Destiny: Rise of Iron will be hitting on September 20th, and only one new strike is included with the expansion and it’s called The Wretched Eye. I was able to play through this Strike twice at the preview event I attended at Bungie, but unfortunately none of the other missions were available to try out. I am disappointed that there’s only one new Strike in this expansion, but at least it was a fun time.
In The Wretched Eye, the Splicer’s High Priest is taking over an army of Hive. The Devils are evolving and must be neutralized before they are successful and take over the entire Cosmodrome. The main objective is to fight your way into a Hive nest to take out a Fallen high priest who is warping an ancient science and controlling a Frankenstein shell-of-a-monster that once was an Ogre.
Right off the bat you’ll be battling the SIVA-influenced Fallen and the Hive under their control. They’ve placed green glowing traps on the ground. If a player sets one off, he or she will be stuck inside it and detained until able to be shot out. These traps can easily be destroyed by simply firing a few shots into them. It remains to be seen if there are other levels with more interesting traps, or if they are just a simple nuisance. Successfully pulling off headshots results in a hot pink energy blast (SIVA) that looks cool and feels satisfying. In fact, pretty much anything that’s been augmented by SIVA has a pink energy around it. Even the Servitors fire off pink energy bursts instead of the usual purple. The Strike’s outdoor sections feature falling snow and mountain landscapes.
Throughout the mission the players will need to disable SIVA Nodes, which are mechanical flower-like devices wrapped in pink energy. Destroying these will disrupt the SIVA flow and unlocks new areas to explore in the Strike. It doesn’t take too long to break into a missile silo, which is where the Priest is holed up somewhere inside its labyrinth of tunnels and passageways. There’s a little bit of verticality here as the silos are very tall, and some of the battles are in close quarters as the passages are often very narrow. After successfully destroying all of the SIVA Nodes, the players will make their way into the Hive nest, where an Ogre has been lobotomized and is now under the control of Kovik, the Splicer Priest. No weapons will have an impact on the Ogre, so it’s best to just avoid it as much as possible while dealing damage to the Priest and the additional enemies that pour forth.
As the battle wages on, the Ogre will become more aggressive, seeking out targets. Since he’s invincible, it can be a challenge to keep some distance from him while also trying to take out the Priest, who is constantly firing his beam weapon at anything that moves. My Fireteam wiped the first time battling him, and then prevailed on the second try. I figured our second full play-through would result in us beating him on the first try, but again we wiped once before taking him down. It’s not that it’s a super difficult fight, but just remember that when additional waves of enemies arrive to take them out first, while at the same time avoiding the Ogre and the Priest. The Shanks in particular can be pretty devastating if allowed to live.
Overall I was pretty satisfied with the Strike, but it didn’t seem to do anything groundbreaking or different. It was a fun romp and it was great seeing some new environments, but the underlying gameplay and strategies were unchanged for the most part. I can’t help but be disappointed that this is the only new Strike for the entire expansion. Granted, there are two reprisals with some slight tweaks to them. They are The Devil’s Lair and The Summoning Pits. No word on what’s been changed, but luckily we won’t have to wait too much longer before the expansion releases.