Of Rifts, Mayhem and Death-Mallets: A Peek at The Taken King
Fun fact about you readers: you guys are rather into Destiny. If this site’s traffic data is any indication, it’s arguably the most popular game among GameDynamo’s readership. It’s essentially your jam, for all intents and purposes.
Armed with that knowledge, I braved not one but TWO of E3’s super-long lines, one at Activision’s booth and another at Sony’s, to bring you lovely folks a firsthand look at what the next major expansion, The Taken King, will have to offer when it drops later this year.
In addition to the usual assortment of new strikes, weapons and narrative prompts (I was going to say “story content”, but since this is Destiny, I figured that’d be a bit of a stretch) the expansion will come with a few new additions to Destiny’s competitive multiplayer, two of which were available for E3-goers to try out.
Mayhem is one of those modes, and it more than lives up to the name. Basically your typical Clash mode where everyone is trying to out-kill their opponents, it twists things up by drastically speeding up the charge rate for players’ Super abilities. Naturally, matches move at a much more furious pace as a result and let one play way more aggressively than normal, while, impressively enough, never becoming overwhelmingly chaotic.
To me, though the mode feels like it exists mainly to showcase the three new Supers being introduced with TTK. For Hunters, Bungie is adding a subclass that will let them pin down enemies with a powerful energy bow, and for Warlocks, a mid-range attack that sprays bolts of lightning at nearby enemies. Since I played Mayhem as a Titan, I spent my time wielding a flaming hammer and dealing devastating, often instant-death levels of damage to enemies within swinging and throwing distance of me. It proved to be a fun Super to use in a pinch when I needed to hit hard fast and couldn’t be bothered to attempt precision aiming (which, for a Destiny rookie like me, was pretty much all the time).
That’s enough about the Supers and Mayhem. Let me tell you about Rift now. Rift is a more focused PvP gametype that has two teams fighting to gain control of a “spark” that appears in the center of the map and place it in dimensional rifts located on each end. The teams fight to earn the most points by match’s end, which is done by sinking the spark into the enemies’ rift, so in essence, then, it’s pretty much soccer, except you can (and are encouraged to) shoot the guys on the other team.
I presume this will be a good mode for those who like to coordinate with teammates and employ a little more thought before jumping into a firefight, instead of shooting first and hoping for the best. I say “presume” because rather than employ anything resembling teamwork or strategy, my time in Rift was mostly spent getting shot by the same guy over and over before I ever had a good opportunity to rally with the rest of my team. We lost, sad to say.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about The Taken King’s new multiplayer stuff. Anything else I could talk about… well… I suppose I can tell you what Bungie told us press folk about the new narrative driving the new expansion.
In a nutshell, it will pit Guardians against a nasty fellow named Oryx, who’s out to get some revenge for the death of his son, former raid boss Crota, backed by corrupted Vex, Cabal and other species as well as a massive floating fortress of doom. To face him, Guardians will be heading on a quest to rediscover their predecessors’ lost powers, culminating in a new raid that will have them busting into Oryx’s fortress and teaching him some much-needed manners.
Bungie is promising that the load of new content being crammed into the DLC will let players new and old feel the thrill of being more powerful than ever, while also giving them a taste of what the developer will have in store for Destiny as a whole as it enters its second year.
For $40, Guardians across the solar system will be able to dive into The Taken King when it arrives for PlayStations and Xboxes of the last and current-gen variety on September 15.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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