On Tuesday, Bungie finally released their new expansion for Destiny, the House of Wolves. With that expansion comes a variety of additions and improvements to the sci-fi FPS, including a small batch of story missions to complete. For those of you that have played the Dark Below expansion (or the rest of the game, for that matter), you’d know that the story within Destiny isn’t exactly the most engaging. However, I can say the story within the House of Wolves expansion wasn’t that bad. This post does contain a few general spoilers – read on with caution.
These new story missions revolve around the Fallen House of Wolves betraying the Queen of the Reef, and the Wolves Kell, Skolas, attempting to rein in all of the other Fallen houses under a single banner to create a massive army under his control. As a Guardian, its your job to prevent this from happening – seems simple enough, right?
Each of the missions begin at a base level of 26, and include fighting lots and lots of Fallen. In order for Skolas to become the “Kell of Kells” amongst the Fallen, he must encourage the other Fallen houses to obey his command – I use “encourage” lightly because Skolas is mad with power and will do anything to achieve his ambitious goal. Each of the story missions involves fighting the Fallen House of Devils, House of Kings, House of Winter, and Skolas’ own House of Wolves; the Devils, Kings, and Winter are each lead by a Kell,which make them attractive targets for Skolas. The other two Fallen houses that make appearances are the House of Judgement, which has sworn allegiance to the Queen of the Reef, and the House of Exile, which chooses not to follow behind Skolas and instead continues its scavenging on the Moon.
I actually thought the story for these missions was pretty good, but it still felt like it was missing something. I feel like the addition of cut scenes for the DLC story missions would make the experience a bit better, even if it was just a few cut scenes before or after completing all of the missions. The Queen’s emissary, Petra Venj, gives a short narration while you travel through space before beginning each mission – this would be a great place for a cut scene. I know Destiny might be more gameplay-oriented, but there’s so much more they could do with the story…it just seems as though they aren’t really using it to its full potential.
If there’s one thing Bungie did absolutely right with Destiny, it’s the gameplay, and that definitely shines in these missions. One thing I like about the Fallen Wolves is their combat style: it seems to fit the aggressiveness that Skolas shows as a Kell. The enemies will rush toward you more than the members of the other Fallen houses, which made the missions more challenging and fun. I couldn’t just post up someplace far away and use a rifle…I had to move around, and actually be engaged in the fighting.
There are also a couple new places to go in the missions. One place is the Fallen House of Kings’ lair in Cosmodrome on Earth known as Kings Watch, just on the edge of the Rocketyard. I’ve visited there before the expansion came out and noticed enemy blips on my radar, so I had a hunch that the area was going to be included somehow in the future – its closed off if you aren’t doing the story mission, though. It looks like some sort of airport terminal, which would be fitting, considering the scattered shells of large planes throughout the Cosmodrome. The second new area, The Juncture, is in the Citadel on Venus – and yes, this is Vex territory. I won’t say anymore than that it is very, very cool.
The missions also introduce you to a variety of new materials, bounties, and of course, weapons. You’re given a new Sidearm secondary pistol, the Vestian Dynasty, as well as a few new coins you can use to purchase from the Disciple of Osiris in the Reef after competing in the new Trials of Osiris competitive multiplayer.
Bungie created story missions for the House of Wolves that do exactly what they’re supposed to: introduce new content to the players. The story itself is engaging enough, and the gameplay is excellent – both of these seem to be put to better use than in the Dark Below missions. They aren’t anything you can’t handle, but they are fun to play. I know Skolas sounds like a tough guy, but he’s an ol’ soft serve…just one that’s 10 feet tall and has a Shrapnel Launcher. No big deal.
If you’re worried about the missions in this expansion, or looking for a reason to return to Destiny, it seems as though Bungie has answered some of the player’s cries, so you can breathe just a little bit easier. The House of Wolves is available for $19.99, or you can get the $35 season pass for Destiny, which includes the new expansion as well as the Dark Below. If you’ve played the House of Wolves, what do you guys think of it so far? Leave your comments below.