Blockbuster games have all the structure of their film counterparts. A small group of big-time studios, legacy titles, and the promise of bigger and better each time around. Destiny does the last in a super-charged way. Destiny: The Taken King, represents Year Two of the decade-long evolution of the sci-fi game. Bungie, the powerhouse behind Halo, has added to this version more quests, more Guardian sub-classes, more weapons and more story to a year one version that left some players muttering about the lack of it.
“It’s some new, fresh air,” says Mike Chaves, AKA Flamesword, AKA one of the best in the world at laying waste to people in first-person shooters, from Call of Duty to Halo. “You don’t know the whole story. And a new piece comes out every year, and it draws you in with that.”
Year Two sees the game’s namesake, The Taken King, hovering on a ship in the rings of Saturn, plotting mayhem for the Guardians who destroyed his son in year one. The loot and weapons on his ship allow for more personalization than ever. And there are new incentives. Completing weekly missions for the Gunsmith, for example, earns his respect and the ability to order a weapon, the type of which changes every week.
There are eight new maps and three new competitive modes, including a team-based capture-the-flag type game called “Rift”. Add, to that three new sub-classes with new super weapons, and you’ve got the potential for plenty of lost weekends. Starting at 10 a.m. PDT on this coming one actually, (Sept. 18) when Destiny unveils the largest Raid yet.
Secret Quest, Sweet Ride
Unique to buyers of a limited edition can of Red Bull with Chaves’ face on it is a code that unlocks a special Red Bull Quest and allows them to double their experience points for the first half hour after unlocking the code.
The six-stage quest demands a variety of skills from teams, including three strikes that, for the first time, will be timed.
“One of the biggest tips is to keep an eye on the timer,” says Chaves. “When you get into a patrol mission part, don’t worry about killing all the enemies, look at the clock and skip the ones you don’t have to fight.” And what’s a new quest without a new whip? For each stage, there’s an upgrade to the Sparrow. After completing the final stage, the SR1 Swifter Sparrow, a super-charged, very fast ride is the reward. And Chaves says it’s worth the price of entry alone.
“Look more into the future, maybe there are Sparrow races, maybe there are starship battles with the ships we have. For the players that have been in year one, there’s things they get that people down the line might never get again,” he says. “In year two they might get stuff you won’t get in year seven anymore.”