Game Opinions

Venture into Destiny – Part 8: Taken for a Violent Walk

Destiny, Activision

If you’re positively bewildered by the madness you’re seeing here and would like some additional context, a link to previous parts in this series can be found at the end of the article.

Sadly, Halloween is gone and over. It’s into the winds and disappeared until next year so let’s get all of the mask things out of the way:

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

Honestly a shame.

Then, like sleeping off a night of hard-drinking, it’s off to do a mission that I didn’t even recall the context to it was: “YES! RIGHT! FIGHT THE BAD PEOPLE! GET HELMET, GET GUN, GET GOING, YES!” It was then time to turn up to the battlefield with trousers around your ankles and ready to fight.

Apparently Rasputin had been broken into and sadly, no one thought to put even a bike lock on the entrance. It was because of this that it was time to repel the invaders and I hoped that this time no one else would break in. At this point I’m half suspecting “RASPUTIN INVADED” was written on the writer’s room cork board where darts are blindly thrown when a writer’s block occurs.

Although first we needed the keys to get in. “Why don’t we use the same entrance the invaders did?”

“WHY DON’T YOU SHUT UP! Now I’m going to drop a satellite from space you need to scan to get in.”

“WHY?!”

“Ssshh! Less questions! More defending the satellite while Not-Claptrap scans it!”

I began wondering where the satellite was…

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

…And then it hit me.

I then proceeded to die over and over again. Confused at how they would swarm me in such great numbers, my shotgun continuing to run out of ammo and my hand cannon refusing to keep up, I honestly began to think I was just playing badly–or maybe just had bad guns. Suddenly as I respawned, I found two other companions.

“…Huh.” I muttered, before realizing it was a group event.

I proceeded to use the rest of the mission to keep playing catch up–and dying of course. I actually felt pretty guilty by the end.

Then it was off to freeroam. Apparently The Taken were still up for shooting the locals, squatting in abandoned houses and teaching the kids to swear. So it was off to hunt their champions down and steal their loot; first on Earth and then on Venus.

Which as I thought about it as I played (as I had a lot of time to think), it definitely felt like the forgotten child of the game. One left in its original state with some minor event based tweaking, with the hopes that no one would pay attention to it.

The main startling part is how frustrating it was to attempt to do missions on it. One mission tasked me with doing a variety of patrol missions including “Kill all”. All I had to go on, based on the in-game information, was the general objective that was given. The category was not told to me. It may have perhaps hinted at more by the icon, but I was never told what icon means what so I’m not entirely sure.

After doing a mission based on killing all I could in an area, something apparently wasn’t quite right. This lead me to giving up on doing guesswork and just leaving the mission to rot.

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

Although the lack of an in-game map of the areas definitely did not help.

This occurred around part 2-ish or part 3-ish. The reason I’m dragging it back up again like a swamp creature is the difficulty of hunting The Taken. All I have to go on in-game is every so often an event will occur and if I fight through the waves hard enough I’ll be exposing The Taken to the power of bullets. While New Russia came and New Russia went, it was Venus I got stuck on. It turns out “some” information wasn’t shared and I had to find out the information by searching for it online:

A. There needs to be at least two people in a zone.

B. The zones cycle clockwise around the map.

C. When the Taken appear, the amount of Taken you kill does not matter.

D. When a Taken lieutenant appears, you have a time limit to kill him– and no, you don’t know the time limit. If you take too long with even one, the Taken will leave on their own.

E. Once you’ve killed three of them, the final boss will appear.

It took an hour of wasted time sitting around Venus for me to finally discover I was missing some information. It ended taking  an additional 15 to 25 minutes to get the right characteristics for the planets to align just right for the Taken to appear in the first place.

When the Mars version added even more characteristics into the mix, I began to wonder if Bungie had confused mission design with summoning rituals. Maybe I should have brought the salt so I can do a pentagram while summoning the spirits on a Ouija board if that’s what they wanted me to do?

I can imagine that this part of the game wasn’t fleshed out at the start and was probably very low priority. After all, it lacks the focused mission-design of the rest of the game while other parts were sorely getting the improvements needed, especially the writing. It seems that this was left to flounder. Perhaps from doing the open world in an engaging way it would have required a complete redesign to achieve, with level design being such a significant factor.

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

Including the design of letting you drive indoors.

Although the least Bungie could have done was offer all the information needed to complete my objective, rather than being coy or just expecting me to instinctively know. It lead to the first missions that I just simply couldn’t do out of frustration. Getting back into Destiny, this tedium lead me to begin exploring new avenues. Which by new, I just mean older ones. Remember when I had to shoot Fallen who were trying to summon glowing cubes in The Vault of Glass? Apparently someone decided to sneak in there and start sending messages to us. Considering the ability of everyone and everything to break into places, I’m still surprised there hadn’t been an invasion by a group of individuals who have broken into The Tower.

