Bungie’s latest add-on for Destiny expands the Earth based map beyond the Cosmodrome, but is it too short for its own good?
Rise of Iron is the final DLC for Destiny and the last chance for those who want more story from their game to indulge in Bungie’s world before the inevitable sequel.
Prior to these DLC packs, it’s fair to say Destiny lacked much of a coherent story and previous expansions have really helped flesh this out, adding new characters and backstory at the same time. Rise of Iron is the same, in that it goes through events from before Destiny while providing more on the ongoing saga. It focuses on the Iron Lords (a sort of pre-guardian guardian) and SIVA, a nanotech system tasked with rebuilding the planet which (surprise, surprise) went wrong and is now something more akin to an apocalyptic virus. The Iron Lords locked it away but The Fallen have found it and now you’ve got to stop it.
The main story mission ranges from the flashes of brilliance found in The Taken King to something more akin to the original Destiny plot, with plotlines that seem to be completely unexplained and most of your information coming from the order-barking Lord Saladin. It’s pretty short, too, so don’t expect it to be something that will keep you going until the announcement of the next game. It does, however, do a good job near the end of showing you where it all started. It’s a bit of a wink and a nudge from the developer to the 2 year anniversary of the game.
Aside from the story, there is a new mode in Archon’s Forge which seems to aim to mix a Horde mode with something from the Warriors series, with a huge number of enemies rushing you in a single (re-used and reskinned) map. It’s actually quite fun in small amounts but feels a little rushed. Still, it’s a new way to play and is a nice little add-on to the raids and story mode. There are no real challenges short of staying alive long enough against the increasing odds.
The raid, however, is something that thankfully lifts the whole package. The Wrath of the Machine raid in Rise of Iron is a highlight and arguably something worth getting this expansion for. At one point there’s a very Overwatch moment with everyone riding a vehicle across the map. The downside? It need a bit of grinding if your light level is still in the low 300s.
Finally, the new Supremacy mode in Crucible gives you a twist on the standard deathmatch mode with an extra task of collecting evidence you’ve killed the opposing player. Think capture the corpse (or, at least, a badge signifying their death at your hands).
So in a way Rise of Iron has something for everyone, a story of sorts, a horde mode that can be played casually and a Raid that is well worth playing through if you’ve levelled up enough. It’s perhaps not as strong as it could be and those new to the game will really need to get their teeth into the earlier stuff first (particularly if they picked it up as part of the collection) but it’s not a bad way to celebrate the anniversary of the game while giving players one final hurrah.