Developed by:Bungie Published by:Activision Genre(s):
  • FPS
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • Sony
  • Cost:$59.99 ESRB Rating:TEEN Players:1 (2-12 Online) Release date:September 9, 2014 Reviewed on:XBox One Expansion Release Date:September 20, 2016

    Destiny: Rise of Iron

    For years since Destiny’s release, I have easily been one of the games hardest critics. But, in all fairness, Bungie’s initial E3 presentation was so extravagant that it set the bar somewhere in the cosmos. The idea that I could look out into the world and actually be able to explore those places had me leaving my house in just socks and a t-shirt to go reserve the game*. This level of hype – partly my fault, partly Bungie’s fault – resulted in a hard crash when reality set in. In order to explore those worlds “beyond your grasp”, you had to pay. Until you did, enjoy this linear experience and grind until you can’t grind anymore. It became a bit redundant and I even stopped playing the game altogether.

    Could you really blame me? A game that seems to be heavily built around playing the exact same missions repetitively until your grind pays off…in order to play harder versions of the same missions wasn’t very fun. I am no rookie to RPG/MMOs, so I understand that there will be some repetition in order to increase your character skills. But the amount of grinding we had to do was excessive. It doesn’t help that the story itself was nearly nonexistent. Thankfully, the PvP modes were entertaining if only for a time. As I began to drift away from the game, Bungie would release an expansion that would make the original ambiguous story much more worth exploring. The Taking King sort of righted the ship if you will.  The Rise of Iron follows suit in this regard by offering more of what fans were looking for in the game’s initial release. A story worth investing in and more places to explore!

    This expansion is the first to not be released on Xbox 360 and PS3, essentially showing the end of Bungie’s support of last gen consoles. With that also comes with higher expectations (I know, I know, just go with me) being that their focus is now committed to a single set of consoles.  After countless hours in the iron banner and the story missions, I have to say this is hands down my favorite of all the expansions. The story doesn’t quite reach the excitement found in The Taken King, but it added far more to the lore that is Destiny than the previous installment.  I won’t dig too deep into the story missions because they aren’t very long and it’d be difficult to explain without giving everything away. I will say that Bungie did an outstanding job of making old worlds look new again. With my earlier gripes being how linear this game felt, the last two expansions have really changed the dynamic that is Destiny.

    One part that didn’t see much change was the moment to moment gameplay. They say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. For better and for worse, that applies to Destiny. With each class having three subclasses, it would be really picky of me to expect them to have added another power or class to the game. But, I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to something to push me along beyond the unlocking of new armor/weapons. After a few hours of running through the story, I became engulfed in every other aspect of the game. I am a huge PvP fan, so the continued focuses in the Crucible this season will make us competitive gamers drop our other shooters for Destiny again.

    The simple changes are still the ones we are waiting for. Not having a place to speak vocally makes it difficult to make friends in game. If this were being played on PC, it’d be tremendously easier to write in the local chat room that you are looking for people to play certain game modes. There are always additions to armor, game modes and raids because we know that’s what really pays the bills. But this game is still an awful game to play socially unless you have a group of people you play with regularly. Even after all this time, it still can be hard to find enough people to run a raid; we shouldn’t have to rely on apps and forums outside of the game to find someone to play with. Solo play isn’t an option once the campaign has been completed. That is, if you want to raise your light to a respectable level.

    So, if I have to pull this game down for anything, it’s still the lack of matchmaking options when doing missions. I don’t understand why we still haven’t been given an opportunity to meet new people by playing through the story. I don’t think Bungie realizes how difficult it is to get a group of people to replay sections of the game. As a new father, I was severely left behind and struggled to even find somebody who wasn’t already invested in furthering their guardian in other game modes.  So I am forced to play a game built around co-op, in single player because I am not given the option to use matchmaking to find someone playing the mission as am I so that I can get the full Destiny experience. Again, there should be options on grouping found within the base game.

    After two years of gliding across the same planets, Destiny is still inching towards its full potential. In order for Destiny to really reach top of RPG-light shooters, there needs to be less focus on what’s working (PvP, fancy armor, interestingly named weapons) and more on what gamers have been actually complaining about (a worthwhile story, social options, new content that is actually new). So far, Bungie has turned things around when it comes to providing a decent narrative. These other areas are still lacking. This may not matter in the long run as Destiny has a dedicated fan base. Then again, this could affect how people view the inevitable sequel!

    *Yes, I had on pants. They wouldn’t have let me in the store without some form of pants… 



    The story is entertaining to say the least. It isn’t as exciting as the last expansion and the missions are short. Beyond that is the normal grind for armor and weapons.



    Bungie did a great job when it comes to the environments; even old places have a fresh feel.



    The music and sound effects are great.

    Replay Value:


    A new raid, modes and gear (namely the artifacts) will keep the hardcore fans busy. If you’ve become tired of the grind, well…there isn’t much for you outside of PvP.

    Final Score:


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