Sigh... the more I look at that headline sentence uttered by Lord Saladin, the less cool it starts to sound
Perhaps that's because I don't quite possess the gravitas of Lord Saladin (Aka. Iron Banner Rep, Narrator and all around Iron Lord Badass), when I try to imagine how he once said it during the new campaign section of Destiny: Rise of Iron.
I say "section" because this time around, Bungie has apparently made a Raid worthy of being considered a second part of the story, without subscribing to the linear campaign mode delivery of a mission to mission "Story" that we are all so used to and now expect or demand.
That said, Destiny has always made its most loyal community of players a bit disgruntled..
Eh hmm... year 1++ Guardians like myself.. eh hmm...
with some not so memorable storylines, mixed in with some not so exclusive rewards. And although I would mention Destiny first in my rotation of games, usually as my main, I did so regardless of how often I found myself even playing Destiny anymore. It was depressing... really.
I almost always expect the other side of that convo to be criticism of the game's lack of story progression, lack of story at all, or tales of endless grinding without balanced rewards; anyone I spoke to about Destiny didn't seem to want to be harsh toward the gaming franchise itself, but felt neglected, abandoned or even cheated out of sufficient content and loyalty for gameplay hours spent nonetheless.
It has been a rocky longterm relationship to say the least
Almost any noob could just pick up the trifecta (Destiny, House of Wolves and Taken King), and basically level up to nearly identical progress and light level as a Year 1++ player,
eh heh he hem! like ME
who have all spent hours painstakingly learning the maps like a cabbie must know the streets of London, or grinding out Vanguard Strikes and collecting fucking Calcified Fragments for countless hours (or counted hours if you're into that sort of thing... I know I am... haha), to get a specific reward or weapon, only to find out that the random guy/girl you're playing with in Prison of Elders just picked up the game last week and already got "rare drops" or simply bought the Hawkmoon, Red Death, Black Spindle, etc. AND got a bonus whatever the fuck for buying it on sale for 10 cents as a bundle pack promotion or something.
I'm obviously exaggerating, but we've all been there assuming you're not, "that guy, of course. The point is it sucks, and for some reason Bungie has still yet to satisfy anyone in that regard.
Here, try reciting my Destiny mantra 3 times while gazing upon this insane concept art by Darren Bacon maybe?
- "I'm just happy to play the game," -
Ah, much better...
(seriously, it works!)
'Cause now I get to tell you how Awesome this game is!!
Rise of Iron is finally here, and let me tell all of my fellow OG year one Guardians, you are going to loooooove how much year one maps factor into almost all of the Iron Lord quest grinding...
Sure there's a new part of the Earth map, but a knowledge of the Cosmodrome (and other year one maps/missions) will be vital when navigating gameplay content in the new expansion. So if you didn't learn the maps before the new expansion, get ready to pay the price now he he heeeee.
Bungie didn't pull punches when trying to confuse the hell out of us, presumably to stretch gameplay hours, and with a reimagined year one reboot of sorts, it kind of seems more like a nod to those of us who can tell you how to get to Dock 13 from the Rocketyard, or to Skywatch from The Blast more accurately than we can describe how to find our local grocery store lol.
And although it feels bitter sweet to see so much recycled content - from reimagined year one maps, to familiar weapons and characters - we get to re-experience what made us fall in love with this incredible gaming franchise to begin with!
I mean, do I still feel salty that I didn't have a G-Horn drop in year one despite religiously playing on a daily basis and actually forming pseudo-friendships with perfect strangers simply because we had logged so many hours together in the Destiny Universe?
Yeah... Of Course I am, but I probably always will be lol
Just like I might always be a bit pissed that I earned the year one emblem: Moments of Triumph, only to find that my boyfriend got one without even bothering to grind for it.
Yep, definitely going to hold on to that one for a while
- BUT! -
What other game can even compare to Destiny even remotely in exceptional graphics, balanced gameplay, epic sound, extravagant detail and artwork, and friendly community?
And on such a massive scale, so quickly?
- The short answer is -
there is no other game like Destiny
Not only does Rise of Iron remind us of that obvious, yet sometimes infuriating, fact of life, but if you love sci-fi or space exploration, if you love a clean, if not beautiful, user interface for inventory and weapons, and even remotely appreciate incredible quality in sound and graphics, in a shooter with weapons that actually make you give a shit about weapons...
Then get ready to welcome yourself back to the beautiful Destiny Universe with Destiny: Rise of Iron.
- Destiny: Rise of Iron official launch trailer-
The new weapons and new crucible game mode - supremacy - are compelling and exciting enough to say, "Who the fuck cares about a story?!?"
On that note, there is an admittedly satisfying attempt at what I would like to call, a story companion, to this new expansion.
I still did, however, get the feeling I kind of always have had after Destiny's cinematics ended
- confused and unsatisfied -
but the difference this time was that it didn't feel insincere or lazy. Rather it felt more like the end of an era or cherry on top type of vibe. I dont hate it, as I like to say.
Plus, as I mentioned earlier, the campaign section is only one piece of an altogether larger masterpiece of Destiny: Rise of Iron sections that should create an enriched and enhanced experience for Guardians eager to get their hands on the new expansion.
- WRATH OF THE MACHINE RAID -
LIKE NO RAID YOU'VE EVER BRAVED BEFORE!
The story unfolds in two parts: part one, being the campaign (if you can call it that... it took only a handful of (giddy) hours on our first run through), and part two, unfolding through the epic New Raid I have yet to attempt, but have only seen and heard great things about.
- and just a final bit of advice -
Enjoy the euphoric feeling while it lasts, and try to remember that this really is the end of an era for loyal Destiny fans. I don't know what they're planning for Destiny 2, but I do hear it won't resemble the Destiny we are familiar with and maybe sometimes take for granted. Either way, I've really enjoyed the adventure so far, and I can't wait to see what this expansion still has in store for us!