Version Tested: PS4
Available On: PS4, Xbox One
Genre:Action role-playing game, First-person shooter
Official Site: destinythegame.com
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Where to buy: PSN, Xbox Live, Major retailers
I have a love-hate relationship with Destiny. At launch, I loved it at first but quickly got bored. Even the Dark Below didn’t bring me back. It wasn’t until House of Wolves (you can read my review here) that I gained interest in the game again. Thinking back, if it weren’t for House of Wolves and how it changed Destiny, I might not be playing it today. Yet here I am. Last year’s Taken King expansion took the game even farther.
Unfortunately, content got stale and people, such as myself got bored with Destiny. I briefly went back to it for the April update, but that was only for a week or two. So I was quite on the fence for, Rise of Iron, which is to be considered Destiny’s final expansion before a sequel. As far as expansions go, it actually is a pretty good one, just nothing groundbreaking like House of Wolves or The Taken King.
The story for Rise of Iron brings the Iron Lords front and center. Lord Saladin (yes, the guy who is the leader of the Iron Banner Events) trusts you and Ghost to stop the Fallen from mining a lost and forgotten mineral, Siva. Siva was sealed away by the Iron Lords centuries earlier and now the Fallen are using it to resurrect Sepiks Prime as well as enhance their soldiers.
Rise of Iron’s story isn’t as interesting as The Taken King’s, which pushed the lore even further. Here we get some back story about the Iron Lords history and what their part of everything is. If you are looking for a long and deep story, you are going to be sorely disappointed. That isn’t to say it isn’t a bad story. It is actually interesting. Interesting, but short.
In all, there are only 10 main missions to Rise of Iron. That doesn’t include the exotic missions to get weapons or the Iron Lord Bounties. It seems underwhelming when compared to Taken King. When I finished the main storyline, I was like “is that it?”. I was relieved that there was a lot of endgame content, but when I look at it as a whole, it will make me easily bored after a while. This brings up the problem with Destiny.
When new expansions come out, after a week to a month, people get bored with it quickly. It might take a bit longer this time around, but it is a problem that Bungie has yet to fix. Hopefully, Destiny 2 will keep people invested. The raid is fun (more on that in a bit), but like previous ones, there is no incentive to replay more than once a week. Loot doesn’t drop in a 2nd run through or enemies don’t change spawns. Which brings me to the point of loot in Rise of Iron.
Loot is disappointing. It’s disappointing in the sense it is now Year 1 bad. Bungie needs to fix the RNG. Fortunately, it is the same with everyone. Bungie might have thought, “We can make people play longer by making it more difficult to up their light to max”. That might work for the short term but when there are those who are trying to get into higher level gameplay options such as the raid or nightfall, you can’t because grinding for gear is a pain. It just isn’t fun.
As for the Iron Lord Bounties, there is no variety. They just rotate out. The incentives to keep doing them stay the same (to get every Iron Lord Artifact for a character, you need to complete 8 weeks minimum worth of bounties). It’s tiresome and quite honestly, boring to go through the same thing over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, this is an MMO-style shooter. Compared to other games like The Division, repetitiveness is still a number one issue. Yes, it is grinding, but you shouldn’t have to grind for 8 weeks just to get the artifact you want.
The best thing about Rise of Iron comes in the form of its raid, Wrath of the Machine. Your goal is to fight your way through the Wall (yes, the Wall of the Cosmodrome) to get to a fallen high priest fueled by Siva. Compared to previous raids such as King’s Fall and Crota’s End, Wrath of the Machine felt fun. It didn’t base it off of light level, but skill (well, not until the final boss). Much more like Vault of Glass, the raid has something everyone can enjoy.
There are a few downsides to the raid, though. For starters, it is the only area I have encountered heavy frame rate drops and lag (my fireteam also encountered them). These occurred mainly during the Death Zamboni boss, which is sure to be a highlight of the raid. The other issue also occurred during the Death Zamboni boss. There are some inconsistencies in the timer in the timed section of the raid. It got to a point where my team and I actually timed the segment ourselves and that we noticed that the timer was random. This will be sure to frustrate a lot of people because it is the boss before the final puzzle and Aksis boss fight. Hopefully, Bungie will be able to fix these problems in an update.
Overall, Rise of Iron is not the best expansion but it can be fun (mostly because of the raid). While there are some minor issues such as frame rate and timer inconsistencies, the only things that will most likely push players away is the RNG and bounty grind. Bungie has yet to learn their lesson in these matters because they were issues way back in Year 1 that were fixed with House of Wolves, just to come back in Year 3. It doesn’t sour Destiny forever, but it leaves you questioning what could happen with Destiny 2 which is due out late next year.
- Wrath of the Machine Raid
- New social space and patrol area
- RNG loot system
- Repetitive bounties
- Frame-rate issues
- Raid timer inconsistencies