Okay, so, funny story. This one time, me and my Guardian tjommies killed this other guy, Crota. He’s, like, some kind of god or whatever. ANYWAY. His dad found out what we did, and now he’s super mad because, I don’t know, we took his favourite rocket launcher or something. Hey, it’s a rad rocket launcher. It was a rad rocket launcher. I’ll get back to that. ANYWAY. Dad’s turned up in a gargantuan starship-fortress thing somewhere around Saturn, and he’s hyping for a fight. He’s also managed to space-magic a whole army of creepy, extra-inter-transdimensional zombies into his service and wiped out basically everybody else in the vicinity, because that’s totally not a bit hypocritical. ANYWAY.
Guardians, it’s time to save the universe (again).
According to my stats over on Bungie.net, I’ve clocked exactly 12 days, 23 hours, and four minutes of Destiny, spanning 1,072 game sessions (and 67,602 kills, go me). I don’t have a problem. I could stop playing whenever I want, I promise. It’s just that, you know, um, it’s my job. “That works,” the whispers tell me, so that works. The point is, I ultra-mega-love Destiny because it’s very much my jam. When I reviewed the game at launch in the October 2014 issue of NAG (RIP), this is how I described it:
Destiny is a lot of things – some good, some not so good – but, ultimately, it’s what you make of it. And more than this one thing or that other thing, I’m having loads of fun playing space cowboys with my friends. For me, that’s probably the most important thing about a multiplayer game. For others, maybe not so much. This is one of those games that you’ll love or hate depending entirely on what matters to you.
Three DLC drops and about a zillion updates later, I think that’s still true – but I also think there’s now a lot more good, and a lot less not so good about it. In fact, with the launch of The Taken King and the transition into “Year Two”, developer Bungie has mostly made up for the game’s initial mistakes. There’s more personality and charm and drama and character development and actual, real plot exposition in the expansion’s opening half hour than in the whole original game. The new levelling system makes
much more sense. The Cryptarch isn’t a complete asshole.
Also, Nathan Fillion as Cayde-6, who gets his very own paragraph because he’s just that much fun this time around. Praise the Light, Bungie has retired the almost farcical, techno-metaphysical austerity of previous story stuff, and decided to have a laugh instead.
“Suddenly, I couldn’t rely on the same, routine tactics anymore and, just as suddenly, more than three hundred hours in, everything felt new again.”
It’s like a new start for Destiny, and in a somewhat unexpected twist, it’s a new start for players too. Literally. Jumping into The Taken King’s revamped loot system, all of my Year One gear was instantly rubbish. For the first time ever, in any game ever, I dumped all my most precious things – my Hunger of Crota, my Gjallarhorn, my Ice Breaker – and started over. It was heartbreaking but also sort of liberating. Suddenly, I couldn’t rely on the same, routine tactics anymore and, just as suddenly, more than three hundred hours in, everything felt new again.
Obviously, it helps that a lot of things are new. The new Dreadnaught location is huge, and even now, two weeks since launch, people are still finding secrets hidden in its gloomy, grave-wormy depths. There’s also the hot new Court of Oryx activity – a kind of public event featuring mobs of summoned champions, a lot of shrieking and rushing about, and some serious loot (or not, because Destiny is still, fundamentally, Destiny). Plus about six hours of new story content, new post-story content, a new sub-class for every class (NIGHTSTALKER 4 LYFE YO), new Strike missions, new daily Bounties, new Patrol types, new PVP maps and modes, new weapons and armour, new baddies, new everything, and I’ve hardly even started on the new King’s Fall raid. I mean, technically I’ve started. And got stuck for two hours on the Warpriest, hashtag curse his eyes, hashtag lovin’ it.
Oh, and you get a sword. A SWORD, YOU GUYS.
So, here’s the thing. If you hated Destiny before, that’s probably not going to change with The Taken King. If you already loved Destiny, you’re going to love it even more now. If you’ve not even played Destiny, now is the time. It’s the same, but different, but… the same. And it’s what you make of that.
Shout out to my Fireteamies – NeverGlade, b0kkie, Muzzle246, AnimusRex, FaZo, Meerkat2908, NATE TRoN1X, and the gang. <3