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Destiny

Did Red Bull just confirm The Taken King DLC for Destiny?


Looks an awful lot like it
Jun 03
// Laura Kate Dale
The newest DLC for Destiny looks like it is going to be called The Taken King. How do we know this? Because Red Bull has been printing the information on the side of promotional packs of its drinks according to multiple Twitt...

Review: Destiny: House of Wolves

May 22 // Chris Carter
Destiny: House of Wolves (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: BungiePublisher: Activision Released: May 19, 2015MSRP: $19.99 (Season Pass $34.99) As I previously discussed, House of Wolves has been a mixed bag so far. Let's start with the good. Bungie has listened to fans when it comes to smaller quality of life changes. There have been incremental improvements overall like the ability to toggle the volume of the sound and music (thank goodness), fixes like the patch for the heavy ammo bug, and communication has been better since the debacle that came up before the launch of the last DLC. The loot system in House of Wolves is arguably the best part. It allows players, by way of items called Etheric Light, to upgrade their guns and armor all the way up to the new maximum statline. This includes all of your favorite vanilla Destiny guns like the Fatebringer, and any kind of Legendary armor, including that raid set you kept from Vault of Glass. It's no glamour system (Etheric Light is hard to get, thus implementing a grind of a sort), but it's far better than the previous loot mechanics, which forced you to re-level Exotics after having a chance to upgrade them once a week.Right now, I'm sitting on three max level 34s three days after launch, which, depending on your point of view, is either a good or bad thing -- and would be nigh impossible to do with vanilla Destiny or The Dark Below in week one. The problem with this new expansion isn't mechanics, it's content, and this "House" is practically vacant. [embed]292545:58616:0[/embed] The story might technically have a few more missions tacked onto it compared to the last add-on, but they're just as short and painfully recreated from previous assets. There's lots of bravado with the narrative, and the tie-in with the Queen is pretty cool, but half the missions are direct retreads disguised as DLC. One mission is literally just a Patrol quest. Like, the same exact Patrols on Venus you've done a million times, you just need to kill some Vandals for a few minutes. Another is almost a direct slap in the face -- as it's the exact same level as the first mission, just in reverse. As for the Strike, you can't just put a new hat on the Archon Priest and charge money for it. Another problem is that all of the old content is more than stale at this point. Most Destiny players have been playing the same old Nightfalls, using the same "cheese spots" for months on end. Where is the variation? Maybe as part of the newest House of Wolves patch we could get remixed bosses for existing Nightfalls to spice things up a bit? I'm not even asking for completely redone levels, just new boss tactics that offer something different instead of bullet sponges. Is it so much to ask that maybe Sepiks Prime glows blue or red instead of purple, and has a new power? The rewards have been remixed, but the actual encounters remain the same. I'm not going to run the same Nightfall for a chance at an Etheric Light. The worst part is that I'm already drained when it comes to the Prison of Elders, the "endgame" activity that Bungie dressed up and provided in lieu of a raid. I'm sorry guys, this just doesn't fly. Crota's End had it's fair share of hate, and some of it for good reason, but I remember very clearly how awesome it felt to drop into the unknown of that abyss on day one. Running through that totem relay with five other friends, racing into the light with Thralls at my heels, figuring out how to beat the bridge encounter -- all of it gave me a sense of wonder, just like the Vault of Glass raid did before it. Prison of Elders has none of that magic. It's soulless. As of today, I've completed the Prison eleven times in total across all three of my characters. It felt the exact same every time. The setup is as follows: you'll start off in an airlock, walk into a room (it's the same four rooms, literally the exact same ones over and over), and either kill enemies, or dismantle mines for three waves -- then move onto the next room. The red room will always feature the Kabal, the green room will always feature the Hive, and the two same-looking outdoor purple environments will host the Fallen and Vex. Sure, you may have to blow up a mine or stand in a