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Destiny: Rise of Iron - The Dawning

Company: Activision
Product: Destiny

2016's major releases are, for the most part, on store shelves of both the physical and digital kind. And from where I'm sitting, it looks like it might be remembered as on par with the likes of 2007 in terms of quality, quantity, and diversity. But hold on; the year's not quite done, yet. A number of high profile shooters are hosting special limited time winter events. Among them is Bungie and Activision's Destiny, which caps off its third year with a three-week holiday event dubbed The Dawning. Players who own the Rise of Iron expansion can participate in a wealth of special content. What all does it entail? Read on, Guardian.

The Dawning seeks to pad out the experience delivered by Destiny: Rise of Iron. Provided you've got that installed, you'll instantly be given the opportunity to participate in a handful of new quests and bounties. If you're a fan of Destiny's format, you'll be happy with what's on offer; if you love hunting down Exotic Weapons, this is the stuff you're always on the lookout for. And the new Record Book, available for every participant, adds a slew of new challenges.

Further fleshing out the boots-on-the-ground gameplay is the addition of Strike scoring, which hearkens back to the days when Bungie worked on the storied Halo series. Having your performance tracked on the fly lends the proceedings a delightfully arcadey feel, and while it may not have a drastic impact on the actual gameplay, it's still satisfying to see your efforts rewarded in any way.

Finally, The Dawning sees the return of the Sparrow Racing League. Introduced during Year 2, this activity pits a handful of Guardians against each other for a high-speed race across the cosmic landscapes you've blasted your way across time and again. It remains a fun little diversion and the two new tracks are worth seeing.

Novelty is a strong reason to participate in events like The Dawning. There's a certain prestige to having been a part of events, be they game-related or not. But video games are gravitating towards those kinds of rewards more and more. We've seen it in Destiny already with the likes of Festival of the Lost, but we've seen it elsewhere, too. Naughty Dog is famous for incorporating trends and seasonal goodies into their games, and even more recently, Blizzard's Overwatch hosted events around things like the Rio 2016 Olympics and Halloween. And like in that game, special cosmetic unlocks await those who put in the time and make the effort to be included in The Dawning. If you're a fan of making your Guardian stand out from the sea of randoms, you'll want to put the time in; there are some rare goodies that will only find their way into the inventories of those who participate.

Whether or not Destiny: Rise of Iron - The Dawning is substantial enough to pull you away from any of this year's most recent releases is entirely up to your level of involvement in the core game as a whole. For the hardcore, this will likely be a nice little treat to help tide them over until next year, whatever that may bring for the game -- or the series in general. Stay tuned, because we'll keep you posted.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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