Destiny: The Taken King

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Destiny: The Taken King Game Poster Image
Parents recommend
Violent sci-fi shooter expansion has intense firefights.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Little nuance in the good-humans-vs.-evil-aliens plot, which dehumanizes the creatures players kill. Encourages cooperative, team-based play in some multiplayer modes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Guardians, their allies unequivocally good, fighting to save last bastion of humanity. But their only tool is violence, and they take little time to reflect on actions as they move from one battle to the next.

Ease of Play

Intuitive first-person shooter controls. Mission difficulty depends largely on character level, weapons, gear, skill of people you're playing with (if any). Competitive play likely will prove very challenging for inexperienced players.


Nearly constant combat with sci-fi arsenal that includes guns, melee weapons (including knives), vehicles, turrets. Some weapons used as clubs to viciously beat nearby enemies. Foes include robots, aliens who bleed, yelp when struck before dissolving into nothingness. Competitive play puts players up against the human avatars of other players. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Destiny: The Taken King is an expansion to the first-person sci-fi shooter Destiny. It's set in the distant future and pits human guardians and their allies against aliens and robots in a fight to save humanity. Combat is fast and frenetic, with players using a variety of guns, melee weapons, vehicles, and special energy-based attacks to destroy robots and kill sentient alien creatures who cry out, sometimes bleed a little, and disintegrate when hit. There's no strong language or sexuality, but players likely will spend much of their time playing online in cooperative and competitive modes that support voice chat with strangers, which could expose kids to bullying, inappropriate language, and questionable topics of discussion. Note that the original Destiny is needed to play this expansion.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bynuenjins November 14, 2015

The potential "cost" of the game is often more than what parents exspect about an otherwise great game.

Dispatching aliens with an readily available arsenal has really never been better. The shortcomings of what many call 'vanilla' Destiny were largely d... Continue reading
Adult Written byReveiwMom121 December 17, 2015

My son's FAVORITE game!

This game is one of the more less violent shooters out there, despite common sense saying it is a violent shooter. I also disagree with the 15+ rating from Comm... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byThis wise kid September 23, 2015

Read this for the truth.

This game is really good for pre-teens and teens. It is pretty fun and it gets you involved in the game. It isn't as violent as they say it is. Of course,... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySamuel Crosby December 27, 2019

Awesome but scary

This is the best DLC for Destiny 1 it has a great story but will scare younger children there is big monsters, jumpscares, and loud noises. This game is not for... Continue reading

What's it about?

DESTINY: THE TAKEN KING -- the third and final expansion of popular sci-fi shooter Destiny -- adds new content and reshapes existing mechanics in a bid to make a one-year-old game feel new again. Characters are instantly raised to level 25 before players dive into a handful of new quests, including several that are part of a six-hour story centering on an alien boss named Oryx, who arrives in the solar system to take revenge on humans for killing his son, Crota. These missions are set in locations both familiar and fresh, such as the Martian moon Phobos and Oryx's massive dreadnought. Players also will notice a new quest screen that makes it easier to redeem completed bounties, new multiplayer and co-op strike missions, and an adjustment that separates the Light stat for weapons and gear from character levels.

Is it any good?

Destiny has been divisive from the start, frustrating some players with its hard-to-penetrate lore, repetitive grinds, and Byzantine leveling system. It's also captivated others with superlative combat, terrific camaraderie-building co-op missions, and the promise of ever more enviable loot. Destiny: The Taken King tries to fix some of the things people have long been complaining about while pushing the bar further in areas the series already does well.

The new missions are well designed and are set in some gorgeous new locations filled with interesting artifacts. More importantly, the missions have comprehensible narratives and characters who spout interesting (sometimes even funny) lines. Plus, simple changes to how basic systems -- such as bounty collecting -- work serve to make the game flow noticeably more smoothly. But all this being said, many players still will have difficulty working out what they need to do to grow their characters. Hitting the new maximum level cap of 40 doesn't take much time at all, but acquiring the proper gear to improve your Light level -- which has a big impact on a guardian's strength -- does. And Bungie still doesn't offer matchmaking for its raid missions (arguably the best part of the game), which effectively locks this content from anyone who doesn't have a large group of reliable friends with whom to play for long stretches. Still, there's no doubt that most of the changes Bungie did make have turned Destiny -- a good game that always required a bit of fixing -- into something measurably better.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Does the species of creature killed by a player alter the effect of the violence? Should it?

  • Talk about managing screen time. How can you avoid getting sucked into playing a game such as this for hours at a time?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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