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Shedding Light on The Dark Below

/ Dec 12th, 2014 No Comments

With Bungie having just recently released the first major DLC package for Destiny in The Dark Below, the discussion regarding if Destiny lived up to hype has been revived. But does Destiny’s new DLC add to the overall experience of the game? With The Dark Below, Destiny is closer than ever to living up to the hype.

Beware the Guardians and Traveler’s Light

The Dark Below adds a new quest line, strike and culmination raid to Destiny (plus competitive multiplayer maps, but who cares about that?). However, those without the DLC are now unable to play the Nightfall playlist.

The challenges of the new DLC are numerous. Improved enemy AI causes opponents to make smart maneuvers such as doubling back for a surprise attack, regrouping forces for a flank maneuver, and even simple concepts such as suppressing fire while melee enemy types attempt to overrun the strike team.

Welcome to the real Shark Week.

Welcome to the real Shark Week.

Instead of the usual combinations of several foot soldiers, a couple revered troops and one or two lieutenants, The Dark Below is filled with new combinations, such as massive waves of melee enemies that are protected by one heavy troop with rapid ranged attacks. New bounties also add more objectives, new loot and more reasons to hunt down Xur on the weekends (however with the increase of his necessity over the most recent updates, many are wishing he would appear more frequently so gamers weren’t pigeon-holed into playing on the weekend).

If You Having Party Problems I Feel Bad for You Son

Should players have no problem hunting down Xur every weekend and find themselves fully stocked on the loot they need to get the job done, the problem of raids remains. While strikes and playlists do a quick and simple party search to find fellow Guardians, raids offer no such group forming feature. Of course, players can always turn to the Bungie forums, in-game “guilds,” or even gather five friends who have the game, DLC and the same console in order to complete raids.



While there are options, and many have already beaten Destiny’s raids, the inability to form a “pick-up group” with fellow randos leaves a lot to be desired for a game that is advertising itself as a massively multiplayer experience. Strides have been made in the right direction with more easily accessible strike and team chat lines, but the lack of public chat or even a “looking for group” feature has pushed many away from Destiny and into the arms of more accommodating lovers.

I Went to the Moon and All I Got was This Sword

The inclusion of random events, in which players can obtain a sword and go Samurai Jack on enemies, counts as a positive for the fledgling game. Destiny offers a great deal of exploration and fun to be had for friends and randos alike. The new random Sword of Crota events on the surface, matchmaking for strikes, random patrol missions and even difficulty modifiers leave players with a lot to do.

I know what it is you saw... for it is also in my mind.

I know what it is you saw… for it is also in my mind.

To top it all off, patrol mission bounties now offer crafting materials as a part of the reward, and a balanced drop system update has made new gear easier to find and more fairly rewarded. All of this happened before The Dark Below was released, which shows that Bungie and Activision are listening, but sadly not as much as gamers would like. There is still a bit of the year left, and many final decisions will be made regarding Destiny as a true success or failure will happen as the year comes to an end. Next year promises The House of Wolves, which should bring back everyone’s favorite spoiled queen and her passive aggressive brother.

Ultimately, the new DLC is worth buying. It adds some fun missions that will truly test players as well as an intense raid not for the faint of heart. However, the slow process to add new content harkens back to such games as Dungeons & Dragons Online, in which gamers were able to not only beat, but master current content before new missions could be released.

I Could Tell You of What Destiny Needs

The bottom line is that Destiny has all the components of a solid first-person shooter, but not the components of an online experience. While Halo didn’t have to deal with as much of the need-to-talk problem, it still had matchmaking, something Destiny needs immediately. Destiny still feels like it finds itself on the cusp of graduating into massively multiplayer, but finds itself torn between its predecessors and truly evolving beyond.

Hello? Anyone? Oh sorry, had voice chat turned off.

Hello? Anyone? Oh sorry, had voice chat turned off.

Plot still steadily trickles in with new DLC, but many rumored scraped details of the Destiny story, as well as a lot of plot being shoved into dead ghosts (which must then be read about via the companion app) have left gamers salivating for more of the plot. Despite this, the world of Destiny is one worth exploring and has gamers looking forward to discovering the truth behind this interesting universe.


Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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