Destiny: Rise of Iron Review – A long term investment with some short term rewards
The Rise of Iron expansion is a lot of fun.
Thats why its so painful to say I’m disappointed in terms of narrative and set objectives. The guardians are introduced to a new threat, a long buried “virus” that was pushed back and locked away by the Iron Lords themselves. That alone should be intriguing enough for those who have been wanting the Iron Lords to surface since nearly day 1. While the opening scene is beautiful and sets up what could be something both threatening and game changing, it ends up suffering from the usual Destiny conundrum. There are five campaign missions in total which will take a dedicated player roughly 2 to 3 hours to complete. I generally wouldn’t have issue with this for a game such as Destiny, although it seems lacking in this regard. Taking advantage of something considered as chaotic as this virus, or nanotechnology, could have allowed Bungie to open the doors to something much darker, and even rival The Taken Kings DLC itself.
Eventually, you are able to enter Felwinter, the new social hub for players. The hub takes place at the peak of a mountain, near an old tram station. The decay of corroded metal shows that the land hasn’t been traveled in a long time and it gives the sense that you are truly finding something long forgotten. Between the temple and mountain vistas, this is one of the best looking places in the game. With Iron Banner finally being opened, a new area of the peak was also opened recently as well, giving the player the ability to explore more. The new area is much bigger, but there wasn’t much to do. If it peaks players interest, there is a secret hidden in the first area. A new NPC was also introduced recently, so I’m hoping we still have more to see, even if it slowly trickles into the world around us.
Once the campaign is finished, you have access to the Plaguelands, the new PvE area. This is where the DLC started to rise and shine for me. There are both old and new locations of Earth mixed into the Plaguelands, although the enemies as well as the overall look of the world makes it something new altogether. The fallen in the area have been affected by the nanotechnology and act differently from it. However, the changes are so small, that it’s actually pretty hard to notice much of a difference between this and the standard fallen enemies from the base game. The game world does shine quite a bit however. The new areas are packed which just as many secrets as they are of enemies. Whether it’s a hidden laser door, or a painfully hidden siva cluster, something can be found in just about every major area. There’s even a handful of exotic weapons that can only be found from those willing to explore. The usual bounties and weekly missions return as well. They usually repeat themselves once the week resets, but they can sometimes be your primary means of seeing a promising return in stronger equipment. This can also be said for the first event you play every day, since it will ensure the player always receives legendary gear upon completion. A lot of these goals were planned out with the players long term commitment in mind though, so don’t expect to complete a lot of the Year 3’s book goals for at least a few weeks once you start.
Some of my favorite moments have come from the Archons Forge; the new arena based PvE event. It closely mimics that of the Prison of Elders by pitting groups of players against small bursts of heavily armed enemies until the final battle with the specific event boss. If left unchecked, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed. On the plus side, this is also one of the best ways to collect engrams at a high rate. Only one brand new strike was added with the DLC, The Wretched Eye. The other one is more of a rehash of an already existent strike event. The Wretched Eye adds a few new enemies with the end goal of destroying a High Priest from the Prison of Elders. There’s more to it, but I’ll leave my last comments as this being one of the hardest events I’ve done to date.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the Rise of Iron DLC. I found the campaign lacking, but found that some of the best content was simply hidden until after. I still have yet to complete the raid though, so I can’t quite say anything meaningful towards that. As of this writing, Bungie released some info for an upcoming patch and has also hinted at still unknown secrets throughout the game. There have also been a few hints in the world to suggest that the Rise of Iron DLC isn’t done and we may still see more in the near future. Whether that happens or not, I will be happily waiting.