In the several days since Destiny: Rise of Iron launched, I’ve basically been doing nothing but play it.
This Destiny expansion is an exercise in crowd-pleasing consolidation. Bungie has spent two years learning what works for Destiny and what doesn’t, and has developed a pretty good idea of what fans want and what they don’t. As a result, Rise of Iron feels tight and clearly targeted at the core audience, complete with a lot of service for the long-term Destiny fanbase.
Bungie rediscovered its level design mojo with the Taken King, and it hasn’t lost it’s mojo for the new expansion. Missions are fast-paced, varied and to the point, focusing on exploration and a stream of satisfying firefights rather than falling back on Destiny clichés like the old “hold this point while Ghost scans this” routine. Even though some ideas from the previous expansions, they’re fun, tactically interesting and diverse in the game mechanics. All of the missions can be done in a night – but you will have a good time going through them. I would recommend to get a couple of friends and do it together, since Destiny is better if you play it with a group.
There’s even a new arena mode – Archon’s Forge – similar to the Court of Oryx but more fast paced and exciting; you even get hammers in this!. It’s so much fun that you wonder why Bungie has chosen to hide it in a hard-to-get-to corner of the Plaguelands map.
But the highlight of the expansion is, that Bungie has also added a new Record Book feature to your line-up of character and inventory screens, which makes it easier to track your progress through the different quests and objectives, and ensure that you’re not missing anything out. This idea we saw it first in the months preceding the launch of the expansion, with the Moment of Triumphs Book.
Your enemies are smart enough to be a challenge and distinctive, with the new Fallen types pressing you hard when the shield gauge wears right down. Bungie has got the basics of motion, aiming and shooting absolutely right. The loot, meanwhile, might actually be too liberally thrown out, sometimes leaving you with a huge selection of goodies to compare and contrast as you try to decide which helmet, gauntlets or sidearm will help you with your Light Level.
On the PvP side, we got a new Crucible mode, called Supremacy. In this fast paced multiplayer mode, consists of taking the opponent “engram” – they drop an engram shaped item whenever you killed them – leaving you with a “kill confirm”, similar with a Call of Duty mode. At the same time, you can deny the kill whenever a member of your team dies.
Which leads me to the main event that most people are going to be playing for months on end, Wrath of the Machine. I’ve been trying to finish it since yesterday, and I am happy with what I’ve seen so far. All of the raids have been prominently set indoors, so having at least one fight outdoors is a plus, and the SIVA enemies are a little more interesting, both aesthetically and strategically, than the Taken.
Rise of Iron might not be the biggest expansion yet, but it delivers well. With new places to see and things to do, giving the whole game a breath of fresh air – even though we see a lot of recycling. They shake things up with a new approach of the same elements and environments. If you’re a long Destiny player – since year one, like me, it will be a refreshing experience for you. If you’re a newbie to the game, this is the best time to jump into this universe, the story being even better and complete than it was before.
Actually the story campaign it’s really short, it really take a few hours to complete. Fortunately, the expansion endgame content offers the player a lot of activities and objectives to keep them busy; with weapons, collectibles and secrets to uncover, and a well balanced PvP environment to enjoy. It all adds up to a solid expansion that will satisfy every kind of guardian, the old and the new ones.
This review was made with the PS4 version of the game.
Angelica Lora / GamersRD