June 20, 2015 by Paul Curtin
Activision and Bungie are kicking off Year 2 of Destiny with a brand-new expansion pack called The Taken King. After Destiny’s successful launch last September, discoveries of loot caves, repetitive content, and expensive DLC split players on their feelings towards the game. Some have stuck around and still love Destiny, while others have left and sworn they’re never coming back.
We here at MediaStinger fall somewhere in between the two, enjoying the game, but also finding it a bit too repetitive to stick around. Bungie has spent the last year listening to the community and making tweaks to the game based on fan feedback. And now, The Fallen King looks to bring back players like us by making even bigger changes… but with a $40 price tag, Year 2 of Destiny could be just as dramatic as its first.
The expansion’s name refers to Oryx, the fallen Hive King who is also the father of Crota (spoilers: the villain killed in Destiny’s first DLC, The Dark Below). New big bad guys in new zones are definitely a step in the right direction for expanding the game. But Destiny’s biggest update in The Taken King are the new subclasses, which we got to get our hands on in a preview of the new competitive multiplayer mode, Rift.
By blending lore and gameplay, players must first embark on new quests to unlock their new subclass and powers in order to become strong enough to defeat Oryx in battle. In the new expansion, Warlocks will be able to cast an Electrical Storm that shocks enemies and quickly burns down their health. Hunters gain access to a new Void Bow that shoots one-shot-kill arrows, which if miss, also become snare traps that stick into surfaces on the map. By far the coolest of the three new abilities is the Titan’s Solar Hammer, which basically turns the players into Thor, allowing them to hurl devastating fire hammers at enemies with the force of a rocket launcher.
These new superpowers become even more useful in Destiny’s new Mayhem mode, which decreases their cooldowns and encourage chaos to erupt when white lightning, purple arrows, and flaming orange hammers are all flying around the map. In our hands-on time with the game, we got to experience this madness in Destiny’s new Rift mode and have to admit that we’re getting the itch to come back already.
Similar to Bungie’s previous single-flag CTF or Assault modes in Halo, Rift is a neutral objective game type where players need to acquire a spark (ball of energy) and use it to destroy the enemy base. When becoming the spark runner, players can slam the spark down and deliver it in unique ways like back-flipping and dunking it for extra style points when just scoring isn’t sweet enough.
Bungie’s new expansion certainly looks to be giving fans of Destiny what they’ve been asking for… but at a $40 price tag after already spending over $100 on the game in the past year, it’ll be interesting to see how successful The Taken King is — especially with new class-based arena shooters starting to hit the market towards the end of the year.
Destiny’s current PlayStation exclusive content will be unlocking on Xbox One when the expansion is released, and the cycle will be starting all over again with a new map, new raid, and more content coming first to PlayStation when The Taken King launches September 15, 2015, on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.