Destiny: Rise of Iron is out, and it has been a long wait for those who have been looking for more content in the game. Bungie dropped the April Update and it was just enough to keep players busy for a few weeks.
With Rise of Iron out and having played the main game extensively, I thought I would compare its contents to previous Destiny expansions.
How does the story match up to past experiences, and how much replayability is there in its core to keep you coming back?
Destiny has never been strong with its story at all. Taken King, which released last year, had a stellar story, with CG cinematic playing throughout the main questline, to keep you intrigued along the way.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Rise of Iron, Bungie took a different path. Instead of a plot that revolves around a bigger threat, you now head into a Siva infested stronghold to stop the threat from getting bigger. The story feels confusing at times, as the Iron Lords and how they came to be gets in the way of the overall understanding of just what the Siva is.
Missions throughout the story line, lack any real sense of direction. You are often just running through them for the sake of things.
If anything, the pace of the story resembles the House of Wolves DLC, which had promise, but was not executed correctly.
This is partly to blame due to the inconsistent tone that the game sets. You are looking for weapon parts, and then you are killing enemies in a public event.
The layout of the missions can get a bit confusing and holds back the setting Rise of Iron is aiming for.
Destiny is all about gear, and thankfully Rise of Iron has that nailed down. With the new light level cap at 385, you will now be on the search for a whole 50 higher light.
This should keep players busy, for a while at least.
Even after the campaign and a few strikes, I was only on 349 light.
This is a sign that Bungie really wants you to invest some time into finding better gear by playing through all the game’s new activities.
The we have the return of the Gjallarhorn, Destiny’s mascot weapon. The gun was removed from the game when it did not move over to year 2, a.k.a The Taking King.
In Rise of Iron, there is a whole questline to obtain this rocket launcher. In a way it is a great way to bring back the infamous weapon, but at the same time it eliminates the surprise of getting it from rewards.
The new Iron Lords gear will see you completing various tasks in the Plaguelands.
These include killing certain enemies, opening boxes, and just doing what we all do in Destiny. As you do all this, you will rank up and be rewarded item sets.
As the Iron Lords gear looks so great, this is a great new feature to make sure that it is fully obtainable in the game.
Rise of Iron also brings the new loot system that sees Faction packages drop high light gear. This comes in handy as it means that players will have alternative ways to level up for the raid.
Then we have the infamous raid gear, which is sure to create headaches for you as it always does, forcing you to run the same activity a dozen times to get a helmet, but hey, we love it all.
There is also the ornaments feature in Rise of Iron, that will let you collect various styled ornaments, and place them into guns and armor.
This will change the look of a selection of exotic weapons and armor.
This is the first time Destiny included any sort of weapon shaders or anything of the sort, but it is also the first time you can change the overall look of armor.
If there is anything that Rise of Iron is packing, it is the new activities.
Because the expansion has been built on a the foundation of previous activities, it has allowed Bungie to touch on each of them again. High light gear drops from every main activity in the game like The Prison of Elders, Trials of Osiris, and Iron Banner.
With the new activities like Archon’s Forge scaling from 340 light requirements all the way up to 380, it will be relevant all the way throughout your Rise of Iron experience.
The Iron Lords record book is the same, as the activities will unlock as you play the game and as Bungie releases new seasonal events.
This is a massive change over The Taken King, which was held back due to high gear being exclusive to the King’s Fall raid. In Rise of Iron however, there are a few activities that will grant high light gear.
Bungie probably learnt their lesson with the Taken King, as the April Update also included various new ways to level up without running the King’s Fall raid.
We also have private matches, which give you the option to create custom PvP matches and hone your PvP skills.
Private matches are brand new and probably the most requested feature in the game.
The Taken King came with a whole new sub-class for you Guardians, but unfortunately this is where Rise of Iron fell off the wagon.
When it comes to new character progression options like a class and sub-class, there is nothing new here.
This means that you probably have all three sub-classes maxed out, and there is really no real progression with your Guardian personally as there was in The Taken King.
Players who enjoyed the idea of unlocking new character abilities will not find it here.
There are however the new medallions, which will let you add a new ability to your character, such as eliminating the sprint cooldown or giving you the ability to melee much faster.
Is it bigger than The Taken King?
No. Rise of Iron might have its new features like Ornaments, and Private Matches, but these are all features that should have been in the game a long time ago.
Rise of Iron is a massive chunk of content, but most of what it comes with is additional features to the loot system.
That is not a bad thing, as many Destiny players out there will fall in love with the sheer magnitude of things to do.
The raid will keep you busy forever, and the Plaguelands are a marvel to explore as there are secrets around every corner.