This past week I’ve been playing through the new Destiny expansion, Rise of Iron. For $30, it’s not exactly a steal, but it adds enough new content to make me excited about this first-person shooter game again! Here are a few reasons I’ve been enjoying it so far. =)
The Iron Temple
Rise of Iron introduces a new hub of commerce for players to visit when they want to do all the housekeeping of picking up bounties and decrypting engrams. It’s called the Iron Temple, and it’s easily my favorite part of the expansion.
The Iron Temple is perched on the peak of a snow-covered mountain. Ascending this mountain reminded me of making my way up to High Hrothgar to meet the Greybeards in Skyrim. Once you reach this place, you’ll see a bridge, steps leading to a stone building, flags to mark the site, and an ornate temple inside. It’s the most gorgeous setting I’ve come across in Destiny so far. (Well, maybe besides the moon!)
Maybe the coolest part is the wolves who inhabit the site. Everywhere you wander here, you’ll come across wolves sitting, stretching, yawning, napping, and seeming to keep watch over the temple. I even have my favorites who I like to go visit. They just look so majestically badass.
Playing with New Weapons
The Rise of Iron story campaign introduces a couple of unique weapons you get to use during those particular quests. They are specific to the missions, so you can’t keep them — but they’re very fun to wield while they’re around! One is a shock cannon you can use on waves of enemies and a pretty hefty boss:
The other is a hammer you use to hack away at the shields (and then the health) of three bosses in the final quest. I had a blast using it while my partner focused on shooting the waves of enemies around the bosses, clearing the path for me to start swinging. An interesting feature here is that I had to run to these fiery forges to rekindle the weapon after a few hits with it, so that made for a lot of exciting dashing around.
Besides that, there are several new weapons available from vendors such as the faction leaders at the Tower — and new weapon drops, too. The level cap has been raised again, so it’s been cool to get my hands on weapons that are level 320, 240, and even 350 during the Rise of Iron campaign. Being partial to sidearms, I was especially happy to receive a drop of a 350 sidearm after completing the main questline!
Snowy New Lands
I don’t know why, but I’m a big fan of snow in video game environments. Maybe it’s because most of my life has been spent in California, where it doesn’t really snow. Maybe it’s because I’m always cold, so I’d rather enjoy this kind of freezing-temp scenery in a game than in real life. Whatever the case, the white landscape of the Plaguelands in Rise of Iron are gorgeous.
While all of the above are definite pros for playing Rise of Iron, I wouldn’t say it’s as rich an expansion as The Taken King was. For instance, the story is not as compelling — and there’s no big enemy to go up against, which is what made The Taken King so memorable! Outside of these quests, it seems that the Plaguelands don’t give you much incentive to visit them either — whereas I was always going back to the Dreadnaught introduced in The Taken King for additional quests, challenges, and patrols. The campaign itself is very short at around two to three hours (for my partner and me), though I’m still playing the extra quests Shiro hands out afterwards. And the new multiplayer mode, which has you picking up the crests of fallen enemies for points, is cool in theory but isn’t the sort of challenge I really enjoy.
But hey, diving back into Destiny is never a bad thing. =)