iReview: ASSASSIN’S CREED: UNITY – Another Year, Another Assassin


Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: Xbox One
Availability: Xbox One, PS4, Windows

It’s a hot summer day in Paris, France. Its 1789, in the heat of the French Revolution, and Arno Dorian gingerly slips through the amassing crowds. The people are angry, hungry, and burning effigies. Guards canvas the area making sure that the protest doesn’t get out of hand. With his target in sight, Arno passes behind unaware guards, silently slipping the Assassin blade into their neck or back, leaving them wobbling, dying, before passing onto the next. His target is within sight, gesturing towards the throng of people, arms wide. Arno has the means and the tools for his escape at the ready. The roar of the crowd hides the immediate shock towards the dead guards. The distance nears, he vaults up the platform, and pounces on his victim, penetrating the beating heart with his hidden blade. The whole world shudders, colours dilute, and we see the history that lead us to this moment as our victim dies.

This is the setting of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Ubisoft’s eighth major installment in the series. Like its many predecessors, Unity shares the common formula: target, Kill, Escape, Repeat.


Unity is the first Assassins Creed title to usher in the new console generation, and with it came better visuals, larger crowds, heavily detailed buildings, and new navigational game play mechanics. Most notably: controlled descent.


Before we ‘dive’ off into the game play, let’s break the story down a bit. We start Assassin’s Creed Unity as a game tester at Abstergo, using a new gaming device called a Helix. So now we’re playing a game within a game. Through this device we get to experience different genetic memories. The Assassin Brotherhood, always fearful that Abstergo is a bunch of Templars – that they’re using this new device to data mine the past for clues – hijacks the memory sequence, and implores the player to join them as an initiate. What follows is a story about love and heart-break, betrayal and time travel.

The featured Assassin this time around is Arno Dorian, and we join his memory already in progress, as a child, and he’s waiting for his father to conclude some meetings. As we wait patiently, innocently, a tricky young girl named Elise De La Serre happens upon us, and coerces us to steal away among the palace corridors, causing all the mischief only two kids can. When we return to our seat, we find the corridor filled with people, and our father, who was an Assassin, dead on the ground, murdered. The story skips ahead 13 years, and we’ve been adopted by Elise’s father, who is a Grand Master of the Templars. Arno has grown very fond of Elise. In the next mission, Elise’s father is found dead at a party, and we are mistaken to be the killer, and imprisoned in the Bastille. Escaping the Bastille with another Assassin, we get invited to be a part of the Brotherhood.

From here, the story moves at a quick pace, it takes place during the French Revolution and the mass revolts against the King of France, King Louis XVI, all somehow orchestrated by the Templars.

At key points during the story, the memories will breakdown, and the hackers in the real world will check in, trying to repair the glitches. These points have us traveling through time to certain parts of Paris’ history, especially the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. These parts are done very well, and mix up the game a bit, and even have the player scaling the Eiffel Tower and fighting off World War II fighter planes.


The city of Paris itself is Unity’s best feature. It looks just gorgeous, behaves as you would hope, and there are a ton of people just strolling around, going about their lives. Because of the Revolution, certain parts of the city have different patrolling guard types, depending on their allegiance, and there’s areas walled up. Some of the key buildings will also have a mass of crowds around it, not so much rioting, but expressing themselves. They’ll have effigies burning, and they’ll be screaming, pressing up against the guards watching the gates. The only issue is this situation never changes unless something triggers it, like a sword fight perchance, or a smoke bomb. Then everyone scatters. It’s quite fun to watch.

The larger buildings are designed with immaculate attention to detail, and even on street level, a lot of the buildings have open doors or windows that allow you to enter, or run through when chasing someone.

With the updated engine, some of the game play has changed, with a few additions, but mostly omissions. Biggest addition would be to the navigation, and the controlled decent. No longer will our Assassin just vault off a building in the wrong direction just because the direction we wanted to go didn’t suit. Our Assassin is very agile, and can scale almost any building, or incline, with ease, and scale it down just as easy. With the same controls. It’s all very fluid, with realistic animations. We can also jump through windows or slide under desks or fences. The down side to this is its not perfect. When running, it is very easy to get caught up on objects like desks and chairs. And then you just look like a fool, squatting in a chair, with the other civilians just looking at you.

Choosing a different weapon has changed a bit, and gone are the non-lethal fist fights. At all times you’re equipped with either the hidden blade or a weapon of some kind. Stealth take-downs from behind are the only way to take someone out without killing them. Also gone is the ability to move bodies and dump them in hay carts.

The big selling point with Unity was the inclusion of its co-op elements. Many missions and side stories are relegated to this mode, and unfortunately I didn’t get to spend a lot of time testing it. The one mission I did successfully join had me start across the city from my co-op companion, and then the whole game subsequently froze. I didn’t bother trying the multiplayer again.


When the game was originally released it suffered tremendously from bugs, glitches, online issues, and complaints towards its companion mobile app. To the extent that Ubisoft pulled its season pass, refunded players, and gave away the Dead Kings DLC for free. They also practically neutered the mobile app, and just ended up unlocked everything in-game instead of having the player continues to suffer.

