I dropped into the Cosmodrome, a wasteland of spare parts and broken wreckage. As I stood there for a moment, getting my bearings, everything had a sense of newness even though I knew these plains and caverns as if I’d made them myself. After I rang off my first shot and downed my first enemy, I was sure I was back home.
A well armored Titan, one of Destiny’s three player classes
With Bungie’s latest DLC installment for their hit title ‘Destiny’ releasing today September 20th, they surely have a job ahead of them pulling new players into the established mythos that Destiny offers. More importantly is Bungie’s larger challenge: convincing players to return.
I am not new to the world of Destiny. I originally started playing shortly after its release in September of 2014. At the time I had ridden the hype train all the way to the end of the line at each E3 that provided more info on Bungie’s new IP. When I finally had the game in my hands, my fireteam spent countless hours delving into the bowels of what this new universe had to offer killing Vex, Fallen, Hive, and Cabal with extreme prejudice. As time went on, however, I realized something I hadn’t expected. I was getting bored. Bored of logging in each day to finish the assigned bounties, play a mission or two, patrol the galaxy making sure the predetermined spawns weren’t getting into anything they shouldn’t. Destiny became more of a job than a game, an issue that was partially remedied with their first DLC, The Dark Below, and furthered by their second content drop, The House of Wolves.
The benevolent Queen of the Reef, Mara Sov
In the House of Wolves DLC, the Queen of the Reef and Awoken, Mara Sov, required aid from my fellow Guardians and I to quell the uprising of a Fallen house long forgotten. With it came new multiplayer content, new arena modes, new armor, new weapons, and new story driven content. It was truly everything that a fan of the game could ask for. As a fan of the game I was ecstatic. I had been playing less and less since the Dark Below, not really worrying about Raid rewards, or being max level. Just a casual player looking for new lore and fun. With all of the new promised content I could explore even more of the universe I had come to love, and I did, until that too came to feel more like work than a game.
The feeling of daily chores rather than epic quests (though an actual quest system was added and is still quite rewarding upon completion) had once again pushed me to other games that felt more exciting but I had already been through this once before, and now a second time, so surely this wouldn’t happen again no matter what they brought to the table.
Enter, Rise of Iron.
Rise of Iron (ROI) is Destiny’s newest DLC update and the definitive mark of ‘Year 3’ of Destiny, the last year before Destiny 2 will be released. In this update Bungie hopes to fix a lot of the mistakes that they’ve made in previous DLC installments by adding more content than ever before and changing gameplay mechanics to allow players more choice in how they tackle challenges. Notions that are all well and good, if they work.
But there’s no need to discuss the new features in ROI (you can see all of that info in the video above). What needs to be discussed before the potential masses spend between $30 and $60 on this expansion is how you’ll feel after having a week, a month, or more of playing in the Plaguelands, fighting the virus scourge SIVA, and traversing the galaxy with friends. Will the new weapon’s keep their luster? Will the new abilities and enhancements keep their spectacle? Personally, if history has told me anything it’s that they won’t, but I must say I’m hopeful with all of the changes and additions that they’re bringing. I want greatly to believe that Destiny, and its impending sequel, will be games and a universe I’ll want to explore again. With the release of RoI today, Bungie has a chance to prove me wrong. Whether they will? Only time will tell.