circle to destroy it every two to three rounds or so, but ultimately, it's the same room with the same enemies over and over. All of the bosses so far are even reskins, adding insult to injury. At this point, it's clear that the name of the game is to clone assets and charge money for it. There's content, but it feels like a series of checkboxes rather than something meaty. Take the final boss of the static level 35 Prison of Elders challenge, the highest-level encounter available in the game right now. He's a reskin of the boss from the story (he is the exact same boss from the story), but now he kills you in approximately one hit because of Solar burn. The arena is a reskin of the same Fallen room that you've probably seen 10 times over at this point in the first week. There's around 50 adds in the room all shooting at you at once. Does this sound familiar? That's because it's pretty much every other boss fight in the game. There are a few nuances like mines (reskinned from the Prison challenges), and a poison debuff that needs to be passed around the party (or cheesed with a Warlock res), but it ultimately ends up being nothing more than "shoot the bullet sponge with the Gjallarhorn because that's the gun that works in every circumstance." I've completed the level 35 Prison twice (one with the above method and another normally),  and simply put, the two previous raids had far more depth to them. I've seen hundreds of variations when it comes to strategies for the Gorgon room, the Crota encounter, and the Templar. For 99% of the Prison of Elders, your best tactic is "stand in a corner and shoot." It's like the Nightfalls you've played 50 times over, but in most cases, even easier, and with less interesting locales and enemies. Trials of Osiris isn't much better. Because it's PVP-oriented though and thus inherently less predictable, it's not nearly as tiring as playing the same four rooms ad nauseam. It requires a premade group of three, at which point you'll battle through a gauntlet with no resurrection capabilities (outside of the Warlock) once the entire team is dead. Each "match" is won by the team who wins five rounds first. If you win a specific amount of matches (five is the minimum for anything good, so far I've earned up to six wins) without losing three matches, you can earn gear. If you do lose thrice, you'll have to re-enter the tourney and start all over. It's cool in theory, but the rewards are fairly shallow and the event only runs from Friday until the reset Tuesday morning each week. The loot table is basically a direct counterpart to Prison -- one gun per week, one armor piece per week, some cosmetic items, and a random mystery box. There's no real charm to it, you just grind out wins, and you get the gear that the NPC shows you in the Reef. Again, it's only available to play at certain times, which just feels like an incredibly odd choice. After all, why limit one of your only real pieces of new content to just a few days at a time? Surely Prison of Elders isn't supposed to last us until the weekend. It's also important to note that Trials is only running on one map per week. After the fifth round in the same arena, it started to get boring. It's a very cool idea that heralds in the first real competitive PVP mode to Destiny, but it needs work. I used to play Destiny every week with my large group of friends, who would often hang out in PS4 party chat as we ran through the two six-person raids, cycling people in and out. Not only has Bungie made the once massive scope of the game smaller with the two new three-person maximum events, but they've also lost the interest of many of my once-fervent comrades. Heck, to add insult to injury, Xur came today and only had old items for sale outside of helmet engrams -- I bought 20 of those and didn't get anything new. Destiny feels just as smooth as ever as a shooter, but at this point you should wait until after "Year One," as they are calling it now, to see if Bungie is going to come up with something new. I really hope the rumored "2.0" version of the game has completely new areas and enemies. But at this rate, we may even get a Destiny 2 announcement at E3, which will all but confirm the "beta test" status of the original game. Bungie took a rooster, slicked its hair back, and dressed it up as a human. House of Wolves is the Chicken Boo of video game DLC. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Destiny DLC review photo
Den of puppies
I am convinced that somewhere, all of the new assets for the Destiny: House of Wolves expansion were lost, forcing Bungie to restart the entire process all over again. Why else would almost the entire $20 premium DLC be a reskin?

