The Taken King Is The Evolutionary Leap That Console Gaming Needed

The Taken King Is The Evolutionary Leap That Console Gaming Needed
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For some people who play games, especially those that regularly read the internet, there is that persistent little voice that exists. A voice that chatters away in the brain, trying everyday to convince its host that video game publishers are sickening, sweaty sub-human creatures who eat turkey legs with their bare hands in boardroom meetings and smoke cigars lit by a match struck on the cheeks of orphaned children.

Their sole purpose in life is to squeeze you like a weeping lemon until every last dollar falls out. They care not for morals or ethical behaviour. All they want, regardless of consequences, reputation or bad press, is your goddamn money. And they will step on every one of your beloved childhood video game memories in order to get it.

Destiny’s publisher is Activision. A company which has long held the position of an immoral money-hungry hog beast in the eyes of gamers. Their history has been rocky; appearing to value revenue over customers for several years. But since the launch of Destiny, Activision has been relatively quiet on the ‘Terribly Awful Contempt For Customers’ front.

In 2012, during their now infamous court battle with former employees of Call Of Duty-developer Infinity Ward, certain existing contracts with Activision were revealed by the Los Angeles Times. These legally binding contracts showed the initial decisions made with another developer, Bungie, in regards to an upcoming game entitled Destiny. Already two years into development when the court case spilled the beans, the contract stipulated that Bungie deliver a new Destiny every two years with a significant piece of add-on content (codenamed Comet) every alternate year. This is the first mention of what would later become The Taken King. At this stage, at least on paper, it reads like a guaranteed lock to provide them with a continuous pipeline to your wallet. What a bunch of bastards, right?

After 4.6 million people played Destiny’s Alpha and Beta, the full game launched in September 2014. Two expansions later and most people thought they knew everything Destiny had to offer. Including me. I had taken my Hunter (an Awoken gentleman with fabulous hair) as far as I felt I could go. Subconsciously, I had hit a wall with Destiny after realising that a LOT of grinding was needed to satisfy the needs of its ever-so-slightly obtuse Light leveling system. I loved the look of Destiny. The feel of combat. The breadth of its universe. But my interest had started to drift away into other areas. I hadn’t even realised.

Destiny was in the past for me. I was aware of new content on the release calendar but it didn’t fill me with the same ravenous excitement that the Alpha or Beta had.

But then everything changed with Destiny 2.0. One week before the release of the Taken King expansion, Bungie released a huge 18GB update. In addition to preparing for the upcoming expansion, the update made significant changes to Destiny’s framework. Quests were now displayed in detail, loot items dropped more frequently and the level progression was now both easier to understand and easier to attain. Destiny had become way more rewarding overnight. The wall that I had hit months before had crumbled before my eyes. When the Taken King itself released, this feeling started to increase. Every action I did seemed to matter. Every place I went was exciting. Every piece of gear I used felt rewarding.

When it started to become clear what Bungie had planned in the long-term for this universe, a lot of comparisons were made to the MMO style of experience such as World Of Warcraft. A long-standing ‘platform’ for a game that would be forever changing, updating and evolving. The main difference between Destiny’s galaxy and WoW’s Azeroth was that this universe would exist solely on a console. Believe it or not, there are still people who love to play games but have never touched an MMO. So when Destiny launched, it was unlike anything the PS4 and Xbox One had seen. A vast mixture of role-playing and social adventure. Certain parts of the game required your friends (or strangers) to complete. It was new, exciting and perhaps most important of all, perpetual.

Destiny’s third and largest expansion, The Taken King, was released last month and over the course of a few days, what initially seemed like a selection of new quests and features, gradually revealed itself to have an incredible amount of layers. Faction reputation was now clearly shown; tracking exactly how much XP you were earning with the Vanguard, Gunsmith, Future War Cult, Cryptarch and so on.

The brand new Quests screen was a stroke of genius. Laying absolutely everything out in front of you in one easy-to-use menu, it shows each section of game progression for you to monitor and understand. For instance, you’re almost finished with the sixth step of this quest and two new bounties. If you complete those, you’ll rank up with more Crota’s Bane experience and probably unlock a new quest line. What about forging a sword? Crucible bounties? How many more Taken Champions do you need to defeat before you can return to The Reef and kneel before Petra Venj? Everything is displayed in such an ingenious way, it’s no wonder I have fallen victim to playing it into the wee hours almost every night since its release. One more quest step. One more bounty. A few more upgrades. These tantalising carrots existed before the arrival of The Taken King but now everyone can plainly see the stick.

So much of what was buried under the surface of Destiny has now burst forth with glee in The Taken King. Cut scenes that breathe life into characters in the Tower. The ability to easily progress forward in story, experience, gear and sub-classes. And stand on the battlefields of Phobos laughing as multitudes of engrams fall like candy from the sky. Regardless of what you think of Destiny itself, The Taken King has rejuvenated the entire universe. It is not optional. The more you play, the more it becomes clear how much Bungie didn’t even mention before launch. The amount of content buried on Oryx’s Dreadnought alone is staggering.

The Taken King rewards long time players with incredible benefits and opens up the Destiny universe to new players like no other console game has even attempted. Whether Bungie had most of this content locked down long ago or if it is a living, breathing reaction to what players wanted from a new expansion, it is an extraordinary leap forward for console gaming. It not only brought Destiny back to life for a lot of people but cements its position in the console landscape as a universe that is just getting started. This just doesn’t happen. Not on this scale and not to these lengths. Most games are beaten and shelved within a month of launch day. Destiny is now into Year Two and is more thrilling and rewarding than ever.

But still, even with all these exciting upgrades, Destiny isn’t perfect. A few improvements could still be made. For instance, the game’s backstory and lore is mostly sealed in unlockable Grimoire Cards which, despite being earned in the game, can only be viewed on Bungie’s website or in the Destiny app. This decision still seems crazy because a large part of the substance of Destiny’s world is sitting right there, ripe for the taking. If there was another menu screen in the game dedicated to this lore – what a difference it would make. What a fascinating hole of fiction we could fall into.

