Destiny: Rise of Iron - King of the Mountain Hands-on

Ned Jordan
In Short
A look at the opening mission in the Destiny: Rise of Iron story-based campaign.

Destiny: Rise of Iron will feature a new story-based campaign that will tell the story of the Iron Lords, an elite group of Guardians whose responsibilities extend well beyond hosting the Iron Banner events. The campaign opens with the King of the Mountain mission which takes place in a new zone on Earth, The Plaguelands, which sits to the northeast of The Cosmodrome.

What follows are my impressions of King of the Mountain after playing through the mission myself, and these impressions will necessarily include some spoilers. Proceed with caution if you want to keep everything as a complete surprise when you take on the mission for the first time yourself. The mission begins with an extended cutscene that gives some insight into the history of the Iron Lords, but that's something that I'll leave unspoiled for all and just begin with the mission itself.

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The mission opens with your ship coming in low over a snow-covered forest and dropping your Guardian to the surface ' a much more exciting way to begin a mission than simply finding yourself in a patrol zone entry point. Your in-mission instructions come directly from Lord Saladin, who leaves his post at the Iron Banner to take charge of your mission personally. The Fallen House of Devils have been on a campaign of raiding Golden Age research facilities and have taken an intense and very unwelcome interest in the abandoned Vostok Observatory that sits high atop Felwinter Peak, which is also the location of the Iron Temple. Reinforcements are on their way to repel the Fallen, but they will take some time to arrive. Your mission is to battle your way to the top of Felwinter Peak and to keep the Fallen at bay long enough to save the mountain from falling before the primary Guardian force arrives.

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Felwinter Peak is an impressive location, and one that is unlike any other in Destiny. You'll quickly find yourself above the tree line and in a full alpine environment with trails cut into the side of the mountain and small stations and platforms set on rocky outcrops and small saddles. The scenery is spectacular and a number of special effects bring the environment to life ' undoubtedly the developers were able to create a more realistic environment for this level than they were for prior ones since Rise of Iron will only be available on PS4 and Xbox One. From an environmental perspective there were a few moments that really stuck with me after finishing the mission. The first was walking along a knife-edge ridgeline as the wind whipped snow across the trail and my boots crunched through the snow. Another memorable moment was taking a gondola across a chasm ' I was actually enjoying the view until Vandals started firing at me from the ridgeline. Things became a little tense after that as I was trying to fire from a swaying gondola car that didn't give me anywhere to hide from the enemy. And then there was the encounter with the former Sepiks Prime, pumped full of the regenerative element SIVA and reborn as Sepiks Perfected. After a harrowing crossing of a hanging bridge under full fire from the Servitor, I faced a knock-down, drag-out fight against Sepiks Perfected on the steps of the Iron Temple as it called in wave after wave of Fallen reinforcements.

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I won't spoil what came next, but I will say that you can expect to see a lot more of the Iron Temple and Felwinter Peak as you make your way through the Rise of Iron expansion. Look for more previews of Rise of Iron coming soon.

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Transmitted: 12/18/2018 10:46:55 PM