Hands on with Destiny: Rise of Iron’s Felwinter Peak social space, Plaguelands patrol

Destiny Rise of Iron art[Update: Bungie also released a well-timed official Rise of Iron launch trailer, as seen at the end of the article]

As I mentioned on Monday, Gaming Age was among a select few invited out Bungie for a media preview event to play Destiny: Rise of Iron. I was able to play everything I could during the timeframe given, with the exception of the Raid. In my previous article I discussed the first story mission as well as the revamped The Devil’s Lair Strike. While I completed the all of the campaign missions as well as some post-game activities, I’m unable to reveal those details until the game comes out. This is so that not too many spoilers leak out before the game launches on September 20th.

What I can write about today is my experience with the new social space: Felwinter Peak. It opens up after the first mission is complete in Rise of Iron. Much like the Tower and Queen’s Bay in the Reef, Felwinter Peak is an area that Guardians will visit often to pick up new quests and visit the various vendors to further the game. This outdoor area is very open and fun to explore. There are vast vistas to look at and the entire area feels fresh and exciting. There are obviously some secrets here to unlock. In my playtime I came across six different bells that could be rung. Each gigantic bell had a slightly different tone, leading me to wonder if perhaps a specific melody will need to be played to unlock a secret. Or, perhaps a group of six will be needed to ring them simultaneously to trigger some kind of event.

I also heard rumblings about some players trying to make their way up the mountainside. Apparently there are small parts of rock that can be climbed. No word yet on what awaits at the top of this jumping puzzle, but I’m sure players will be off uncovering these secrets in no time. Similar to The Taken King, Rise of Iron adds mysterious elements and secrets to areas and half the fun is trying to figure them out on your own or in your group. Do yourself a favor and avoid looking up the answers, as it’s vastly more rewarding to solve them amongst you and your friends.

Gamers familiar with Destiny will notice that Lord Saladin has taken up permanent residence at Felwinter Peak. Indeed, going forward the Iron Banner will take place here instead of at the Tower. When asked if something else will cause the Tower to open its doors now that Iron Banner won’t be there, the developers simply smiled. Obviously something new will occur. Perhaps this will coincide with the Festival of the Lost or the winter update with Sparrow Racing.

I spent a very small portion of time patrolling the Plaguelands. I completed a few bounties and was able to explore several zones, but not to the extent I normally would if I had the time. One area that can be explored is called Archon’s Forge. Here you can join in a public event to take on waves of enemies and some super strong enemies. This is very reminiscent of the Court of Oryx on the Dreadnaught. The difference here, according the to the developers, is that more people can get rewards instead of just one at a time. I was unable to see this in action, as our game session wasn’t dropping any special loot or chests for our Fireteam. They never got back to us as to what the issue was, but I’m confident it will be fine for final release. Still, simply killing the waves of enemies resulted in a bunch of engram drops so I still made out with a bunch of new items. This mode seems like it could be a great deal of fun once the final game ships.

This will be my final update on Rise of Iron until the review goes up on the site. While overall the content in this expansion seems a bit on the light side (especially the amount of campaign missions), the post-game missions and quests could be more than enough to offset that. It’s difficult to say, as I didn’t have enough time to really dig into the post-game content as much as I would have liked. The quality of the storytelling and the pieces of the game I did get to play leave me optimistic that fans of the series will be pleased with Destiny: Rise of Iron. Check back next week when I hope to have a final verdict.

Official Destiny: Rise of Iron Launch Trailer:

Destiny: Rise of iron is available on Sept. 20, and includes a new cinematic story campaign, a new location ‘The Plaguelands’ to explore, a brand new social space ‘Felwinter Peak’, a new six-player Raid, new and remastered three-player co-operative Strikes, and even more ways to customize your Guardian with all-new weapons and gear.