Since its launch in September 2014, Destiny has defied even ambitious estimates regarding its potential reach, blossoming to tens of millions of registered users. Players have embraced the distant future setting, which sees a beleaguered humanity struggling against innumerable alien threats across a solar system that witnessed Earth’s golden age pass long ago. With its upcoming September release, Bungie is shifting focus, exploring the history of legendary heroes who sealed away a deadly threat, and allowing players to join that same order of warriors as the threat reemerges. We traveled to Bungie’s studio to get the full scoop on Rise of Iron, the expansion that launches Destiny’s third and final year before a sequel. We played it, interviewed its creators, and dug deep into everything from the latest PvP game modes to the new raid, and even learned about where Bungie is heading in the months after Rise of Iron launches.

Last year, The Taken King expansion represented a dramatic retrofit of Destiny’s game systems and progression. With many of those core systems now firmly set, Rise of Iron puts the focus squarely on new content to discover, and our time with the game reveals Bungie’s fixation on player choice, allowing everyone to enjoy the game in the way they most prefer, all while still making meaningful progress. Guardians can look forward to a vast array of new weapons and armor sets, a new arena play space called the Archon’s Forge, new ways to enjoy Crucible PvP play, and only a few days after launch, the blistering cooperative challenge of Destiny’s latest raid: Wrath of the Machine. Bungie also pulls the curtain back on the reinvention of the artifact item slot, which now serves to provide a game-changing ability to be combined with your subclass and gear selections. The digital issue is now live for subscribers, and you can read all about those topics in full. We've also pulled out a dedicated look at artifacts, new progression details, and some news about the future of Destiny beyond Rise of Iron.

Our cover story features dozens of new screenshots and as much info as we could squeeze into 16 pages. We also have tons of additional interviews and gameplay footage that wouldn’t fit, and we’ll be rolling out that info as we prepare it throughout the next month, including an in-depth conversation with Destiny’s story writers, a closer look at one of the new exotic weapons, and comprehensive video coverage of new PvP features and modes. 

And in thanks to the enthusiastic Destiny community for following our coverage, we’re also proud to announce our first-ever GI cover art contest, in which you have a chance to see your artistic creation featured as Game Informer magazine cover art. Winners receive a Bungie-signed and framed poster version for your wall, a copy of Rise of Iron, and other goodies, along with the acclaim of your fellow Destiny fans. Winning entries will be featured here on the GI website early in September. Check out the complete details by clicking right here.

As you dream up your own cover ideas, take a moment to enjoy the actual cover for this month’s issue, which teases some of the stark and imposing sights awaiting Guardians in the new expansion. 

CLICK ON THE COVER TO SEE THE ENTIRE SPREAD, FRONT AND BACK

To learn more about our forthcoming online coverage of Destiny: Rise of Iron, and to get a brief glimpse of some of the action, check out our coverage trailer below or on YouTube.

In addition to our blowout coverage of Bungie’s latest release, the September issue takes a look at the wild phenomenon of Pokémon Go, examines race and poverty through the eyes of the game We Are Chicago, and visits with the team remaking System Shock from the ground up. We’ve got previews of Battlefield 1, Halo Wars 2, and Yooka-Laylee, as well as reviews for summer releases like Abzû and Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We also take a fascinating look back at the strange experiment that was the Philips CD-I Nintendo games, as told by the man who made them. 

Can’t wait to get the full story on Rise of Iron? There's no need to wait. Print subscribers should see their issues arriving in the next week, but if you subscribe digitally, the issue is now live (available on PC/Mac, iPad,  Android, and Google Play). You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on NookKindle, and Zinio starting tomorrow. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here, or to create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here.

For all our Destiny: Rise of Iron coverage throughout the month, click on the banner below and bookmark the dedicated hub. We’ll be adding new features every few days.