For example, a friend recently explained to me that Eris Morn was once a Guardian. A hunter, trapped for years beneath the surface of the Moon after a mission-gone-wrong, Morn had to adapt to live in the environment of the Hive. Hence her horrifically transformed eyes. When she finally escaped, she then decided to help the Vanguard. Taking up residence in The Tower in preparation for the assault on the Hive boss, Crota. Now, I know there is narration and the odd paragraph in the menus but I didn’t feel like I got even get half of this information via the game’s story and I’m the type of person who hangs on every word when playing a story-driven game. So when I heard it in full detail from a friend, I was dumbfounded by this awesome slice of fiction. And I subsequently discovered the majority of Morn’s story was locked up in Grimoire cards. As I mentioned: crazy.

However, as a result of The Taken King, niggling problems such as these can no longer be forgotten. Not forever lost to the history of a game’s launch day. Bungie has transformed what Destiny is and what it could be with this expansion and made it highly unpredictable going forward. Changes can be made, rules can be broken and fundamentals can be shaken. Negatives can be opened up with a light at the end of the tunnel towards a positive. Maybe someday, the Grimoire cards could end up in the game.

Bungie will enjoy an unprecedented long term intake of sales with the Destiny platform. Yes, what they’ve delivered is very similar to the framework of World Of Warcraft but because this is in the world of consoles, the potential for Destiny and games influenced by its vision seems like a major shift. Microsoft and Sony have gone to jaw-dropping lengths trying to emulate other platforms with cameras and motion controls. They tried to throw anything at the wall to see what stuck. Then along comes Bungie and makes a change for them.

Destiny validates this ‘always online’ future we all had fears about at the start of this console generation. We might not realise it yet, but it may forever change how a significant portion of big budget console games will be designed and released. There’s more ‘games-as-platforms’ on the horizon for the console market and any fears for their quality are significantly lessened because The Taken King exists. It’s an incredible achievement not only in terms of what it adds to Destiny but what it represents for console game development. It seems a surprising antithesis to the caricature of the money-driven turkey-stained publisher I described earlier. A welcome reprieve from the notion that multi-million dollar games are a stagnant commodity forever trapped on a plateau.

This universe feels a lot more decisive now that The Taken King has settled in. It is laser-focused on a vision of both an expansive universe and quiet, personal achievement. Characters that were once half-heartedly present in your adventure are now a crucial part of the story. The new quest system has made progression almost unstoppable and a constant reason to keep playing after you promised you would stop. That unobtainable gear that your high-level friends had been bragging about is now superseded by even more amazing items. And the extent of new secrets hiding in every dark corridor has still not been completely traversed.

The fight of Earth’s last remaining survivors now feels decidedly more compelling for every Guardian that ever set foot in The Tower. I’m filled with a resounding sense of purpose now. Who knows what I’ll find? What’s around the next corner? What does Destiny have in store for Year Three?


    • It is certainly revolutionary. Since when has an expansion that I didn’t pay for ripped away so much content from the game I did pay for?

    • I think you mean: Advertising.

      Evolutionary? Nope. I’d barely call it innovative. There’s nothing that’s even particularly new here.
      Leap? For Destiny maybe, for gaming or console gaming in general? Nope.
      That console gaming needed? Again, nope.

      I’d barely even call this game journalism – it’s just flagrant fanboy masturbation.

  • I dunno, after buying the Taken King, Phobos only having one mission and the majority of missions being on content present in Vanilla Destiny it’s sold me on the idea of NOT buying any further Destiny expansions. I don’t think the industry needs any further evolution in minimum content maximum price practices.

    • Actually there are two missions on Phobos, the second doesn’t unlock until the near the very end of the Taken War questline, which is the second half of the story content after you face off against Oryx in the story mission “Regicide”. Admittedly, you basically play the first mission in reverse in order to get to a particularly difficult boss fight and it doesn’t introduce any new areas, but it is a second mission nevertheless.

      People harp on about missions reusing areas, but this is an open world shooter, I think it would be a waste for missions to only be used once and never seen again. There are specific zones that are only available when you are playing a particular strike, but these are fairly small in contrast to the overworld as a whole.

      The Dreadnought despite being one “new” area is as vast as the other patrol zones and has a plethora of secrets to uncover.

      I imagine a completely new sandbox will come with Destiny 2, which will probably be out a year from now. There were rumoured to be two more mini-expansions coming in similar scope to The Dark Below and House of Wolves, but it seems that Destiny is going to try the approach of getting players who want to pay more for cosmetic items that don’t affect the game, and drip-feed actual game content to everyone else. Time will tell how this plays out. I told myself I wouldn’t pay for more silver, but then the Halloween event started and I needed to have the Thriller dance emote for my character. Some people are griping that you need to buy and spend silver to secure “legendary masks” that won’t expire when the event ends on November 9th, but forget that legendary masks are completely pointless other than being a joke item. They don’t have a light level or ability buffs so it would be madness to equip them for anything other than this event as it leaves you considerably weaker. I think people who spend silver on them will be disappointed with themselves in the long run.

      Nonetheless, people are going for it.

      • Oh I know, and another quest where you go through it backwards AGAIN for another quest!

        My issue with reusing areas and paying $70 to reuse old areas (Halo 4 wants it’s free DLC back) is that it gets incredibly stale incredibly fast and being open world isn’t really an excuse. You want a game with lots of “open zones” and reuses content less there’s Borderlands 2. I’ve been going back to that recently in co-op and it’s blowing me away just how much Destiny appropriated but on such a small scale.

        Don’t get me wrong I was excited when it came out, but if you’re going to re-use an engine, assets and sell it for $70? Give me something the size of ODST at least.

        • “Oh I know, and another quest where you go through it backwards AGAIN for another quest!”

          The thing that gets me is the number of people that are surprised by this. This has been Bungie’s bag SINCE THE FIRST HALO.

