Reviews// Destiny: House of Wolves

Posted 3 Jun 2015 13:14 by
Companies:
Games: Destiny
It?s no secret that Destiny fans were a little let down by the game?s first expansion, The Dark Below.

It was more of the game we love but didn?t add enough to warrant the high price, along with making the highest level armour in your inventory useless for hitting the new level cap.

If there?s one thing you can take away from the second expansion House of Wolves, it?s that Bungie is learning and working hard to put those wrongs right, and this is a huge step forward for the series.

Firstly and most importantly for hardcore Destiny players, you no longer have to get the new armour sets and level them up from nothing to get to the new cap. You now have the option of upgrading your current set of weapons and armour using Etheric Light.

That?s not as easy as it first sounds, though. Etheric Light is extremely rare so it?s not a cake walk to Level 34, but it means that you?re not asked to take a step back in order to leap forward.

The story missions are a huge improvement over The Dark Below too. They?re all substantial, offer plenty of reward including a new weapon type and play to the game?s strengths.

Destiny is at its best when you?re bombarded with enemies. The gun fights can be as difficult as they are beautiful, with your screen filling with neon bullets while you?re ducking behind cover to save yourself from death. House of Wolves is full of these moments.

From open area battles in story missions to the new Prison of Elders game mode, you?ll be asked to take on some of the most challenging gameplay that the game has ever offered, and if you make it through you?ll be rewarded well.

Prison of Elders is the new horde mode that replaces the need for raids in order to obtain the game?s rarest items. One issue many players had was that if you wanted the best weapons in the game you had to run raids with six friends. No matchmaking.

On its lowest level setting of 28 Prison of Elders allows matchmaking so that the socially challenged can get their grubby hands on that exotic loot, but as always with Destiny there is a catch. At the end of five rounds of backs-to-the-wall fighting you?re treated to three loot crates.

Two small ones offer materials and currency, while the main one is guaranteed to give you an exotic once a week. To open the larger chest, you need a key and to get those you?re going to have to work for them.

Patrol missions have been spiced up a bit with new public events that sees the Wolves arrive in waves. Take them out and a loot chest appears somewhere in the area you?re in. Find it within 90 seconds and you?re treated to some goodies and the chance to claim one of those precious keys.

It?s the sort of convoluted nonsense that I love and lets me play on my own with purpose before taking on a run at the Prison of Elders with my mates.

The game mode itself is a fantastic addition. It scratches that waves-of-enemies itch, is enough of a challenge to not be a time waste and mixes things up with objectives and bosses. By the time you reach the loot you really feel as though you earned it and although it lacks some of the genius of the raids, it adds variety to the time you spend with the game.

PVP fans are treated to a new game mode along with three new maps. Trial of Osiris is the ultimate in online competition. Only open at the weekend, this Team Deathmatch mode consists of two teams of three. Each player only has one life but can revive their teammates. Once all three members of the same team are down, the game is over. First to three rounds win.

But it doesn?t end there. If you manage to win nine times while only losing three you?re rewarded with some of the biggest rewards that the game has to offer.

I have to say, this mode looks too tough for me, but you can?t help but admire Bungie on this one. It?s the ultimate end goal. Destiny as close to an e-sport as it?ll ever be, and if you make it to the ultimate prize then you bloody deserve it.

So a big improvement then, but not one that can quite justify 20 and not one that?ll have those that don?t like the game running back and apologising.

The strange thing is that it?s hard to form a subjective view of House of Wolves. If you?re tired of Destiny then there?s plenty to complain about with no new enemy types and familiar areas being milked once again.

But if like me you still have some love for the game then this expansion is simply essential. 20 will seem like nothing as you continue to build your character and learn the ins and outs of the new systems. With the new weapons, armour, a new strike and bounties there is a hell of a lot to do and this will keep fans playing for a long time.

House of Wolves has left me excited. I?m back to playing one of my favourite games of last year and with new content promised at the end of the year I?m no longer worried that new content will simply be more of the same. The more experimental Bungie gets the more interesting the game will become, and if this is anything to go by I can?t see Destiny running out of steam any time soon.

Pros:
Prison of Elders is excellent
Vast Improvement over The Dark Below
Essential for Destiny fans

Cons:
- Still doesn't justify the asking price

SPOnG Score: 8/10
Companies:
Games: Destiny

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