Wondering why a slice of DLC has burst out of its home in Network and taken up residence in the spacious splendour of the Reviews section? Because The Dark Below is so much more than a simple mission pack, and at a wallet-worrying £20 demands a more thorough examination. So open wide and say, “Ahhhh,” Destiny. This won’t hurt a bit…

If one thing’s become clear since the launch of Bungie’s masterful MMO it’s that, just like war, the grind never changes. Grinding gear, guns and materials is at the heart of Destiny’s hypnotic post-level-20 endgame, and The Dark Below doesn’t alter a winning formula. With an increased level cap (now up to 32), weapons and more powerful versions of all your Guardian’s old gear available, the grind is going nowhere.


But if you’ve stuck with Destiny ’til now, chances are the extra miles on the treadmill won’t bother you one bit. What really matters is that after three months of repeatedly dropping Dinklebot off at the same locations, The Dark Below finally offers something new. Three story missions, three crucible maps, two Strikes and one Raid of new, to be precise.

Story is never going to be Destiny’s strong point, but there are steps towards telling a more cohesive tale here. Missions are dished out by former Guardian Eris Morn the sole survivor of a failed assault on colossal Hive bastard Crota and build towards a showdown with deadly Wizard Omnigul during the intense Will Of Crota Strike. They’re set in largely familiar locales, but The Dark Below makes up for its lack of new sights with a relentless, pulse-racing onslaught of enemies.

Hive And kicking
There’s also a brief but memorable PlayStation exclusive Strike that plays like The Black Garden mission in reverse as Mars rapidly refills with Vex; and The Dark Below’s crown jewel Crota’s End a thrilling new Raid that provides a stern challenge, even for level 30 Guardians.

The joy of Destiny’s Raids is discovering their secrets for yourself, so I won’t go into details here, but needless to say the gauntlet laid out before Crota is massively rewarding.

The new PvP maps are all strong additions to an already impressive line-up, particularly The Cauldron and Pantheon complex structures that offer plenty of opportunities for tactical play. But is The Dark Below worth a whopping 20 digi-quids? After all, the new missions can be raced through in a few hours, and it doesn’t help that this major expansion is arriving so soon after launch.

The short answer: yes. The Crota’s End Raid will be a regular fixture in most Guardians’ lives for months to come, and given sheer amount of time required to level the new gear and weapons £20 is a steep, but not unreasonable, entry fee to pay.