Unity turned out to be a big learning lesson for Ubisoft. In what the player’s want and that maybe annual release aren’t the best plan without rigorous testing in place before. They released the next Assassin’s Creed, Syndicate, a year later (as the title was already well into its development), and have since taken a break to refocus. Maybe to re-energize, maybe because they realized there were big problems with their current model, or maybe it was to give a window for their movie. Who’s to say?


In the achievement section, they are all very rudimentary: complete the chapters in the story, perform a specific number of take downs, collect collectibles, and there’s an unfortunate amount of co-op related achievements. I might have to try and load the multiplayer back up again.

Notable Achievements
Patron of the arts (Watch a play in the Caf) – 10G


iReview – CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE – Another step forward


Publisher: Activision
Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Platform: Xbox One
Availability: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, Windows

I’m always a little behind when playing Call of Duty games. I used to buy them eagerly upon release, back when the single player campaign was the primary focus. This was back when Infinity Ward was in their prime, making the Modern Warfare titles. Back when there was one good Call of Duty developer, and one not-so-good developer. Modern Warfare 1 was great, Modern Warfare 2 was great and Modern Warfare 3 was a hack job, scrambled together by the gutted remains of Infinity Ward after Vince Zampalla and Jason West jumped ship/were forced out, along with a lot of the other senior creative talent. With the help of Sledgehammer Games, Infinity Ward was able to release a feeble conclusion to the Modern Warfare trilogy and move on to their next Call of Duty game, Ghost.

After the releases became muddled, with three separate developers working on their own Call of Duty titles, and Activision’s focus on Multiplayer and Zombies took precedent, I started to lose the insatiable drive to pick up the games on release, and resigned myself to get them later on in their life, around the time the next iteration is announced.


So that brings us to 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The first Call of Duty title to usher in the new console generation, releasing simultaneously on the Xbox 1/360 and Ps3/Ps4. This was Sledgehammer’s first go alone at a Call of Duty game, and the results are pretty impressive, even considering they are working in the three year development cycle now.

Advanced Warfare pushed the series forward into the next-gen visuals, and for the first time since Call of Duty 2, used a game engine that had its majority re-written and built from scratch. The game’s story also pushed the franchise further into a futuristic setting, taking place between 2054 and 2061. Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Treyarch’s first step towards a futuristic game, was set in 2025.

The story follows one playable character, Jack Mitchell – as opposed to previous titles which followed multiple – and makes use of pre-rendered cinematic cutscenes to tell the story in between missions. After a mission in North Korea, and losing his friend in the fight, Jack is offered a position in Atlas Corporation, which is a private military organization. Following a series of terrorist attacks, the world turns to Atlas – who holds no country or government allegiances – to stop them. After a year of fighting, watching as the terrorist groups attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated and deadly, Altas – essentially for-profit mercenaries – has emerged as the dominant military force in the world, showing that they are the key to holding back the terrorist attacks and aiding countries around the world.


The story jumps forward a couple of years, and we start to find information linking the Atlas leader, Jonathan Irons (voiced and acted by Kevin Spacey) to the ongoing attacks, showing that he has been deliberately allowing the attacks to occur to continue Atlas’s reputation, profit, and power throughout the world. When his devious plan is revealed, Irons takes to the United Nations General Assembly, reveals his plan to remove all politicians, and declares war on the world. And there isn’t a country with a big enough military to stop him.


Coinciding with the futuristic theme in the story, drones, and other futurist technology play a big part in the game, and gameplay mechanics. The player is equipped with an exo-skeleton suit that allows for boosting in different directions, or long falls and a soft landing. It allows for additional strength as well, for melee combat, and moving large objects, like cars; ripping the door off a car and using it as a shield is pretty fun. There are also a few instances where a mute charge is used, when taking part in a breach-and-enter. Everything in the zone of the mute charge is silenced, and is an interesting event to watch unfold. The guns in the game are updated as well, and offer different types of scopes – some of the hybrid type, allowing for different levels of zoom, or thermal views. The player also has unique types of grenades: one type highlights all the enemies in the area, and another is a drone-like grenade, that will propel towards the closest enemy grouping.


Visually and gameplay-wise, I think Advanced Warfare is a positive step for the franchise. I still have to go back and play Black Ops 2 to see how that last-gen game pushed the boundaries. Story-wise, the game didn’t break much new ground, aside from using a famous Hollywood actor – nothing that hasn’t been done before. I do see that as the future of some games, as mo-cap and 3D rendering gets more and more advanced, and the production quality and story telling visuals become parallel with Hollywood movies. We’ve seen it already now with EPIC Games latest announcements towards their Unreal Engine being used to render Animated Movies.


Overall, a great step forward for the franchise as they truly break ground into the latest gen. The new types of combat add a lot to the series, and the technology of the new engine, and consoles allows for bigger, more detailed level design and creative destruction. The exo-suit allows for some verticality to the levels as well, and while somewhat limited during the campaign, Multiplayer allows for full use. The story is also a little more coherent, although it does jump ahead a few years at a time. I thought Ghost was a step forward, but Advanced Warfare just leaps ahead, and is breath a fresh air to a franchise, that was starting to grow a bit stale.

