The Dark Below


A week ago tomorrow, the Dark Below expansion launched for Destiny. Matthew opines on whether or not it was a success or a failure.

It was great. Thanks for reading.

Just kidding.

So, for Christmas, my wife bought me the Destiny Expansion pass. This entitles me to both The Dark Below and House of Wolves, and so far so good.

Tuesday morning, I logged in to the game, and started to tinker around with the new NPC, Eris. She is decidedly creepy, but there’s a reason behind that and I shan’t spoil it here. She did, however, offer me a variety of new quests and some bounties, all of which I was happy to take, and I dove right in.

First off, I want to say that I was originally disappointed by the fact that the Dark Below wasn’t adding anything “new” in the traditional sense of expansions for these types of games.

You have to realize that, as a former WoW player, I am used to getting new levels, new items, new dungeons and new raids. All of which Bungie delivered. I am also used to getting a new continent or whole planet. Something they did not deliver, though I suspect are saving for the next round.

These new quests have you investigate the resurrection of a Hive god called Crota. For those old hands at Destiny, this is the same guy who’s sword you get to use in the mission “The Sword of Crota” oddly enough.

It takes you on a whirlwind journey, pushing the Hive back from Earth and then entering the inner sanctum and shutting the Hive down for good. It was a gripping story, but it was missing two elements that I will detail now.

First and foremost, there wasn’t enough story. I understand that a lot of the climax is going to play out in the Raid “The Fall of Crota”. That’s par for the course in these kinds of games, but what there wasn’t was enough story content for the non-raiders in the destiny community.

There were plenty of options available, not the least of which was to have the player gather resources for a strike at the Hive on the Moon. Or some espionage/intel gathering, or a chance to rescue Eris’ friends whom she thought was dead. These are missed opportunities that I don’t think they are going to be able to get back.

Second, where the heck was Ghost? He said not a WORD during the whole expansion, which was a shame. Having Ghost around would have allowed for some real character development to take place. Both for the Guardian and for Eris.

As it stands, what you know about Eris going in is essentially all you’ll ever know about her, and your Guardian doesn’t have a single line in the entire expansion. This is odd. If I’m supposed to be growing my legend, and becoming more firmly ensconced int he minds and hears of the City, why am I not talking?

I feel like the entire set of missions existed solely to provide you with loot. This is fine, I suppose, if the end result is the loot. But I like my stories to have some pay off, some kind of conclusion that affects me and those around me.

However, what is here? What Bungie did deliver? Polished to a mirror finish. The rewards make the trials worth it, and the tight, claustrophobic environments they DID include in the game make help make the Hive menacing. They are aggressive, and un-afraid of melee. And I have to tell you, when I had a dozen or so Hive members bear down on me while fighting a boss? I may have peed a little.

But, what you want to know is if it’s worth picking up?

Well, if for no other reason than you are locked out of content (including daily heroic story and weekly heroic strike missions) then yes. It’s worth the money solely to be able to continue…you know, playing the game.

Also, if you’re already enjoying Destiny than this is more of the same. Its the same shared experience, just ramped up a notch.

All in all, a solid first attempt, but Bungie will not be escaping without a spanking, let me assure you.

Tomorrow: Why gating content off from customer is a bad idea.

Thanks, and have a good day.

The Dark Below

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