Destiny DLC review photo
Destiny DLC review

Review in Progress: Destiny: House of Wolves


Den of puppies
May 19
// Chris Carter
Destiny was one of the weirdest releases in recent memory. It was so unbelievably ambitious, but when it dropped, it was basically a fraction of what Activision advertised. As time went on many tweaks were made to the ga...
House of Wolves photo
House of Wolves

Destiny: House of Wolves will launch at 10AM PST tomorrow


Pre-load today
May 18
// Chris Carter
Tomorrow, Bungie will deploy the new House of Wolves expansion for Destiny at 10AM PST. It will include the Prison of Elders arena mode, the new Strike, more PVP maps, and a new story, with the Trials of Osiris PVP mode ...
Destiny DLC photo
Destiny DLC

Destiny: House of Wolves' launch trailer is out


Yes, people still play Destiny
May 14
// Alissa McAloon
Destiny: House of Wolves comes out next week, which means its launch trailer time. The trailer compiles most of the information Bungie has released via livestream over the last few weeks and gives players a quick overvi...
Destiny photo
Destiny

'Late-breaking technical issue' delays Destiny's latest update


Will the delay keep the wolves from your door?
May 14
// Vikki Blake
[Update: It appears as if the issue is under control and will be patched today.] A "late-breaking technical issue" has delayed the roll out of the latest Destiny update. Patch 1.2.0 was supposed to lay the foundatio...
Bungie photo
Bungie

Bungie raises over $400,000 for its Nepal Earthquake Relief fund


In the first week
May 11
// Chris Carter
Say what you will about Destiny, but Bungie kicked off a pretty rad campaign to help out those affected by Nepal's recent earthquake. Now they've reported that in just over a week, they've raised over $400,00 in funds. You st...
Destiny DLC photo
Destiny DLC

Destiny's Prison of Elders will have new modifiers, more boss fights, and tons of combat


More ways to do the same old thing
May 06
// Alissa McAloon
Bungie has finally revealed more details for Destiny's upcoming co-op arena, Prison of Elders. The various announcements were made this morning through a live Twitch playthrough of one of the prison's stages. The main th...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny: House of Wolves' newest teaser trailer is needlessly vague


Actual details are coming tomorrow
May 05
// Alissa McAloon
Destiny is using the term "teaser trailer" a little too literally. The series' newest reveal teaser gives players a glimpse at the Prison of Elders, a co-op battle arena coming in the game's House of Wolves expansi...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie is selling T-shirts and in-game goodies for Nepal's earthquake relief


Get a rad T-shirt, help a good cause
May 01
// Joe Parlock
An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck Nepal on April 25, resulting in the deaths of over 6,000 people and injuring over 13,000 more. A few days ago we reported that Ubisoft were matching donations for the re...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny details new Trials of Osiris PVP mode, pre-mades only, no matchmaking


Strictly 3v3
Apr 29
// Chris Carter
Destiny is eschewing the typical raid format this time around with House of Wolves. A lot of people are excited that raids aren't the main focus of endgame this time around, but personally, I just see it as a way for them to ...
Destiny events photo
Destiny events

Iron Banner returns to Destiny next week with new gear


The warlock helmet is ugly as sin
Apr 24
// Alissa McAloon
The week long crucible event Iron Banner will return to Destiny with next week's reset. The new event will start on April 28 and will last a week. Just like in the past, Iron Banner will start fresh every time, meaning a...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Say goodbye to Commendations in Destiny


You know those things we made you earn? Yeah, forget about them
Apr 24
// Laura Kate Dale
Anyone out there who has been keeping up with all the updates to Destiny since its release will likely be aware of Commendations. Added to the game in it's last DLC pack, Commendations were a required currency for buying new ...
Teaser Trailer photo
Teaser Trailer

Destiny teaser shows just enough House of Wolves content to keep us interested


Bungie is great at playing hard to get
Apr 21
// Alissa McAloon
Bungie is on the verge of revealing even more information about Destiny's upcoming House of Wolves expansion. The full reveal will happen tomorrow in a live stream, but Bungie has released a new and painfully short teas...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny data miners uncover new quests, missions and social spaces


More places for you to dance with strangers
Apr 15
// Vikki Blake
Destiny fans have already uncovered new secrets sitting in the game's recent 1.1.2 content update. While we already knew that there would be a new social space in The Reef, Reddit user ShdwFlm's backstage snooping has confirm...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny will get one more update before the next expansion


