Rising the Iron

I have returned from my vacations! What did I do, you ask? Play Rise of Iron, of course! It’s not often a vacation period coincides with the launch of a much anticipated game for me so I made the most out of it. And yes, it was a coincidence… I did not plan it that way!

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Destiny’s last expansion is full of exciting moments, even if it is a bit on the short side. There’s only a few main quests to do and they are easily soloable, but the content is extended by the usual round of post-story quests and activities which include the raid and the new Archon’s Forge – a small arena where you summons enemies and bosses for a chance at glory and loot (and a cool flaming Iron Lord hammer). Oh and one hell of a platforming challenge.

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My goal for the week was to be geared for the raid that was releasing on Friday so I started working on that as soon as I managed to understand the new gearing process. Got my Gjallarhorn, my Iron Lord artifact and then set to get some engrams. Before that, however, we started exploring and found a huge climb to a vantage point in the new social space, the Iron Temple. You have to jump through a series of outcroppings in a cruel platforming challenge that is sure to frustrate some, but it’s hilarious with friends as you “race” each other while being careful not to push each other – or you know, actively trying to do so. The top has a beautiful view of the zone and a collectible (Destiny’s skyboxes are some of the best in the industry).

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Once that was done we farmed a specific dungeon for drops that would get my light level high enough for raiding. Here we are seen outside Omnigul‘s door waiting for our specials and heavy ammo to replenish before blowing her up again.

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The raid is, as usual, something else. Far from the mystery that was the Vault of Glass or the clearly alien Dreadnaught, Wrath of the Machine takes place inside a huge machine built by the Fallen near the Cosmodrome’s walls. The entrance reminds me a bit of the Vault’s challenge to open the door…

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Once inside you face a Splicer Priest in a very cool room filled with SIVA and monitors that you need to pay attention to if you don’t want to be obliterated. There’s this cool mechanic where you need to hide in a room and shut the door before the boss gets a chance to fry everything outside! It’s a fight you need to see to believe.

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Progressing further you go through a fairly linear jumping puzzle that hides a secret passage where a chest lies. I am particularly fond of this because while the rest of my raid went ahead, I chose to explore this opening and found the chest. I discovered (for my group) a secret in a Destiny raid! Some people got exotic guns out of it so we were very excited for it!

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The second boss is the huge machine seen in the trailers. I won’t spoil much about the fight but that huge thing is the least of your problems for the encounter. We did not clear that fight. This encounter (as well as a few other instances) shows how the game benefits from dropping PS3/360 support, as you battle huge numbers of enemies while a lot of stuff is going on screen. It’s a spectacle. We still have a ways to go, both in content and in gearing.

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Destiny always hints at its incredible universe of lore, and Rise of Iron is no exception – references to warminds that could be much more, challenges to come and secrets yet to be revealed, all forming the year that will lead up to Destiny 2 (or whatever it’s called). For now, I am still gearing my other characters and am having a blast doing it. It will definitely fight for game time once Final Fantasy XIV’s next patch launches tomorrow, but the sci-fi pull is strong and the hype is at an all time high. As they meme on Twitter: my iron is rising.

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