Destiny: Rise of Iron Strike Hands-On Preview – Different Paths

Yesterday was a massive day for Destiny fans with the announcement of private matches in the Crucible, and deeper clan support in the game. We also posted our hands-on impressions of Rise of Iron’s coming Crucible game mode, Supremacy, on two of the four new maps. The Crucible wasn’t all we got the chance to play on our trip to Bungie though, and today we’re taking a look at the new strike Rise of Iron will introduce, “The Wretched Eye.”

Rise of Iron introduces SIVA, an long buried technological plague that has been unearthed and is being used by the Fallen (or are the Fallen being used by the SIVA? Something to think about), a faction of enemies known as Devil Splicers. It seems like the Fallen won’t be the only race we’ll see affected by the SIVA though. For The Wretched Eye strike, a Splicer Captain has removed the eye of a Hive Ogre to use as a gun, and infused the ogre with SIVA, creating a Frankenstein’s monster style abomination. Yup, that’s right, a massive fight with a captain that can shoot ogre beams and a tech’d out ogre that is arguably more machine than Hive at this point. 

Before we enter the boss fight though, we had to run through a series of abandoned missile silos in the Plaguelands. While we didn’t have the opportunity to wander off the beaten path and explore the wider area, the initial glimpse of the area just outside of the Cosmodrome’s wall before descending into the silos showed a nostalgic landscape covered by snow and infected with SIVA machinations. The time I had to look around wasn’t long, as soon my fireteam was facing waves of Devil Splicers. 

New Take on Old Enemies

Much like the Taken in The Taken King add on, the Devil Splicers are familiar enemies with a twist. Different weapons, different tactics, and a unique look that we haven’t seen on the Fallen before. Going into these fights expecting that I know how to take on the Fallen is a mistake, until I have a chance to relearn the Devil Splicer’s unique abilities that separate them from the rest of the Fallen houses. They aren’t going to radically change the way you play Destiny, but there are enough differences to feel like they clearly aren’t just a rehash of existing encounters. 

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For Rise of Iron, Bungie is implementing alternating pathways to keep the strike feeling fresh every time you play. In this case there are a number of SIVA nodes that need to be destroyed that spawned in different locations the two times we ran The Wretched Eye. It also seemed like there were some different doors and pathways to get through the silos in the later portions of the strike. It’s not a massive difference in the experience, but it does help it feel a little different, especially if you like to run the heroic strike playlist and end up playing the strike numerous times. It remains to be seen if these same ideals will be applied to the two remixed strikes from year one, or if they’ll just have a SIVA inspired enemy swap.

A Captain and His Ogre

Arriving at the boss room, we came face to face with the Splicer Captain and his SIVA ogre pet. The ogre is invincible and more of a lethal distraction as the real target is the captain and his ogre eye gun. The fight is fairly straightforward: Don’t die, and eliminate the captain. Once the captain is finished, the strike ends. The ogre doesn’t become the target (as I was expecting to happen) and just disappears. It’s a much more simple fight than presented in a strike like The Taken King’s Echo Chamber, which introduced almost raid-like elements into the final encounter.

It will be interesting to see where The Wretched Eye fits into players’ lists of favorite strikes to play. Its rather uncomplicated nature could easily put it into either side of the spectrum, depending on your feelings about strikes like Echo Chamber. The alternating objectives and routes do provide a sense of variety that even enemy swaps couldn’t really offer, so that’s quite an advancement in strikes that have become almost second nature for most veteran players, but the difficult final fight with out any special elements might lend it that “Omnigul” feel, where one’s heart falls a little when it comes up in rotation. It’s hard to tell from only two quick times through, and without the artifacts, weapons, and other things Rise of Iron will bring, so we’ll make sure to cover this a lot more when Rise of Iron actually releases. 

For all of the latest coverage and news on Destiny: Rise of Iron, check out our information hub here.

We’d like to thank Activision and Bungie for inviting us to the studio to get some hands-on time with Destiny: Rise of Iron.