Neal Sweeney ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Rise of Iron is the fourth expansion to Destiny, following last year’s The Taken King, which was lauded for its engaging new content and quality of life changes. Now twelve months later with the world of Destiny becoming a bit dry, there was an update in April which repurposed some old content, being the only significant thing happening within the game in 2016.
The story is set up quite simply; back before the guardians were created, a group of warriors known as the Iron Lords defended earth from the forces of darkness. If you’ve played Destiny before, you might remember the monthly PvP event known as the Iron Banner, the Iron moniker being no coincidence. The monthly guardian gauntlet is held by Lord Saladin, a stoic and brave warrior who is left as the sole remaining Iron Lord, after the others perished fighting off a technological parasite with immense capabilities known as SIVA. Now a group of Fallen have discovered the old Iron Temple on Felwinter Peak where some information of SIVA has been locked away. The campaign starts with guardians reclaiming Felwinter Peak as a new base of operations, and then chasing the fallen into an area just outside of the Cosmodrome known as the Plaguelands, which is the new patrol zone.
Once you’ve completed the campaign you might find what’s left to be a bit of slim pickings. There’s one new strike which has some variation in the encounters, and a fairly unique boss fight. It also features a fresh version of The Devil’s Lair, the first strike in Destiny, featuring fallen enemies who have been tinkering with SIVA. Once you’ve run through those you can take a gander at the Plaguelands, discovering its hidden secrets and completing some bounties, as well as visiting the Archon’s Forge, which is very similar to The Taken King’s Court of Oryx. It’s a cooperative arena where players use specific items to summon some waves of enemies which cascade with a boss encounter. However, unlike Court of Oryx, the encounters in Archon’s Forge don’t feel unique. Additionally, the items required to face it are hard to come by, and it doesn’t seem to dish out many meaningful rewards. Also included in Rise of Iron is a new game mode for the competitive arena known as Supremacy. In Supremacy, getting a kill drops a ‘crest’ and only when you pick up the crest can you score a point. However, allies can retrieve the crests of their fallen brethren, so it makes it a sort of race. Rise of Iron also comes with three new multiplayer maps, but none are really standouts. The expansion features a sort of record book, something that keeps track of what you’ve done and dishes out rewards as you progress, which can be very handy at times, but still isn’t a way to increase your light level up to the high bar of 370 which is required for the new raid, Wrath of the Machine.
And this is the rub; the expansion features an incredibly high bar for enjoying its end-game piece of content, but doesn’t have enough content to fill the time it’s asking players to commit. Sure, some savvy guardians have already conquered the raid, but some of us might be left waiting until we can access to The Iron Banner of Trials of Osiris, both timed PvP events which will give players more chances at end-game level gear.
Ultimately, your interest in Rise of Iron depends on your investment within Destiny. The campaign and the strikes are good, but there’s not much of what’s there, and the new patrol zone doesn’t really have a ton new to offer. Honestly, it could all hitch on the raid, but with the amount of effort required to reach it you might possibly never get to see if it’s worth it.