Via a Twitch Livestream, Bungie officially revealed the new expansion for Destiny today, Rise of Iron. In addition to partially detailing the new content in Rise of Iron, it was revealed that Rise of Iron will release 20th September, on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One only, and will cost $30.
Rise of Iron will feature a new campaign, focusing on the Iron Lords of old (Known from the Iron Banner), who attempted to contain a plague known as Ceiva (Spelling awaiting confirmation). As you might expect, the Iron Lords were somewhat unsuccessful, with Ceiva once again plaguing the land. Now, with an army of “mutated” Fallen at their command, it’s up to you Guardian, to once again save the solar system. Apart from showcasing new designs, these mutated Fallen will feature new enemy types, attacks and strategies. The campaign will feature new cinematics, story missions and quests, not to mention new gear and weapons. There will also be a new relic (Temporary pick-up weapon), that is a flaming axe!
Also included will be three new areas (Located in the Cosmodrone, New Russia) The Plaguelands, The Wall, and Fellwinter’s Peak. The campaign will begin with players ascending, and re-taking Fellwinter’s Peak. After capturing Fellwinter’s peak, a new social space will unlock there, featuring new NPCs (Most likely vendors and quest-givers). There will be a new raid, new strikes – in addition to updated strikes, new patrols and new public events. There will also be new Crucible (PvP) maps, and a new Crucible mode, in addition to new features. As expected, there will also be a “significant” increase to the maximum light level, although the exact figure will be revealed at a later date.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a Destiny announcement without some instance of controversy. Gjallahorn is returning, with a variant black and red version of the infamous rocket launcher being a pre-order only bonus. That said, those wanting just the regular gold and white Gjally will be able to acquire one as a reward for an in-game quest.
The main take away from today’s reveal is that Rise of Iron will be a current-gen only release. While I don’t expect that this will mean the new content will make particular use of the PlayStation 4’s and Xbox One’s extra power, it says something that Bungie are willing to forgo their fans on PS3 and Xbox 360. Most likely this means that the player base on older platforms has dried up significantly, (It’s a relatively well known exploit for Trials of Osiris, to play on PS3/Xbox 360 editions of the game to claim the rewards for your characters on PS4/Xbox One, due to the lower player count) or that during development certain mechanics, or level designs, couldn’t be implemented on older hardware – fingers crossed its the later.
Other than that, this was a fairly standard reveal, with the content we would expect from a Destiny expansion. The $30 price is interesting, placed between the year one expansions; Dark Below/House of Wolves [$20 each], and the year two expansion; The Taken King [$40]. Bungie have already stated that Rise of Iron will have more content than both year one expansions combined. As such, Rise of Iron may have a comparable volume of content to The Taken King, but is $10 cheaper due to not having a new ‘world’, just three new areas – at least, that’s my hope.
I am compelled to bring up the pre-order bonus of Black Gjallahorn, which is only one step removed from introducing weapon based microtransactions. Concerns over Bungie’s monetisation model for Destiny are numerous, but at least an ordinary Gjallahorn will be available to everyone who purchases Rise of Iron, via the aforementioned quest.
While we didn’t learn that many details from this reveal, history dictates that Bungie will reveal more at Sony’s E3 Press Conference next week, and via the usual additional livestreams. Personally I’m very excited to jump back into Destiny, although concerns about Rise of Iron are certainly valid given the game’s tumultuous and troubled past. That said, The Taken King was a first rate expansion, so here’s hoping Rise of Iron meets expectations.