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E3 2016: Destiny Rise of Iron Developer Interview


During E3 2016, toonzone News got the chance to sit down and speak with Destiny: Rise of Iron creative director Christopher Barrett. “Rise of Iron” marks the next major expansion for the smash-hit game. In the latest expansion, players will explore the backstory of the Iron Lords and Lord Saladin of the Iron Banner. 

Barrett is a longtime employee of Bungie, and now he steps into a larger role as the creative director for the game. Here is what Barrett had to say for Destiny’s next major expansion and what fans and players can look forward to later this fall.

TOONZONE NEWS: What’s new for Destiny: Rise of Iron, and what can fans expect?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: We’ve got a whole themed story, a new campaign focused around the Iron Lords. It delves deep into the backstory of this character, Lord Saladin, who you’ve become familiar with through the Iron Banner event. So all the lore around some of the player favorite weapons: Felwinter’s Lie; and the backstory of what happened to the Iron Lords and how they died. The story will delve into that. On top of that, we’ve got a brand-new zone on Earth called the Plague Lands, so you can complete public events, patrol, lots of new secrets, stuff to explore, as well as a whole gamut of new gear and weapons, a new Strike — multiple Strikes. We have new Crucible maps, a new Crucible mode and new features coming.  A new social space as well.

TOONZONE NEWS: A new social space?


TOONZONE NEWS: Can you give us any hints about the new social space?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Yeah. It’s called Felwinter’s Peak, named after Felwinter from Iron Banner lore. So what’s really cool about this space is that players at the beginning of their campaign will venture into this place and take it back from the Fallen. So it’s this little watch that the Iron Lords used to use to keep watch over humanity, and now it’s infested with Fallen. And so you’ll venture there up the peak and take it back from the Fallen. Then it turns into a social space later in the campaign.


TOONZONE NEWS: What can you tell me about Saladin’s wolf?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: *Laughs* Well, he is friends with many wolves. So those will appear obviously in the cover art here, but also you’ll find them in the social space. They’ll be around. You can walk up to them. They have some cool animations they’ll do. It was a cool chance to take something iconic from the Iron Banner sigil, which features the two opposed wolves in the tree, and sort of bring those elements to life to bring some ambience to the social space.

TOONZONE NEWS: What about raising a pet wolf?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: *Laughs* I would love to do that. Not in Rise of Iron. You will not be able to do that.

TOONZONE NEWS: I remember there was some early Destiny artwork that had a big space cat in it. It looked like you could make friends with it.

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Yeah, there was a tiger. Long, long time ago, there was a space tiger that was featured in one of the original concept art [pieces].

TOONZONE NEWS: What was the idea behind the space tiger? Was it indigenous to the land, or could you raise a space tiger?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Well, it really speaks that the art of that time was really trying to capture players going on an adventure together. In this universe of Destiny a space tiger could exist, blending the elements of fantasy and science fiction, going on these grand adventures with a group of friends and players. So it was really about capturing that spirit of that original concept art.

TOONZONE NEWS: In the current Destiny mythology, where do things currently stand with the City? What is going on with the Fallen, and what is their role in this overall war?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: The majority of this release really focuses on Earth. The Fallen have been up to no good in the Cosmodrome.

TOONZONE NEWS: Are they ever up to good?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Yeah, well you never know. They might consider it good, I guess. It depends on your perspective. But they’ve been on the Cosmodrome for a while looking for something, digging for something, and they’ve finally found it. And so this is sort of giving them an opportunity to turn the tides and use this new technology, SIVA, which is this golden age technology that Lord Saladin and the Iron Lords sacrificed themselves to seal away long, long ago. So, yeah, this has turned the tides. The Fallen have unearthed this new, powerful thing, and they’re using it to twist themselves into horrible mutants and trying to get a one-up on humanity. So we’re trying to make sure they won’t do that.


TOONZONE NEWS: What I find interesting about the Fallen is that while they are malevolent and bent on conquest, they are not allied with the Darkness. So I wonder if what they are doing is rooted in an idea that maybe they had a home that was destroyed?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Sure. So long, long ago, the Fallen were once a great empire, and they were all ruled by all these houses that you see in the game. Something happened long, long ago to the fall of that great civilization, and they spread to the stars and became these kind of roving band of pirates. They’re scavenging and trying to return their race back to power. I think you saw hints of that in the House of Wolves, some of that backstory. Skolas is trying to band them together again, so yeah, I think this is just another element to the Fallen story that you’ll see. We talk about that history — we talked about long ago they had this great empire. One of the remnants of that are the Servitors, for example, and they can’t make those again. They can’t make those anymore. Those are leftovers and things that they idolized. The Devil Splicers, the new faction that’s being introduced in Rise of Iron, sort of takes that zealotry that they have for technology and takes that to the next level. They’re trying to recapture that, and they’re using SIVA, this technology, to kind of morph themselves into machine gods. They’re creating these powerful  effigies to machine and trying to gain back power and take over the Earth.

TOONZONE NEWS: Since Variks is a pretty good authority on all things Fallen, and Lord Saladin has experience with the Fallen, is there any chance they will interact at some point?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Maybe they send messages to each other via wolf. Who knows? But really in this we’re focused with Lord Saladin, the Iron Lords, and what happened to Felwinter’s Peak. That kind of stuff.

TOONZONE NEWS: Is there a weapon or item that you’re most excited about gamers getting to use?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: There are some hints in the trailer. I think some of the fans have started to pick the trailer apart. There are definitely some of my favorites that we’re either bringing back or new weapons. I think they look really cool, and we’re telling more about them in the coming months. I think everybody knows that the Gjallahorn is coming back. I think that’s something we’re really excited about. It’ll be raised up to the new light level for Rise of Iron. Players will embark on a really cool quest to re-forge it.


TOONZONE NEWS: Can I reforge the Ice Breaker or the Hawkmoon?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Those are fan favorites. We’re always looking at when is the right time to bring some of those back. I can’t announce anything about the Ice Breaker today. As you see the Gjallahorn, we’re bringing some of that stuff back. I love the Ice Breaker as well. It’s a pretty awesome weapon.

TOONZONE NEWS: Any insight on what happened to Queen Mara Sov?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: There’s a lot of conjecture about what happened to her. I’m sure some day fans will find out. One of the great things about Destiny is that the world is so rich and full of all these little stories. Rise of Iron is one of those chances to delve deeper into one of those.

TOONZONE NEWS: So what about some new PvP modes with Rise of Iron?

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: Yeah, absolutely. So, there’s a new Crucible maps, new Crucible mode and new Crucible features. We’ll be talking about those coming up in a couple of months.

TOONZONE NEWS: Very exciting! I can’t wait to see more, and I want a pet wolf in Destiny.

CHRISTOPHER BARRETT: *Laughs* I think everyone would love a pet wolf. I don’t know if it’s the greatest idea though.

TOONZONE NEWS: Thank you, and I can’t wait to become legend.


Thank you to Christopher Barrett for taking the time out of his schedule to speak with us. “Destiny: Rise of Iron” will be available as a digital download for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in September.