When Destiny was first announced there were plenty of reasons to be excited. A new game from Bungie, a new universe playable in multiplayer as you run through the story and looking pretty spectacular to boot.
While Destiny certainly tuned out to be fun, it’s a pity it didn’t reach those heights it initially promised, the story was very well hidden behind an open world (or worlds) map and enemies were fairly uninspired.
Bungie’s plan, though, was for a long game via DLC and several years of content. The biggest yet being The Taken King. This is less a piece of DLC content as a whole new game or, rather, a reimagining of Destiny’s original game. It comes after an extensive patch overhauls major elements of the game and prepares the way with removal of level caps and further balancing.
The Taken, familiar enemies turned against their own kind and the Guardians, aren’t just carbon copies of their original selves and the new bosses are far more intelligent and simply more fun to pit groups of Guardians against. Cut scenes actually feel substantial here and move the story along while giving existing characters plenty of opportunity to chew the scenery. It all feels like the game Destiny should have been from the beginning.
It’s not perfect. Some areas are re-used from the original game, the first being the Cosmodrome and this can seem a little painful after Destiny’s constant re-visiting of maps, but thanks to better enemy design and a few changes to the map, this is easily overlooked. There’s also the fact that your main destination is not even a planet at all, providing the developer with some of the tight corridors they revelled in during their Halo days, as well as a new and interesting environment to do battle in.
It’s not just about the campaign, either. Elements like the additional subclass added to the Titan, Hunter and the Warlock’s repertoire manage to enhance the teamwork during the new (and improved) raids as well as when working together through the story. Upgraded level caps to level 40 and a much fairer armour and weapon system also help.
Bungie’s original gameplan may have faltered a little at the start, but their plan to focus on the long-game seems to have paid off here. For fans who have stayed with the game, The Taken King is a substantial addition to the universe. For those new to Destiny it gives them a major reason to pick the new package with everything included.