Casual Reviews – Destiny: The Taken King

Everyone, I have a confession to make. I haven’t been writing anything new. I haven’t been playing anything “new.” I haven’t been doing anything new. In fact, I don’t smell very new. I have been rotting away on my couch spending hours playing…something…something I’m ashamed of.

Normally, I would be excited to tell everyone about a game that is capable of turning me into a junkie jonesing for his next fix, but this time it’s a little awkward. This is because The Taken King is a DLC for a game I previously called out for drowning in mediocrity and laziness, with zero ambition.

Unfortunately, I am now the one who is mediocre and lazy, with no ambition outside of gaining the next bit of loot from The Taken King. The joke is on me…sort of…

Environment

I have read many places that The Taken King truly breaks out and has a real story…with characters even. And true, I actually know whose voice belongs to who now.

But let’s be honest. Far Cry 4 has a better story than this game…you’re just some dude that wants to place his mother’s ashes in peace and you will decapitate, strangulate, and castrate any son-of-a-motherless-goat that gets in your way. Makes sense. In Destiny, I’m still not sure what a Guardian is. Dunno who or what the Darkness is. Dunno where the Traveler came from. Nobody really knows anything in Destiny except maybe the Speaker…but all he does is tell you he could tell you about the Darkness or a number of other things…but never actually does.

And, much like Diablo III, I’ve learned to just let it go. Not that I’ll give it a break in this rating, but hey, at least the graphics are good. Oh, and the new music is a much needed adrenaline suppository to the stagnant and overly dramatic score.

Speaking of suppositories, my Ghost’s voice has suddenly jumped a few octaves higher, indicating he is currently in the process of getting one…or going through reverse puberty.

Gameplay

You will do the same missions over again. You will do the same strikes over again. Not much has changed in this regard. However, there is much more to cycle through. Also, with the introduction of the Taken, new enemies and different versions of certain missions replaced by Taken add more variety. The mechanics are still as amazing as you would expect from Bungie and the new subclasses are fun. I even changed from Warlock to Titan just so I could throw hammers at people.

And while all those new things are well and good…I don’t care…

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that loot-based games are like crack-laced bacon strips to me. Loot is what I care about. During a Daily Heroic Story Mission, I was able to acquire an exotic sniper after I read that if you took a wrong turn during the mission, you trigger a hidden mission which results in the previously stated reward. Drop rates in the game are much improved, and slowly aid you in becoming more powerful without…as much of a grind as it was before. I feel like I’m progressing, which is terrifying…because if we are being rewarded for putting time and effort into Destiny…we need to be asking…where will the madness end? Will we really be satisfied? How long before people start marrying animals? How long before the world descends into total anarchy!? Is it really worth it?

Yes.

There are quests to achieve, levels to reach, and loot to be had. Not only that, but much of it is on a schedule. The Story Mission where I got the sniper? Only available when that Mission is the Daily Heroic…that I know of. You can do the Raid and Weekly Strike…and I truly feel like I’m falling behind if I don’t get on when I can.

I believe there is a niche of people that this game really gets it right for…and with the increased loot drops and rewards, I’m one of them now.

Replay Value

When Destiny first came out I hardly touched it. There was no reason to play. Getting better loot seemed like a task only fit for the gods of the gaming world, A.K.A. kids with no jobs on summer break. I was one once…I used to walk among the gods…but that was long ago.

Now, I can actually get the things I need to continue progressing without having to spend entire weeks grinding for one piece of gear.

I have logged more hours in The Taken King than most other games I own on PS4, and it has only just come out. This game has been worth every penny; I’ve played it almost every day since its release.

However…if you are a single-player-only person who does not do the online intranets thing, there will be no value for you at all. This game allows you to play though very tough missions with other teammates. It gives you a place to hang out with online friends while achieving what seems like at times, impossible tasks. I have never felt so happy to be victorious over a boss battle than in The Taken King. But if you do not enjoy online play with friends, there really is nothing here for you.

