Destiny: Rise of Iron Review
Destiny: Rise of Iron Cover Art
System: PS4, Xbox One
Dev: Bungie
Pub: Activision
Release: September 20, 2016
Players: Online Multiplayer
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Animated Blood, Violence

Once you get to Rise of Iron, I can forgive you for being a bit disappointed, too. One of the coolest things about The Taken King was the Taken themselves. These mutated versions of the classic Destiny foes had cool new abilities that forced you to re-think your strategy when taking them on. Rise of Iron's new foes, the Splicers, aren't nearly as interesting. They're basically faster, slightly more schizoid versions of the Fallen. Dregs, Vandals, Knights, Captains... you know the drill. If there's one thing we need desperately from Destiny 2, it's a greater variety of enemies with a wider range of abilities and behaviors.

Destiny: Rise of Iron Screenshot

At least Bungie's rock-solid controls are still in evidence. Still responsive, still enjoyable, still friendly for veterans and shooter newcomers alike. There are some chinks in the armor, though. The controls and first-person viewpoint are still not conducive to jumping puzzles, and there are yet more to be found in Rise of Iron. There also seem to be an unusual number of places where it's easy to get stuck in the scenery. I applaud Bungie for making good use of verticality, but I stop clapping when my character slips through the crack between two shipping crates and then constantly bumps her head on them while trying to get out.

And although it's certainly an improvement over past storytelling, I can't say that Rise of Iron feels like a true capstone to the entire Destiny experience. There's no sense of closure or of having achieved something lasting and meaningful over the course of these two years fighting the Darkness. There's simply a new place to go; a new threat to fight. Maybe the Traveller will show up at the end of the raid and explain it all to us... but I rather doubt it.


No, this expansion is simply more Destiny, love it or hate it. Unlike the revolution that was The Taken King, this is a mere evolution that shows that Bungie is finally comfortable with this strange new online shooter format. If you're a huge fan, it's good. There's new gear. You'll like it. Enjoy. Everybody else is waiting to see what happens with Destiny 2, because that's going to be the real test for Bungie moving forward. Destiny has been a fascinating experiment, but at this point it could use a reboot from scratch in order to truly fulfill its promising premise. Rise of Iron makes the best out of what's been done, but what we really want is a new Destiny with a bold, cohesive story and a rock-solid expansion plan. Go forth, Bungie, and deliver.

This review was based upon a complimentary review copy of Destiny: Rise of Iron, provided by Activision.

Becky Cunningham
Site Editor
Date: September 21, 2016

Destiny remains alternately gorgeous and completely creepy to look at, and it's good to get off the Dreadnaught.
The tight, user-friendly controls remain, marred by yet more ill-advised jumping puzzles and some tricky geometry.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Same great music and strong effects, but the Cayde and Eris Show in Taken King was more fun to listen to.
Play Value
Destiny's faithful will love having more Destiny, but in the end, Rise of Iron is simply "more Destiny." It's not enough to keep lapsed players around for long.
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Destiny: Rise of Iron is the next highly anticipated expansion to the Destiny universe. It features an all new cinematic story campaign set within The Plaguelands, a brand new location on Earth.
  • Under the command of Lord Saladin you will face a new faction of Fallen Devils, the Splicers, while unravelling the mystery of the Iron Lords.
  • Rise of Iron features new weapons, armor, and gear, as well as a new cooperative three-player Strike, a new mode and maps for the Crucible competitive multiplayer, and an all new six-player cooperative Raid.

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