Whenever that is
Mar 06
// Chris Carter
The last update for Destiny was pretty great. I logged in to check it out, and promptly quit because there really isn't anything to do. Bungie is teasing the next update however (1.1.2), of which it isn't giving details ...
Bungie photo
Bungie

Bungie adds support for moving Destiny items between characters online and in-app


Finally
Feb 27
// Chris Carter
Chalk this up to "it should have been in at launch," but you can now transfer items between characters in Destiny. The process isn't perfect though since it isn't in-game, but you can do it by way of the companion app or Bung...
Bungie photo
Bungie

Bungie implements patch 1.1.1 in Destiny, mostly changes weapon balance


Everything else is minor outside of the heavy ammo fix
Feb 26
// Chris Carter
Bungie has unloaded patch 1.1.1 into the Destiny world, which has a number of weapon balance adjustments, in addition to a new reputation window, matchmaking for weekly Heroics, and a fix for the dreaded heavy ammo bug. ...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny to get matchmaking for Heroic Weekly Strikes


Update 1.1.1
Feb 20
// Chris Carter
Bungie has been teasing a big change for Strikes (dungeons) going forward, and drumroll...it turns out that it's matchmaking for Weekly Heroic Strikes. As one of the three "weekly" events you can do for rewards (Heroics, Nigh...
Halo: MCC photo
Halo: MCC

There won't be a public beta of the latest Halo: The Master Chief Collection update


Maybe the public should be testing, though?
Feb 10
// Jason Faulkner
The Halo: Master Chief Collection saga has been a tumultuous one. It was released back in November, and we're still hearing about fixes and updates. But there's a team hard at work on delivering a smooth experience for player...
Bungie photo
Bungie

Bungie is overhauling some weapon types in the next Destiny update


But the new DLC timeline sounds pretty damn terrible
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Bungie has posted its weekly update for Destiny, and surprise, it actually has some substance for once. New weapon changes are coming, mostly to the tune of auto rifle, shotgun, pulse rifle, and hand cannon adjustments. The f...

House of Wolves might be Bungie's last chance to save Destiny

Jan 26 // Chris Carter
Let's take a look at some of the biggest problems plaguing Destiny: The heavy ammo bug A lazily implemented Crota's End Hard Mode Fixing exploits (cheeses) before fixing more egregious glitches Introducing more items and not more bank space Forcing the userbase to upgrade Exotic items via RNG No new core bounties since launch outside of the same small pool of Eris DLC Three measly DLC story missions that take 30 minutes to complete Underpowered new Exotics that make the expansion weapons pointless No glamor or outfitter options; everyone looks the same Vendor gear that can be acquired day one of the expansion blows prior raid gear out of the water No in-game grimoire to read lore, story is still weak No matchmaking for weekly Heroic Strikes or Nightfalls No real events to speak of outside of a lazy PVP reskin (where is Queen's Wrath?) This isn't a list compiled from outside sources -- this is something I've experienced personally as a player. Bungie said Destiny would continue to "evolve" after launch, but if this is its evolutionary process, it's still a bacteria. Bungie lead designer Luke Smith jumped into a recent NeoGAF thread to address a few concerns, stating that some mistakes won't be repeated. According to Smith, vendor gear won't invalidate prior raid gear, and the Exotic upgrade process will not reset talents (though nothing has been said about the RNG element). That's an okay start, but Bungie has to do much more to win back disenchanted fans, especially after the recent Hard Mode raid debacle. For many players this is the breaking point -- the final equilibrium when the grind and issues of Destiny outweigh the enjoyment factor of playing with friends. It's easier to overlook blemishes while you're in good company, but as many of those people start to drift away, you start to see more clearly. Wait, people still play Destiny? Yep, there's over 10 million players out there as of December 2014. It's one of the most active online games out right now, and one of the biggest games of last year. Often times when I'm trying to utilize matchmaking in another game I'll get bored, move over to Destiny, and find a game manually in 30 seconds. That's how big it is. But Bungie won't be able to rest on the laurels of its hype for much longer. If the studio doesn't deliver with House of Wolves, there will be a severe drop-off of players who refuse to pony up for the next bit of DLC. At that point it'll have to bring old fans back into the fold, and convince people who made their mind up at launch to join the party. That won't be easy. If Bungie has to delay the next expansion to make it better, so be it. If not, a lot of the Destiny detractors may have their wish later this year when it becomes a collective echo in the annals of one-hit wonder history.
Destiny woes photo
The Season Pass buck stops in March
Before Destiny was released, it was hyped into oblivion. Hundreds of thousands of fans bought into it, and by extension, purchased the Season Pass consisting of the first two expansions -- the second of which, House...

Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny's Crota's End Hard Mode is disappointing outside of the final fight


More of the same until the end
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
I have a stable of around 30 people I raid with in Destiny regularly, but yesterday I picked the five I play with the most and set a scheduled time for the brand new Crota's End Hard Mode. Everyone showed up, and te...
Crota's End photo
Crota's End

Bungie delivers quick Destiny hotfix before Crota's End Hard Mode


Exact launch will be announced at 1PM EST
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
Bungie is gearing up to release its last bit of major content before the next Destiny expansion, the Hard Mode version of the Crota's End raid. Before that, a quick hotfix was dropped that adjusts the bridge encounter, a...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Be prepared, Destiny players: Crota's End's getting tougher next week


But, only if you want it to
Jan 16
// Brett Makedonski
Were you one of the many Destiny players taking advantage of exploits to run Crota's End over and over before Bungie inevitably intervened? If so, it's time to atone for those sins and actually earn your stripes. On Janu...
Bungie photo
Bungie

Bungie's Holiday gift for Destiny players was...a random legendary weapon


Well, they told you it would be legendary
Jan 08
// Chris Carter
Before the end of 2014, Bungie tweeted out that players would obtain a "small, but legendary" gift for their Destiny accounts. Most people presumed that it would be a Santa hat consumable of some sort, like the Halloween...

Destiny is the most fascinating game of 2014, mostly for negative reasons

Dec 31 // Chris Carter
The problems with Destiny are myriad. At launch, the loot system was utterly broken. Players would be rewarded with purple-level engrams and constantly earn blue quality or lower, which was a real kick in the nuts considering how much work it was to find a purple in the first place. Other issues were rampant, like the concept of forcing players to farm hundreds of materials to level-up armor pieces to reach level 30. Grinding was and still is commonplace, whether you're grinding for currency (Glimmer), weapon experience, armor experience, marks, reputation, or pretty much anything else in the game. "The game starts at level 20" indeed, Bungie. It was enough to scare people away from even trying it, but not enough to scare away the roughly 10 million users as of December 2014. What is it that keeps people playing? Besides the obvious addiction-oriented reasons that any MMO-like will bring to the market, it's actually really fun to play with friends; every single person I know who plays Destiny does it with friends on a regular basis. Everyone who played solo has quit by now. Everything in the entire game is better with friends. Whether it's farming, raids, or just plain dicking around in the open-world Patrols or PVP, the game is built so more players will equal more fun. If I had to give an award to "best community" this year it would probably be Destiny, as most of the interactions I've had in-game and online have been positive. This is the core reason why many people, myself included, still play. There are bright spots beyond the "fun with friends" gimmick -- because let's face it, what game isn't fun with friends? The first raid, the Vault of Glass, was insanely rewarding. Tackling the Vault with five other good friends is one of the best gaming-related experiences I had in 2014 -- that's not a hyperbolic statement. The coordination needed in the early days of the raid with lower-level weapons was crazy, and every room was a puzzle of sorts to solve. Crota's End, the second raid, was the same way, and the rush I felt while running from the horde during the first part was probably how Ian Malcolm felt while sprinting away in terror from Jurassic Park's Tyrannosaurus rex. I continued to play throughout The Dark Below expansion, which brought its own set of problems, many of which haven't been addressed since launch. There's still a lack of bank space, there's still a lot of loot disparity issues, and the new Exotic upgrade system is incredibly obtuse. There's hints of brilliance in there, like the unique Husk of the Pit "weapon storyline" that will conclude with the hard mode version of the Crota's End raid, but there's not enough to keep most people interested. I'm very keen to see what the next expansion, House of Wolves, brings to the table. I may be the odd one out here but the Fallen (pictured in the header) are my favorite race in the game, so I really hope Bungie brings it with the third raid after everything is has learned. I'd also like to see more story missions (try five lengthy ones at least, guys), more Strikes, and a complete overhaul of the Strike playlist and weekly system. Perhaps an additional "monthly epic raid" goal, cycling in the three raids. Anything to keep people playing and give them some diversity without curbing the fun factor or making content obsolete. I've said this time and time again, but the core of Destiny is excellent. It feels great every time I boot it up, and nearly every single gun handles perfectly yet differently. It's really hard to go to any other shooter after a lengthy Destiny session, honestly, and I can't stress that enough. Bungie just needs to lick its wounds, deliver more content, and balance a few things going forward. Maybe Destiny's "Game of the Year" edition in 2015 will be a must-buy. For now, just sit right there on the fence in the same spot you were in September 2014 -- off of the Game of the Year list.
Destiny love-hate photo
People love to hate-play it
I have roughly seven days of playtime logged into Destiny. I have a level 31 Warlock, Titan, and Hunter who are all one piece away from level 32 -- the current cap. I've completed the new Crota's End raid roughly 20 times, 10...

