Playstation 4 - Destiny: Expansion II

The second DLC for Destiny was released on May 19th. The release was greatly anticipated by fans as indicated by the increasing frequency of rumors and leaks related to weapons, armor and gameplay. My first hours of playing the DLC were enjoyable but not mind blowing. Don't get me wrong the DLC only adds to a game that I already enjoyed playing. There's a bit of good and bad here, I plan to discuss both.

When I first fired up the game I was presented with a new End User License agreement. Once I had agreed to the new terms of service, a 10MB download started and finished without issue. After the install I was able to jump right into the game. My first minutes were spent exploring the tower. There were no obvious changes to the area. The most important change, however, was to the Speaker. You are now able to exchange materials for different materials and items. So if you find yourself with too many Exotic shards for example, you can exchange some of them for something else.

From the Tower, I made my way to the Reef. A cut scene loads immediately after you select this destination for the first time, then you are returned to your ship to begin the jump to the reef. Nothing spectacular here, but a nice introduction to the new content. When I arrived at the reef I immediately appreciated the compact nature of the space. You have a access to the vault, the Cryptarch, the postmaster and a couple of additional vendors. All within a space roughly equivalent to the main plaza in the Tower. No more long jogs to the various vendors. In fact, you might end up making the reef your primary stop unless you need the Speaker, the shipwright or one of the faction specific vendors.

My reef missions were doled out by a new Character named Petra Veng. Once you complete these quests, you will be rewarded with a few legendary weapons and other valuables. Not too shabby!

The shine started to wear off as I worked through the first few Reef missions though. I was, again, slogging through the same areas that I had slogged through for the last year. They even opened up the Vault of Glass as part of the new missions. Not optimal. I enjoyed the new redesigned enemies as well as the increased pacing of the enemy spawns in some of those areas. For $35 dollars though I wish we were fighting in entirely new areas. I sort of deal like in some other games **COUGH**borderlands 2**COUGH** that the DLC felt more fresh. I am slightly disappointed by this but there is still more content that I need to explore before it's clear that there are no new areas.

There were a couple of additional rooms that opened up as part of the missions. One of which was backtracking back through the Wall in Old Russia. You finally get to return to the rusty, roadway scrapyard where your ghost originally revived you. Access to the area is new, but I'm not so sure it's DLC worthy. Especially since it was in the game from the beginning. They unlocked a pre-existing area then populated it with enemies that were in the game from the beginning.

The other area is a room that many people spent way too much time trying to reach by jumping around outside of the official map and bouncing off of invisible walls. I'm talking about the King’s Watch. Again, when I finally got access to this room, it was underwhelming.

One other gripe I have was with the Ghost. No Peter Dinklage. Now this might be fine for some, but they spent the first two installments of Destiny cementing the idea that the Ghost is your constant companion and they associated Peter Dinklage's voice with that persona. So far the ghost hasn't said a single word and it is noticeable. This is as bad as when they changed Clare Huxtable on the Cosby show or Darrin on Bewitched or Cole in Infamous. Heck they could have gotten a voice actor that SOUNDED like Peter Dinklage if cost or availability was an issue. This was pathetic.

The House of wolves DLC was fun but not a game changer. I’d consider this DLC a mixed bag. In my first hour of play, I was really hoping for a bigger bang or something more exciting. This installment didn't blow me away. I'm still holding out hope that there are more compelling surprises ahead. Consider this DLC an evolution rather than a revolution.