Before I start I just want to give a huge thanks to Brian Miller, a fellow writer here at Mammoth. He and I have pretty much done everything together so far with Destiny Rise of Iron and without him I would have not been able to complete this review so soon. Also be sure to enter the contest at the bottom of the review for a chance to win a Destiny prize.
With Destiny: The Taken King Bungie revamped everything fans of Destiny have come to expect from the story. The Taken King brought us deeper into the world of Destiny by giving characters like Cade-6, Eris Morn, and other members of the tower into the story. Destiny Rise of Iron continues that trend with Lord Saladin. If you have played Destiny at all from the Alpha all the way to The Taken King, then you will recognize Load Saladin as the host and vender of The Iron Banner. Iron Banner is a crucial event that shows up once a month for only a week’s time. Many Guardians took advantage of this time to obtain a higher light level or to purchase weapons that had great perks attached. However with the announcement of Destiny Rise of Iron many Guardians started to look at Saladin differently.
The Rise of Iron has brought the Iron Lords into focus, and fans of the Lore couldn’t wait to learn more. From past Iron Banner events we knew some about the Iron Lords, but not what happened to them. Lord Saladin would sell weapons like Jolder’s Hammer or Efrideet’s Spear, these weapons were named after the original nine Iron Lords themselves and a small sentence or two on the weapons bio was all we were given about the history of each of them. The Rise of Iron remedies this but presenting us with the same threat that took out the Iron Lords, SIVA. This is where our story starts. Fallen Devil Splicers have dug deep into the Cosmodrome and discovered golden age technologie of self replicating nanobots that can give tremendous powers to the mind controlling of this weapon. As you progress through the story’s five missions, you are presented with a broken Saladin who’s tasked himself of honoring his friends who fell all those years ago. Lord Saladin recruits you to retake Felwinter’s Peak from the newly SIVA-ized Devil Splicers and to avenge his friends that fell. This is the backbone of the Rise of Iron story. Despite being short, it is a very substantial story fans of the lore have come to expect from Bungie.
Personally I have fallen in deep with Destiny’s lore thanks to Destiny Ghost Stories, Myelin Games, My name is Byf, and now the new Destiny Lore Cast on Twitch. These guys have added context to a lot of the stories in Destiny so I personally was able to appreciate and pull more out of the shot campaign. Destiny has added to the lore in both big and small ways, from mentions of a Warmind we only had rumors of, to the Iron Lords who now finally had faces. Rise of Iron delivers a short but meaningful story that only has me excited to collect every SIVA cluster and Ghost Fragment to understand more.
Rise of Iron has set itself up to be a journey into nostalgia. Weapons of Destiny past come back with a punch. Weapons like Thorn, Gjallarhorn, and the Khvostov have made their way back into the game because they hold such meaning to the players of Destiny. Thorn was every Crucible Guardians worst nightmare, with its lingering damage over time many Guardians died in cover. The Khvostov was the first weapon every Kinder-Guardian started the game with and it has now come back as a multipurpose exotic. Then there is the Gjallarhorn, this weapon has made Crota a joke if you had one and also prevented you from being included in the raid if you didn’t. Parts of the game give you a sense of ownership that not many other games can do. You have taken the Cosmodrome, it is your new home, and you are not giving it back.
With the completion of the game, you are given a whole slew of end game activities to accomplish. Some activities include Archon’s Forge. Archon’s Forge is an area mode that functions like Court of Oryx from The Taken King, however it is wave based and visually designed after Prison of the Elders from The House of Wolves. This event has filled up my postmaster quite a few times. When you are lucky enough to stumble upon a group playing you will find yourself going round after round all the while littering the ground with uncommon, rare, and the occasional legendary engrams. Both in the main campaign and in Archon’s Forge you will sometimes be lucky enough to pick up Saladin’s flaming axe. This weapon is the most fun I’ve had with a weapon in a very long time. With light attacks you feel fast and fluid, almost flipping over yourself using the axe to pull you forward. While you kill enemies with the light attacks you start to fill up the ammo meter on the weapon. When this charged to your liking you then emit a heavy attack. Heavy attacks have your Guardian slam the base of the axe into the ground so you can watch the score of fallen in front of you get catapulted into the air in a fiery vortex.
