Destiny: Rise of Iron Review
We are entering the third year of Destiny with the release of their newest and possibly last expansion before Destiny 2. Rise of Iron introduces a very well told story about the Iron Lords, who preceded the new Guardians, and their downfall. Bungie does wonderfully at story-telling through more cut-scenes and dialogue between characters. Your job in this new expansion is to stop the bio-mechanical entity known as SIVA, which caused the extinction of the Iron Lords, and the Fallen splicers that are trying to weaponize it. Besides a new story, raid and crucible mode there isn’t much that this new expansion brings to the table.
Bungies big pull with this new expansion is the revamping of old content and making former raids now viable at the new end-game level. They disguise having very little new content with the reusing of older content and promises of bringing sparrow racing league back. Though they do have new raid and crucible match that are still exciting, they aren’t quite enough to make Rise of Iron feel like an expansion worth the $30 price tag. Compared to The Taken King, this expansion just feels like a patch with only a couple new features. The lack of new content, and even reused content aside, they still do manage to keep your attention with the new raid and crucible match, to an extent.
Wrath of the Machine is the new raid where you hunt down Aksis, a Fallen Archon who is controlling SIVA and wrecking havoc on the Plaguelands. This raid was quite exhilarating the first few playthroughs, as you had to constantly be in communication with your fireteam and be aware of your entire surroundings. Eventually this became repetitive as it lacked variety with its mechanics for the boss encounters. Although they introduced some uniqueness to the raid itself by having some of the “boss encounters” feel more like a really tough event with no real boss to fight, it ended up more testing the coordination of your fireteam. This was a great way to make this raid feel different from any other, but having only four encounters caused this raid to feel very short. It reuses its own mechanics within itself and has no real sense of “phases” for each encounter, as you spend most of your time doing the same thing over and over as you pray to the traveler that you down space out and cause a wipe. Now, in comparison to the previous raid, King’s Fall, this new raid is more forgiving, as you are able to make a couple mistakes and not have to wipe. With this new courtesy to players, it makes it easier for casual players to feel challenged, but not punished, for messing up entirely. Hardcore raiders, though, don’t get much from the raid, as it is quite simple to learn and over too quickly, ultimately lacking a sense of acheivement once you’ve finished. We can only hope that hard mode and challenge mode can quench the thirst for difficult high end PvE content.
In addition to the raid, they introduced a new public event that players can initiate called Archon’s Forge. Archon’s Forge is, in essence, the new Court of Oryx where players collect a SIVA offering and activate a console to create an event featuring waves of enemies and a boss. This new feature has been quite a disappointment, as there is no real reward and the amount of effort to find a group to do it makes it not worth it. On top of the lack of rewards, it only allows you to hold one offering at a time, regardless of the difficulty; and what’s more it limits the ability of random players being able to join in like Court of Oryx unless they get lucky enough to spawn in. When it comes to Archon’s Forge, it feels as if Bungie threw it in to give players something extra to do since the raid was so short. I had high hopes for this event at launch, but I was ultimately disappointed by its uselessness.
With a new raid and public event, which didn’t provide much content, we were given a new crucible mode known as Supremacy. Much like Kill Confirmed on Call of Duty, players are required to collect crests off of fallen players to gain points for their team. Players can receive points for their team by collecting crests or having a team member collect the crest off a foe that you have eliminated. Supremacy brings a new sense of chaos to Destiny’s PvP, as players have to constantly dive into the enemy to reap the crests off the defeated enemies’ bodies in order to win. As exciting, and even stressful, as this new mode can be, it still isn’t enough to really make playing only crucibles worth it, as players still only focus on Trials of Osiris when they want to PvP.
Rise of Iron was a highly anticipated expansion after the success of The Taken King, but in the end failed to meet the expectations that were presented. Just like the year one expansions, House of Wolves and The Dark Below, it didn’t bring enough to the table to make it feel like a real expansion that players should pay for. Our hopes are that Bungie keeps the promise of taking all the former end game raids and updating them to make them useful at the new end game. This is supposedly the last expansion before Destiny 2, and, if this is the case, then, it is a pretty poor note to end on. It has barely been out for a little over three weeks and players feel like they have explored and completed most of what Rise of Iron has to offer, making it one of the shortest and disappointing expansions yet. Hopefully they add more over the next year to make this expansion worth getting, because, in its current state, it just isn’t enough.
Though they do have new raid and crucible match that are still exciting, they aren’t quite enough to make Rise of Iron feel like an expansion worth the $30 price tag.