Destiny Destiny Destiny… I’ve experienced a love hate affair with you. When Destiny arrived last year I marvelled at a world populated with players. The first time a player with a far higher level ploughed through an enemy that had me pinned behind a rock, blew my mind. To me, it was like the Hulk charging through minor enemies in an Avengers flick. I was seriously impressed. I also enjoy a good co-op game and here I was, with 4 of my other friends, engaging in FPS co-op shooting. I was happy because although the crucible existed, I didn’t have to enlist in the PVP matches as I sucked at them. I raved to all my friends how great it was. I enjoyed it so much I bought it on Xbox One *and* PS4 I played through on one console and then the other with another bunch of friends.
Then the cracks started to appear. Probably more so because I was playing the game simultaneously back to back on two consoles. The grindy nature of the game play mechanic really started to show through. Waiting on earth for the same drop ship to bear the same enemies over and over again, to get the required number of item drops to level up further really started to grate. Word on the DLC pricing came in at £20 a pop, which did further damage to my faith in Destiny. I slugged it out to level 20’s final battle on both consoles and left guardianship of the Galaxy to Marvel. Thank you very much.
In that time Destiny has continued to develop. There have been tweaks to the levelling system. Previously I’d gotten to level 20 and finished the main campaign (loose term). From there to level up there was some nonsense about light levels, which confused the hell out of me. How can you come to the end of a game and then change how the levelling works to the extent that it switches you off the game. Well, thankfully, Bungie realised this and upped the level cap to level 40 and you now continue to level up by gaining experience just by playing the game. For those who understood the light level malarkey all is not lost and that level has been dispersed across your attack and defence values across your equipped items. It is calculated by the gear you’re carrying and in your vault (bugger I’ve been dismantling everything because Destiny seems a little more generous with its drops so my inventory was always filling up). Whatever, for me, it just means as I play and kill stuff and complete stuff I continue to level up. That much I do understand. I’ve heard Destiny’s initial release called many things. Year one Destiny, Vanilla Destiny. Nobody called it Beta Destiny or “Not bleeding has finished on initial release, but it’s nearly there so lets push version 1.0 out Destiny” which is what the original now feels like after all the changes it had to make it a more fleshed out package. It’s a shame because Beta Destiny, as I’m going to call it, split opinions so much. I have friends who love it and argue passionately for all its virtues and those who played it and instantly wrote it off as crap.
Now if it had published then as Destiny: The Taken King Legendary Edition, it would have been celebrated by far more gamers. That’s because The Taken King is pretty good actually. Bungie has gone some way to fixing what was wrong with Destiny. Now that’s a pity as a lot of those gamers are not going to fork out more cash to find out and they will be missing out on this more polished “Final Destiny” because yes now we have The Taken King, you can’t fail to be impressed with the changes made. I’m wary of stating this, as Beta Destiny, eventually turned sour for me after prolonged play and I don’t want to fall for the same trick twice but The Taken King has finished feel about it. It doesn’t feel like it was rushed to satisfy a deadline and as a complete package in its Legendary Edition it offers a lot of game.
Destiny: The Taken King Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 [1080p HD PS4] – No Commentary – MKIceAndFire
To start The taken King, you have to be level 25. My character was level 20 but there is an item you receive called “Spark of Light” that will automatically level you up to level 25 so you can’t actually play The Taken King story missions without being levelled up first. Shame I didn’t realise this until I’d levelled my character up from level 20 to level 21. I felt I missed a trick here. I believe it may have been possible to create a new character in a new class and have them start at level 25 it would have been nice to have the choice of 2 characters, but then perhaps I’d get into that grind again levelling up 2 characters on the go.
It has to be said that the grindy nature of Destiny is still there. It’s just less apparent with a decent story draped over it. As with any game with RPG undertones, if you want to make easier progress, then you are best taking up several missions and repeating them or going on patrol which has you completing some samey missions that will advance your level and allow you to approach missions that are say level 25 at level 28. This obviously means your level 28 character is 3 ranks stronger than the level 25 enemies, so you will dispatch them easier. You could also just go into missions at the same level 25 and that’s just, like playing the game on a higher difficulty level as you will find The Taken (the new enemies) just more difficult to defeat if they are around the same level as you.
One thing I’ve noted about The Taken King is the World isn’t as populated by as many online players as Destiny was the first time round. This may merely be due to time itself and people have moved on, or maybe its just that The Taken King DLC hasn’t been adopted by as many people as yet due to its high asking price. I really don’t know.
Returning to Destiny, I forgot how beautiful it is. The colours of the planets are vivid. The detail in the shadows your character casts about you. The textures, and draw distance are all jaw dropping.
There have been various patches throughout its lifespan, even just before The Taken King‘s release Peter Dinklage’s voice for ghost has gone, replaced by Nolan North who voices Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series. The missions are now numbered which added some needed structure to the game. The Taken King actually has a proper story to it. You killed Crota in The Dark Below DLC his father Oryx is rightfully peeved and he’s brought a rather large Dark army with him in retaliation.
This, along with the lack of online players, makes the game feel more linear. That isn’t a bad thing as most of my friends have moved on to other games so playing Destiny on my own and following a story made it feel more like a decent single player FPS. Bear in mind, it is still an online MMORPG hybrid FPS, as you still take part in strikes with other players, PVP matches or complete missions co-operatively with friends or strangers, if you come across any. It just adds an extra dimension as it now feels like a decent single player experience too with a decent plot.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game plus conclusions.
Destiny: The Taken King Gameplay Walkthrough Part 2 [1080p HD PS4] – No Commentary – MKIceAndFire
I’m all about the Games and Gadgets. Rumoured to have been born with a mobile phone in his hand. (It’s not true. It was a Gameboy) You want to know more about my business? You better invest in it then hadn’t you.