Review: Destiny: The Dark Below

Dec 12 // Chris Carter
Destiny: The Dark Below (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: BungiePublisher: Activision Released: December 9, 2014MSRP: $19.99 (Season Pass $34.99) At this point I've played the new Strike multiple times (two weekly heroics and two Nightfalls), and I'm happy with how it holds up in the normal rotation. It's nice to see the Hive represented, and although the first half is a re-used zone from Earth, I happen to like that area, and it works well with the Strike format. I also like that the boss, Omnigul, fits right into the new theme and is worked directly into the story. Although more or less a super Wizard, it still fits better than most other Strike bosses. As I stated previously, the new PS4 exclusive Strike is useless, short, and I likely will never play it again by choice; it also will never appear as a weekly event since Xbox owners can't access it (though it will show up in the Roc playlist). So much for all that boasting by Sony. I spent an entire afternoon with PVP in the new temporary DLC playlist, and I'm happy with the maps overall. Cauldron still holds up as my top pick, and possibly my favorite map in general. I love the underground aesthetic, as it reminds me of Bungie's Halo glory days. Pantheon's design holds up as well with its long hallways, and is perfect for shotgun and sniper enthusiasts alike. It also pairs perfectly with my new 4th Horseman Exotic shotgun. Skywatch is a mixed bag because it can still come up on lower-count playlists, and it's absolutely terrible when it's not populated. It should have been smaller, or Bungie should have upped the total player count in PVP. [embed]284869:56642:0[/embed] The entire gear meta has changed, and it's a bit easier to follow now. To get level 31 you'll need to have every piece of gear at +33, or one Raid/Exotic piece at +36 and all but one piece at +33. To reach the new level cap of 32, you have to have everything at +36. Simple. You can buy +33 gear from vendors if you have the marks, which allows most players to work their way towards 30 and beyond even if they're just starting out. Bungie claims that armor drops have been improved in the new raid, and I can corroborate anecdotally. My Warlock had his chest drop, and my Titan got his gauntlets and chest. With a combination of a new Xur Exotic upgrade, raid gear, and Vanguard marks, I now have two level 31 characters. Of course, your mileage my vary. But even though you may get said top-end gear, the grind is real because of new Radiant Materials and the new rank-four reputation Eris materials. You'll need 21 Radiant Shards per piece to upgrade to level 32, and currently I only have two. You can't get them anywhere but the raid currently, so until Bungie updates the game to unlock them in other ways, you'll have to grind out the raid at least once per week to hope for a portion of a raid piece upgrade. Still, I like this new system more than the old one because it rewards you more often and then forces you to work for it on your own time, which is much better than the sparing drops Bungie had in the Vault of Glass. Exotics can also be upgraded at Xur, which is a terrible process as expected. For starters, you have to hope your item is on Xur's RNG table. I got lucky with my Warlock, and I'm level 31 as of today. A lot of my friends weren't so lucky, and because of the mark cap, they cannot possibly get to level 31 unless they earn a piece of gear by luck through an Engram. It's a weird system. Why didn't Bungie just allow you to upgrade any Exotic you want, but make the process extremely difficult to do? Say, from a set of rotating Exotic bounties that will take several days? That way the questlines would still be engaging, it would be something different, and everyone could work towards upgrading their favorite items eventually instead of relying on RNG. That's Bungie for you, though. In terms of the pack's art design, I've actually gotten used to the green-tinted aesthetic of The Dark Below. It's themed well, and I never thought I'd like the Hive this much. I also hope Dinklebot never comes back. I really wish there was more though, because although the DLC does have a lot of tender love and care, it doesn't have enough to justify the asking price. Again, playing all of this content, underwhelming or not, was consistently fun throughout. I still love jump canceling my Warlock hover to get into a perfect position, and everything from aiming down your sights to hip-firing just feels great. Like I've said in the past, it's jarring to go to any other shooter after playing Destiny. It also must be said that the launch went off without a hitch. The bulk of the content was downloaded a week before, so when I logged on at 5AM EST to play, it instantly loaded and I was playing the DLC. For around 10 minutes I thought it was glitched. Alas, The Dark Below needed more to truly sell itself to most of the fanbase. Four Strikes, not two, would have been about right. Crota's End is fun, but I feel like it was shorter than Vault of Glass, and it was a bit easier to pick up. I'm not too sure on the longevity of this raid either unless Bungie has something special up its sleeve for January's hard mode. For now, there's an easy test to judge whether or not you should pick up The Dark Below: did you play Destiny from launch all the way up until the first expansion? If so, you'll want to get it as soon as possible. If your enthusiasm has faltered over the past few months and you never really got into the first raid, you can wait or pick up the Season Pass at a later date after more incremental improvements have been made. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Destiny DLC review photo
The dank between
Having basically played the new Destiny expansion The Dark Below nonstop since launch, I've experienced everything it has to offer. That in itself is an issue, because although I have played more than the average pe...

