Destiny: Rise of Iron Review – A Lonely Guardian’s Journey

October 16, 2016

While the Destiny franchise hasn’t yet been around for a long time, it managed to grab me in a way that few IPs have before it. While there were obvious flaws in the original game, like the poor story and repetitious nature of its general game design, I found myself utterly obsessed with it. At the time of the original games release I had a pretty close-knit group of friends that I would play online with, but around the release of Destiny: The Taken King they began to lose interest in the franchise and so I was left on my own to save the galaxy. While I may have been on my own, I was able to enjoy Destiny: The Taken King, its improved story and the new light system. It left me with hope for how the future might progress, especially if Bungie would finally begin to flesh out future releases a bit more. By the time Destiny: Rise of Iron had released, all of my friends had left the franchise and were happy to spend their time playing other online games, so this time I was truly alone in my ongoing journey with Destiny. As such, much of my opinion is coloured by how accessible the content is for a solo-Guardian, and I was unable to participate in the new raid. While this may be the case, I still put many hours into Destiny: Rise of Iron and left feeling that Bungie have taken a step backwards.

As an expansion, much of Destiny: Rise of Iron is identical to the original release and past expansions and DLC. The shooting and guns are just as incredibly satisfying and responsive as before, and I stand by my previous comments that there is no game with shooting mechanics that feel as good as Destiny. Unlike with Destiny: The Taken King, Destiny: Rise of Iron doesn’t introduce any new gun types, which leaves the game feeling exactly like its past incarnations. There also aren’t any classes introduced, which means that there aren’t any large changes made to abilities and you’ll likely continue playing in the same style that you have been for 1 or 2 years previously. While I do like running around as my Bubblebro Titan, I would have loved something new to try out.



I praised Destiny: The Taken King last year for its vast improvements on storytelling and characterisation compared to the original release. It was humorous and filled with jokes, the writing was excellent and the voice acting was sublime. Characters bounced off each other, helping to create and maintain an emotional attachment to them and the story in general. With Destiny: Rise of Iron, Bungie have taken two steps backwards. They have swapped out the humour and light-heartedness of Cayde-6 and replaced him with the ever sombre and utterly personality-free Lord Saladin. There is no back and forth between characters, Saladin makes sure to cut other characters off or disregard them often, and there is no real supporting cast at all. I quickly grew bored with Saladin’s emotionless delivery, with lines basically forced out, and his attempts at being mysterious while asking you to do everything for him was grating. The only solace I took from the campaign was that I only had to play through it for around 1.5 hours before it was over.

With such a short campaign, I was hoping that there would be a large amount of content throughout the remainder of the game to hold my interest, but I quickly realised that this wasn’t the case. The level of content in Destiny: Rise of Iron is best described as less than The Taken King, but more than The Dark Below. You have one new strike, which was super interesting and has you fighting a blind Ogre and an Archon Priest who has fixed the Ogre’s eye to the end of his gun, and a few more that have been reimagined. It was honestly great taking on Sepiks Perfected and finding that the old cheese-spot has been removed from the game. There’s one raid, which I wasn’t able to try since my friends have left the game and matchmaking still isn’t natively supported within the game, and a new PVP game mode. Supremacy, the new PVP mode, was fun, with a unique mix of push and pull as you weigh up the risk and reward of rushing in to collect points from enemy corpses while also trying to avoid your own death. What’s there as far as new content is fun, but Rise of Iron feels like they have pushed it out well before there was enough content to justify a release. While there is always the promise of more content to come in the future, the way that Bungie have disappeared in the past after promising free content leaves me unwilling to trust that they will support Rise of Iron with ongoing content.



At the end of the day, Destiny: Rise of Iron still feels incredibly satisfying to play, with controls and shooting mechanics that are just as excellent as before. Bungie showed that they could still create a compelling story with Destiny: The Taken King, but they have again dropped the ball with this release. The dearth of content is really the killing blow for the game, with only Destiny: The Dark Below bringing in less change and new content to the series. Unless you absolutely cannot function without more Destiny, my suggestion is that you skip Destiny: Rise of Iron entirely and hold out hope that Destiny 2 finally brings the franchise back to greatness.


-New strike is unique and fun to play
-Shooting mechanics feel just as amazing as before


-Story is lacklustre
-No new mechanics introduced
-Content is again sparse

Overall Score: