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Destiny: The Taken King
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
The potential "cost" of the game is often more than what parents exspect about an otherwise great game.
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.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.