Destiny: Rise of Iron

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Destiny: Rise of Iron Game Poster Image
Violent shooter expansion has frenetic gunfights vs. aliens.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Glamorizes gunplay; story makes no attempt to understand motivations of alien enemies, who are clearly intelligent, motivated. Promotes teamwork, rewards perseverance.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Customizable character doesn’t have much of a personality beyond combat, variety of emotive animations. Nonplayer characters talk about (sometimes demonstrate) courage, honor. All guardians fighting to protect humanity from alien invaders.

Ease of Play

Intuitive, responsive controls make it easy to get into action, but combat can be very hard. Difficulty largely determined by character's current level and/or skill of people you're playing with, against.


Fast-paced, nearly constant first-, third-person combat using pistols, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, swords, axes, elemental magical attacks. Enemies -- a mix of robots, aliens -- screech, cry out in pain, sometimes bleeding non-red blood. Players can also fight human characters in competitive multiplayer.


Players can spend extra money on decorative items, character animations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Destiny: Rise of Iron is an online sci-fi first-person shooter and an expansion to Destiny, which is required to play. Action is largely team-based and fast-paced, involving a wide variety of fantastical guns, melee weapons, and pseudo-magical attacks. Enemies scream and occasionally "bleed" black and white fluids. Parents should also note that players will be tempted to spend additional money within the game on special decorative items and animations for their character.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byzuma r. November 25, 2017
Adult Written byOtto D. June 7, 2017

No violence

In this game, there is little gore and the violence is tiny compared to other fps shooters. Kids from 10 and up should be able to play this game.
Teen, 13 years old Written bySamuel Crosby December 27, 2019


Like the house of wolves I was really bored. But it is a little scary because the aliens in this one are infected by this weird plague and they run and jump at... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 12, 2017

Destiny: The Rise of Iron is awesome!

This is the best game I can ever think of! Sure, there's a lot of violence, but it is super fun! I love the action in it. This game requires tons of hand-e... Continue reading

What's it about?

An expansion to the blockbuster sci-fi first-person shooter Destiny, DESTINY: RISE OF IRON delivers more of what made the original game so popular. Players can tackle five new missions in a fresh story branch that tells of a group of immortal human warriors who were killed or corrupted during a quest to take advantage of an exotic technology. It's up to the player's Guardian to discover what happened to these fighters and take on a group of aliens attempting to bend this dangerous technology to their will. The story also introduces a new social area filled with new characters and multi-step quests, as well as a new open environment on Earth filled with mini-missions. As with previous expansions, players who buy this expansion are provided a token that allows them to instantly level up a single character to level 40 to ensure they're capable of beginning the new story missions right away. Beyond the campaign, gamers will find a new strike mission for groups of three players to tackle cooperatively and a new raid mission for groups of six players. The Crucible -- Destiny's competitive multiplayer arena -- has also been given new maps, along with a new mode in which players earn points not for eliminating opponents but rather collecting the crests dropped by fallen foes. And, of course, there are plenty of new ways to grow your Guardian. The level cap has been pushed up -- players can now achieve a maximum light level of 400 -- and lots of new weapons, armor, and decorative gear is available to be found or purchased.

Is it any good?

If the action of this fast-paced online shooter hasn't won you over yet, it's unlikely this expansion will change your mind. Destiny: Rise of Iron's new story missions feel a bit more scripted, which could make them appeal to more fans of story-driven games, but there are only five of them and they'll take most players less than three hours to play through the first time. Which means players are still expected to spend the vast majority of their time exploring areas they've visited many times over to collect better weapons and gear, become more powerful, and level up to earn the right to play some of the harder strikes and raids -- assuming you have a sizable group of friends with whom to play, since there's still no support of public matchmaking in prestigious raids and nightfall strikes.

Instead of altering the game to make it more appealing to its detractors, Rise of Iron has instead fine-tuned many of the key systems that fans of the game now know inside and out. New skeleton keys -- which unlock chests at the ends of co-op strike missions -- let you earn the type of loot you want while playing strike missions of your choice rather than replaying missions you'd rather avoid. And the Rise of Iron record book makes it much easier to track quests and figure out/find what you need to do to complete specific progression steps. Competitive multiplayer, meanwhile, now allows for private matches, which means that players can adjust options for everything from winning parameters to player Light levels, which basically means you can play competitive games your way. Destiny: Rise of Iron isn't likely to generate many converts, but it does make a fitting final hurrah for those who've stuck with this hugely popular shooter over the last couple of years.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media in games such as Destiny: Rise of Iron. This game switches between first- and third-person perspectives, but do you detect a difference in immersion and emotional impact based on camera view?

  • Talk about teamwork. Destiny: Rise of Iron, like the game upon which it expands, demands players work together with friends or strangers to succeed. Do you enjoy cooperative play, or would you rather play alone? Why?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Price: $29.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid (Note that this is an expansion to the Game Destiny, which is required to play. You can purchase both the base game and all of its expansions (including Rise of Iron) for $59.99.)
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Activision
  • Release date: September 20, 2016
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • Topics: Space and Aliens
  • ESRB rating: T for Animated Blood, Violence
  • Last updated: June 21, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love space

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate