I’m not going to sit here and feed you blind promises that House of Wolves — the latest expansion for Destiny — changes the game drastically. It doesn’t. If you didn’t like the game before, then you’re probably not going to like the game now.
There’s still an argument to be made about how much Bungie is charging for the expansions. At $20 a pop — cheaper if you bought the Season pass — they don’t add much in the way of content, at least not compared to the traditional concept of a game “expansion” a la Dragon Age: Origins or Skyrim.
House of Wolves introduces a new social area, some new story missions — on the same planets we’ve been exploring all along — and some new gear. It also introduces the Trials of Osiris, a three player PVP arena, and Prison of Elders, a PVE style arena where you fight off waves of enemies to earn sweet loot. If you count the single strike that’s been added, that’s new too.
It’s more than Bungie has offered in previous expansions, sure, but it’s still the same old repetitive mechanics. That’s not to say it wasn’t welcome, or necessary. Destiny players have been hurting for fresh content for a while now — me included. The Dark Below really didn’t introduce much, so it’s a good thing House of Wolves is meatier.
Is House of Wolves a Step In the Right Direction?
Bungie is going to release more content for the game, we know that for a fact. The new expansion might even be called The Taken King if rumors are to be believed.
After The Dark Below dropped, many were worried that a lack of content would become a frequent pattern for the rest of the expansions because the first didn’t offer much.
Let’s do a quick recap. Here, is what The Dark Below introduced:
- 3 new story missions
- Tower Vendor Eris Morn
- New legendary weapons and armor
- New exotic weapons
- 1 new strike (Will of Crota)
- 1 raid (Crota’s End)
- 3 PVP crucible maps: Pantheon, Skyshock, and The Cauldron
- Light level cap raised to 32
In a list — like the one above — it seems to be more than it is. As a frequent Destiny player, I can attest to the fact that the first expansion did not add nearly enough.
House of Wolves, on the other hand, is a step in the right direction and hopefully Bungie continues to follow the same pattern for future expansions.
- 5 new story missions
- A new social area in the reef with many new vendors and rewards (The Vestian Outpost)
- Trials of Osiris an end-game PVP arena for 3 player teams
- Prison of Elders a PVE arena where you fight off enemy waves and earn loot
- 1 new strike (The Shadow Thief)
- New bounties
- 3 PVP crucible maps: Widow’s Court, Thieves Den, Black Shield
- Materials exchange (The Speaker)
- Tons of new gear and weapons
- Old weapons upgraded (Etheric Light is a new material to raise old weapons to the new 365 cap)
As you can see, there’s a lot more content added with this expansion. If you haven’t bought it yet, I highly recommend it.
The Story Missions Are Actually Good
The Dark Below story missions suck. There is no other way to put it. They are bland, uninspired and the tone is decidedly different from the main game. Playing through them was a slog.
The House of Wolves missions are worlds different. This time around there’s a decent variety to the environments you explore and enemies you fight. Plus, there are a couple new areas that are pretty interesting. It’s also worth mentioning that the mechanics for each are a little different. This time around it’s not just about filling a big bad sponge with as many bullets as possible.
My biggest gripe with them is just like the rest of the Destiny story, the missions are short and will be over before you know it.
The End Game Is Better
Whether you’re into PVP or PVE, there’s plenty for you in House of Wolves.
PVP lovers can enter the Trials of Osiris, as part of a three-man team to take on other players in a competitive style arena. PVE lovers can grab two friends — three players max — and enter the Prison of Elders to take on waves of enemies for badass loot. Seriously, the loot you earn in House of Wolves is so much better.
Old Armor and Weapons Make a Comeback
Sure, there are a ton of new weapon and armor sets to collect in the expansion but that’s not the most exciting part. Thanks to a new upgrade material — Etheric Light — and a new expansion slot on old armor and weapons, there’s no need to remain exclusive to raid armor anymore. This gives you a lot more variety when it comes to choosing armor, you can now choose it based on both style and function.
The Etheric Light allows you to raise the cap for any purple armor up to 34.
There’s Plenty More!
At the risk of sounding like a late night infomercial trying to convince you to come back to Destiny, I’m going to close out with the infamous “but wait, there’s more!”
That’s not a gimmick either, there really is a lot more. Trials of Osiris will have a weekly event. Patrol mode has been given a refresh with new House of Wolves enemies that regularly appear in the world. The loot system has been revamped with a new materials exchange option; the Speaker allows you to swap excess materials for the rare ones you need. Those are just some of the new features added in the latest expansion.
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited to dive back into a game, and I’ve been playing daily. I don’t regret picking up House of Wolves, and I’m hoping Bungie gives us the same treatment with future expansions.
This expansion was without a doubt a step in the right direction. It’s exactly what Destiny players needed.