Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

After two sleepless nights, we still can’t get enough of Destiny: The Taken King

Destiny: The Taken King has arrived, bringing with it the promise of fresh, exciting experiences in Activision’s popular shared-world sci-fi franchise for new players and veterans alike. And along with the massive amount of hype that preceded its arrival, the Destiny expansion also came saddled with quite a few questions — many of them involving elements that were harshly criticized throughout the game’s first year.

Amazon Gamestop

Now that The Taken King has been released, however, the question becomes this: Does the much-anticipated expansion live up to expectations?

We spent the bulk of the last 48 hours immersed in The Taken King, and here are some of our takeaways from the game.

More To The Story

The universe of Destiny changed significantly over the course of the last year, with two major expansions and countless updates and tweaks to the architecture of the original game environment. One thing that remained relatively constant, however, was criticism of the game’s storytelling mechanics. Even the most positive reviews of Destiny and its expansions touched on the franchise’s narrative problems, and developer Bungie eventually acknowledged that there was room for improvement when it came to presenting the game’s deep mythology to players in a logical, accessible way.

The Taken King features some of the best dialogue and cinematic moments of the franchise so far.

Thankfully, Bungie seems to have taken that criticism to heart and made the story a very real, very clear priority in The Taken King. Along with investing in key characters’ development (instead of relegating them to simple placeholders and mission-givers), The Taken King features some of the best dialogue and cinematic moments of the franchise so far, and weaves all of these elements together in a cohesive, linear narrative that makes you feel like a part of the story instead of just an audience.

While it’s no surprise that Bungie saw fit to give Nathan Fillion’s hunter mentor Cayde-6 a bigger part to play in The Taken King, actress Morla Gorrondona is a pleasant surprise as the voice of Eris Morn, the tormented former Guardian whose cryptic, doom-and-gloom dialogue is the counterpoint to Cayde’s charismatic humor. Their banter is one of the best parts of the primary story missions in The Taken King, and it brings the epic scale of the events down to a more manageable level.

Enter the Nolanbot

Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage took a lot of flak for what was perceived to be a soulless, paycheck-grabbing performance as the voice of the player’s Ghost, an ever-present, miniature partner in your cosmic adventures. While some of that criticism might be deserved, one can’t help but wonder how he would read the dialogue in The Taken King — especially after hearing his replacement, Uncharted voice actor Nolan North, read both the new lines and all of the previous dialogue recorded by Dinklage.

North is great as the voice of your Ghost in The Taken King, but the script is also noticeably improved this time around. And after hearing North re-read the previous dialogue originally voiced by Dinklage — another change that took effect with the most recent, preparatory update for The Taken King — there’s a strong case to be made that it might have been the script, not the read, that was the real problem in Year One.


One of the biggest questions voiced by players in the lead-up to The Taken King involved the fate of the weapons and armor they’d spent the last year collecting. Would The Taken King render universally beloved (and for some, frustratingly hard to find) weapons like the Fatebringer pistol and the Gjallarhorn rocket launcher irrelevant?

An hour or so into the story missions for The Taken King, it quickly becomes apparent that old weapons will have no place in this new adventure — but the alternatives make it surprisingly easy to put away the tools of a young Guardian and embrace the new normal. Not only does The Taken King do a nice job of regularly rewarding your accomplishments with powerful weapons and gear, but the gear you receive has some new, intriguing perks for players to experiment with.

Yes, for the first time in a very, very long time, you might feel inclined to equip a heavy-weapon not named Gjallarhorn — and that’s a good thing.

Make A List & Check It Twice

The main story mission in The Taken King is meaty and entertaining, but a skilled player with good gear will likely reach the end in around 4-6 hours if you barrel through without taking time to engage in any side-quests or obsessive loadout-tweaking. Fortunately, that’s where the game really expands.

Once you finish the main story mission, there’s a seemingly endless amount of quests that become available as you interact with supporting characters around the Destiny universe, and many of those quests end up initiating more quests. The method of initiating quests even feels more organic this time around, with certain quests seemingly popping up at random when supporting characters contact you, or when you discover something during your adventures.

destiny taken king quests
Image used with permission by copyright holder

More importantly, each series of challenges provides (from what we’ve seen so far) genuinely appealing rewards instead of the ho-hum prizes players had become accustomed to over the last year or so — rewards that were all too often out-classed by their existing gear. Along with the quests being plentiful, they’re also relatively challenging (and time-consuming) at this early stage of The Taken King, providing a nice balance between risk and reward.

