Rise Of Iron’s Last Story Mission Is One Of Destiny’s Best

Rise Of Iron’s Last Story Mission Is One Of Destiny’s Best

A small team at Bungie developed Rise of Iron in just nine months, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the main campaign is very short. What’s more of a surprise is that the final mission is one of Destiny’s best to date. Rise of Iron, like The Taken King before it, has a very specific structure: First you go through a set of story missions that introduce you to the DLC’s new concepts and areas (including a new social hub and patrol zone), and then you can go do a bunch of different quests to collect loot, unlock strikes and get your character up to light level 360 so you’ll be ready for the raid on Saturday. I’ve finished the main story campaign and started poking around the new quests, many of which require you to do patrol missions in Rise of Iron’s new area, the Plaguelands.

We’ll have lots of Rise of Iron coverage right here on Destiny fan-site Kotaku over the next few days and weeks, of course. For now: It’s good! The story campaign is short — it took me around two hours to finish — but it’s very entertaining. The premise is that the malicious Fallen have uncovered a virus-slash-mechanical plague called SIVA, which they have used to infect the Cosmodrome and themselves, leading to… very bad things. Regenerating bosses, disease-invested terrain, superpowered enemies — you know how it is.

The campaign does a nice job wrapping up one of the SIVA arcs, and it ends with a mission as good as anything else in Destiny. I won’t spoil the details, but it involves an epic fortress, lots of explosions and a flaming axe. Killer music, too. There are some incredible visual effects, likely aided by Bungie’s choice to ditch last-gen consoles for Rise of Iron. There are also a couple of nice disturbing moments.

If you’re picking up Rise of Iron expecting some sort of giant campaign, rethink your decision. This is a stopgap — a small batch of content that will hopefully keep hardcore Destiny fans occupied for the next month or two as we solve the raid and max out our light levels to 385, then 400. But I’m enjoying it quite a bit so far, and Destiny remains as satisfying a shooter as it’s ever been.

Also there are wolves and they yawn.


  • That’s what I don’t get about Destiny anymore “It’s a stopgap” Didn’t they have some sort of obligation to Activision to release multiple expansions a year? And this is the only one we will get this year and it’s light on content like the others. Disappointing as it was a pretty great game.

  • Its a shame this had to be so small campaign wise because there was so much potential in the lore of this, wish it could have been a fleshed out dozen missions

  • Might be worth noting for those out of the loop what you mean by “stopgap”. It’s still bigger than either of Dark Below or House of Wolves, and players loved TTK, despite its campaign being only 8 missions – there were a hell of a lot of quests that opened up after the campaign, exotics to find, storylines to wrap up, etc. RoI has only 5 campaign missions, true, but you return to Felwinter at the end of the “campaign” and are given 3-4 new quests.

    Originally, the release cycle was meant to be “full game, two small releases and a major release every year for two years,” then the cycle would repeat with the sequel. That got thrown out the window when they realised how much support would be required, and how difficult the engine would be to bugfix in a reasonable timeframe, so during TTK’s development, (from what I can see) they renegotiated their contract with Activision to have small content updates over 2015-16, a smaller TTK-style expac this year (ie. RoI) to give the main development team time to overhaul the core engine for the sequel, so that they don’t have to take a month or two to make a minor bugfix, or respond to a toxic PvP meta, like they currently do.

    Tl;dr: So, yea, RoI is a stopgap to give the D2 team time to future-proof their game engine, to make future development/support easier. Or at least, that’s what I’ve gathered from what I’ve read, and what I sincerely hope they’re doing – I want to see D2 hit the ground running next year, not land on its face.

  • Yeah it’s a top mission isn’t it! Was pretty disappointed with the campaign overall, not really because of the length, it just seemed like a regression.

    TTK had a few missions with surprises (Lost to light and the stealth one stand out) and this felt more like TDB\HOW, which after a year was a bit of a let down. Still fun and I have no doubt i’ll be back on the destiny train for a few months, but seemed like a step backwards as far as design goes.

    Anyhoo looking forward to jumping into the post campaign quests and strikes and seeing what goodies they have in store. Also dismantling old weapons to try some new ones… there’s something oddly cathartic in doing that.

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