Online

The only thing keeping Destiny going and now beginning to thrive is its dedicated online community. These people have been shunning their sleep, lives, and loved ones…and The Taken King is finally starting to reward them.

I think the biggest mistake you can make with Destiny is going it alone or with only one other friend. Joining a Clan that is active and enjoyable will make this game shine. You can help people who are lower level, and those above you will help you. Raiding becomes a very real possibility and keeps you grinding for better gear so you are an asset to the Raid team.

This review would be very different without the Clan I joined. It’s the people that make this game’s online good…not the game itself. Destiny: The Taken King still does not have very good mechanics for meeting new people online. In fact, if you don’t join Bungie’s or another third party’s site to look for groups, it’s a very isolating game. You are surrounded by other players, but there’s no way to interact with them…unless you’re ready for Step Up 3: The Taken Moves.

In other words, this game will not provide you with amazing online experiences…unless you work around the system, joining a Clan and connecting outside the game. Which is such a sad statement to make. Destiny is at its best when you have a group you play regularly with, and yet it makes connecting with other players one of the most difficult tasks.

Conclusion

If you already liked Destiny, buy The Taken King. If you did not like Destiny, but you’re curious about the expansion, it’s a bit harder for me to know what to tell you. If you like playing with yourself, you should look elsewhere. Destiny essentially requires teamwork to be worth your time.

If you enjoy teamwork and are willing to join a Clan, get to know the people, and help them as they help you…theeeeeeeeeeen I have to ask a few more questions. Do you like loot? If no…how are you alive (also, don’t buy the game)? Are you willing to overlook mistakes and sometimes feeling like the developers don’t care about the community of Destiny? Because Bungie has become the king of shooting themselves in the foot. I mean, they can blow that extremity off so fast, even this cop would be proud.

The most recent moment was the Black Spindle sniper rifle everyone was so excited to get after completing a challenging mission. Within hours, Bungie announced they would nerf the gun, turning one of the most successful PR moments for Bungie into just another annoyance.

So, if you can handle all of that, then yes. Get The Taken King and ignore all responsibilities in life for the next six months. If not, well, your significant other and/or your children (who are still living because you fed them) thank you.

The Taken King

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47 thoughts on “Casual Reviews – Destiny: The Taken King

  1. Nice to see that you found a good online game community there. I was burnt out by rotten ones … WoW mainly, haha. Go figure.
    Only recently my interest in MMO has been rekindled, surprisingly. Have you checked out Star Citizen yet? Or are you a mainly console-focused gamer?
    In case of interest, I got a thing here that I’d like to share. https://dowlphinblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/star-citizen-referral-bonus-for-you/
    Star Citizen has a very nice community, too, at least currently, which I guess is understandable, since the people who have gathered so far are passionate supporters of a very special endeavor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just recently heard about the game and thought I should check it out but then forgot until this post. Thanks for the reminder! Unfortunately, right now I only have a console. My PC has a hard enough time running mine sweeper let alone an actual game. But I do want to eventually have a gaming PC again some day. Right now it’s hard for me to build the motivation because I know I will eventually move and I’m on an island so I’m keeping the crap level to a minimum.

      Like

      • Yeah, I understand. I myself like to keep life complexity low.
        And with a lowly Minesweeper PC, the game’s CryEngine 3 would definitely live up to its name, haha. Especially currently where it’s unoptimized. … But you can always just register with the referral code, saved for later so to speak, and chat in the forums with a bunch of refreshingly mature people. There have been several occasions in a thread where I thought I had just pissed someone off and then it was like nothing had happened. Nice drama buffer, haha. That’s what coming together in good spirit does to people.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head with the clan thing. I adore Destiny, it’s mechanics, the gameplay; everything, but I’m too socially awkward to truly get my teeth into it.

    I’ve still never finished a nightfall, I’ve not come close to doing a raid and whilst I’d love to be able to run House of Elders with people, I’m hesitant to go find a group online.

