Destiny - The Dark Below Review
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Destiny - The Dark Below Box Art
System: PS4*, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Dev: Bungie
Pub: Activision
Release: December 9, 2014
Players: 1-6
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Animated Blood, Violence
Brave The Dark Below
by Travis Huber

It is no secret that Bungie’s Destiny has been one of the biggest things that they have thrown at us since Call of Duty. Destiny has successfully combined the gameplay styles of many other popular titles to create something that’s fresh and new but at the same time still feel vaguely familiar. Borrowing from games like Halo, Borderlands and World of Warcraft, Bungie has created a world that we all know, but in a time we hope never comes. The ultimate battle between light and dark has happened and only a remnant of the light remains to protect what’s left of the Earth and its people. But while the guardians look to the heavens to seek out threats to humanity, something stirs in the Dark Below.

The first of two promised expansions for Destiny has finally released. I don’t know about you, but I could not have been more ready. I was one of the few who opted to not level cap my character prior to the expansion because of rumors of how things were going to work. And I am so happy I decided to yield my course until the Dark Below hit.

Within the first few minutes of play, you realize that things have changed. Not only is there a new face at the Tower, but there are enemies that were not in certain places before. Powerful enemies that try to swarm and over power you. For example, going to Earth (to the Cosmodrome) for the first time after loading the expansion yielded a surprise I was not expecting. The Hive had come to Earth. And not only had they come, they brought the Swords of Crota with them. But even the sudden shock of an elite knight rushing at you with his sword drawn gave way to the rush of glee and adrenaline once you realize that you get to use his sword for a short time after killing him. And for those of you that enjoyed the Sword of Crota mission as much as I did pre-expansion, this was just awesome.

Destiny - The Dark Below Screenshot

After tooling around the Cosmodrome for a time, I headed back to the Tower to see what had changed there. I hung a left after materializing in the common area and headed to where Eris Morn had her ship moored. I approached her and examined all she had brought to the table in the way of gear and weapons for purchase. I was surprised to find that she not only had new gear for sale as well as materials you could buy, but she also had her own series of bounties for her quest strings that would earn you points for the Crota’s Bane faction.

The first of the quest strings I went on proved to be nearly more than I could handle alone. So I phoned a friend and setup a fire team to go in and mop up the mess that lay ahead. What we found was that a huge host of enemies awaited us. They forced us to use more focused tactics than I or any of my other high-level friends had used previously, and often times, it would take one of us turning a Hail Mary play into a suicide mission so that the rest of the team could advance and drag our dead carcasses along for the ride until we could be respawned. In short, the new story missions are seriously no joke.

Destiny - The Dark Below Screenshot

The Crucible has some new areas to battle in as well. A vast new arena called Skyshock is my personal favorite. It offers something that none of the battle arenas have so far, lots of sniping points. Oh sure, there have been some in the Clash arenas prior to the expansion. But Skyshock makes you stay frosty as you try and switch between close-quarters combat and long-range run-and-gun tactics. There are even vehicles and gun emplacements to contend with that make the map all the more challenging… and fun.

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