E3 2015 – Destiny: The Taken King Hands-On Preview: Oryx’s Revenge

Having already dropped an excessive amount of time into Bungie’s massively popular online sci-fi shooter, Destiny, I was excited to finally get my hands on the upcoming expansion The Taken King while at E3 2015. Not only will this expansion be adding in more content than we have seen from the previous DLCs, the effect that this one will seem to have on the way the game plays will be beyond anything we have seen in the past.

With Crota having been killed in The Dark Below expansion, a darkness like never before seen has arisen to take revenge on Eris Morn and the Guardians. Led by Oryx, the creator behind Crota and the master of The Taken, an army ripped from our world and possessed by the Darkness itself. Consisting of ranks from other races, The Taken mixes the races and use their combined force and significantly different styles than their counterparts to wreak havoc. 

Adding Some Class

Not only will The Taken King include a whole new destination for players to go, a new campaign, new weapons, armor and exotics, it will be giving each of the three Guardian types a new subclass. Having been able to check out all three classes, it was surprising to see just how well everything seemed to fit the classes. 

The Warlock will now have the Stormcaller subclass, which gives the class the ability to use Arc damage. The main addition to the class is the special ability which lets the Warlock fire lighting from their hands, this not only had a decent amount of range, it will also chain from enemy to enemy and was fairly powerful especially in PvE. After activation, the ability can be fired at will, but the more it is used, the more it will drain the power from the super meter. The other new addition that was available was the Storm Grenade, which when thrown, would summon a lightening storm in the area, inflicting Arc damage to everything within a short radius. 

The Hunter will be getting the Nightstalker subclass, which will give it the ability to add Void damage. Working much like the Warlock’s Nova Bomb, the Hunter will fire a Void shot from a bow and arrow once activated. This is also supposed to have an option to tether enemies to the ground, but the one time I used it, it killed my target. A new grenade has also been added as well, which acts almost like a Void napalm grenade that will cover an area in purple fire, including yourself if you are not careful. Given the ability to only fire one shot, 

The Titan will have the option to use the Sunbreaker subclass, which much like the Sunbreaker gauntlets, will allow for Solar-type damage. This is performed by activating a Solar hammer, which the Titan can either throw a fair distance, or even melee with, making this one of the more powerful new specials out of all the ones I saw. The duration of the super is depending on your health, but the ability to have a ranged and up close powerful shot made this incredibly versatile. The new grenade available lets the Titan throw it out, causing it explode in Solar damage on contact, and then having it emit a shockwave from there. 

Through the Darkness

Besides the new classes, the single mission I was able to run through did a great job of setting the stage for how dark and eerie The Taken are going to become. Not only was walking through the level and seeing the destruction caused was beyond anything we have seen from the game to date, certain enemy animations really set the stage that a new challenge lies ahead and it is beyond anything we have seen before. Watching a Cabal trying to move to safety before submitting to his wounds shows that something not only cleared the area, but decimated it and it is looking for you. Walking through the hallways you can see what look like tears in the fabric of space, and flickering lights, for the first time ever, Destiny puts itself in the horror genre, even if for an instant. 

At the end of the road, Oryx makes a brief appearance before a boss battle which has a number of The Taken appear. Having to mostly fight what appeared to be Psions that were infused with the darkness, the battle was far from difficult, but really did make me wonder just how far into the depths we are going to have to go to get past this next challenge. With new an all-new campaign, new weapons, armor pieces, strikes and a new raid, I am excited about what is to come. 

Going Head to Head

On top of the new PvE content, there will be two new Crucible match types for players to play through. Mayhem, which will see every Guardian getting a massive boost to their charge rates for all abilities; and Rift, which will play out like a variation on capture the flag. With each team having one location that they need to defend, it is up to each side to capture the spark and bring it to their enemies rift for points. If they are able to successfully reach the rift, they can also do a backflip into it for extra points, but by scoring a goal, a blast will emit from the rift killing any enemies who failed to guard the point. Sadly, we weren’t able to get any time with Mayhem, but anyone who has spent any amount of time with Crucible should be able to get an idea of just how chaotic that mode will become.

With a number of new modes, and a number of new items there really is going to be a lot for us Guardians to find out and grind for when The Taken King launches on September 15 — I only hope that that as we move forward, Bungie has once again found a way to let players continue to upgrade their old gear, and maybe even found a way to appease Destiny‘s true boss, RNG.