Review in Progress: Destiny: The Dark Below

Dec 09 // Chris Carter
Destiny: The Dark Below (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: BungiePublisher: Activision Released: December 9, 2014MSRP: $19.99 (Season Pass $34.99) Let's start with the story. The Dark Below centers primarily on the Hive menace, with the evil big bad Crota at the end of it. There's been a lot of buildup within the core story and the appropriate codex entries for Crota, so it's exciting to get to face him head-on; plus, the Hive themselves are an interesting foe. The actual narrative is a bit better this time around. There's no lengthy, annoying cutscenes with pointless exposition or grunts. It's all focused. You'll start the questline by speaking to the new NPC Eris, who has escaped from the clutches of Crota and lived to tell the tale. Dinklebot will take a backseat in this DLC, as his "wait until I open the door" mechanic and even his speech services are no longer required. Eris will hauntingly give us the story and the rundown this time. Funnily enough though since the 'bot is gone, you're going to power through the three story missions much faster than normal. How fast? Roughly five to ten minutes each. There's still gates of some sort, but now you can freely run about and wreck shop without fear of a lengthy Dinkle-diversion. There are some Fallen foes but the Hive is front and center, and the combination of Wizards, Thralls, and Knights makes for some fun firefighters. All in all, you'll only meet one new enemy (which is basically a Wizard variant), and a few new areas. It's certainly a better effort than the core campaign, but it's just a taste -- not exactly ideal for a $20 expansion. [embed]284530:56528:0[/embed] Strike-wise, you're going to get one more mission, or two if you're on a Sony platform. The non-exclusive Strike, the Will of Crota, deals with the enemy you met in the story, Omnigul. It's mostly in a re-used area which is a massive bummer until you get to the tail end of the Strike, at which point the final confrontation is enjoyable. It's basically a super Wizard with more Hive adds. Again, fun enough, but it doesn't feel like a DLC add-on. Fear not, Xbox owners, as you aren't missing out on much with the PlayStation-exclusive Strike, The Undying Mind. While the area is technically from the final campaign mission (the Black Garden), it does feel new, and deals with the Vex. The problem is this Strike is incredibly short, and I feel like I've fought more Vex than I know what to do with after over 50 Vault of Glass runs. To make matters worse, the Mind is essentially a reskinned Nexus. It really should have been another Cabal-themed Strike. In terms of PVP, you'll also net three new maps: Cauldron, Pantheon, and Skyshock. The former is Halo-esque and one of my favorite arenas to date. Pantheon is more Black Garden, and feels like a modified battle pit that's great for free-for-all matches. Skyshock will be very familiar looking to PlayStation owners who already have the similarly themed Earth map, but Xbox players will enjoy the variety a bit more. I haven't played enough PVP to make a judgment on how the maps feel over time, but expect an assessment in the full review. Of course, the big daddy piece of content is the new raid, Crota's