Yes, you should buy House of Wolves
Still sitting on the fence as to whether or not you should buy House of Wolves? You absolutely shouldn’t. There was a lot of soul-searching before the release of Destiny’s second expansion this week, especially regarding Bungie’s decision to skip a new raid in this release, but you shouldn’t worry: House of Wolves easily contains enough content, flexibility and fun to warrant the piffling 20 dollars/euro/pounds/space-bucks. As well as new end-game modes and a insertion of new, Fallen-based gear so delicious you could be forgiven for wanting to give Destiny’s pirate race a lovely kiss on the bottom, Bungie’s managed to make old gear relevant again, revamp its resets and even throw in some of the best story content we’ve yet seen from console’s most addictive online shooter.
Here, then, are 10 reasons why you should quit griping and get on board with House of Wolves. Do it. Join us.
1. The story content’s actually good
The fear was obvious, especially after the relentless Dark Below missions. House of Wolves’ story content will be token, they said. It’ll all be shooting stuff in a circular room again, they said. Fortunately, Bungie’s paid massive attention to House of Wolves’ story missions, providing variety of levels, enemies and vehicles. Yes, you’re still shooting a tank in the legs and there’s plenty of re-purposing of previous locations, but the new areas and and finales are as spectacular as you could have hoped for. It’s probably all a little short (you can easily run the five missions and strike in a couple of hours), but the story works and there’s plenty of loot along the way.
2. There’s a new end-game
Many freaked out about the decision to skip a House of Wolves raid, but the new end-game activities are refreshing and fun. Prison of Elders may be “just” a wave shooter along the lines of Horde and Firefight, but Destiny’s perfectly balanced enemy races and a mixture of objectives, such as shooting and diffusing mines, make this new challenge hugely enjoyable. We haven’t seen Trials of Osiris, the new end-game PvP mode, in action as yet because it only runs at the weekend, but it’s great to see Bungie taking risks with completely new methods of hitting the cap and grinding for loot. Thought Destiny only ended in a raid? Now you know: it doesn’t.
3. The new guns
House of Wolves not only brings a new weapon-set to Destiny, but also reinvents the way guns are upgraded. You don’t grind for extra damage anymore, instead hitting the hardest end-game challenges to grab Etheric Light and make the jump straight from 331 to 365. You can also now reforge any House of Wolves legendary weapon by visiting the Gunsmith in the Tower. This allows you to chance you luck at re-rolling perks on any of the new purple guns. Regardless of all of that, the new shooter designs and perks are just awesome. Gone is the spiky Crota styling and we’re back in the realm of classic, Suros-esque sci-fi. How can you not want to own this stuff?
4. The old guns
Arguably Bungie’s greatest boo-boo with Dark Below was the failure to allow gear from the original game to remain relevant. Guardians who’d been hammering Vault of Glass for Vision of Confluence, Fatebringer and the Vex Mythoclast were dismayed that their trophies remained at 300 damage while the Dark Below guns rose to 331. Fret no longer. House of Wolves allows for any piece of legendary weaponry to be bumped up to the new maximum level, meaning you can dig out all that beautiful old gear, upgrade it and get to work on level 34 challenges. If you thought Ice Breaker was amazing before, wait until you’re popping skulls at 365 damage.
5. You don’t have to wear raid armour anymore
While the armour-sets from Vault of Glass and Crota’s End were all well and good, making them the only way to hit the level cap severely restricted character customisation. Players could play with exotics and shaders to get stand-outs looks, but it was common to see everyone on a raid dressed identically. House of Wolves changes everything. You can now upgrade any piece of purple armour with Etheric Light and get to the 34 cap. This means you’re now able to trade in your Warlock boots with the daft steel toe-caps for something a little more fashionable, and even boost old clothing from the original game to the power it deserves.
6. Patrolling matters again
Petra Venj’s Queen’s bounties are based on hunting yellow enemies across the solar system as if they were public events. The only way to find these targets is to patrol the right regions and wait for them to appear. Venus, Earth and the Moon are now chock-full of players hanging out, killing dudes and shooting the shit, just as it was back in the days before buying upgrade materials from Tower vendors. Destiny’s environments are lovely. Now you have a good reason to sit in them, explore and spend time with your friends away from the strikes, missions and raids.
7. The new ships
They do nothing, yet, bizarrely, they’re one of the most-loved elements of Destiny’s gear. The ships we’ve see in Destiny so far have ranged from sleek to downright bizarre, but the new, Fallen-based ships from House of Wolves only oscillate between, “I’d really like that,” and, “Holy shit, I’d kill my own mother to pretend to fly in that on my television.” We need to own them all. So do you. You can’t unless you buy House of Wolves.
8. Prison of Elders is amazing
We wouldn’t beat around it even if we had a bush: Prison of Elders, House of Wolves’ end-game wave shooter, is a triumph. At level 28 it’s easy, giving you nice gear and coins, but at level 32 and above the challenge becomes extreme. You’ll have to work hard to win, covering large arenas with a team of three and staying cool in the face of terrifying odds, and some of the bosses at the higher levels will send you to bed at 2am a failed, broken person. We can’t stop playing it. We also can’t imagine how hard it gets at level 35. There’s only one way to find out.
9. Trials of Osiris will make an event of every weekend
Anyone who’s hit the periodic, week-long Iron Banner PvP tournament with gusto will have experienced the sense of purpose it brings to Destiny’s community. Now, with Trials of Osiris, every weekend will be a tournament to get the best guns and armour, beginning every Friday and ending with the Tuesday reset. Victory in the trials will need a focused team, great skills and a lust for supreme rewards. The auto rifle on offer this week looks sweeter than weapons-grade Easter eggs. The variety House of Wolves adds to Destiny is superb, and timed events every week are going to keep you locked in for months. Years. Forever.
10. Vestian Dynasty
Every player gets a taste of the power and joy House of Wolves brings to Destiny’s weapons with Vestian Dynasty, a 331 arc damage sidearm gifted by Petra Venj during the new story missions. Having a space-Glock with a ridiculous rate of fire in your special slot makes everything better, and we can’t wait to see how it works out once boosted to 365 damage. Seriously, if you’ve been feeling the grind recently, five minutes with Vestian Dynasty and some of the new enemy types will sort you right out. We’d probably buy House of Wolves just for this gun, to be honest.