          Seriously. Go play Halo again. You pretty much play the same game twice. Once forwards, against the Covenant, then you play the same levels backwards in reverse order against the flood instead.

  • As someone that DOES enjoy Destiny despite it’s flaws (I play most days and have cleared every raid except for HM Kings Fall), I still think this article talks up The Taken King more than it’s worth. There’s a lot of hyperbole in here.

    TTK is an improvement on vanilla Destiny for sure, but there’s still some pretty glaring flaws.

    – Balance issues in PvP.
    – Double RNG on raid drops (first to get the gear, then to hope it’s not low light).
    – There is a story now, but it’s still pretty basic. All the interesting stuff is locked in the Grimoire.
    – While I appreciate the fact most Exotics now have quests rather than pure RNG, Bungie’s new fun thing is arbitrary timegates.
    – If anything, an increase on the grind (lowered Strange Coin/mat drops, required planetary farming for some quests).

    TL;DR: The Taken King is an improvement and I enjoy Destiny, but this article toots Destiny’s horn a bit too much.

    • No, you’re bringing up individual issues with the mechanics of the game, you need to step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s easy to take Destiny for granted at this point, but you gotta remember that a little over a year ago, there was nothing like it on consoles.

      Taken King feels like the first time Destiny’s potential has been realised unequivocally, and it’s set a roadmap for what we can expect for sequels and future DLC. If you think developers aren’t looking at Destiny and taking notes right now, maybe you don’t enjoy Destiny as much as you think, or at least you’re taking it more for granted than it deserves.

      • It’s really not that revolutionary though. It’s an FPS, with bits of RPG and MMO sprinkled in. It might be the first console game to combine those parts, but none of them individually are anything new. PC games have done a lot of these things for years and years – many of them published by Bungie’s own publisher.

        Individual issues are, combined, what make up the bigger picture. You can enjoy a game without being an apologist and excusing issues because “ooo it’s new”. Bungie have been making games for a long time, and they had access to possibly the best wealth of MMO/RPG knowledge with Blizzard-Activision being their publisher.

        You can’t tell me I “don’t enjoy Destiny as much as [I] think” because you have no idea what I’m thinking. I play the game pretty much every day, I raid, and I’m usually the first person on here defending a lot of things – I just don’t suck up to Bungie and say it’s the bestest thing ever.

        I like Destiny, it’s a fun game. But to say it’s some groundbreaking revolutionary milestone is disingenuous.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think TTK is a step in the right direction, but I don’t exactly think it’s an “evolutionary leap” like this article suggests.

        • Yeah other games have done the MMO things successfully before, sure. But for every game like WOW that nails the MMO/RPG elements, the actual gameplay boils down to clicking buttons in the right order. Destiny has to combine the “actual gameplay” mechanics of FPS and all the issues that come with that, as well as the RPG balancing that you need in an MMO as well.

          It’s easy to say that MMOs or RPGs before it have had more content, more areas to explore, etc. But games like WOW typically occur in a 2D plane when it comes to things like combat. You target an enemy, and your distance on an x axis is really the only thing that matters. Having to create three dimensional play spaces, while balancing FPS elements AND RPG elements, that’s a lot of work.

          For every idea that you think MMO’s have done before and done better, you need to remember that these MMOs never had to deal with the cross-section of genres that Destiny does. Destiny may remind you of games that have come before it, World Of Warcraft, Diablo, Halo, etc. But there hasn’t been a single game that is what Destiny is. Not on consoles, not even on PCs.

          I’m like you, I play a lot, and every day there’s something new I find that I wish they’d change, a stupid decision I want to swear at. I’m a very objective consumer when it comes to games, I don’t get blinded by the lights, I don’t let emotion get in the way of how I feel about games, I look at the facts. Just because Destiny isn’t hitting home runs with every aspect of the game, it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing something new and exciting and amazing.

          You look at games Horizon: Zero Dawn and you can already see the overwhelming influence of much smaller scoped games like Arkham Asylum and Shadow of Mordor. To think Destiny, with all its risky steps into uncomfortable territory, isn’t leading the way for future developments; that seems pretty naive to me.

          Destiny is revolutionary, not perfect, not by a long shot. But it is revolutionary.

          • I think you’re a bit offbase on that

            eah other games have done the MMO things successfully before, sure. But for every game like WOW that nails the MMO/RPG elements, the actual gameplay boils down to clicking buttons in the right order.

            No all MMO games have been developed like WoW, a lot have gone separate ways

            For every idea that you think MMO’s have done before and done better, you need to remember that these MMOs never had to deal with the cross-section of genres that Destiny does.

            Have you played Elder Scrolls Online? It’s a pretty good balance of MMO and First Person RPG. It’s got a 3D world in which you jump, block, try to dodge, similar to other Elder Scrolls games. Personally it was a bit too MMOy for me, but it certainly wasn’t just a game similar to WoW. It dealt with actual gameplay mechanics and a nice crossection of mechanical genres.

            Also, the MMO Atlantica Online makes a good departure by mixing genres too. It mixes the MMO genre with the typical turn-based tactical RPG genre. Instead of controlling one character as part of a group and just taking care of stats, you control a party of up to 6 characters where the combat is turn based between your guys, your allies peoples and the enemies. It did it very well, and it was a nice blend between traditional RPG’s and MMO.

            Hell, years and years ago there was a flash based MMO called Puzzle Pirates, where you and a few other players crewed a pirate ship and fought through puzzle mechanics. Some of it was just “Fill weird shaped hole with weird shaped parts in the most effeciant way possible” and some of it was more Tetris like. It wasn’t too bad.

            Hell, if you want to look at specifically MMO’s in a 3D space with physical movement and non-WoW mechanics that succeeded on consoles, look no further than Phantasy Star Online: A first person real-time hack and slash MMORPG series that saw releases, and successes, on the Dreamcast, Gamecube, Xbox and PS Vita.

            There are tonnes more, but those are the four I think of straight away. None of them were specifically FPS MMO’s, but they all dealt with a mixup in mechanics and gameplay, with trying to blend more than one genre in to the MMO mix.

            it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing something new and exciting and amazing.

