A major complaint Destiny players have had with the game over its first year is its story, or lack thereof. That’s one of many issues that Bungie is attempting to address this in The Taken King expansion by doing a better job of communicating plot and backstory through the campaign missions, the game world, and cut-scenes.
The opening story arc of Destiny: The Taken King features eight “lengthy” missions, according to the September issue of Game Informer. That’s not the end of the narrative based campaign, however. A second art of activities opens up afterwards to continue the story of the fight against Oryx. This includes “numerous additional story missions, strikes, guided exploration for hidden secrets, player-triggered public events,” and the new raid titled “King’s Fall.”
— Game Informer (@gameinformer) August 4, 2015
Those two acts make-up the main story of The Taken King and the plot is partially explained through cut-scenes. The article mentions an epic opening cut-scene featuring a space battle between the Awoken Queen and Oryx’s Dreadnaught ship, for example. An accompanying video also shows a brief glimpse of a cut-scene starring Cayde-6, voiced by Nathan Fillion, presumably explaining some important details in a suitably sarcastic manner.
Game Informer says this single scene “offers more character development than all of the base game’s storyline put together, establishing relationships, antagonism, and humor amongst the guardians’ leaders.”
Though the Game Informer writer did not specify the total number of activities in the second act, we do know there are four new strikes and three retooled strikes. There’s even more plot point to be uncovered through the brand new quest system. As I previously covered for the Inquistir, Bungie is making quests central to Destiny with the 2.0 update. That’s not just with the new content, but with all the content from the first year of Destiny.
The multi-step narrative driven quests will be available to users from Tower and revolve around The Taken War. There are several of these smaller story arcs available, according to Game Informer. One of the missions described in the cover spread takes players back into the Vault of Glass and provides answers to the fate of Praedyth.
That’s another important aspect of The Taken King. Vanilla Destiny was heavily criticized for burying much of the lore in the Grimoire Cards, which are only accessible through the Bungie website or Destiny app and not the game itself. One of the ways that Bungie is doing this is through objects in the game world that can be scanned by Ghost.
“You’re going to hear these cool little audio pips, and it indicates something is scannable nearby,” Creative Director Luke Smith said. “The Ghost becomes this opt-in purveyor of lore. He’s going to tell you about a weird worm, or a creepy statue, and maybe it’s going to lead to some interaction between him and another character, like Cayde or Eris.”
Another lore-filler is the unique quests to obtain the new guardian sub-classes – Titan Sunbreaker, Hunter Nightstalker, and Warlock Stormcaller. In addition to teaching players about the new powers, it provides backstory behind each of the classes and their powers.
Destiny is getting a complete overhaul with the 2.0 update around the time The Taken King launches on September 15. Little appears to be untouched by Bungie thus far. Though we don’t have an exact number of new activities to compare to vanilla Destiny, the changes to the narrative structure will be welcome among a player base that’s aware of a huge backstory to the game’s universe. That is, if things pan out as glowingly as mentioned in the Game Informer article.
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