As we move into year two (of Bungie’s supposed ten year plan), Destiny has seen a lot of changes. I mean, there’s tweaks and then there’s outright changes. Both have come in spades as vanilla Destiny launched back in September 2014. Everything from loot, to leveling up, to content structure has seen its share of re-directs over the first 12 months of the game’s life, many directly at the behest of the community that Destiny has cultivated. And that community is huge. Regardless of the criticism of the game (and there is plenty), to see the community for a first-person shooter actually growing and still playing the admittedly slim content a year later is an accomplishment on its own, let alone all the things the game gets right with no qualifier.
So what does Bungie have planned for year two? Well, to blow everything up, basically. The Taken King is still called an expansion, but is a somewhat soft reboot of the game that will be available in just over a month (September 15th) and it’s Bungie’s attempt to thread the needle between servicing Day One players and new Destiny players alike. There are plenty of add-ons as you’d expect: a lot of new story missions, weapons, armor, a new raid, some new PVP modes of course. But the huge changes are the ones making headlines. New leveling up method that relies on a more familiar experience based progression and no longer tying your level to your armor. Varying Patrol modifiers, added abilities for each subclass, optional in-game cut-scenes added to story missions and the big one, a change of voice actor for your Ghost. One of the most glaring issues about Destiny right out of the box, was the most prominent voice in the game, your Ghost (companion) was voiced by a seemingly sleepwalking Peter Dinklage.
It is embarrassingly bad at times and distracting (which he at least has improved upon in the Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones series, but maybe he’s just more at home with that character). Bungie spared no expense on that this time by getting the best voice actor in the business in Nolan North to be your Ghost now, but also boldly greenlit North to re-do all the original voice work done by Dinklage from beginning. Gotdamn. Still, with the added cutscenes and deeper exploration, all of a sudden those first missions we’ve been playing for a year will have a completely different feel to them. Good on you, Bungie.