            Destiny is trying something new and amazing, but they’re not the first and it’s not revolutionary. This kind of thing has been around since the dawn of video games.

        • Its revolutionary for the same reason Halo was. Its doing something that hasnt succeeded on console before.

          For me, this plays somewhere between Borderlands and Defiance. Loved Borderlands, and thats how the gameplay feels for me. Pew pew pew, spark your special as needed, go through the quest arc, loot to win.

          But there is just that little more to it, playing with a storyline thats just that little more involved, and dealing with factions and a few more loot slots, so moving that little bit towards Defiance.

          I came into Destiny late, and missed all the initial drama, but have seen it in plenty of other games. Diablo was terrible until its first major expansion as well, after which the game was a totally different experience, and one of the first MMO’s I played, Everquest, took 3 expansions before it delivered a complete package.

          Dont hold this to a lofty standard, not too many games get there on their first run. Even vanilla WoW was a disappointment, having zero raids, cities impossible to navigate, and enough bugs to fill a book.

    • Agreed. The amount of overstatement in this article is cringe-worthy. I’ve put over 1000 hours into Destiny and play most nights. I thoroughly enjoy the game, but it isn’t perfect and some of the elements and design decisions in the game are so frustrating I want to tear my eyes out.

      • Thank you, exactly! If anything, I think the Destiny community is one of the most passionate ones I’ve seen. How many other 1000 hour+ players are there like you? I’m willing to bet a lot.

        I’m just saying, you can enjoy a game but still be partial about it. Bitching = bad, but constructive criticism = good.

  • You may not like Destiny, but you cannot argue that it isn’t revolutionary on consoles. And the fact that it’s taking such massive risks is something to be lauded, and that includes when they fall flat. We need more games like Destiny, and less like Assassin’s Creed and Call Of Duty (I hate that Assassin’s Creed is now in the same league as COD, the first one was the flawed but huge step forward Destiny is).

    100% agree with this article.

      • There are MMOs, like WoW and Guild Wars.
        There are FPS’s, like Halo and Call Of Duty.
        There are no games that are both.

        That’s a really basic distillation of why, but the main thing you need to do is think of the monumental task of combining those two genres, with all of their own individual balancing issues, and then combining them together to create a myriad of new balancing issues. While creating content and gameplay spaces that engages both of these identities. With minimal framework or precedents to follow or learn from.

        There’s nothing like the raid experience in Destiny on consoles, at all. There may be raid experiences on PC MMOs, but they don’t leverage three-dimensional spaces and combat to create puzzles and challenges. There’s rarely triple A games that have a life that extends past a few months, let alone over a year. Lots of People will definitely be playing Destiny 1 right through to its sequel, that’s a 2 year life span. I need more than 100 words.

        • To me destiny always looked a lot like borderlands in terms of gameplay, party based coop with bosses at the end that dropped loot ranging in quality from garbage to good.

          Is there more difference than it just having an in game lobby where you can see other peoples gear and show off your 5 dollar emotes?

          • Yeah I played a lot of Borderlands, but it never really felt like you were part of a larger world. The world felt static, and it was, realistically, a single player experience. You moved linearly through the story and world as opposed to truly existing in a space that you revisit and that changes around you.

            I think it’s the persistence of Destiny that really makes it stand out from Borderlands. With Borderlands, it felt static. Destiny feels like anything could happen in the future, like the world is still being formed (in a good way, not just in a “the idea’s unfinished” way). With Borderlands 2 especially, I felt like after 10 hours I had seen all the game had to offer, with Destiny, I feel excited at the prospect that tomorrow might show me something new.

            I think maybe if you didn’t know much about games, and you watched them side by side, the comparisons would be coming thick and fast. But spending 30 hours with each of them will reveal they are vastly different games.

          • Its funny that you mention the world changing more in Destiny, I am a World of Warcraft veteran of many years and one of the main complaints I have with MMO’s is that your actions never have any effect on the world.

            If I go in and kill a raid boss he is right back again the next week. The only way the world changes in WoW is when you purchase a new expansion pack.

          • Yeah that’s been my main complaint about the little I played of WoW as well. I think that’s the reason why I like the pretty barebones / not there story of Destiny. It lets me view it as a sandbox, rather than a narrative. I honestly believe it’d be a mistake to try and infuse this massive epic story into Destiny. I believe, even though I find this sort of stuff infuriating, all of the intentionally camp elements like the current Halloween celebration in game, or Nathan Fillion’s character taking the piss out of more serious characters are the right sorts of directions to head in.

            Have the huge lore that exists in the grimoires, build the world and have a reason for everything in it, but use that stuff to form the setting and story, not the specific plot. That way I don’t care that I kill the same boss every week. Or loot the same “one of a kind” gun 10 times. Games sometimes try too hard to be other mediums like movies or books. But the exciting thing about games is that they don’t have to be beholden to constraints like a traditionally structured plot.

          • Borderlands is not static at all. Once a mission or task/quest is completed you cannot redo excluding specific DLC content or arena style missions which are not story-centric. Whereas Destiny is repeating content over and over is a static way. It is just loot farming which don’t get me wrong I don’t mind already having a lvl 1200 paragon on D3 but Destiny is a lesser RPG to Borderlands and it could learn a lot about storying telling and engaging story driven content.
            It has a long way to go before it will be considered better than Borderlands 1 & 2 (pre-sequel I thought was utter garbage because it seemed like a cash grab IMO).

        • Thanks for the run-down. It sounds like Borderlands to me I guess, so I couldn’t really get it.

          I don’t have the massive amounts of time, and probably the skills to get into MMOs, so Destiny won’t be in my Destiny any time soon, I was mainly interested in it because of Bungie, I really enjoyed the early Halo titles, but don’t really play online. I was gutted when I first found out Destiny was going to be an MMO and not some truly enormous single player campaign game.

        • Defaince on PC and Warframe on console and PC off the top of my head.

