I remember the day one year ago, almost to the day, when I got my next generation gaming console and was able to embark on a wonderful journey; the journey which so many people started to dub ‘The Grind’.
From the game’s release in September of 2014, ‘Destiny’ has been a focal talking point between fans and critics. At the time, when I was thoroughly excited by the prospect of gaming online with all of my friends, I never once stopped to think about the game more critically aside from the occasional disgruntled exclamation that RNG really hated me. I was trapped in my own little bubble on the Xbox One with my friends, striking together, storming the Crucible together, and raiding together. It was only when they stopped getting online to play as often that I started to notice the rather glaring holes that the game seemed to have.
As a single player on ‘Destiny’, I can guarantee that you will not have a good time. The story just wasn’t up to par with a lot of other games, and in all honesty, it was downright confusing to follow, as well as unbelievably random and nonsensical. For an MMO which was supposed to be steeped in lore and history, I felt as if something was well and truly missing.
And thus, in late May or June of this year after I switched to a PS4 for
next-gen gaming, I started to drift away from the game which I had obsessed so much over previously. It had, in my eyes, well and truly lost its charm to me. After I managed to secure myself a steady group of friends to game with, however, I found myself crawling back two months or so before the anticipated release date of ‘The Taken King’, an expansion for ‘Destiny’.
Along with my clan mates, I was very sceptical as the release day drew closer. The previous DLC for the game, ‘The Dark Below’ and ‘The House of Wolves’ had done little to expand on the supposedly huge world that ‘Destiny’ had to offer, and only really provided us with an extra raid, a couple of extra strikes and a different PVE mode. Bungie insisted that players should read all of the Grimoire which they acquired (‘currency’ of sorts that you gain after doing something for the first time, encountering new aliens, reaching new highs in terms of certain weapon kills, etc.), but they didn’t seem to grasp the fact that none of us were too keen on that prospect. ‘Destiny’ players wanted more; a more immersive story that felt more powerful and carried more impetus.
The release of ‘The Taken King’ in September certainly did that for me personally.
I had all but given up on playing the expansion due to issues with my PSN account and pre-orders, and as such, was pleasantly surprised when I could actually download it all on the day of release, ready to play. First impressions?
‘I’m absolutely all aboard on this hype train.’
As a Year One player, I was given all sorts of nice new shiny things that made my character look super cool, and made me proud for grinding away in the original game. I wore it all like a badge of honour. Heading into the first mission, everything was so pleasantly different and it absorbed me straight into the action as it happened.
A new enemy (yes, even in spite of my fears of Bungie re-skinning the original aliens, they were certainly different) emerged in the form of ‘Taken’ creatures; beings that had been bent to the will of Oryx, a God of one of the alien races within the ‘Destiny’ world. You venture into the very first mission of the expansion and watch the horror unfold of these aliens having their wills broken and taken over by Oryx, and you report back to the last remaining city stronghold on Earth in absolute shock. There was an enemy this powerful all along, in spite of your best efforts to push back the darkness threatening to swallow the remains of your dormant God, the Traveller?
The cut-scenes feel so much more polished and refined, with much cleaner and well-thought out dialogues from the characters. Bungie actually gave these characters personalities and functions, whereas before they merely handed out missions and occasionally commented on your prowess as a warrior bringing light back to Earth. The stage is well and truly set for an epic journey ahead… and this was all achieved in a rather short opening mission.
I could, well and truly, rave about my first impressions of the ‘Destiny’ expansion for pages and pages, but for now, I will leave it there. As I continue to play the game to this day, two months after the expansion’s release, I will continue to commentate on said game, and my thoughts of its developments; both good and bad. I often stream live on Twitch, and upload videos to YouTube if you wish to have a look at my exploits in that regard.
Until next time.
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