|System: PS4, Xbox One|
|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.
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.
Date: September 21, 2016