          I don’t know if revolutionary is the right word for Destiny. You could argue that they have refined the experience though.

    • Here is my problem with Destiny, its on the console. Now I am a PC gamer but I am not buying a console just for a game/games.

      I have no problem with console gamers, and do not think they are peasants or stupid, they are just like me. However Modern consoles are overpriced pieces of garbage. Back in the day Consoles outperformed pc’s of that time and at a much cheaper cost, but todays modern consoles are a joke. Price vs Computers charts for over the years.

      Both Sony and Microsoft charge you a lot of extra money for inferior system, they make you hold on to that system with no upgrades for 8 years before offering any sort of small upgrade. Buy buying a console means they lock you into their overpriced ecosystem where games on average cost more then their pc counter part. They don’t let you play online unless you pay, They don’t let you play with other friends who own other systems even though its extremely doable. They don’t let developers directly sell their game too you charging for dev kits and royalties.

      This is not a cynical look at consoles and what they offer its the truth. I would have one if they offered anything substantial but instead what they do is hold games hostage, pay devs extra money for keeping it exclusive. The only reason to buy a modern console is because you want to play X game, not because of X feature or technical improvement.

      You can build a computer for cheaper (has a much better bang for buck compared to consoles), upgrade it whenever you want for the price you want. Social services are free on pc, you can also game with friends who use mac or linux. Most people already have a decent desktop pc that only requires a beefer GPU to game and a 200 dollar modern gaming card quite often produces 60+ frames in all the latest games par the extremely top end like crysis 3 as an example. Backwards compatibility. Pc’s can emulate all the old consoles up to PS2 era easily unlocking thousands of titles that have been forgotten and no longer available.

      I think destiny with more time to mature could be a revolutionary game for every platform not just consoles, its improving a lot just like wow did, but its a shame the only way to play it is on platforms that offer nothing accept exclusive tittles they refuse to let go off. There is literally no other reason to buy a modern console other then because you want to play X game.


      This is a performance comparison to what is available on pc vs console, that is how low the “new” ps4 sits. This is an old chart, its compares it too a titan which is a little unfair considering was a thousand dollar card, however you can get a 280 for only $270 which is capable of running any modern game 60+ fps plus, on high, at 1080P.

      This is the market share of PC gaming vs consoles, its growing fast.

      Now remember PC has no spokes person, It hasn’t got someone forcing exclusive tittles, no ads like xbox/ps4 yet its increasing extremely fast.

      Now imagine your revolutionary Destiny and imagine what it would be capable of on a system as open ended as PC if it was not kept to consoles only, it would only get better and you could play it on just about any system that is reasonable build (i.e a system that costs the same or more then a console).

      • I buy modern consoles because they are easy to use and work every time I want to play a game. I honestly can’t be assed messing with a PC at the moment.

        • 10 years ago sure, but today its almost completely hands free if you want it too be, everything updates automatically. You can literally ring up a reputable computer store like umart and tell them i want to spend X for a gaming rig and they will hook you up with all in one warranty (take it back to the store instead of having to talk to the manufacturer) and it will be prebuild and configured ready to go in a day. Costing about 60 dollars or so more then if you built it yourself.

          The only thing the os doesn’t take care of with updating drivers etc is the graphics card and even that is super simple with the software they have (which the pc store you bought it from will already have installed waiting to go), it tells you when you need to update, press the update button and done, the software even autodetect games you have installed and changes your settings to best suit your hardware if tinkering is not your thing.

          if it breaks past the warranty take it back and they will replace the part thats broken over night in most cases, with a console you have to ship it and it can take weeks.

          • I’d have to disagree with things being that simple. A friend and I play Dragon Age Inquisition, I on Xbox and they on PC. The number of times I’ve heard of crashes, driver issues, etc that I haven’t had to deal with is a constant reminder as to why I gave up PC gaming.

          • Yea some games play up, but its all raltive, the consoles are still more popular but as pc keeps climbing devs are going to start paying more attention to it and put more money towards the PC development for games.

            Currently by estimations done by a lot of different companies PC is about neck and neck with consoles in terms of users, that has climbed since early 2000’s with it rocketing in the last 3 to 4 years.

            So yea I will admit PC has some troubled releases and games due to developers not putting in the time needed, and PC has its own unique set of problems, but if these trends continue (with everything pointing to an almost definite yes as hardly anyone is truly happy with what the ps4 and xbox one offer) companies are going to slowly switch over to more Pc orientated releases, and might even stop saying yes to exclusives.

      • The thing about this argument is that it completely ignores the concept of optimisation. Looking at consoles vs PCs as a “price vs specs” proposition is extremely reductionist. It’s the same argument that android phones use against iOS (“Bigger screen!” why? “Because more ram!” why?) and it misses a key point of the realities of game development.

        Knowing what the specs are in the machine you’re developing for, knowing that every player has those exact same unchanging specs, this makes development time quicker, it makes it easier, and it results in lower specs being completely misleading about the power of the system. The fact that you could get a game to look as good as The Last Of Us on the specs that PS3 had seems ludicrous. Until you consider optimisation. The fact that a game console could have an 8 year lifespan (admittedly that was too long) seems crazy. Until you consider optimisation. The fact that “no games come to android even though more people have it” seems stupid. Until you realise optimisation is far more useful than freedom of platform.

        With a set hardware configuration, you can push the system to its known limit, and make assumptions about processing time and graphics, that would be impossible with a fragmented system like the PC install base.

        The reason why developers are given dev-kits is because the ps4, for example, is a closed system, one that Sony knows inside out, and have build development tools around. The dev-kits aren’t a prison, they are a key to unlocking the maximum potential of the hardware. Also, The ram, processor speed, graphics card, mean significantly less than they would on a PC, it isn’t a 1-1 comparison.

