For those bemoaning the delay of Destiny 2 this expansion probably is not what you were looking for. Rise of Iron had the chance to take another step in the path The Taken King took the game but alas it seems more akin to The House of Wolves in what it actually delivers to the game.
Previously I had written an article of things I thought would help make Rise of Iron a success. So let’s do a quick review.
Matchmaking for PVE
No improvement. Sadly the new strike list is still the only PVE portion with in-game matchmaking. It seems that Bungie just doesn’t want to bother with putting it in the game and is ok with forcing players to find other players elsewhere. Perhaps their thoughts are that with PlayStation’s Communities and Xbox’s upcoming LFG service they just don’t need to bother.
I still agree that the new raid probably shouldn’t have matchmaking but other areas could have benefited. With the addition of Archon’s Forge, matchmaking would make a difference as it is hard to randomly meet people there and it can be a struggle to get enough people there by other means for the top level events.
Better Chances for Loot
I’m going to score a no for this one. When you initially start playing Rise of Iron you get better gear to use for infusion but it quickly becomes moot. Rare engrams will drop at up to 340 and that can help a character up their light level quickly. Plus, vendors sell 350 gear. Sure there are quests to follow to get gear but the rewards may be minimal based on your light level when you complete them.
The bigger problem is that once you hit the 340-350 range your progress significantly slows. Mostly because rare engrams still only decrypt to 340 and legendary engrams will only decrypt to 1-2 levels above your current level. Exotics will drop higher but then you have to either equipment them or sacrifice them for infusing other gear. This is one of the most frustrating parts of the expansion.
Improve the Story
To quote one of my favorite movies “mark it zero”. If anything, this felt more like a regression from what The Taken King did compared to what vanilla Destiny offered. Characters were barely flushed out, backstory was nil, and foreshadowing was absent.
How this is supposed to pass as story is beyond me at this point. As someone who plays mostly solo in campaign and PVE, not having a story to enjoy is a bummer to say the least. I know it is unfair to compare it to Bungie’s previous titles but I still expect better.
I wish there were a list of positive things but I’m afraid that most things are either null or negative that I see in this expansion but let’s take a look.
- Reuse of assets – Once you get through looking around the new social area, there isn’t much new ground to cover in Rise of Iron. The Plaguelands is merely an extension of the Cosmodrome and looks unforgivingly similar.
- Rehash of quests – Even with new quests introduced they feel like old ones. Go here, collect this, go there kill this guy, talk to so-and-so in the social area, go do a strike, talk to so-and-so again, viola…reward. Some were easier than others but the reward didn’t necessarily meet with the effort needed.
- Same old same old – Want to grind rank? Want to do the same patrols? Good, because now you have new bounties to get you rank(and XP) which you’ve been doing ad nauseam but your stuck with the same patrol missions to do so in the open world. They tried to change the high value target mission up with quarantine missions but it turns out to be basically the same thing.
- Raid? – Yes there is a new raid and I have not played. Why? Well, the aforementioned issue with grinding to get my light level up has precluded me from reaching the recommended light level to partake in the event. Sure people are going into the event below the recommended level but I don’t think that I would enjoy the frustration that comes with doing so. Even if I do get to do the raid, I’m not sure it will be the saving grace that this DLC needs.
- Other events – The Iron Banner and Trial of Osiris have already returned. I have not ever played Trials of Osiris and will continue not to do so because I can’t handle the stress level personally. I did play enough Iron Banner to rank all three characters to level 5 so don’t mistake my desire to play and enjoy this game. Sparrow Racing League has also been rumored to return, looking forward to that as well.
In conclusion, if one had purchased Destiny – The Collection, then this may seem like a fine add-on. For those of us that purchased it as an addition to all the previous content, it may feel like a let down. There is a great base game here but it is just not living up to its potential. This is still one of the best first-person shooters I have played on this generation of consoles but it lacks the content and depth that I desire to make me feel not disappointed. I will keep playing but I will still be in that mode of hoping for more and seeking out other games to fill that hope until Bungie does something more proper for what not only I want but for what others may desire as well.
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A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.