Nathan Schulz

Born and raised in California, Nathan has been a fiend for geeky pop culture for years. ESPECIALLY comic books and movies. Can't get enough. He also likes writing his own comic books (The Shrouded City) and drinking sparkling water. Maybe it shows we've grown as a society that nobody makes fun of him for making comic books... but he does get a lot of s**t for drinking sparkling water. Win some, lose some. If you feel like it, you can follow his twitter musings: @natethegreater

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Here’s the thing… I wasn’t always a big video game guy. It hasn’t been until games became as good as they are now that I’ve been playing them more and more. You want an example? Hmm… let me think… an example of a really good video game…

Oh yeah, the title kind of gives it away! That’s right, kiddos, Destiny: The Taken King is an example of one such amazing video game. Its got a deep, amazing story with excellent dialogue, incredible music, and innovative and engrossing ways of incorporating the player into an highly interactive story and environment.

And the best part is that barely one year ago, I could only say the music was great about Destiny.

Watch out! ...this is BAT country!
Watch out! …this is BAT country!

Year One of Destiny was… shallow. Story was kind of ignored, and barely an afterthought. And it was an even greater sin because the lore of Destiny is MASSIVE, and really, really interesting. And yet… it was something you had to go far out of your way to even get a glimpse. So because story and motivation was just set aside, the fighting gets old. Repetitive, if not for the saving grace of one of the best multi-player formats to ever exist.

Seriously, playing with your friends saved Destiny from just dying alone and forgotten.

What did Bungie do? They LISTENED. They evolved. And as The Taken King was getting closer to being released, they made little fixes and patches here and there to smooth over old annoyances. And then they made bold, exciting decisions.

Namely: Make The Player CARE.

Two things they did were pretty amazing:

1. Utilize Nathan Fillion. Who was already a voice for a character named Cayde-6.

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I mean, C’mon, right? Its NATHAN muther-flippin’ FILLION and you’re not using all of the god-given charm he has to up the fun quotient in your game? So they grew a brain, and started pumping personality and charisma into Destiny with some of the funniest banter this side of Firefly.

2. They switched out Peter Dinklage for Nolan North.

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Dinklage was the original voice for your ghost companion (think a flying mix between C-3PO and R2-D2)

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And the acting was… not very great. But I actually attribute that to Year One Destiny’s poor treatment of story. Dinklage could have done better, I firmly believe that. But maybe it was kind of an all-around reboot for the importance of story by bringing Nolan North in as the ghost, bringing a new “voice” for Destiny, with every pun intended. And I don’t know what others think, but I love Nolan North’s take. He’s a great voice actor, who’s pretty much voiced everyone I love. From Deadpool to Nathan Drake, this guy has got some damn good chops.

And as for Peter Dinklage…

Peter Dinklage arrives in the Press Room with his award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama at the 67th Emmy Awards on September 20, 2015 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON

I’m sure he’s dealing with the loss by being arguably the most popular character on the record-breaking show Game of Thrones. He’ll be fine.

So what are some changes in the game play that were made for Destiny: The Taken King? Oh, just the option to be Thor, Emperor Palpatine, or Legolas, that’s all.

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Seriously, its pretty damn fun. For the Titan characters, they added a “Sunbreaker” class, which means you get to throw BLAZING HAMMERS THAT EXPLODE at enemies.

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For the Warlock characters, they have a “Stormcaller” class, and you basically float around and electrocute everybody while cackling “Unlimited POWEH!!” over and over. I mean, YOU can cackle, while they crackle.

stormcaller-subclass-guide

And the Hunter characters got a “Nightstalker” class, and it is really cool. More focused and helpful than the other two power mad classes, but then the Hunter is supposed to be a sneaky sniper person, not prone to “Here I am brimming with power SHOOT ME!!” antics.

Nightstalker1

Now, I did go on an awful lot about the story, and I will stand by it. The Taken King is on a whole new level. The ideas are enormous, the lore is intricate, and the concepts kind of hurt your brain a little. Which is great. And the visuals are on the same level as most movies. I mean just look at the detail on the main villain King Oryx!

destiny_the_taken_king_oryx_screengrab1

This game is one of the finest examples of how the medium of video games is art. No bones about it, it is not just a distraction, or a way to kill time. Destiny: The Taken King is a work of art. How many paintings by Van Gogh or Monet can you actually interact with past just looking at? Or an even better question, how many paintings or sculptures have rocket launchers in them?

The answer: Not Enough.

Play this Game!! It actually feels as epic as this picture!

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