Gamer dad who loves the classics, indies, racers and the occasional shooter. Have been in the industry for well over a decade and am as enthusiastic as ever! #4theplayers
Destiny the Collection has been a competitor for our next essential pick for a while now. Luckily, there was nothing holding us back anymore after Bungie revealed Destiny 2 and we got hyped for the sequel.
In fact, Destiny is still so good, we were just trying to complete the new record book and reaching highest light level instead of writing this article!
Two and a half years after the release of Destiny on the PlayStation and Microsoft platforms, you can just pick it up and relive the strikes and raids, grind to complete quests or jump right into a really good competitive multiplayer experience.
I remember the excitement and anticipation we had when Destiny released almost 3 years ago. I’d pre-ordered and pre-downloaded the game and sat there ready at midnight waiting for the game to unlock. To experience this vast and interesting world. The world that Bungie visualized and put together for their fans. Three years and many, many, many updates after the game’s release that vision is fully realized with Destiny – The Collection.
Destiny – The Collection brings together every piece of content made for Destiny. You’ll get the base game along with Expansion 1: The Dark Below, Expansion 2: House of Wolves, Destiny: The Taken King and the brand new content, Rise of Iron. To make the introduction to the Destiny Universe a bit simpler, players will get a Level 40 Character Boost.
This is a great way to get the full experience of what it would be like for someone new to the world of Destiny. In no time you will be blasting your way through all those strikes, quests and raids. If you already have Destiny and love it then you will already have the extra content and will only need to buy the Rise of Iron DLC. For anyone new though, this will be the best way to get the full Destiny experience.
You start the story returning from the land of the dead, being revived by this strange little machine which is your ghost. Earth has fallen and you make your way to the last city. The Speaker (a wise mayor like figure) explains what happened while you were away. To unravel the mystery and story, you have to battle the armies of the darkness by completing missions and strikes. Your character grows by gaining the usual XP, but you also get new weapons and armor which raises your light level. The light is power given by the Traveller, a giant orb hovering over and protecting the last city.
The grind for good gear and armor is long. There are four different types marked by the colors green, blue, purple and yellow. Each type is stronger and has better perks to power boost. The Level 40 Character boost is essential for new players today. Just as it says, this boost once used, immediately raises the player’s character to Level 40 and provides a bunch of gear that is appropriate for a level 40 player. Using the boost is not mandatory and players could grind their way up to level 40. However, taking the boost is the best way to ensure you can play all of the new content right from the get go. You don’t need a PlayStation Plus subscription to play through the story modes but if you want the full online experience and want to participate in the multitude of “Strikes” and “Raids” then you will need the PlayStation Plus subscription.
Dark Below & House of Wolves
Let’s get this right out of the way. The Dark Below’s new raid, Crota’s End, is the best, and perhaps the only reason to purchase The Dark Below. The Vault of Glass raid introduced objective-based gameplay that’s more interesting and varied than anything else Destiny had to offer. Crota’s End offers an improved vision of that same added objective-based gameplay. Making the new raid the most interesting addition you’ll find in this add-on. It’s an infuriating peek at the excellent game Destiny could have been – provided that you have five friends with level 28 characters you can round up via text message or phone (seeing as there still isn’t any raid matchmaking).
That inconvenience alone is infuriating, but it’s compounded by how little there is to do in The Dark Below aside from the new raid. I blazed through the three story missions and the one new strike in under two hours, and in that time, I saw barely anything substantial that I had not seen in Destiny vanilla. A strong sensation of “déjà vu” crept in as I tore through multiple Earth and Moon areas I have visited and revisited countless times since Destiny’s initial launch. The strike mission felt particularly samey, lacking the extra challenge and sense of urgency that made the original group of strikes my go-to grinding activity.
Of course, none of this changes that Destiny is still fundamentally solid in its core gameplay mechanics. The act of combat isn’t any less enjoyable in The Dark Below, but it has nothing more to offer either. Yeah, some Hive Knights will drop the same sword we have played with for one mission in the original (which is a blast while it lasts), and you get a hoverbike that can do backflips in mid-air, but neither addition is supported by gameplay that makes them feel necessary or even useful.
House of Wolves brings much more to the table, which is a double-edged sword: There’s now more to do in Destiny, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better game. At first, I was blinded by how much more I liked this expansion than The Dark Below, but over time, the shine wore off.
House of Wolves kicks off with required story missions, which originate in a new social space called the Vestian Outpost. Located in the Reef, the home of the alien race known as the Awoken, the Vestian Outpost feels completely different from the Tower: A perpetual purple twilight combines with a minor-key musical intro to lend an imposing sense of foreboding to the place.
House of Wolves maintains that momentum with its new strike, The Shadow Thief, which is perhaps the best one in the entire game. The first third of the strike takes you through familiar areas on the Moon, and then you get teleported to the boss’ spaceship, a new setting, for the rest. The tight quarters of the ship make for some tense combat, and unlike The Dark Below’s Omnigul strike, you can actually hurt the boss during a few encounters prior to the final battle with him, which makes for a far less annoying fight.
That’s where House of Wolves’ two new modes, the Prison of Elders and the Trials of Osiris, come in. Both are unlike anything else in Destiny, and both are terrific. The Prison of Elders is a “horde” mode à la Firefight from the HALO series, pitting three Guardians against waves of enemies. The challenges rotate among four different difficulty levels from 28 to 35 (one level above the new cap of 34).