If there’s a negative to be found in all of this, it’s that the amount of quests you can accumulate on your to-do list can become a little intimidating. However, with the right amount of focus, you can prevent them from becoming overwhelming.

Secrets Everywhere

To go along with The Taken King‘s myriad quests and the ability to take on more daily bounties, there’s also an impressive amount of secrets that seem to be hidden in the expansion’s new “world” to explore: the colossal, floating Dreadnaught.

Locked chests, mysterious computer terminals, and other interactive elements pepper the interior of the enormous alien battleship, and the lure of discovering what those containers hold and interactive elements do lends even more support to Bungie’s assertion that The Taken King is far, far more than just an expansion.

Just The Beginning…

The first 48 hours of The Taken King is impressively compelling — and let’s face it, addicting — but possibly the most pleasant surprise is that this feels like just the beginning of what the Destiny expansion has to offer. Activision has yet to activate the next major raid activity, “King’s Fall,” and if The Taken King is any indication of what to expect from it, the average player won’t have to worry about running out of things to do in Destiny for a very, very long time.

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
Wordle Today (#898): Wordle answer and hints for December 4
Someone playing Wordle on a smartphone.

We have the solution to Wordle (#898) on December 4, as well as some helpful hints to help you figure out the answer yourself, right here. We've placed the answer at the bottom of the page, so we don't ruin the surprise before you've had a chance to work through the clues. So let's dive in, starting with a reminder of yesterday's answer.
Yesterday's Wordle answer
Let's start by first reminding ourselves of yesterday's Wordle answer for those new to the game or who don't play it daily, which was "TRUST." So we can say that the Wordle answer today definitely isn't that. Now, with that in mind, perhaps take another stab at it using one of these Wordle starting words and circle back if you have no luck.
Hints for today's Wordle
Still can't figure it out? We have today's Wordle answer right here, below. But first, one more thing: Let's take a look at three hints that could help you find the solution, without giving it away, so there's no need to feel guilty about keeping your streak alive -- you put in some work, after all! Or just keep scrolling for the answer.

Today’s Wordle starts with the letter W.
Today’s Wordle uses one vowel.
Today's Wordle describes something that is of the lowest quality.

Read more
NYT Connections today: answers and hints for Monday, December 4
New York Times Connection game logo.

Connections is the latest puzzle game from the New York Times. The game tasks you with categorizing a pool of 16 words into four secret (for now) groups by figuring out how the words relate to each other. The puzzle resets every night at midnight and each new puzzle has a varying degree of difficulty. Just like Wordle, you can keep track of your winning streak and compare your scores with friends.

Some days are trickier than others. If you're having a little trouble solving today's Connections puzzle, check out our tips and hints below. And if you still can't get it, we'll tell you today's answers at the very end.
How to play Connections
In Connections, you'll be shown a grid containing 16 words — your objective is to organize these words into four sets of four by identifying the connections that link them. These sets could encompass concepts like titles of video game franchises, book series sequels, shades of red, names of chain restaurants, etc.

Read more
Where to get Grapple Blades in Fortnite and how they work
grapple blade

With each new season of Fortnite, you can count on there being at least some sort of mobility item added that helps you quickly move across the map in a unique and exciting way. With the arrival of chapter 5, season 1, players can now seek out and equip the brand-new Grapple Blade item. If you want all of the mobility of a Web-Slinger with the damage output of a Kinetic Blade, you'll want to pick one of these up. Here's where to find them and how they work.
Where to get Grapple Blades and how they work
Grapple Blades can be found on the ground and in chests all across this season's map. Keep in mind, however, that they're relatively rare, meaning it's sometimes possible to go entire matches without seeing one. Of course, that's just a good incentive to track down and defeat your opponents to see if they leave one behind.

When this hybrid mobility and damage item is equipped, you'll notice that it shows a cursor on surfaces you can grapple to. Doing so will send you propelling toward the surface pretty quickly, making it a great choice for escaping a firefight or finding high ground in the midst of one. But before you get carried away, it's worth noting that you only have four charges at a time with a Grapple Blade, though it will recharge one at a time every 12 seconds.

Read more