End. The new raid is designed to test your team's skills to their maximum, and I'd say it's a tad harder than Vault of Glass. While it has technically been completed today in roughly six hours by the top raiding static in Destiny, it will take regular players ages beyond that figure. Once again, the raid is the best part of Destiny. Although I'm a little over halfway through it, I've seen more variation here than the rest of the game combined. Little things like pitch-black caves with pylons to hug to get rid of debuffs, and one-on-one swordfights are among the many mechanics you'll face in Crota's End. I came in with a group of five knowledgeable raiders and had a blast. It's a shame that Strikes aren't as fun as individual encounters in either raid, and that Crota's End isn't getting a hard mode until January. I'll give my full thoughts on the raid soon. So far, I love it. New changes are also afoot, most notably the Exotic system. In a sad turn of events, the new Exotic upgrade system is now partially based on RNG. To upgrade your existing weapon or armor, you need to visit Xur from Friday to Saturday, hope that he has your existing item, then pay to get the new version. Once you get it the leveling process is roughly a third faster, but having to rely on Xur is terrible design. Other tweaks include Nightfalls and Heroics being bumped up two levels, with the current weeklies only accessible to DLC owners. There's also more of a point to Strange Coins because of the Exotic Shard upgrade system, a new resource to manage for upgrades (including a helpful exchange for shards and energy), new vendor gear, and more resource gains and 10 bounties due to the last patch. All of it except for the new Exotic upgrade mechanic and forced DLC weeklies are well done and cut down on some of the less fun parts of Destiny. Two steps forward, one step back seems to be Bungie's motto. Again, while playing all of this content, the gunplay is still silky smooth. It sounds like an overstatement, but it truly is difficult going to another game after playing Destiny. The jumping system, physics, floating, aiming -- everything feels perfect. Even though the DLC is underwhelming outside of the raid and Bungie has made some mistakes, I'm still having fun. Having said that, just like the core Destiny experience, there isn't a lot here that screams "must buy." As I have more time to really dig into the current meta, explore Light level calculations, and test the longevity of the new maps and Strikes, I'll give you a full verdict. For now, I'd only recommend The Dark Below to hardcore fans.
Destiny DLC review photo
The dank between
Destiny was released earlier this year, and like many hyped games, it failed to deliver on its promises. The good news? It was still a well crafted shooter, and practically everything involving the actual gameplay was ex...

Destiny photo
Destiny

You can carry over your progress to the Destiny sequel


Sequel? Yep
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Many people have misunderstood the "$500 million" and "10 year plan" comments that Activision has made in the past in regards to Destiny. Those numbers encompass the entire franchise over time, not just one game. That plan in...

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