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Gjallarhorns, Iron Lords, and Plaguelands: Bungie reveals Destiny’s ‘Rise of Iron’ expansion

Bungie made the reveal of its upcoming Destiny expansion official today (June 9) in a live-stream event that confirmed some rumors, debunked others, and scratched the surface of what players can expect in September’s Rise of Iron.

The streaming event was hosted by Bungie’s community manager David “DeeJ” Dague, with Destiny Game Director Christopher Barrett and Executive Producer Scott Taylor on hand to describe the upcoming wave of additional content arriving later this year.

First and foremost among the announcements was confirmation that the popular rocket launcher Gjallarhorn will not only be brought back for Rise of Iron, but that it will be available as both a pre-order exclusive in an “Iron Black” color scheme and as a reward for completing a new quest line in the expansion.

“You get to forge a new Gjallarhorn from the armor of fallen heroes,” teased Barrett.

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The launch trailer for Rise of Iron, official synopsis for the expansion, and list of DLC highlights were revealed earlier in the day via a set of leaked images and video, leaving the Destiny team to confirm much of what was revealed — while also offering some additional details about the upcoming wave of content. One major element that was confirmed was the platform compatibility for Rise of Iron, which will only be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, making it the first piece of Destiny content to abandon the last-generation consoles.

Along with teasing a new story campaign, raid, co-op strike, and competitive multiplayer maps and modes, the Destiny team also confirmed that more of the game’s older strikes will be getting updated for the expansion, with additional elements tied to the new storyline. That storyline will involve a return to Earth — specifically the area of Russia located near the Cosmodrome, where new players began the Destiny campaign — to confront the technological “plague” SIVA that previously claimed the lives of the guardians known as the Iron Lords. Players are called to battle by Lord Saladin, the caretaker for the monthly, PvP-based Iron Banner tournaments, in order to repel a new type of enemy: mutant versions of the Fallen that have been altered by SIVA.

Much like Bungie did with the previous major expansion, The Taken King, the content will include some old strikes that have been updated and revised to tie into the new storyline. There will also be a new type of public event that can be joined while patrolling the various social, PvE environments within the game.

Rise of Iron will also provide a new social space for players called “The Plaguelands,” set high on Felwinter Peak, one of several new locations on Earth. The area will only be available after it has been “taken back” by guardians, however. Much of the new content will be tied to the lore of the Iron Banner tournaments, with players discovering more information about the Iron Lords and Lord Saladin himself while pushing back the forces of the Fallen mutants.

The team also revealed some of the new armor in the game, as well as a new, temporary “relic” weapon that players will be able to wield in certain battles. The two-handed, flaming spear-type weapon will be similar to the scorch cannons that arrived in the prior House of Wolves expansion, in that it’s only available for a limited time when players encounter it.

Barrett also confirmed that Rise of Iron will bring a “significant” increase to the maximum Light Level for players, but declined to offer a specific number.

Rise of Iron will be released September 20 at a price of $30, and the Destiny team has promised to provide more information about the expansion during the upcoming E3 convention and the months that follow, leading up to its official release.