Destiny: The Taken King (Video Game Review)

Activision and Bungie have announced the release of Destiny: The Taken King today, September 15th. First time players who are new to the series now have the chance to pick up The Taken King: Legendary Edition which comes with the base game Destiny, The Taken King, Expansion I: The Dark Below, and Expansion II: House of Wolves to give them everything they need to get started. Read on to learn more.

Destiny: The Taken King introduces players to a new enemy called Oryx who plans to take his revenge on civilization by manipulating the Darkness and raising an army of corrupted Taken forces to destroy the solar system. The Taken King is a force to be reckoned with and players must make their way onto the impeachable Dreadnaught to defeat him.

Gamers who have never played Destiny will find that the Destiny: The Taken King offers a streamlined MMO console experience that is easily playable and simple to learn. In our initial review of Destiny in 2014, we had one of our diehard Halo gamers try out the title and write his impressions. We wanted to see how someone who had spent tens of thousands of hours in the Halo series would feel about the Destiny release--despite the negative and mixed feedback it was getting from other publications. This time BioGamer Girl wanted to take an entirely different approach to reviewing Destiny and The Taken King content. How would The Taken King appeal to those gamers who have never played the series but now a year later are thinking about getting into the first person shooter universe? In order to answer this question, BioGamer Girl accepted an invitation to visit the Bungie studio, alongside a few select journalists to go hands-on with the entire Taken King content weeks before it was released. And these are just a few impressions from a Destiny noob proving just how incredibly simple the new content it to jump into!

First off, Destiny: The Taken King offers an entirely new adventure that acts like a true sequel to the original release and not merely a simple piece of DLC. The Taken King gives players a new story campaign and quests to explore alongside new enemies, locations, Strikes and Crucible maps, Raids, 16 bounty slots, three Guardian subclasses, weapons, armor, and gear. There is a lot of content in The Taken King to definitely justify the $40 price tag. So don't worry about getting your replay value out of this title, because you will get that and then some!

Bungie recently released the 2.0 update for Destiny in lieu of the release of The Taken King. The patch updated a ton of stuff for the game such as attack and defense now contribute to overall Light, which is displayed over your Emblem. On top of the new Ghost Shell and Class Armor now providing Defense as well as other benefits. Other changes included increasing the max character level to 34, stability and fire rate being improved for certain types of guns, decent XP given to re-complete existing missions, new Strike additions, more vault space, ability to skip cutscenes and all of the Crucible maps being made playable. The 2.0 Update for Destiny has definitely been getting fans excited for the release of The Taken King and giving new players a chance to experience the title at its best possible state.

One of the aspects we found to be quite enjoyable in The Taken King was the ability to battle back the Darkness and the Taken army with fun new subclasses and supers. The game now allows Warlocks to harness the power of a fierce electric storm and Hunters to carve a bow formed entirely from gravitational void energy. However, the class we chose to play the most was the Titan class Sunbreaker, and summoning the character's super of a flaming hammer was pretty badass with the Hammer of Sol. We found that The Hammer of Sol was the most effective during multiplayer matches since you could kill several enemies in a single use. So of course, a new player just picking up the game, would find the Sunbreaker Titan Class very useful in the beginning since it offers up one of the strongest supers during multiplayer games in our opinion.

The Taken King campaign begins on Phobos which is a Cabal military installation on the Mars’ moon and then players make their way onto the new playable area entitled the Dreadnaught. A massive ship which looms around the rings of Saturn and houses the powerful Taken King Oryx within its inner sanctum. Oryx's main goal is to form a corrupted army of Taken to battle against the Guardians and punish them for what they done to his son Crota by destroying their worlds. Taking on Oryx can be quite the battle, and we found this out rather quickly during our solo campaign of The Taken King. While the game's unparalleled design help keep it elegantly simple--enjoying everything the game has to offer is better done with a Fireteam. While BioGamer Girl was able to complete the entire Taken King campaign for the most part solo, however, we found that we did die repeatedly in some areas with hordes of Taken. These parts of the game can be more fun and quickly mastered simply by having at least one teammate there to revive you to save respawn time and loads of frustration. Defeating Oryx is no cakewalk, and players should definitely consider teaming up to take him on especially if your new to the game.

