The Rise of Iron follows the template of the previous expansions with added items, weaponry, missions, and multiplayer arenas. Unlike previous expansions The Rise of Iron does include a whole new area, the Plaguelands, but unfortunately, it is just a variant of the Cosmodrome, the first area players are exposed to when starting their life in the world of Destiny. Additionally the new enemies, the Splicers are just a variant of the Fallen, the very first enemies the player faces in Destiny's notoriously convoluted plot which now revolves around the Guardian stopping a powerful AI that killed all but one of the Iron Lords; Lord Saladin.
In terms of additional content and things to do, there is plenty to keep Destiny fans busy for a while (though don't expect anything you haven't essentially seen before), all of which is logged in a new quest book which tracks your progress, rewarding you periodically atop of the in-game rewards which now seem thankfully more frequent. New players picking up the Destiny Collection, which includes all of the content released thus far, would be getting many months worth of content making the collection a contender for any "Best Value for Money" award. But considering players must own a next-gen console to play Rise of Iron, despite nothing in the release justifying this decision, means that legacy console (Xbox 360 and PS3) players are being manipulated to upgrade before purchasing the Destiny Collection. How convenient then that The Xbox One S, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro have just been released.
The Rise of Iron is available as a standalone DLC, showing that Bungie and Activision have learned from the backlash they received for the release of The Taken King which was only available as part of a collection of the content released up until that point. For Destiny Veterans, the price of Destiny's latest DLC, which is that of a season pass for most other games, only adds to the extortionate amount of money Destiny veterans have been manipulated into paying to keep their game "up to date" - a player buying Destiny and each expansion when it was released, including the Rise of Iron will have paid £145, or US$188. The Destiny Collections price of a mere £40 or US$52, which includes the exact same content shows that Bungie and Activision are keen to attract new players to their long-term gaming experience, but the DLC price shows that they have no issues in fleecing those players once they are invested.
Such a rant about a video games pricing policy may seem like a first-world issue, and in all honesty, it truly is. But when compared to the pricing policy of other long-term video games such as GTAV, Minecraft, and Overwatch the unfairness and downright villainy of Destiny's pricing becomes apparent, with each of the three above titles giving all non-cosmetic content released as DLC for free. Where these games will profit is through the use of cosmetic DLC (skin packs and texture packs) and microtransactions to access cosmetic elements of the game at a quicker rate than which can be achieved in-game. Destiny too has such a microtransaction system called "Silver", arguably making its pricing policy even more extortionate when compared to the generosity of its competition. Of course, nobody is forced to buy Destiny, but considering how Bungie and Activision have so blatantly taken advantage of their game's loyal fanbase, pending a u-turn in their pricing policy their much-touted sequel due next year could become one of the video game industries biggest and most expensive flops.
Simply put, Destiny players are almost duty bound to purchase the Rise of Iron, and the expansion is sizable enough to offer a month or so of interest with the rest being drip-fed over the coming months. New players who purchase the Destiny Collection will, of course, be getting the best deal, at the veterans expense it seems, but when considering that there are other long-term video games out there that offer DLC at a much lower cost, and some, as mentioned for free, I can vouch that unless Bungie and Activision follow the pricing models of its competitors I will not be returning for Destiny 2, which is a shame, because at its core Destiny is a good game but alas no video game can justify such daylight robbery of its fanbase. With a 3 out of 5 for content, 1 out of 5 for the DLC price, but 5 out of 5 for the Destiny Collection price and content the Rise of Iron levels out at an average 3 out of 5.
If my review sounds salty take into consideration my history with this title - I purchased Destiny (Xbox 360) upon release for £85 (Destiny, Vanguard DLC and Expansion Pass), then The Taken King Collection for £35. I then upgraded to Xbox One and repurchased Destiny for £10 (preowned), was able to download the expansion pass for free as part of an upgrade deal but then had to purchase The Taken King Collection again for £45. With the Rise of Iron pre-ordered for £25 this video game has cost me £200, that's US$260. While I feel bound to play Destiny to recuperate my investment, I am not enjoying the experience - The game I am enjoying unfortunately for Bungie and Activision is Blizzard Entertainments Overwatch!