House of Wolves does offer an arena in which Guardians succeed solely by their skill: the Trials of Osiris, a three-on-three elimination mode in Destiny’s competitive multiplayer component, the Crucible. Each match is a best-of-nine affair, with individual rounds lasting two minutes. Gear statistics and Light levels matter, as in the Iron Banner. The setup is the perfect proving ground for Guardians who have been honing their PvP skills since Destiny’s launch: Teamwork and communication are of paramount importance, but one skilled player at level 34 can destroy an entire squad in mere seconds.
Buying entry to the Trials of Osiris — which only runs Friday to Tuesday, with one map selected each week — will allow you to play until you win nine matches or lose three. A unique reward awaits those few Guardians who are talented enough to run the table and go 9-0: the Lighthouse, an exclusive area on Mercury. The Trials of Osiris is an intense, heart-pounding experience. Many of the matches come down to a deciding ninth game, and nothing in Destiny comes close to that do-or-die final round’s tension, excitement and potential for heart failure 😉
House of Wolves finally starts to follow through on a bit of Destiny’s promise. There’s something in it for everybody, from PvP fans to co-op players to the five people who care about the game’s story. The expansion doesn’t fix most of Destiny’s myriad problems, and it doesn’t meaningfully change the moment-to-moment experience of playing the game. But House of Wolves is the first time I felt Bungie started to deliver on those E3 promises.
The Taken King
Many of the quest lines take you to Destiny’s new territory, the Dreadnaught. This Hive spacecraft contains several memorable waypoints, like the Court of Oryx, which is a public boss arena, and a gigantic crashed Cabal ship. It feels much bigger than it is, in fact, because of how much is hidden in its every nook and cranny.The Dreadnaught holds tons of tucked-away collectibles, chests that don’t always have obvious ways to open them and dynamic quest lines that make you face off against entire platoons of enemies. Regardless of how much time you spend scouring it, it always feels like there’s more to discover.
Those secrets also make the Dreadnaught come alive in a way the other destinations don’t. The realms of Destiny have always looked beautiful but felt hollow and static. The Dreadnaught makes the first decent argument to date in favor of Bungie’s continued refusal to add an in-game map.
Waiting at the end of The Taken King is some of the toughest content Destiny has ever offered, but unlike past endgame content, it all feels fair. That’s particularly true of King’s Fall, the new raid, which requires maximum coordination with zero margins for error. It’s the most challenging stuff Bungie’s ever built for Destiny, but it doesn’t cheat.
The Taken King’s best content is often the stuff that highlights one of the game’s worst remaining flaws: For an online game, it can be really hard to find people to play with. The Taken King’s three best repeatable sources for loot — the weekly Nightfall, the new raid and the Court of Oryx — don’t feature matchmaking at all, requiring you to use third-party websites to fill a fireteam if you don’t have any friends online.
Rise of Iron
The latest DLC “Rise of Iron” tells the story of the Iron Lords. Back in the day, there was some serious technology around called SIVA, which was capable of self-replicating and terraforming. The Iron Lords thought they had SIVA covered thanks to the mysterious traveler appearing, but they were wrong. During an epic battle, the Iron Lords were all but wiped out. Lord Saladin is the last remaining Iron Lord and he needs the assistance of the Guardians because SIVA is back with a vengeance. Your task, should you choose to accept it is to do what the Iron Lords couldn’t and take down SIVA once and for all.
Apart from that open cinematic to set up Rise of Iron’s content, most of the story is told over your comms system as you travel around. It is an interesting story to unravel but it doesn’t live up to the brilliant story that was The Taken King. The story itself is shorter than I would have liked, taking only around two hours to plow through. It is interesting to learn the backstory of things like the Felwinter’s Lie shotgun, who Felwinter was and how he died but that whole story still feels like we aren’t told the full story which is a shame.
Where Rise of Iron shines is in the content outside of the story, the Strikes and Raids. There is some repetition in there with the likes of Sepiks Prime and others returning in an infected SIVA form which makes more like a retelling of what we already know rather than adding brand new content but it somehow works, which is a validation of how fun strikes and raids are.
The brand new raid will require 6 Guardians and like with previous raids, requires communication throughout in order to achieve success. In the raid you won’t be overly prompted with what to go, rather the team must figure it all out. The elements of planning, solving the problem and then executing the plan is a highlight and is greatly satisfying when it all comes together.
To compete in raids you’ll need to be level 40 (so use that character boost) AND have light above 350. Achieving that light level will require a bit of grinding to find new gear but with a wealth of content to play through across all of the expansions, there is plenty to do in order to make that progression.
Rise of Iron on its own may not quite live up to expectation, admittedly being a little underwhelming but Destiny – The Collection succeeds by way of the some of its parts. When I first reviewed Destiny it was good but the grind got to me. It just felt like it was begging for more content. As Bungie added each piece of content the game started to realize it’s potential with The Taken King really making the game shine. Rise of Iron may not be Destiny’s finest moment but when complimented with all the tweaks and innovation, and the content that proceeded it, Destiny finally feels like it has reached its full potential and is well set up now for Destiny 2.
It’s hard not to act over-enthusiastic, but there’s so much I love about this game. The story, the characters, the visuals, the grinding with friends, the online multiplayer experience, and the captivating music.
Some flaws are still in the game, such as lack of/ bad matchmaking, loading time between missions/ matches and that f*cking idiot of a Cryptarch. But I have high hopes these issues will be resolved in Destiny 2 later this year. There is so much charm in this game and it makes me want to play over and over. To see if I can beat my friends or get the gear I don’t have yet. Completing the Books is especially addictive. This beautiful Bungie universe deserves more love than people who only played year 1 give and will be one of the best experiences you’ll have with your friends yet on PS4. Definitely a PlayStation 4 Essential; go get it!