Once you have completed the main Taken King campaign then you may decide to venture through four new Strikes featuring powerful bosses with questlines leading to powerful, new gear and Exotics with the opportunity to take on a new Raid for six-player Fireteams. Combat in The Taken King is easy to master since anyone who has ever played a shooter can quickly jump into the action with little or no experience. Players basically have only a few moves they need to master which is shooting their weapon, throwing a grenade, dishing out some melee attacks or busting out their badass super. That is it--it is not that complex at all.

There is a ton of content to enjoy in The Taken King such as patrolling the Dreadnaught, new Strikes (Shield Brothers, The Sunless Cell, Fallen S.A.B.E.R, Echo Chamber), reprised Strikes (Undying Mind, Dust Palace, Cerberus Vae III) three new competitive modes (Rift, Mayhem, Zone Control) and eight new competitive maps. The new competitive mode Rift was hands-down our favorite new game mode and is something we believe new and veteran Destiny players will enjoy. In Rift, each team is fighting to control the spark and then ignite it in the other team's Rift or endzone. This is a great team-based objective game mode and will keep players intrigued for hours on end.

In the end, Destiny: The Taken King is an exceptional new release and offers up everything that Destiny players wanted to see from the initial release last year. However, if you are a new player, The Taken King is a fantastic way to get into the game with its new campaign, quests, abilities and more. The game looks stunningly gorgeous in regards to visuals on PS4 alongside responsive controls, immersive soundtrack and its impeccably detailed storyline. Destiny has not only proven to be a great MMO for hardcore fans but has also proven to be a delightfully easy title to pick up for Guardians just joining in the fight with The Taken King. Destiny: The Taken King probably has around 20-30 hours of gameplay in regards to completing the campaign, new strikes and so forth. However, the title has to be one of the most replayable titles on the market because of the fact it is so deeply engaging and immersive. Destiny will be a title that we will see a lot more from in the coming years, and we believe The Taken King is only one great release of many more to come.
Score: 9.8 out of 10
Reviewed for PlayStation 4

About Destiny: The Taken King

Meet Oryx, The Taken King
Some scholars say that it was the vile “children” of Oryx that first crawled from the ashes, post-Collapse. His brood grew quietly, but quickly enough, spawning armies of Hive loyal to their King deep within the caverns and shadows of our worlds. Among them was Crota, the god-Knight whose offspring poisoned our Moon.

Crota and his army would have infected the Earth were it not for the efforts of Eris Morn, and the Guardians who heeded her warnings. Now, Crota is dead – body and soul extinguished by your hand. Oryx, armed with a dark power beyond anything we’ve yet to face, is coming to claim his revenge.

Destiny: The Taken King Breakdown:

Year Two Changes:

  • Level system:
    • A characters Light level from year one, will become their character level in year two.
    • Experience now drives all level-ups, so everything you do in Destiny will contribute to leveling up to the new cap of 40
    • Light level is an average of your attack and defense values across all your currently equipped gear
    • Your level will be determine based on the gear in your inventory and your Vault
  • Bounties
    • Players now have 16 slots for storing Bounties, six more than previously available, and are trackable to allow you to easily check your bounty progress
    • You can turn in your bounties from wherever you are, you no longer have to return to the Tower
  • Quests
    • Quests play an important role in Destiny year two.
    • There are guaranteed rewards specific to the quests, to give the player clear incentives for participating
  • New features in the Tower, Destiny’s social space
    • In the tower you can choose to show your face, or cover it with a Raid helmet you want to show off
  • Factions
    • Year one reputation carries forward into year two
    • All factions have been updated. You can now accept allegiance with a faction, earning reputation and faction packages. You can change faction allegiance on the weekly reset.
  • Legendary marks
    • A new currency used to purchase Legendary gear from vendors in the Tower.
  • Collections
    • Exotic Blueprint Collections
    • Display and provide access to any exotics that you have obtained, account wide.
    • Year One favorite exotics have been upgraded
    • Ships and Emblem collections
  • The Cryptach
    • Will now sell Legendary engrams
  • Armsday
    • Each week the Gunsmith provides Weapon Challenges. Completing these challenges awards reputation with him. Once you’ve ranked up you will be able to order a weapon from the City – he’s a Gunsmith after all! The inventory of Weapon Challenges and Armsday Weapon orders change each week. You will know the weapon type you’re ordering, but the perks are rolled randomly. As your rank with the Gunsmith increases, he will present you with more options to choose from when your Armsday Order arrives.
  • Vault Space
    • Doubled for weapons (72 slots), armor (72 slots).
    • 36 slots remain for general items

