5 big changes Destiny: Rise of Iron is making to the starter zone

Why bother including a big chunk of Destiny's old Cosmodrome in Rise of Iron's new Plaguelands zone? Simple. It's so Bungie can start you off in a familiar area, where you began the game and have since probably spent hours patrolling, and twist it before your eyes. Sort of like watching an old friend turn into a cold, disheveled killing machine. Sort of.

We already knew some changes were coming to Old Russia with Rise of Iron, but the folks at Bungie finally offered up the first look at the altered landscape in a Twitch stream. These are the biggest changes I spotted.

The Devil Splicers have torn sh#$ up, but that's kinda useful

Fallen are firmly established as scavengers in the lore around Destiny, but the Devil Splicers really take pride in it. Parts of the environment have been cut apart with still-glowing edges, which portends an unpleasantly large project from the House of Devils. More importantly for us, it changes old areas and opens up entirely new spaces to explore.

It's on permanent snow day

The Devil Splicers have an utter disregard for weatherproofing, and apparently there's been a cold snap in Old Russia. Much of the Cosmodrome has turned into a winter paradise lost and massive snowbanks now fill the bottomless pits hidden within its walls. The region could get frosty before, but not in this terrain-changing sense. Snowball fights are not yet confirmed, sadly.

Look out for new public events and missions 

Remember the big Devil Walker that would foolishly drop into The Divide every now and then only for hordes of Guardians to tear it leg from leg? It's burped out its last bouncy mine - but you can still pay your respects to its dilapidated chassis if you can find it in all the snow. Expect new public events and patrol missions to take the place of the old stuff.

The Hive are on the run, too

Remember the first time a bunch of Hive Thralls charged at you down a dark hallway and you totally didn't freak out, like, not even a little bit? Well, just imagine how the Hive totally didn't freak out when the first horrifically augmented, red-laser spewing Devil Splicer crawled into the Cosmodrome. In other words, places that used to be filled with Hive are now occupied by Devil detachments. Though the darkest, most defensible corners still hide displaced space zombies biding their time.

 SIVA's growing wild and looking bizarre 

The Devil Splicers got their creepy middle arm hands on a pre-collapse technology called SIVA, and they've gone a bit overboard with it. You'll find weird, polygonal nodes of the stuff with muscley red bits snaking all across the terrain now. That's just a teaser for the really messed up stuff going on in the Plaguelands proper, though.

If you're not ready for all this change to Destiny's most iconic zone, don't worry. You'll still be able to visit the original version of the Cosmodrome via the current Patrol, Strikes, and Missions. I'm not sure how Bungie will justify going back and forth from one to the other… but then again, I have killed a single servitor named Sepiks Prime roughly 800 times. I'm probably overthinking this. 

Seen something newsworthy? Tell us!

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.