Destiny: The Taken King - Best Served With Lemsip

Having been softly struck down by the common cold, the new Destiny stuff couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Many turn their nose up at Bungie’s shiny loot-shoot, but I personally adore the pace and atmosphere - lining up headshots while you stomp around like a beautiful tank is a form of FPS that I mostly find relaxing, a break from the modern twitch ‘n’ sprint formula.

Also - being ill - it’s mostly just lovely shapes and colours that glow in my face while I drink hot tea. The Taken King though, eh? Well it’s really rather something. It feels like all of that day one feedback has finally had an impact on the game, just a year after it first came out. The characters in the world suddenly have character, springing to life in unexpectedly excellent and frequent cut-scenes.

This silly video sums up why the story in Destiny was a bit pants.

Oh, and it’s funny. The one prayer I had for Destiny that I never got around to loudly vocalising was that it found a way to be less po-faced. Nathan Fillion sorts that out nicely, to the point of taking the piss out of the lacklustre plot delivery prior to this. Regardless of what really happened regarding rumours of abandoned plot and disgruntled employees, it’s evident that something internally that wasn’t right before has since been amended. It’s an exciting reminder of what Bungie are capable of. Also handcannons. HAND-CANNONS.

The new missions are brilliant to the point that it’s a huge shame the original set wasn’t on par - I particularly like the tiny changes they’ve made to the way that you use Ghost to scan stuff, which now gives off vibes of Metroid Prime. I was cynical when I heard that instead of new enemies we’d mostly get ‘Taken’ variants of foes from the base game, but what they’ve done here is straight-up cool - new mechanics, new animations, and amazing art direction.

Headshots cause a splatter of dark matter which the enemy is then sucks through like a black hole - one of the many visual details that has me grinning like a teenage lump. It’s all just very cool. Very, very cool. The brand new location takes first prize, though. ‘The Dreadnaught’ invokes the same sense of awe and desire to explore as the incredible Vault of Glass - except this place isn’t hidden behind a locked door.

You can expect an in-depth video once I’ve played more, and I’m especially excited about the new raid - having seen Bungie back on form in every other regard, my hype for The King’s Fall is very much real. Still, the proof in the number-pudding here is whether they’ve successfully rebooted the formula, especially in terms of how progress happens. So far it seems smart, but this is a chat to be had another time in more detail.

So yeah, it’s hard to say how I’ll feel about the game once the rush of this new stuff and the Lemsip has worn off, but so far The Taken King seems excellent. I’ve seen a lot of feather-ruffling regarding old equipment being made obsolete, but I’m more than happy to have a fresh start. Going back to using equipment that feels a bit basic has rekindled what I loved about Destiny in the first place - the joy of finding a brand new toy and chucking your old stuff straight in the bin. Some people will be pissed I’m sure, but it’s an MMO - what did you expect?

The one thing I didn't expect was the UK to be so unbelievably shafted on price - the $40 to £40 conversion stings hugely here, especially when you can buy Destiny with all the DLC to date for not much more than that brand new. It sucks. It really sucks. There’s really no excuse, and we’ve every reason to feel Miffed-to-the-Max.

Still, with that universal truth laid out, we can hopefully fixate on stuff more interesting than that in the comments. Anyone furious because Destiny killed their dad and stole their dog? Or perhaps like me you've dipped back in to have a nice time? If not, what are your favourite games to play when feeling under the weather?

Posted on September 16, 2015 .