I loved Destiny. I loved it so much that when the run of DLC was done, and Bungie released the aptly named Destiny: The Collection, including all the DLC for a knockdown price, I wasn’t even bothered. Well, maybe a little. What this meandering preamble is leading up to though is the second greatest of all the Destiny DLC packs, that of Rise of Iron and Lord Saladin. Granted, The Taken King is, without doubt, the best DLC pack Destiny received, and I will brook no argument: The Kings Fall raid was the pinnacle of Destiny 1, and while Wrath of the Machine came close, battering Oryx and seeing him drifting off into space was the pivotal moment of the whole game. However, I seem to be getting ahead of myself somewhat, so come with me on a trip down memory lane, to a land of SIVA and Saladin, of Fallen and firepower…
The story of Destiny’s Rise of Iron was a pretty good one. Lord Saladin, the last of the ten Iron Lords left alive, needs our help, and so we have to answer his call. We are called upon to go to the Iron Temple, and when we get there, we find the place swarming with Fallen. And not just any Fallen, but Sepiks Perfected, which we last saw in a strike as Sepiks Prime, when we battered him and sent his globular body spinning to destruction. Or so we thought.
It turns out that not only have the Fallen been poking about where they shouldn’t be, they have also managed to reactivate SIVA, a particularly nasty Golden Age Virus made up of nanotechnology, capable of self-replication and self assembly. And also of inhabiting Fallen bodies as it goes! In the Golden Age, SIVA was used to build whole cities, but as is so often the way, it turned against its creators and decided to have a massive ruck instead. The rest of the Iron Lords died to stop SIVA taking over the world, and so the scene is set for a showdown.
What this translated into is a whole new campaign and a new patrol location, the Plaguelands on Earth (the first time there had been two patrol areas on the same planet, in fact), a new strike, a raid called Wrath of the Machine, which saw our fireteam delving deep into the wall surrounding the city, and a couple of repurposed Siva-ified strikes. You can add to this the emergence of flaming Iron Axes to use that appear in the landscape, and Void and Arc versions of the Scorch cannons, and then also new weapons, including a new Gjallarhorn, the Iron Gjallarhorn and even a Sparrow that resembled the fabled rocket launcher. Last but not least, a new public event called the Archons Forge was introduced, where players faced off against waves of enemies, much like the Court of Oryx aboard the Leviathan. Oh, and there were also three new PvP maps added, along with the Supremacy game mode, which was almost a carbon copy of the kill confirmed CoD game mode.
So it’s safe to say that Rise of Iron had lots to go at, and with a welcome increase in the light level to 400, the grind was once again on. However, the Rise of Iron DLC was notable for another reason: it marked the point at which Destiny bade farewell to the old generation of hardware, and the new expansion was only playable on Xbox One and PS4. The Taken King was the swansong for the Xbox 360 version of the game, and from this point the game’s were completely separate. In a way it was sad, but there has to be evolution in the games market: if everything has to be coded to include the previous generation of hardware, you end up with new games being hamstrung from looking and playing their best. We are at that point I think now with the Series X|S consoles and the Xbox One: new games are being held back by the large player base on older hardware. Anyway, this is not the point of this article and can easily be saved for another time.
After finishing the story, and grinding, and grinding some more, we (as in me and my regular fireteam) were ready to take on the raid. Wrath of the Machine was a very good, technical raid, and some of the mechanics took some figuring out, especially the bit with the ArchPriest, Vosik, where you had to do as much damage as possible before running and hiding in a safe room, before rinsing and repeating. Whichever side the safe room was on, I was usually on the wrong side of the room, and I don’t think I ever managed not to die there. The siege engine was another great encounter, and again, took some figuring out, trying to carry all the bits to the right place without becoming exhausted. And who can forget the final fight against Aksis? Nearly as good as the fight against Oryx, but not quite…
So, these are my memories of the Rise of Iron DLC pack for Destiny. But what about you guys out there? These types of articles are meant to start a conversation so let us know if you agree that the Taken King is the greatest piece of Destiny DLC, well, ever? Did you prefer House of Wolves? Let us know in the comments!
And if you haven’t picked up the Rise of Iron from the Xbox Store, why not?