After a lot of descent, it apparently boils down to time being, what professionals would call, “a big ball of wibbly wobbly time-y wimey stuff.” A message from the past had finally arrived in the present and after some travelling I found the bones.

“Well, at least he and his squad now lives again in the Vanguard archives” said the Warlock, since apparently MIA lists are not a thing around these parts. That you only matter when you’re dead, and not missing. I wonder what that says about Bungie’s opinion on Richey Edwards…

Anyways, it was off to the good old Dreadnaught. With the god Crota destroyed and his father obliterated, there was still the question of “What is even going on in there?” It was time to scout the area. Fortunately, what could have been a tedious “GO TO X, WAIT, GO TO Y, KILL EVERYTHING, etc” was made more interesting as each location had a small task to do on the side. One of which asked me to run through checkpoints as quickly as I could–so at least the monotony was spiced up.

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

With a bonus gift of characterisation! Huzzah! Shame I honestly don’t know who Ikora is. 

It was then time to head back to the Tower to speak with everyone’s favorite bundle of excitement: A Wrist Mourns. Apparently my curiosity of a back-stabbing character who has been corrupted was a bit too hopeful. The sword she picked up in the form of a crystal? She’s convinced it can be sanctified. It can be reforged, but with a lot of macguffin tokens that I don’t have. Great, thanks Eris. May you never cease to disappoint everyone around you.

Speaking of, she wants me to go kill a possible contender for the leader of the Taken. A failed-rebellion leader who is imprisoned, but may be forgiven if he can lead the Taken to a better life? I guess like that time when the Russian Tsar was imprisoned after the Communist uprising, and his children was ushered back into power after Stalin proceeded to disappoint everyone. Wait, no, that didn’t happen because that’s daft.

This is when something very peculiar happened. It was a fireteam group event and I got slammed right into the boss fight that was like a punch-up in the dark. I couldn’t see anything. I kept hitting the floor and I had no context of what was happening. It made me wonder if they perhaps should have locked down new players once the boss fight happened, but what if you’re left on your own at the end of the level after everyone else rage quits? It’d probably be worse than me swooping in, getting the mission done and running off. Oh well, at least I got some free loot.

I then began to weigh my options. Do I tackle a mission where I’d have to stop the not-Space Marines blowing themselves up to exterminate the Dreadnought or would I take a spin of the wheel of fireteam for chance at a prize? Hoping for something light, I ending up going with the latter. After a spin, the wheel landed on…Killing not-Space Marines so they don’t blow up the Dreadnought. Killing two brothers with one mission is something I’m always down for.

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

Especially as their aesthetic still makes me scream “FOR THE EMPEROR”  whenever I see them.

While I do usually complain about Destiny bosses until I go blue in the face, I have to admit that the fireteam mission to kill the Valus brothers was interesting. Especially with how both bosses were either powerful at ranged or melee. This then escalated into tackling both at the same time and then one with both powers like a sci-fi Ornstein and Smough fight.

There was a kiting deal going on but the challenge wasn’t just whittling down gigantic health while bullet dodging and shoving off hoards. It’s about dodging attacks and luring bosses away so the second person can revive the first. Something that sounds basic, but along with the heavily characterized duo, it made subjecting the brothers to a ballistic shower rather enjoyable instead of tedious.

Then all the good will and faith I had was shattered onto the floor. “The Cabal are trying to contact outside the universe, although we don’t know who to. We could work with them as they could be an ally we’ve been fighting for no discernible reason, or we can stop the transmission for whatever reason.” I kept hoping for a reason to be brought up for why we’re trying to murder The Cabal, but it seemed almost a lark at this point.

Destiny, Activision

Destiny, Activision

EXECUTE JOKE.EXE THEN LAUGH.EXE. HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Then unsurprisingly, it was off to their headquarters. It was more surprising that they weren’t in constant contact, but then again The Cabal are laughably unknown.

Finally though, the end of the fighting was done and I was level 40. The maximum level that can be reached in the game. I let out a weary sigh as I knew the fight was not done yet. At the very least, I hadn’t touched on the Rise of Iron content yet. Although the end is in sight. Still, join me next week for another Venture into Destiny!

Past Parts

[Part 1: Unfunny Little Robot] [Part 2: Absolute Lunacy] [Part 3: An Inspiration for Regicide] [Part 4: A Plague On Your Houses] [Part 5: Black Gardens on Red Planets]

[Part 6: A Wolf Amongst the Taken] [Part 7: Venturing Onwards as Sif]

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