Along with Archon’s Forge you are give a year three playbook. This book helps you focus on what is important. Collecting SIVA clusters, and doing patrols are all part of the game we may overlook. However Destiny Rise of Iron forces us to pay attention to it, if we want the Iron Lord gear.
The Iron Lord gear is just some of the new gear you can acquire in Rise of Iron. New Raid gear, Trial of Osiris, Archon’s Forge, Vanguard, Crucible, and Faction gear are all available. This amount of gear is already a welcome, however with last April’s update all of your year two gear can come along with you on your journey. This makes for a staggering amount of new and old gear possibilities. Also to add atop the mountain of gear Bungie has also brought over every year one class item to give you even more choice. However this has caused Bungie to make far fewer exotic weapons and armor, instead of opting to update year one exotic weapons. Nevertheless, Bungie has added more customizable options for some of this new gear. Most new Rise of Iron gear sets can take special attachments called Ornaments. These Ornaments can completely change the way a certain weapon or piece of gear looks and can also show off what kind of Guardian you are. If you are an Iron Lord who loves Iron Banner you can change your gear to show this without ever saying a word to another person.
Now we come to the Crucible, the competitive multiplayer mode to Destiny. With the week leading into Rise of Iron Bungie gave fans of PVP something they have been asking for since launch: Private Matches. This alone was worth it for some to pick up Rise of Iron. However to not split the install base from Rise of Iron players to non-Rise of Iron players Private Matches were given out for free to all players the week before Rise of Iron. Now while it’s not a true part of the expansion, it was announced and delivered with the expansion. From crazy games of hide and seek to just exploring the beautiful maps without having to worry about dying, Private Matches are an amazing addition. Now this is not the only new addition to the Crucible. Supremacy is a new mode modeled after Call of Duties Kill Confirmed mode. Guardians who die will drop crests on the battlefield. These Crests resemble engrams you find in the story, however they have the symbol of your chosen class in the center of the engram. By picking up the Crest you can either denied the opposing team points by picking up your team’s blue crests or gain points for your team by picking up the red enemy crests. This new mode forces you to get up close to the enemy team in fun fast paced war.
Now I know many of you will be wondering how I can complete my review of Rise of Iron without experiencing the new raid, or Trials of Osiris. I understand you concern, however I plan on reviewing both in separate reviews. The raids in Destiny are almost a game within themselves and deserve to have special attention. As for Trials of Osiris, this is the raid of the Crucible. Only the best can enter and only the best of the best can make it to the Lighthouse. Players like Chadlantis, whose opinion I respect very much has been gearing up for the relaunch of Trials. Chad is a Twitch streamer for Destiny and is excellent at Crucible. Once I experience Trials again for myself and hear Chadlantis’s analysis I will review Trials with the Wrath of the Machine Raid Review. Both of these modes are designed for the most hardcore players and some may never experience them. This is okay. I personally feel the base game is great and would recommend this to anyone. Including the veteran player who has been waiting for this expansion, the player who has taken a break and has been looking for a reason to come back, or the player who has never played Destiny before and wants to jump in for the first time. Rise of Iron has delivered the experience we all wanted and have been waiting for, regardless of the shortness of it.
Score: 7/10 (Expansion Only)
Things we liked
+ The Story
+ All the new customizable options
+ The sense of nostalgia
Things we dislike
– Short Campaign
– Not many new exotic weapons
Score: 9/10 (Destiny: The Collection)
Things we liked
+ The Overall Story
+ The controls
+ The endlessness
+ The connection to your character and Ghost
Things we disliked
– The lore not being able to viewed in game, but rather on Bungie.net
– The inconsistencies in the original Destiny story
Earlier I mentioned a chance to win a prize. So as promised, here are the details. We are giving away a digital copy of Destiny: The Collection on PlayStation 4. The Destiny: Collection includes the original game, both expansions (The Dark Below, House of Wolves), The Taken King, and Rise of Iron. To enter the amazing prize all you have to do is tell us in the comments below why do you want to play Destiny, or what interests you most about Destiny, along with following us on Twitter & visiting/liking us on Facebook. Additionally, you can tell your friends about our contest for two extra entries as well. Everyone who enters has a chance to win and the winner will be chosen at random on Friday September 30th. To enter just follow the RaffleCopter form listed below. Goodluck!