The third expansion for Bungie’s Destiny has a bunch of new content, but only if you’re willing to stick with it for a long time. While previous expansions added big changes to the core game since it was released back in 2014, the newest downloadable content further builds upon an already deep game. Rise of Iron is the fourth expansion that increases the light level cap for players, includes a new set of story based missions, and opens up a wealth of new end-game content for the most devoted of Destiny players.
Rise of Iron’s story missions are the best story related content the game has ever had. Unlike prior expansions, each mission is eventful and rounded off with interesting cinematics focused on a story about the Iron Lords and the SIVA virus. Without spoiling anything, the story is told by Lord Saladin and leads to an interesting turn of events, and powerful loot, for players that take the time to complete each story mission.
The real treat here however is the new social area on the Cosmodrome called the Iron Temple, a hub area within the side of a mountain. This new hub has a few secrets only the most devoted and patient of Destiny players will discover, some of which are incredibly frustrating at first, but satisfying when completed.
After the story missions is when the new expansion really starts to open up. The new raid Wrath of the Machine is both a test in teamwork and puzzle solving for a six man fire team. Though it can take a long time to be prepared enough to attempt the new raid’s challenges, especially with a whole new light level of 370 being the recommended level for everyone.
This leads to the only issue of Rise of Iron, the amount time needed to experience everything it has to offer. Even grinding through a long series of Heroic Strikes, getting weapons and armor sufficient enough to a high light level can still take a very long time, especially if you play alone most of the time. Destiny is a game made to be played with friends, but it can still be a long process getting good enough for the more interesting end-game content.
There’s also some changes to Destiny’s Crucible multiplayer modes. A new game type, called Supremacy, mimics the Kill Confirmed game modes you find in other first-person shooters. Unlike Clash deathmatch, players need to collect medals that drop on the ground after eliminating an opponent to receive credit for their frags, which can be denied by the opposing team. New bounties and even more frequent equipment drops at the end of matches make Crucible matches an even deeper experience since the game’s prior expansions. If you need to boost yourself in light level with better armor, spending time in the Crucible is a viable option to do so.
Rise of Iron is arguably Destiny’s best expansion to date. Though the grind for getting better loot is still just as arduous as ever, there are lots of changes that offer more new content than previous downloadable content. The new story and social area is great, which is complemented to a very intricate and challenging raid that will push Destiny players to their limits. Bungie continues to keep the fire burning for the third year, making the future of Destiny looking very bright and hopeful.
These impressions are based on a digital code for Destiny: Rise of Iron for the PlayStation 4, provided by Activision.