Destiny PvP: House of Wolves’ new Crucible maps detailed, with screenshots

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 07:26 GMT

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Destiny expansion House of Wolves delivers three new Crucible maps – four if you’re on a PlayStation console – just for PvP fans.

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Destiny: House of Wolves is the expansion PvP fans have been waiting for. Sure, there’s a lot of focus on story, Strikes and Raids in the community, but for pure versus play fanatics, House of Wolves delivers in troves.

As well as the Trials of Osiris, a new PvP-end-game, there’s a stack of new hunting grounds to explore and dominate. Summon your pack together and save the alpha scuffles for outside the Crucible; you’ll need a solid crew to master these new maps.

I went to visit Bungie in Seattle last week and had a go at the new maps. I can’t tell you much about how the maps play and their potential meta, because I’m a bit of a newb, but Arrekz is much more of a PvP expert than I am so look out for his videos on the subject.

In the meantime, here’s what I observed and what Bungie told me about the new Crucible maps included in House of Wolves, as well as a selection of beautiful screenshots for each.

Black Shield

One of a number of new locations introduced in House of Wolves, Black Shield is set on Firebase Thuria on Phobos, the moon of Mars brought close to the surface by the Cabal. A geometrically symmetrical map, Black Shield is still quite easy to navigate as each side is visually distinct.

Crossing from one side to another through the Cabal architecture is dangerous; the area is dotted by doors which open on a very slight delay; anybody on the other side will see you coming via the flashing locks before the portal is wide enough for you to aim through.

There are several tactics you can use to your advantage as a result of these choke points. A powerful short range weapon like a fusion rifle or shotgun, wielded from the flank, will ruin the day of anybody unwise enough to rush out. But you could also approach a door so that it begins opening then back right off, tossing a grenade in front of you, to discourage just such lurking. The doors also hide your numbers; a gleeful ambusher may get more than they bargained for.

One of the control points on this map is surrounded by high ground, which makes it a nightmare for lone defenders, but with a small group it can be relatively easy to hold.

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Thieves Den

Thieves Den takes us back to the Ishtar Sink on Venus, a familiar ground. It was most reminiscent of Campus 9 to me; the same sort of lush vegetation. Fallen pirates and outlaws have set up camp in this area, and some of your battle will take place on a skiff.

This map has several notable features. For one thing, the Fallen have built their little hideaway on a blessed volcano, so you’re in constant danger of leaping casually to your firey death in areas without guardrails.

For another, there are several narrow, twisting, branching corridors connecting the main areas to each other. Whenever I felt especially frightened I would retreat into these and use my shotgun (Swordbreaker, I love you) to murder someone unwarily coming around a corner, which happened surprisingly often.

It’s better to do a bit of platforming and skirt the outside; if you’re good at acrobatic, aerial stuff, you can seriously surprise your foes by appearing suddenly behind them, having jumped in from some distance. Hunters especially will have a nice time with that.

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Next page: Widow’s Court and Timekeeper.

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