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We Analyze Destiny: The Taken King’s Eight New Crucible Maps

by Ben Reeves on Aug 13, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Destiny’s Crucible has always given players the opportunity to visit new and exotic locations within Bungie’s universe, and the upcoming Taken King expansion will add eight new stamps to players’ virtual passports. While Bungie used to design maps to cater to a particular game mode, most of the maps in The Taken King are more like jack-of-all-trades that work well in almost every game type, though some still shine brightest in particular modes. To get a better sense for these locales, senior multiplayer designer Andrew Weldon walked us through each map, detailing their unique features.

This map should be recognizable to most Destiny players since it’s set on a Tower that’s similar to the one players congregate on in-between missions. This tower, however, is set on the other side of the city and has long been abandoned. Bannerfall is a good mid-sized map well-suited to matches of Control, and its symmetry works well for Rift matches. A large open courtyard evokes the memory of the actual Guardian Tower, while an angled back alley offers a sneaky path to victory.
Bungie’s Take: “At one time there was a fourth faction that held court in this tower along with the beginnings of the New Monarchy faction. You can see that in the banners on each side of the map. On one side you have the familiar New Monarchy logo, but on the other you have this unfamiliar logo that is still tattered and torn from when this faction used to exist.”

This is another map set far out on the city perimeter of Earth. The location is a transfer/relay station, shuttling supplies to other perimeter stations such as the Twilight Gap map from the original release of Destiny. Frontier is a semi-symmetric map built around a train yard. A train track cuts through the middle of the map and runs across a bridge, which is a central landmark for the map and a bottleneck for combat. Frontier features a lot of good sniper sightlines, and has a good mix of open and closed spaces for firefights. It’s also a showcase Rift map.
Bungie’s Take: “One of the landmarks on the map is a little gondola platform, which is actually the same gondola you see in Twilight Gap. The idea is that these two maps are connected to each other. In the skybox, you can actually see that little outpost up in the mountains.”

This Vex structure on Mars is one of only two maps featuring teleporters. Crossroads is overgrown with the giant vegetation that formed on Mars in the wake of the traveler’s arrival. This map is a really good showcase for Mayhem matches, since it allows players to launch themselves into the air and teleport away while their special attacks quickly recharge. The main body of the map is separated from a smaller island reachable by launchers. Fights here tend to be chaotic.
Bungie’s Take: “It’s an interesting mix of that familiar Vex architecture that leans a little bit more towards metallic instead of crumbled stone, and there are giant rotted-out tree stumps that provide some good cover. It’s almost two maps, because there is an entire chunk that functions as its main body where the teams spawn, and then there is a separate island that is a gnarled mass of trees and roots set way off to the side. They’re connected via launchers that catapult you across the map as well as three sets of teleporters.”

Sector 618
Clumsy Guardians could easily find themselves falling to their death while crossing Sector 618’s various floating platforms. Expect a lot of leaping and platforming. Sector 618 features a square layout that has two bridges crossing a central chasm, and is the new PlayStation 4 exclusive map. The map is set inside the Cosmodrome wall, so it should feel familiar to anyone who recalls Destiny’s early story mission that has players facing off against an advancing tide of Fallen slipping through the darkness.
Bungie’s Take: “The core footprint of the map is the square created by the bridges. We wanted players to take advantage of all the movement opportunities with the platforms. You have these two bridges, but on either side you have these multistage jump routes where you can platform up to the high bridge and then jump along the side to get the drop on another player. We wanted to give players a lot of different ways to move through space in interesting ways.”

Ghost Ship
This is the first crucible map set in the Reef. The Ghost Ship is actually a Fallen ship that fell after a Hive attack. The smallest map in The Taken King, Ghost Ship features a symmetric layout, however, one side of the ship has been torn open by a Hive attack and various debris floats through one side of the ship, which helps give players a sense of where they are. Ghost Ship shines in the smaller matches with fewer people. 
Bungie’s Take: “Ghost Ship features some low gravity effects, so dead Guardians and other objects will slowly float away. One of my favorite things in this map is when someone is running through one of the tiny little vent connections and they get killed by another player and ragdoll out into the hall. It tells a little story all by itself.”

This Hive prison cell sits inside one of Oryx’s ships that orbits Saturn. Players will recognize the architecture and detail work from Oryx’s Dreadnaught. Exile is a little bit longer and narrower than most Crucible maps, and is strong for both Control and Clash mode. The lower level adds a vertical element to combat, while a complicated maze of corridors leads to some violent conflicts as you take corners.
Bungie’s Take: “There are three main lanes through the map. There is the bridge side that takes you out past a window that shows you Saturn and some of the other ships in Oryx’s fleet. Down the middle of the map is a ramp that takes you through a circular room with a crystal in it. In that room is a dropdown, which allows you to enter a lower catacomb level.”

This map returns players to the European Dead Zone that was first shown off in the Widow’s Court map released with the House of Wolves’ DLC. The core of the map is an overgrown street tucked in-between two larger buildings, all set within a roughly triangular shape. In the middle is a larger courtyard that is angled down and provides some sight line blocking. This is another good Control/Clash map, but it’s moderate size means it also plays well in smaller team modes.
Bungie’s Take: “Memento is much more vertical than Widow’s Court. There is one building in Widow’s Court that has an elevation shift, but Memento has a couple of significant elevation shifts where you can get some really strong high ground advantages.”

In Vertigo, Guardians take another trip back to Mercury to fight on a Vex structure high in the sky above the yellow planet. At one time, a Cabal expedition force began exploring this structure, but the group mysteriously vanished and hasn’t been seen since. The odd Cabal “bolted-on” architecture adds some variety to both sides of this symmetrical map.
Bungie’s Take: “One of the key features of the map is a one-way teleporter that spits players out on a really powerful platform on the other side of the map. That platform gives you great coverage of both ends of the map and really opens up some interesting gameplay moments. Vertigo’s one central control room is really crucial and gives you fast access to anywhere on the map.”

Stay tuned later in the month for more about Destiny: The Taken King's crucible in a video interview with the team and a more in-depth look at Vertigo. Also, click on the banner below to enter our constantly-expanding hub of exclusive content.