“House of Wolves” improves “Destiny” but is limited

The first-person shooter online role-playing game “Destiny” was released by Bungie on Sept. 9, 2014. With this purchase, the developers promised regular updates and additional content for the next 10 years.


In December, “The Dark Below” expansion pack was released. It was a good addition but still lacked in certain areas.




The second, “House of Wolves,” which was released last month, is stronger than the first and is an improvement to core gameplay elements.


Players are given many new additions such as activities, game modes and unlockable weapons.



There is also a new social space, Vestian Outpost, which is a building or town where players interact with others, purchase items, get missions and do other miscellaneous activities. It serves the same purpose as the Tower, the social space of the original game, but contains new vendors and characters.


The new space to spend time with friends is a welcoming change. After many players have spent eight months in the Tower, it is nice to have a change of scenery. It also helps the game world become more immersive because you have more than one place for social events.


The storyline of this update has you tasked with stopping a fallen Kell, an alien leader, who escaped from your allies and attacked them. You do this through a series of five missions where you track down this foe, weaken his compatriots along the way and finally capture him.


These do a better job of telling an interesting story than any previous storytelling content within the game, but is still a little meager. You can get through this storyline in an hour or two and you never really get any sort of attachment to the characters you quest alongside.


One of the new game modes is a group activity called the Prison of Elders. A team of three players enter a prison where you fight a random assortment of enemies. There are five or six rounds you must battle through until you meet a boss, or a very powerful enemy. Once you defeat the boss you are rewarded with items to further upgrade your character.


This game mode is very enjoyable and requires skill and strategy to finish successfully. There are four difficulty levels in the Prison of Elders, with increasingly better rewards depending on the difficulty completed. 


While it is an enjoyable alternative to playing the game, there are some odd design choices that can diminish the fun of the experience.


For instance, there are no checkpoints, or points that let you start from where you left off previously if you had to stop in the middle of the mode. Some of the enemy combinations can also be overly punishing, making the players tediously retry the round repeatedly while simultaneously hoping for the best situation.


The real bonus of this expansion is a competitive player versus player, or pvp, activity that provides great rewards.


Before, in “Destiny,” there were about five or six different pvp modes to play in. While entertaining by themselves, the rewards for completing the modes were lackluster and none of these modes really had anything at stake. You jumped into a match, had your fun and left.


For the previous eight months, in order to get the best items in the game, you had to complete activities that only pitted you against computer controlled enemies. This is called player versus environment, or pve. Many serious pvp players felt it was unfair that the only way to earn the best gear, which is helpful in pvp modes, was to partake in pve activities.


This changed with the new activity Trials of Osiris added to pvp gameplay. This is a three versus three mode that is intense and gratifying but also punishing. It rewards you based on how many consecutive wins you can earn. The greatest rewards go to people who managed to go nine wins without losing. You get two retries, but if you lose three times you have to start your win streak over.


While certainly in need of some tweaking and balancing, this new mode is the best addition to the expansion because it evens out the relevance of the different modes. It allows pvp players to receive rewards on par with pve players. 


When all is said and done, this content is entertaining but still feels a little lacking. The added modes are enjoyable, but I am not sure if this new content will last long enough until the next update. There needed to be a bit more added to the game because, as it stands now, people are going to get burnt out playing these same modes over and over.


Ultimately, the new modes are good additions to the game because they are enjoyable and will be updated and tweaked even more as time goes on. The content might seem a little limited for now, but in future updates these extra modes will still be relevent and serve as good alternative ways of enjoying the game on top of any additions to the next update. 


Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4


3.5 stars out of 5