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Destiny: The Taken King expansion DLC - release date and what to expect

Tom Morgan
9 Jun 2015
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Everything we know (or think we know) about the upcoming expansion for Bungie's Destiny - currently rumoured to be called The Taken King

When it launched in September last year, Destiny was arguably the first game that felt truly next generation. The combination of single player adventure and multiplayer end-game made it feel fresh and exciting, despite carrying over many of the mechanics that developer Bungie had perfected in the Halo series.

It wasn't perfect, however, with many players criticising the endless grind for gear and limited scope of end-game content. Two DLC packs later and the game has a new lease of life, with players jumping on every week to run the Prison of Elders, test their might in the Trials of Osiris, and compete in the Iron Banner. There's never been greater demand for more content, and if early rumours and leaks are to be believed, fans are going to get their first look at a major expansion pack at next week's E3 show in Los Angeles.

We've gathered together all the information available so far, but considering many of these facts are unverified, or based on rumour and speculation, we suggest taking everything here with a pinch of salt until Bungie confirms otherwise. Even so, it's an exciting time for Guardians everywhere, so be sure to read on to find out where the Traveller will be sending you next.

Destiny: The Taken King name

Rumblings of a major expansion for Destiny came as early as January, when a slide from an internal developer roadmap was leaked online. At the time, the expansion was codenamed Comet: Plague of Darkness, and subsequent rumours ran with that title. However, a more recent leak from, of all places, Red Bull, put that name to bed.

Almost a month ahead of E3, Red Bull tie-in products were spotted in shops by keen-eyed Twitter users. They were branded with the Destiny name and logo, along with the suffix 'The Taken King' - suggesting Bungie had settled on a final name for its expansion. Unfortunately the website mentioned in the image, redbullquest.com, is currently inactive, so we'll just have to wait until E3 to confirm if this is indeed the name of the expansion. Based on the evidence, however, we're fairly confident it is accurate.

Destiny: The Taken King new content

The slim details revealed in the leaked slide suggested the then-named 'Comet' expansion would include a brand new playable area set on a hive ship, rather than another planet in Earth's solar system. However, considering the Hive has already made much of the Moon its own, and was the focus of the first DLC pack, we would be surprised if the darkness-infused race became the main antagonist a second time. 

Considering all the other playable areas in Destiny to date have been set on either Earth, Mars, Venus or the Moon, with the House of Wolves adding multiplayer arenas and The Lighthouse on Mercury, we were expecting a new planet rather than expansions to familiar territory.

The initial leak suggested that players would be fighting a new set of enemies, currently known as The Taken. They would also face off against Oryx, father of The Dark Below's Crota, in a new six-player Raid. Based on the names alone, we're speculating that the Taken might be former Guardians who have had their light sucked from them by Oryx. It would tie in with the story established in The Dark Below, where NPC Eris Morn was the only survivor of a six-person fireteam sent to retake the Moon from the Hive. Her teammates could be Taken leaders, armed with darkness-infused versions of the abilities and supers Guardians currently wield.

That being said, official Bungie concept art has shown Fallen and Cabal enemies working together, illuminated with a sinister green glow while searching for a lone Hunter Guardian. These races are usually in opposition, so it's possible Oryx will simply be converting existing enemies rather than revealing entirely new ones.

In terms of gameplay, the initial leak suggested there would be twelve new missions, four new Strikes and one new Raid, in addition to an extra public event and a new patrol location. There should also be six new PvP multiplayer maps, as well as three new guilds to join and earn reputation for.

Those early details have since been expanded on, with insiders confirming to gaming site Kotaku that some, although not all of the information was correct. The leakers also went into more detail, revealing what the three new subclasses and super abilities would be. Warlocks get an Arc subclass and 'Electrical Storm' super, Hunters get a Void-powered 'Gravity Bow' and Titans can wield a 'Flaming Hammer' powered by Solar super energy.

Of course, we're expecting a heap of new legendary and Exotic weapons and armour to keep Guardians coming back for more, as well as a higher level cap to increase the challenge.

Destiny: The Taken King release date

Based on the leaked roadmap slides taken at a behind-the-scenes Activision investor's meeting, it seems Bungie has been working to a September release date for Destiny's first major expansion.

Newer details leaked to Kotaku have suggested the exact release will be the 15th of September, which falls on a Tuesday - typically the day games are released in the US. There's no guarantee other territories will get the game at the same time, although considering that Destiny recieved a worldwide launch last year, it's highly likely Bungie will follow suit with the expansion. 

Destiny: The Taken King price

If the initial leaks are to be believed, The Taken King will add far more content than either of Destiny's two existing DLC packs, The Dark Below and House of Wolves. As such, it will cost more; around $40 in the US, and most likely £35 here in the UK.

The game will likely arrive on a Blu-ray disc as well as a download, due to the sheer size of the extra content; how this will work in terms of disc swapping on previous generation consoles remains to be seen. It's also possible that a version combining the original game, both DLC packs plus the new expansion will be sold to entice new players.