        You’re also ignoring the life-style decisions and preferences of consumers. I for one, would never sink as many hours into Destiny as I have if I was sitting at a computer to do so. I for one, hate the mouse / keyboard set up and prefer controllers for every genre, including FPS. I know PC games offer local co-op, but realistically the position of PCs in the home isn’t conducive to local multiplayer environments. These are personal choices I have made as a consumer, and just one facet of why someone might choose console over PC.

        My recommendation is, own as many platforms as you can realistically afford. The only one missing out is you if you refuse to buy platforms on principle alone.

        • firstly saying you hate mouse and keyboard is fine, but you can easily build a small form factor PC and use a xbox controller or ps controller remotely with Bluetooth the exact same way while connected to your tv instead of a monitor their is no difference, PC allows you too use either a controller or keyboard in fact some games recommend it! I personally love M&KB for shooters but for adventure games like the Witcher etc I use my xbox controller wirelessly with my feet up on the couch.

          As for the rest of your misleading comment here is a excerpt from a piece called “why choose pc over console” it articulates my point perfectly and saves me having to type it out

          Some people claim that consoles get better over time due to “optimization” and that PCs (on the opposite end) get slower and need to be upgraded to keep up with these “optimizations”. This is a lie. Some say it intentionally, and some repeat it because they simply don’t know any better. Yes, there is a gradual increase in developer hardware and SDK familiarity after new consoles (or hardware in general) launches. Especially with the XBox 360 and PS3, due to their hardware being exotic and hard to master. These “optimizations” are not exclusive to the consoles, either! The same optimizations are also taken advantage of on the PC when they receive large hardware revisions as well – just take a look at what DirectX 12 and Vulkan are doing for PC gamers! The leading cause of this “console optimization” misconception is likely due to the state of hardware during the launch of the XBox 360 and PS3. When the XBox 360 and PS3 launched, they had entirely new types and mixtures of hardware that the industry was very unfamiliar with. The XBox One and PS4 simply will not have a similar developer learning curve that the 360 and PS3 had because both new consoles use x86-based processors (which is also used by PCs!). As for the second part of the argument, loss of value with PC hardware (in comparison to console hardware) doesn’t happen at a faster rate. Let’s break this down: First off, the 360 and PS3 were sold at a loss when they launched. Times have changed! The Xbox One and PS4 are both being sold at a profit after their first game/online purchases (even at $400/$500). Secondly, the performance-per-dollar of desktop GPUs now is noticeably better than it was at the time. Even while taking this into account, a GPU in 2006 (during the 360 and PS3 launch) priced similar to the build price of those consoles is still very much usable today. The best GPU for this demonstration is NVidia’s 8800 series. Not only are they still getting driver updates today, but they’re also getting support from game developers. Here’s an example of a modern PC game being played on a high-end desktop PC graphics card from 2006 (Link: ). If you look close, you’ll notice it looks and runs exactly like the PS3 and Xbox 360.

          On a side note AMD and Nivida don’t charge for companies to use their hardware like Sony and Microsoft, they work along side them offer free advice to better optimize code and even send out teams to help directly or over skype etc.

          When it comes to release they often pick up the slack of the poorer developers like ubisoft who hardly optimize at all (even on console assassins creed etc run like ass) and release drivers to make it run as good as possible.

          • firstly saying you hate mouse and keyboard is fine, but you can easily build a small form factor PC and use a xbox controller or ps controller remotely with Bluetooth the exact same way while connected to your tv instead of a monitor their is no difference, PC allows you too use either a controller or keyboard in fact some games recommend it!

            That’s all well and good, if I wanted to do that. Which I have already stated isn’t the case. Also I see no benefit to making your PC as much like a console as you can, because then all you have is a console without all the console specific games that come with them. I don’t want to overcomplicate my playing experience when I have a console that I can plug in straight away and have it work every time without worrying.

            I used to look at PC games and get really excited about RTS games and other things that were really just not possible on consoles and get bummed that I didn’t have a computer to play them. Now I look at PC games and see hundreds of promising but unfinished indie games (greenlight, kickstarter, etc) that I know will come to PS4 eventually, where I can play them the way I want to play them, often with my friends. There’s just nothing really on PCs anymore that entices me to take the leap, PC gaming may be in good health, but there are so few triple A games coming out for the platform that aren’t coming for consoles too.

            Is it cool seeing tech demos of explosion physics in Star Citizen? Definitely. But does it make me want to build a PC for significant cost, stress about drivers and whether picking AMD or Nvidia will result in massive issues on particular games, where I have to run Windows and get anxious about every website I click on for fear of viruses? Not in the slightest.

            You may well be right about the optimisation over time being different for this generation of consoles, but it’s way too soon to tell. All we have to go off is the previous generations of consoles and the optimisation over time thing was 100% the case. So we’ll assume that to also be true unless proven otherwise.

            I’m really not sure why PC users keep trying to make these arguments like everyone has the same values. It might be easier now than ever before to have a PC that runs, but you’re speaking from the perspective of a computer hardware literate position. Don’t underestimate how little someone like me knows about hardware and building my own PC, and certainly don’t underestimate how little my desire is to learn it.

          • O I understand, I have been trying to teach my mother to use the iphone (my father can use it well) and after a year she still panics when trying to call someone.

            That said, my points are correct. PC is better, much the same a 40,000 dollar car is better then a 30,000 dollar car but unless you use the features its not better, is it… You sound a lot like my brother, He loves his consoles always has and always will. I can literally do the same as I’ve done with you and prove on paper why and how pc is better, but you know what… He enjoys it, he is happy with the fact when he puts in a cd it will work 100% of the time, he is also happy to know when it breaks all he has to do is mail it and a new one will come back to him.

            I personally am a advocate for pc because of price, freedom of choice (spend how much you want) cheaper games (steam sales), and most of the features Console charge for are free on pc such as the social aspects i.e. playing online with friends. The graphics are better yes, but graphics is not everything, on pc the most popular games are Dota 2, Counter strike global offence (was on console at one point), starcraft, wow… all games that can run fine on console if ported. The 30 fps point is a bit redundant too, I play on a 144hz screen and love it, but I can also play dark souls at 30 fps fine, after a few hours your eyes adjust and your fine. So while most use the “better graphics and more fps” as a reason to jump ship I actually believe its only a minor point to be made.

