It has been three years since players have been immersed into the world of Destiny. Three years from when we woke up in the barren tundra of the Russian Cosmodrome. In this third year, we go back to where we started, but with a dark twist in Rise of Iron (ROI).
Rise of Iron is Bungie’s fourth expansion, but second major content DLC (downloadable content) to Destiny, the popular Sci-fi MMOFPS for consoles. This time they bring players back to Earth but with a twist from the place that they know. Old enemies have found a dark technology and it is up to the player to find out what it is to stop it from destroying the last city on Earth.
The expansion went live at 2am PST, September 20, but was already greeted with difficulty. Eager players who pre-downloaded were ready to jump right into the fray and dive into the new content faced the recurring Bungie problem: downed servers. Players internationally logged on at the daily reset only to cause servers to crash for a good half hour. Slowly the problem sorted itself out, queueing players in by the thousands, but soon the hundred thousands, bottlenecking player entry for a few hours. As of now, servers are stable for people to play with friends globally.
This time around, Destiny shifts from fighting army of annoying teleporting space ghosts trying to destroy the solar system, to an army of diseased robots trying to wipe out the last traces of humanity. Veteran Destiny players know of The Fallen, malevolent robotic pirate scavengers, but now we face a new form of these rogues and must change tactics against Fallen Splicers.
A Mystery in History
Before the rise of the Guardians on Earth, and humanity faced a last stand, the Iron Lords were the mantle of protection. They were the defenders of The Traveler, a machine who brought the gift of knowledge and space travel to humanity. They numbered in the hundreds, immortal, but not invincible. They learned this the hard way through SIVA.
SIVA was an AI construct that could have been used to the benefit of humanity by constructing materials and constantly building and expanding. It slowly corrupted itself and took control.Only six of the Iron Lords were able to enter the chamber in which only one survived, Lord Saladin.
Saladin alone knows of this great terror, and has been awaiting for the SIVA threat to awaken once more, he has been solely scouting the wall, watching and waiting. That time is now.
A New Place to Call Home
Players have known Saladinas the monthly merchant who oversees the Iron Banner, a weeklong PvP (player versus player) event where players receive unique loot drops after each rank they receive.
Each time he arrives, he sets up shop in The Tower where the Iron Banner Kiosk is hosted, but now we get to see his home in the new social space of Iron Temple in Fellwinter peak, the highest mountain in the game. It overlooks the Cosmodrome below and the Plaguelands that border it.
The snow-capped mountain is not as lonely or desolate as it may sound. The hub is filled with life now that the Guardians explore it with the needed amenities fit for a Destiny social space. There is a new Cryptarch (a loot box opener), bounty board and mail robots, a new Vanguard mission giver, and most importantly THE Iron Lord himself, Lord Saladin as both shopkeeper and quest giver.
The new home for players is lit with braziers scattered around along with wolf statues and actual wolves, but the key literal centerpiece is the hall to commemorate the fallen (not the enemies). A brazier sits in the center of a pantheon of six tall statues, with the Ironwood tree sitting behind it and mosaics line the ceiling telling the story of the fall against SIVA.
Battle of Honor
Not only are players greeted with a new story to fight alongside with friends, players can now challenge friends. Introduced to this DLC is private matches and a new mode called “Supremacy.”
With private matches, players can challenge each other with game modes ranging from deathmatches to control points, with the host setting the parameters. The host picks the map, the mode, and whether or not players can have a balance through their level.
Supremacy is the newly introduced mode available for both team play and free-for-all. This mode plays similarly to the game mode from Call of Duty “Kill Confirmed:” players fight each other in a deathmatch, but after every kill or personal deaths a player drops an engram (a holographic dodecahedron) that must be collected for a point or to deny another player from scoring.
Players who have managed to complete the story have access to explore the Plaguelands and try out the new raid: Wrath of the Machine.
They can explore beyond the wall of the Cosmodrome into a Mad Max meets Halo world. The Fallen have taken over this area and turned it into a janky refinery-styled region. Here, players can freely explore with a team of three, and take on the Archon’s Forge. Similar to the Taken King DLC, there is a place players can access an arena-style area at varying challenge levels with greater rewards per level.
Lastly, the new raid was made available on Friday, Sept. 23. Raids are six-player challenge missions that can last hours, requiring teamwork, coordination, and skill. This time around players take the fight to the wall against a giant death Zamboni as part of a thrilling chase. The most dedicated of teams have managed to beat it in two hours of release.
More to come
Destiny is a constantly changing game, adhering to the players’ interest. It always provides ways for players to have fun with friends. Trials of Osiris still has to reappear in the following weeks, along with Iron Banner. Not only will these two be returning to the multiplayer arena, but the popular death race, SRL (Sparrow Racing League) is confirmed for future events!
Lastly, players are rewarded for playing! Introduced in May, players can now keep track of their feats through a record book. This book keeps track of events played, players beaten, missions completed, etc…and finishing a certain amount of goals give players a level, progressively unlocking armor, cosmetics, and emblems.
Destiny Rise of Iron offers a plethora of new content for players to enjoy both solo and with friends. A whole new world on a familiar one brings a refreshing take on player dynamics, it is always challenging and rewarding.
Want to check out some gameplay? Check out these short clips from our author’s experience:
Photo and Video Credit: Anjeliko San Mateo