    I don’t want to ruin people’s fun by sucking, and more importantly the fear of being chewed out online limits me to finding people who are okay playing without mics. Truthfully it sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m telling you, there are clans that are totally fine with helping people along. If I were you, I’d register online and start searching the clan recruitment posts. Find one that sounds casual and just wants to help. I’m a part of a clan that is the casual clan and it has a sister clan that is hard core PvP and just top notch players. Sometimes they even join us just to help us out because they have some serious firepower and have fun helping. I think you should give it a try. There are some great active clans out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent a good amount of time getting near max lvl in vanilla Destiny, stopped playing, bought the season pass and tried getting into it after The Dark Below and House of Wolves…just didnt work out.

    Then a few weeks before 2.0 dropped I went in again and got over my fear of using a mic with random groups found on reddit/destinylfg and wow….I had a blast. It finally hit me why people could stick to this game so exclusively. It really is all about the moments where teamwork pays off and you kill the bosses and such.

    And the 2.0 update along with the Taken King brought so much good stuff with it. And the new raid…so much communication and teamwork there – You cant really carry players through it, everybody have to pitch in or you’ll wipe at certain bosses.

    Tbh, after The Taken King I’m not that afraid to pre-order the next expansion when it comes around. If it has anything like TKK, its going to be amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I feel like Destiny The Taken King has actually made me a better FPS shooter because I’ve learned so much and clans are so willing to help and explain. I probably won’t pre-order the next expansion, but if it gets good reviews I imagine it will be one I snatch up.

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  4. I feel that the heart of Destiny is the community, I spend hours playing the game only when my friends are online and playing with me. More to the point online and in group chat with me. Our talks range from in game activities to geopolitical to dating woes. I find that people who play it solo are the fastest in becoming uninterested in the game. That’s not a bad thing but yea friends do make the tedium bearable and you tend to find quirky ways to add value to the game in ways the developers never thought of.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never played an MMO and never plan to. I’ve always thought the act of playing a video game should be co-op only or alone. I don’t know, I find it a personal experience like watching a movie – you don’t really watch the movie with other people…OK maybe not the best analogy.
    I go after stories more than anything it sounds like Destiny failed from the onset in this regard, nice review though – makes me glad I didn’t buy it =D

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice review, echoes mine a lot of other peoples sentiments that TTK is helping Destiny approach what it should have been all along. Also thanks for following our blog, hope you enjoy the Halo content we are putting out this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wholly agree on this one. I was like you and found no reason to play at first. Man, I like your site. Over at our site, we’re just breaking into gaming posts and we really appreciate you stopping by. You’ve a good thing going here. Keep this up!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think I’ve been playing Destiny since…March. Never done a Nightfall, Raid, and rarely play Crucible. I still like the game. Yes, I wish they would leave the freaking weapons & abilities alone with nerfing and boosting stuff. But…the gameplay is great because it reminds me of my Metroid Prime days on the GameCube.

    I have had social success in the Court of Oryx because you don’t have to recruit or join a Clan. And my schedule is so sporadic I can’t play everyday or on a set time with others. So, the Court is a good way for me to hop on whenever, join two others, and get a few higher level drops.

    The other issue is, technically, I don’t own a console. My roommate purchased a PS3/4 and bought Destiny. But he…quickly reverted back to his PC gamer mode and I just tried out the game because he kept bugging me to. I felt bad for taking over the PS4, so I gave it back to him. The PS3 is fine, but it lacks social media features and smooth gameplay (i.e. jumps frames and freezes, at times, when the area gets too crowded…which happens quite a bit).

    Even after all this, my Titan and Hunter are almost 295 and my Warlock broke 295 yesterday. I just want them all at 300. Boring? Possibly. But I chase the carrot anyway. Btw, nice review…I’ve always heard “admitting it is the first step.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Casual Reviews – Fallout 4 | SevenFlorins

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