            The last point my brother all ways states is 1 PC has no sports games, which he is a massive fan which I concede, and 2 all his friends are on console. I get that he has played on console since a kid (we both did but I moved to pc), his friends play on it and even though consoles might not be the best deal, its still a fair deal he is willing to make.

            So lets just say we are both right. I enjoyed our debate (they are fun when kept civilized). You clearly know what choice you’re making, you not saying console is the best, its the best for you, and I get that.

            PC is also no candy canes and fairy floss we have battles going on, one of my biggest things I hate right now is early access and green light. microtranactions seem to plague PC more with its larger “free to play” game selection. And the oculus rift is bringing out games that will only work with the oculus rift basically doing what the consoles do. All that said I still believe PC to be better (for most people anyway ; P)

          • Yep, I agree. Good points made on both sides. Each to their own. Its refreshing to have debates with PC gamers that doesn’t descend into “PC MASTER RACE, Peasants, etc”. At the end of the day it should just be a consumer choice, not a personality one.

    • It’s extremely easy to argue that it isn’t revolutionary.
      The digital clock was revolutionary, the radio was revolutionary, the digital clock radio was not.

      It certainly isn’t the first MMORPG shooter on consoles either so they aren’t the only ones doing something like this.

  • Jesus wept, bugger ethics in game journalism, let’s have a conversation about nausea-inducing hyperbole instead.

  • video game publishers are sickening, sweaty sub-human creatures who eat turkey legs with their bare hands in boardroom meetings and smoke cigars lit by a match struck on the cheeks of orphaned children.


  • Am I missing something or does this read like someone playing Destiny after having played nothing for the past 5 or so years? Final Fantasy XIV (and FFXI) have been around for a while now and have been one of the few MMO experiences on a console that have done well. Co-op FPSRPGs have been constantly evolving ever since titles like Borderlands first appeared and PVP modes have been on consoles for over a decade. Even rich and deep fiction that isn’t forced on you has been a growing trend as well, especially with regards to the Souls series.

    Destiny has done some good things that I’d like to see others start experimenting with but it’s not really what I’d call an evolutionary leap. More just an evolutionary side step towards another local maxima.

    • Phantasy Star Online came out on Dreamcast.

      I guess it wasn’t popular enough to be considered revolutionary MMO on a console.

  • Wow, poor Raygun Brown. Seems his articles are getting drilled as of late. This one I feel is a bit unfair.

    I’m new to Destiny, picked it up 2 weeks ago, and have been enjoying it immensely. Of course that doesn’t make me qualified to have an opinion on it’s evolution as a game, but I enjoyed this article and thought it a good read, and can relate his opinions on the game as is. Sure it needs to evolve further, but I can see it’s potential now.

    Btw Raygun Brown, I’d like to apologise for my initial comment in your last article (cakes something something), I must have been having a bitter cynical day :-S

    • New to Destiny too, I was enjoying Destiny gameplay wise (story was tissue thin). But I’ve now unlocked raids then realised you have to offline to organise a party…. In 2015. So looks like i’ll be skipping that bit.

      • I always hated being told how to play the game. I’d personally rather chance matchmaking but luckily I got big brother bungie looking out for my well being! -.-

  • Taken King is what vanilla Destiny should’ve been! Saying that I’m looking forward to where they go with it from here. I still get on most days to either stuff around with patrols/quests or if some friends are on, go on a raid! I suck at crucible, so I tend to stay away from that (unless a quest requires I play it) And I don’t touch trials. Trials is the crazy uncle we don’t talk about, and pretend doesn’t exist.

  • This reads like it came from an Activision mouthpiece. Yes TTK is a step in the right decision compared to what Destiny was at launch, but the amount of hype that has surrounded it, I haven’t felt in game. It’s simply what I’d expect from a game these days. The amount of superlatives in this ‘article’ is stupid. Take a step back and actually look objectively at the game. There is more content, but still, it’s now a month out after TTK was released and I’m hitting end game and feeling like there’s nothing else really to accomplish after I beat Oryx on hard mode.

    For all TTK has improved on Destiny, it shouldn’t be celebrated for bringing up what was (let’s be honest) an average game at best. The shooting was great, everything else, the ‘story’, the missions, the RNG, the PVP, everything else was flawed so much but people kept playing holding to that belief that one day maybe Bungie will deliver on what they promised. That promise still hasn’t been met, the story is largely ignored with new players encouraged to focus straight on the Oryx storyline while skipping over what happened in VoG or Crota, the missions are improved granted, the RNG is seemingly worse than before (so many promises of you’ll get loot drops based on what you’ve currently got, so why am I constantly getting chest pieces in the raid and not a single pair of boots yet?), PVP is still greatly imbalanced. With TTK they’ve released over the span of a year what was pretty much planned to be included from day one and that’s not the evolutionary step console gaming needed at all. It does not need games to be split up into little bite sized chunks and then charge gamers twice the normal charge over a period of time. What Bungie does next with Destiny, that will determine the game’s legacy

  • I don’t know about this game. I have the legendary (?) edition but it seems like I’ll be needing to play with other people to get the most out of it…

    …and I’d probably rather have my nuts in a vice than play online with other randoms.

    Or does this work on my own? Lone ranger type stuff? Please report urgently.

    • You can get through the story fine by yourself, strikes you can matchmake with but the end game stuff (high level strikes and the raids) you need to be in a fireteam.

      I would say look up clans for new players on your platform (I think there were a couple of Kotaku ones floating around but not sure as to how online those players are anymore, but Reddit usually has clans advertising I think). If you’re on PS4 I’d add you but I now have too many people on there I have no idea who they are anymore 😛

    • Well, as a new player, I’ve not got any friends who play it but I’ve managed to get plenty of enjoyment out of it so far.

