As a huge Destiny fan, with the announcement of this new expansion pack, my Guardian has been sitting in the tower waiting with his gear, guns, and ghost for this new chapter in his story. The expansion is based on a electro virus named SIVA, which was supposedly sealed away eons ago by the Iron Lords, a group of elite soldiers before the guardians even existed. Only two Iron Lords were known to escape the SIVA crisis, Lord Saladin and Efrideet, the latter whom later gave up her title as Iron Lord after what happened there. This expansion had a really amazing story, and I enjoyed every minute of it, but the length of the story felt just like that: minutes. It was a bit too short for my liking, especially for the price they are charging for the expansion.
After you beat the main storyline, they do have a few extra quests that unlock in the new social space, Felwinter’s Peak, just like the original tower or the reef in The Taken King, and this new social area has every vendor that you will need, including a new Cryptarch and other places you will be using all the time. Though it seems you still need to visit the Tower if any of your factions rank up or if you increase in ranking within the Crucible or Vanguard factions, which is a little frustrating. I would have liked to have had a way to pick them up from this new location.
One of the new quests in the social space is a weekly quest, which will give you one of the new Iron Lord artifacts, each with features. I would like to see in more items in the future like this, such as the ability to turn enemies into pets by using melee or having unlimited sprint by removing the recharge timer when you let go of the sprint button. Felwinter’s Pick is also a lot larger than previous social areas mainly due to dropping previous console support and focus on current generation of consoles. There is even a little secret if you climb all the way up to the top of the mountain.
They have included three new strikes in Rise of Iron, including the return of Sepiks from the original game. These new strikes seem a lot of fun compared to the old strikes with some interesting new mechanics, and the new SIVA-based Fallen enemy type makes them feel fresh. They have also remade some of the old strikes with the new SIVA enemies, and these strikes will drop gear that will help level up your guardian a lot faster. The game has brought back several of the best original weapons to the expansion as well. These weapons can go up to the new light level; blue weapons seem to be capped at 265 with legendary and exotic weapons possible going all the way to 385 light, which is the current cap. The game will be updated in the future with a hard version of the raid, which will increase the light to 400. While including some of the game’s old exotics, the game also has several new additions with most of them being behind a quest instead of drops. This is to try and stop the game from being all based on random factor. Most of the quests aren’t too hard, which means you will get a lot of the exotics pretty fast; the new Thorn quest is random based on bounties you have done, just like the old year 1 exotic that the Thorn was originally based on. The Trespasser and Nemesis Star are from exotic engrams, and like usual the best way to get these is to purchase three of coins from Xur, though I have found more luck with engrams in PvP than I have with the normal PvE content.
One of the new features in the expansion is the extended inventory space and extended vault space, which is a result of dropping the previous generation of consoles. There is a new ornaments section in your inventory. These items can be used to customize exotic weapons and certain other pieces of gear, you find these randomly in radiant treasure boxes, you can get one free weekly from doing the heroic strike list, but you can double up on ornaments and the amount of silver you get is very small. You can use this silver to purchase ornaments from Xur when he appears every week, but the amount it costs versus the amount you get means that unless you want to spend real money, this will take you at least two or three weeks if you break down any ornament you get in the boxes. These are complete cosmetic items and don’t effect the game in anyway. You can now purchase boosters out right with real money, and this could be a slippery slope so people better keep an eye on Bungie in case the game starts to become pay to win.
The new raid is a lot easier than the old ones. With the raid recommending 270 Light, you should be fine for the first few parts at 260 Light, though I would recommend waiting until you have reached 265 light. At the moment of writing this, I have not found a group to finish the raid, but I have experienced some of it, and I have enjoyed every moment of it so far. There is also a new PvP mode called Supremacy in which you have to kill and collect items dropped from dead guardians. If you do find someone in your team has died or you died, you or a teammate can grab your lost engram and deny points from the opposing team.
In the end, the expansion did add a lot of content, but most of it feels like a rehash over and over again. For fans of Destiny, this expansion will add a lot more playtime to an already fun game, but for people who weren’t fans of the series to begin with this won’t be the stepping stone to get into the game; maybe it would be a best for them to wait for Destiny 2.