A year later and Ben is still hooked on Destiny. The Taken King expansion has added clarity, progression and structure – no pressure for the next year then, Bungie.
|Release date:||September 2014|
|Platforms:||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|More information:||Official website|
Destiny Year One was a success – which is not as bold a statement as you might think. It’s been nominated for numerous awards, has many millions of regular players, has been able to charge £40 for its Year Two content, and now they’re including microtransactions for emotes. I’d rank that as successful, wouldn’t you?
I thought it was the best game of 2014, simply because the gameplay balance was absolutely world-class. The guys at Bungie refined the Halo magic to a point that not even Master Chief can compete. Honestly, it’s that good.
Destiny’s big problem is it couldn’t quite work out what it wanted to be. It was forever switching between a regular multiplayer game and a massively-multiplayer online (MMO) with neither quite ever being reached. It was the one gaping hole in its arsenal and I’m pleased to say that The Taken King (the latest expansion) has filled it. What is this miracle you ask?
Destiny now has structure.
Previously once the level cap had been reached, the way to progress through end-game content was to earn better weapons and improve them for doing quests, bounties and other tasks. It sounds logical on the surface but the drops were randomised and the upgrading system unclear. Quests merged with bounties and were often messy and based on fortune. The result was that five minutes of lucky grinding could reap more rewards than five days of fruitless toil. Had the gameplay not been so good, it’s doubtful players would have hung around.
That’s all changed with The Taken King. Now quests are clearly labelled and with well-marked objectives; and the levelling system has changed with simplified infrastructure on what will improve your character and what won’t. Most importantly is that loot drops are more frequent and matched to your level. Now if you pick up that shiny new engram, you can bet it will be for a piece of kit with a good chance of improving your stats. Quests can be turned in mid-mission, upgrades are quicker and items can be cashed in for XP.
There’s clarity, there’s progression, there’s structure. All Year Three has to do is make the lore coherent and accessible and the multiplayer brilliance will be matched with an MMO heaven.
No pressure, Bungie. No pressure.