      Story missions are all essentially designed for single player (but can also do co-op), and you can easily max your normal level to 40 (not light level) without the assistance of anyone else. From that point, which is where I’m at now, you really need to run Strikes to get better gear and increase your light level. These Strikes are essentially co-op ‘dungeons’ that have a boss at the end. The matchmaking will place you with other players, and so far I’ve had a pretty good experience with randoms. The Strikes are fun.

      Now, beyond this are Raids, and that’s the point where you do need to play with people you know and have some faith in to do their job. At least that’s what I’ve heard. Still, I’d say a solid 50 hours gearing up after level 40, and no one is forcing you to do Raids (though that’s where the best gear is), though I definitely intend to have a go once I’m geared up enough.

      • Im looking to do my 1st raid. If you’d be so kind to help plz invite me. SMEGw0lf is my psn id if you are crazy/friendly enuff to help me out.

    • Depends. Most of the good content you’re going to want/need friends to help you out. Raids are probably the best aspect in the PvE side of Destiny…which you’ll need 5 other friends to do so with (a lot of the time less as most players are well versed in all 3 raids). Unfortunately Strike playlists and Prison Of Elders come with matchmaking, and oh how I wish there was an option for a solo strike playlist…but there’s not, you will be paired with blueberries…which can be quite infuriating if you want to take the strike at your own pace on a higher difficulty. Story missions, patrols and the like however can be taken at your leisure. There’s many little secrets Patrols have to offer, especially on the dreadnaught.

      In all honesty though, I wouldn’t be playing Destiny if I didn’t have at least two or three people from my regular crew online. In fact, when nobody is online I often find myself fizzling out after about two or three hours. I also tend to avoid the PvE side of things (except for daily mission for them legendary marks) if none of my clan are online. Instead I’ll invest my time in the thrilling PvP destiny has on offer. If you do venture into that side of Destiny, I suggest you go in with a positive mind frame, and as soon as that frame cracks and becomes negative, leave. PvP is fun, but also kinda riddled by lag…

      If you’re on xb1 and would like to team up with someone a little less random, hit me up? R3d7iger is my GT. Although, I probably won’t be playing destiny for a bit, because Halo 5.

    • The biggest thing to note is, for the most part, the Destiny player base are very nice and helpful. They seem to be unified by equal parts self preservation and frustration towards Bungie / Activision, so there’s far less dickheads than you’d expect in a shooter. The raids can be an area where randoms you meet on looking for group websites can be frustrating to work with, but if you’re upfront about your lack of experience or relaxed play style, you can save yourself from a lot of these negative experiences. There’s heaps of people who love helping others out in Destiny, just gotta find them.

    • Im in the same boat mate. If you wanna shamble thru some strikes n raids together my psn id is SMEGw0lf. Done a few strikes but still a raid virgin. Lvl 26 (refused to use shard of light for my 1st character) and i play probably 3-4 nights a week (work permitting). Really wanna hit vault of glass soon. Get in touch ok?

  • @ geometrics…

    Can we see some ID please? Im beginning to think you either work at or own a severe amount of stock for Bungie.

    One reason not to give them more money (in my opinion) was the dismal let down that was day one destiny. It wasn’t engaging, it was a repetitive grind with a lobby like the PSN home network.

    If they offered TKK as an apology for those that boarded the hype train for 1.0, i’d give it another go. But now i have 2 copies of destiny that are worth $4 each for trade in and essentially now useless unless you have the expansion.

    • I don’t work for Bungie. Wish I did, that’d be a sweet job. I’m too broke to own stock in anything.

      One reason not to give them more money (in my opinion) was the dismal let down that was day one destiny.

      This is why I comment with long-winded arguments. People who say things like this. Who use the first day of an online game over a year ago and stretch it over the entire game’s legacy. You’ll find the biggest detractors of Destiny are the ones who gave up on it in these early stages and or don’t have The Taken King.

      It’s a position of ignorance (in the strict, dictionary definition of the term) that’s frustrating as hell to read. You can’t make an effective argument without knowing what it is you’re arguing about, and 80% of the debates on Kotaku about Destiny seem to be coming from two sides who are talking about very different stages of the game. One side says “Played year 1, it was trash, Destiny sucks.” while the other side says “Kept playing Destiny including its expansions with my friends, you get out of it what you put in; there’s a lot to love”.

      You’re really not entitled to have an opinion on Destiny right now unless you’ve played The Taken King for enough time to make an informed judgement. That includes things like the raids which too many people don’t want to put the effort into getting a group together for. You’re certainly not entitled to assume people work for the company because they appreciate what Bungie are trying to do and like talking about Destiny as an ever evolving and improving game.

      By all means, dislike the game, but make sure your argument has actual objective reasoning backing it up. The only thing I can’t tolerate is poor arguments.

      • The only thing i can’t tolerate is publisher releasing sub par games and then following it up with full cost expansions to give you what you should have got to start with.

        To be honest, i didnt bother reading your post, as it was more drivel that just crapped on about having to grind to get anything in return. I dont shell out money with the hopes things get better.

        Its a shit game, deal with it.

  • You definitely get the most out of the game in co-op with mates or people who are about to become your friends. Thanks to DestinyLFG I’ve met some great people.

    My mates and I (bang average players) always say that feeling when we beat Atheon in the Vault of Glass raid moment was one of the biggest, bestest moments in gaming. Pure elation. The raids are great (and hard for some of us!) and rely on great teamwork and good communication as well as being personally very rewarding.

  • I don’t know if reading a raygun brown article makes me want to sex Zoe Quinn while wearing an Adam Baldwin mask or have Adam Baldwin sex me while wearing a Zoe Quinn mask.

  • Sorry but no…

    BungieVision have shown to be masters of hype and overselling. While TTK initially looked to make improvements and promised so much, the reality is setting in….there appears to be the same grind and little additional content in TTK once you take out the repeated content and how 2/3 of the game is now pointless…go read the forums for a dose of reality…

    RNG is the single most frustrating thing for me in this game and TTK has made it worse…I won’t be seeing the next dlc and moving on….

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