online and read Grimoire Cards. These cards contain stories and passages from the game that you obtain from defeating bosses or finding dead ghosts that are hidden away in alcoves that take some maneuvering to get to. With the arrival of The Taken King, a series of verses regarding an ancient enemy was released called The Books of Sorrow. These passages give light to the lore of the darkness, enhancing your experience and allowing you to look at things within the game and imagine what it could mean. The whole point of the game is to take you on a journey that never truly ends. In ten years you look back and will be able to say “So that’s where they were taking this story line” or “So that’s what we actually are” and be astonished.

I was able to obtain a second hand opinion of the game from fellow classmate Austin Addison in regards to his overall experience with both the game and the community surrounding it.

So tell me about the first time you entered the ever-expanding world of Destiny. What was your initial reaction?

“Well, I joined the game late during its first year of release, not obtaining a copy until halfway through. But, I was immediately enthralled by the game play, always wanting to know why this was that and why that was this. I initially thought this would have been a cut and dry story that I would be able to put down as soon as I was done with it, but I just couldn’t get enough.”

What did you think of the community?

“The community is very difficult to judge. You could either find a huge gathering of really fun people to play with that have patience that seems unending and are lighthearted. Or, you will find the bunch that enjoy screaming into their headsets with their high voices and/or annoying complaints from those who simply aren’t good at the game. But, overall the community within Destiny is great, everybody wants to help you further your character to greater heights.”

As you know there are many activities within the game, from six man raids, to the main story, to three man strikes, to the Crucible. Explain these as best you can.

“Oh man, well.. I suppose I should start with what I do the most then, yeah? Alright, so, the Crucible. A player vs. player arena where everything you’ve worked for matters. From the extensive quests to obtain your exotic weaponry to hours upon hours of story progression to hone your own skills. It is rather merciless. Game modes range from Control, a six vs. six objective based game mode, to Rumble, where you are alone and everybody is out to get you, and you them. I don’t recommend it for people who aren’t into the whole aspect of not winning all the time or being the most powerful thing in the game.”

Yes, the Crucible, great place. And the rest?

“Raids, an ever challenging, frustrating, tedious, teamwork based mission essentially to take down a very strong boss. Think of the bosses at the end of Mario, or Rayman. They sucked, and they took hours. But they always gave you rewards right? Well, not these raid bosses. They don’t care how long you’ve spent doing the Raid, how many times you failed, how many times you quit. They’ll give you what they feel you deserved, often not anything you feel you deserve whilst the rest of your team get exotics or legendary items that you’ve been vying for since the dawn of the game. But, this was year one.”

What do you mean by that? Is year two any different?

“What I mean is that the reward system has been ‘fixed’. You actually have a higher chance of obtaining gear. Compared to a loot drop percentage of 1 out of 500 from year one to a loot drop percentage of 1 out of 75. So yes, year two is vastly different.”

That’s fair. What do you think of the new subclasses?

“They’re really interesting. You know, you get to wield a hammer engulfed in fire as if you were Thor as a Titan, or channel lightning as a Warlock, or shoot a bow that disintegrates and tethers enemies as a Hunter. I think that in doing this, Bungie was able to bring something fresh to the game that nobody really imagined would happen.”

Rate this game and give us your favorite quote.

“I would say it’s a 8/10. Reason why being the lack of the Hereafter in my inventory. I want that weapon. Like, now. But no really, this game has just about everything you could want in an MMORPG except for trading. So, yeah. Favorite quote? Probably, ‘Be ever watchful Guardians, the darkness never satiates its hunger for the light’ as said by the speaker.”

Destiny: The Taken King: a game that is ever expanding and drawing in a blossoming community full of the good, the bad, and the rather obnoxious.

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