Review: Destiny: Rise of Iron (PS4)
Contrary to what some on the internet might want you to believe, Destiny is a very popular game. So much so that the servers got a bit overwhelmed last week when it released. The question though, was that justified?
The Iron Lords shall rise again
Destiny: Rise of Iron is the fourth and final expansion for Destiny. It follows the story of the your Guardian, who helps Lord Saladin reclaim the Iron Temple, and fight off an ancient threat called SIVA, which has resurfaced in the Plaguelands.
Everything is therefore set for an epic adventure, but it ends up being a bit of a let-down. The plot and backstory feels well written with some pretty good pacing as you do feel the sense of urgency in dealing with the threat at hand. The ending is just very abrupt, and the Rise of Iron campaign is also very short, which makes it feel like a bit of a missed opportunity by Bungie.
Wonderful sights and sounds
The developer did however manage to create a very cool-looking world in the form of the Plaguelands, which is a snow covered industrial landscape filled with things and areas to explore. The Plaguelands is an extension of the Old Cosmodrome map, and even venturing into the more familiar areas will bring some interesting surprises and throwbacks to Destiny in the past.
Not much can really be said about the new enemies, the Splicers, which is Fallen Devils that embraced SIVA and is busy transforming themselves into the perfect beings. They’re just reskinned versions of the Fallen, although they do have a few new attacks and tricks up their sleeves.
The new social space is very well designed, as it gives you some extra, fun things to explore and do, and the view you get from the top of the mountain is quite something as well, as you can now for the first time actually see the dangers that lie before you.
Destiny: Rise of Iron also boasts some of the best gaming music I’ve heard in a long time. The orchestra music fits perfectly with the narrative and theme, and really makes you feel like you are on your way to become a true Knight. It’s probably the only place where it outshines something from The Taken King.
It’s about the end game content
One can however argue that Destiny is about the end game content, and that is certainly true. As it is here that you will spend most of your time. The content in ROI definitely doesn’t disappoint, as there really is a lot to do. It doesn’t quite live up to the truck load of stuff that came with The Taken King, but it’s certainly not bad either. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give you much in terms of extra story or varied gameplay, as it only has one new Strike, and one reskinned Strike from Year 1.
It does however offer players a reason to do certain activities, as there are now decent rewards, where you didn’t get anything previously. These activities include public events, strikes and the new Archon’s Forge area, which is frenetic when there’s a lot of folks running around in it. You ultimately take out a bunch of minions in order to summon a boss, which you must take out as quickly as possible. There are a few variations to it and it’s a lot of fun, but it might get a bit boring and repetitive down the line. It’s basically a combination of The Prison of Elders and Court of Oryx.
Give me that sweet, sweet loot!
With a new year in Destiny, comes a new arsenal of weapons and gear you can use to take down your enemies. You collect the engrams and loot in order to level up your light level, which determines your overall power and strength. The drop rate for engrams has been improved considerably, so getting level ups, as well as the weapon parts, armour parts and money needed is not as hard as it used to be.
ROI also brings in a few new Exotic weapons, of which the Gjallarhorn makes its triumphant return that you can obtain in a quest for it. Several of the Exotics has special quests, but I have not managed to unlock these quests yet, but I’m also not in any hurry.
New mode and maps in the Crucible
Rise of Iron also introduces a new Crucible mode called Supremacy, which requires you to collect your opponent’s crest that drops if you or your teammate kills him, or deny them a crest by picking up a fallen teammate’s crest.
It’s a lot of fun and incredibly frantic, as it requires you to get in close and personal, in order to confirm the kill for your team and get the points. There’s also a couple of new map releases, but at the time of writing, I didn’t manage to get a game on one of these maps, which is a bit of a shame, as I expected it to be a bit more prominent during ROI’s opening week.
Destiny’s new Raid
Everything you do comes down to the Raid, which is the ultimate and hardest activity in Destiny. It is a six-person effort and requires a lot of coordination, skill, communication and a ton of patience. It is the area of the game where some of the best gear and weapons can be acquired, but you really have to earn it.
We didn’t manage to complete the Raid, but from what I have seen, it certainly seems to be channeling a lot from the King’s Fall Raid. Personally I don’t think it’s as hard as King’s Fall, but it doesn’t lack in the technicality department, so I’m convinced the Raid will be challenging going forward, especially when Heroic Mode unlocks at a later stage.
Is Rise of Iron worth it?
The content on offer for Destiny: Rise of Iron is not bad at all, but it’s certainly not great either. The Plaguelands are a great addition to the game, as is the new Crucible mode. There are a few missed opportunities in my opinion, especially with the amount of Strikes given, but it is something that Bungie can potentially fix with more content, if they chose to do so.
If you are someone who played Destiny and left due to boredom, I don’t blame you, and I find it very hard to convince you to come back and play it because of Rise of Iron, as you will probably run through the story and some of the end game strikes and be done with it.
If you have never played Destiny, and you are curious, you might be pleasantly surprised.
If you get the complete package called The Destiny Collection, you get everything, which includes four expansions, three social spaces, six large maps to explore and a decent campaign that will take you about 20 hours to complete. After that comes the end game content, and if you play through all it only once, you can probably add another 20 hours on top of that, excluding the Raids.
There’s a lot of content in one package, and if you’re a social person The Destiny Collection might be the game for you, as you will meet some pretty passionate people out there that’s always willing to help out and play along.
Destiny: Rise of Iron might not quite live up to what it should have been, but it gets very close. With a few more tweaks from Bungie, it might even get close to matching The Taken King.
Note: I just want to give a shoutout to my friends and clanmates who were all part of my playing experience, and without whom I would not have been able to do the Raid and some of the Archon’s Forge activities.