The Taken King Key Features
  • All-New Campaign
    • A massive Hive Dreadnaught ship looms in the rings of Saturn. Oryx, The Taken King, has arrived in our solar system, bringing with him a corrupted army to exact revenge on the Guardians who destroyed his son Crota, and to consume our world.
  • New Destinations
    • Dreadnaught - Establish a beachhead on Oryx’s flagship, the Dreadnaught – a mysterious, loot-filled fortress.
    • Phobos - A Cabal military installation on Mars’ moon where the campaign begins.
  • New ‘King’s Fall’ Raid
    • Destiny's largest and most ambitious Raid yet that launches at 10 a.m. PDT, Sept. 18
    • Unique weapons and gear await those who can conquer it's challenges
  • Powerful New Abilities
    • To battle back the Darkness and Taken army, players will get access to brand news subclasses with new supers:
    • Warlocks will now harness the power of an electric storm.
    • Hunters will carve a bow formed from gravitational void energy.
    • Titans will summon a flaming hammer that can sear their adversaries from a range or deliver a devastating melee impact.
  • All-new Patrol
    • Patrol the Dreadnaught and discover all the secrets contained within
    • Court of Oryx -player initiated public events
  • New Strikes
    • Shield Brothers - Travel deep into the heart of the Dreadnaught, within the rings of Saturn, in pursuit of a Cabal assault team. Stop it from detonating the Hive ship’s core.
    • The Sunless Cell - Assault a prison deep in the heart of the Dreadnaught, within the rings of Saturn, and put an end to a Hive champion.
    • Fallen S.A.B.E.R - Rush to the aid of the AI Warmind Rasputin in Old Russia on Earth as he broadcasts a plea for help across the system.
    • Echo Chamber - Guardians destroyed the Nexus on Venus. Now, a powerful Vex mind seeks to sunder time and space and undo what was done.
    • PlayStation® Exclusive Content until Fall 2016.
  • Reprised Strikes
    • Undying Mind – An ancient mind, feared by the Vex themselves, hides among the channels of the Black Garden within Venus. Find this machine and end its existence.
    • Dust Palace – A new Cabal force has unleashed powerful Psion Flayers to seize control of the old Martian Warmind located in Meridian Bay on Mars. Face this new threat and secure what remains of the ancient network.
    • Cerberus Vae III – Just beyond their warbase, Valus Ta’aurc, Fleet Commander of the Cabal Siege Dancers, hides in an Imperial Land Tank. Fight through his guard on Mars and stop this terror before he destroys all of Freehold.
  • Additional Strike Features
    • Variation – Encounters with enemies now allow for up to three different encounters with different dialogue sets to optimize each Strike play through. Ammo and stationary turrets will also change locations between matches.
    • Matchmaking – Instead of pairing up by level, players now choose from different types of playlists.
    • Streak Bonus: Playing consecutive Vanguard Strikes creates a streak bonus, giving extra rep and better chances for loop drops until you return to orbit.
  • Three New Competitive Modes
    • Rift – Team-based objective game mode where each team fights to control the Spark, and ignite it in the opposing team's endzone, aka their "Rift"
    • Mayhem – Variant of Clash where all Super abilities and grenades recharge at an increased rate
    • Zone Control – Like Control, but where points are awarded for taking and holding control points
  • Eight New Competitive Maps
    • Memento – European Dead Zone, Earth
    • Bannerfall – The Last City, Earth
    • Crossroads – The Lost Oasis, Mars
    • Vertigo – Caloris Basin, Mercury
    • The Dungeons – Dreadnaught, Rings of Saturn
    • Frontier – City Perimeter, Earth
    • The Drifter – Foundling’s Gyre, The Reef
    • Sector 618 – Cosmodrome Wall, Old Russia
    • PlayStation® Exclusive Content until Fall 2016
  • New Loot and Customizations – Earn new weapons, armor, and gear, including Legendary, Exotic, Faction and Taken-themed items. Personalize your Guardian even more with The Taken King-themed emblems, armor shaders and player ships.

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