Now to move ahead again, and try me some Call of Duty Black Ops 3… but I promised I would play 2 first.


The achievements in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare are very standard for the franchise. There are those for completing each level, and those unique achievements for each level. There are those for each new gameplay mechanic, killing a certain number of enemies using said mechanic. And then the Intel collection and Multiplayer types. Nothing really memorable.

Notable Achievements:
Never Saw It Coming (Boost jump, dash forward, and then air stomp an enemy) – 10G
Carma  (Kill and enemy by throwing a door at them) – 10G


IReview – CONTRAST -Shadows Within Shadows


Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Conpulsion Games
Platform: Xbox One
Availability: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, Windows

Contrast is a game of shadows. Set in a noir type atmosphere, we play as Dawn, an imaginary friend to Didi, who is a little girl. Dawn and Didi are the only two characters in the game who appear as full 3D figures, and the rest of the cast is made up of shadows. The key gameplay mechanic in Contrast is Dawn’s ability to move between the 3D physical world, and shadows, the 2D world. Sounds like an interesting mechanic, right?


The story follows Didi who has led a troublesome childhood. Her mother is a cabaret singer, and recently separated. Child support has threatened to take Didi away her mother if she doesn’t find stable work; that or reconciles with her husband Johnny. Johnny has been kicked out of the house due to his association with gangsters and racking up dept, which is not healthy behaviour for a family. Didi sneaks out one night to watch her mother perform at the Cabaret, and it is here where we watch the interaction between a shadowed Johnny and Didi’s mother Kat discuss their failing marriage and Johnny’s big plans to improve all their lives

Wanting to help her mother and Johnny reconcile, Didi follows Johnny to the bar where we witness the meeting between Johnny and Vincenzo, a famous illusionist. Johnny is trying to convince Vincenzo to perform at his new circus event. Simple enough, but Johnny doesn’t have enough money, so he returns to the gangsters to borrow more.

What follows is a tale of Didi and Dawn following Johnny throughout the night, and fixing his blunders, ensuring that his circus project gets off the ground, and that he makes good on his debts.


The game is a puzzle platformer. As Dawn, we have the ability to transition between the real 3D world, and the shadow world. Using projectors, spotlights, and other maneuverable light sources, we have to navigate the streets and building interiors, getting from one checkpoint to the next.

The game is broken up into three chapters, the first being the largest and lengthiest. This chapter sets the stage and introduces all the mechanics, and tells the bulk of the story. Chapter two fixes the conflict revolving around the circus, and its three attractions that are of course broken or in disrepair. The last chapter concludes the events of the story and wraps up the relationships of the primary characters. This chapter ties all the mechanics together into more challenging and sometimes time-sensitive puzzles.


The game is short in length and shallow in concept. And while it was released across both Xbox’s and Playstation’s platforms, it’s only OK looking. The noir theme and character design is fine, but the environments were fairly lifeless and stale. And just lonely, as Didi and Dawn are the only two physical characters in the world.

The shadow concept was unique, and I found it especially amusing that you can’t die in the shadow world – unless you fall off a platform – but in most instances you just get squeezed back into the 3D world.

But the platforming mechanics were not as smooth or refined as they could be. Oft times jumping led to falling as the character animation, and Dawn’s model in particular is not that agile to maneuver. The story was short and the gameplay was clunky. Some of the puzzles were excellent in design though, where the player has to maneuver two or three different light sources to cast shadows on the wall, that they then have to scale.


In the category of achievements, this game made the list of Xbox One’s games easiest to 100%, and for good reason. Play it and you’ll acquire a nice 1000G. Only a few of the collectibles are actually hidden, where the rest are out in plain sight, and each part of the story will net you a couple hundred G’s


Notable Achievements:
To The Heroes Among Us (Unlocked when the player finds the hidden Extra Life 2012 logo) – 25G
Not The Kind of Game (Unlocked when the player tried to enter the XXX door) – 10G


iReview – RORY McILROY PGA TOUR – You Get Bad Breaks From Good Shots


Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Tiburon
Platform: Xbox One
Availability: Xbox One, PS4


Now you’ll have to forgive me, but I haven’t played an EA Golf game in a few years, possibly even an entire console generation. I do have fond memories of the Tiger Woods EA golf games on the PS2 and Xbox however, even on the PC. I also don’t typically review annual titles like Hockey or in this case, Golf, because they’re essentially the same game year over year, with minor improvements.

Nevertheless, the PGA Tour series has always had a place in my heart. I enjoy playing the game, even in RL, I’m just not that great. The PGA Tour games are one of those annual EA Sport titles that are justr shy of being an RPG, except you have to reset and recreate your character after every expansion.

In the same light as Need For Speed, EA took a year off from its annual Golf franchise to prepare for the latest console generation. Also, coincidentally, they took this time to make us all forget about the Tiger Woods’ name and brand, as he’s been stricken from the cover. For the first time since 1998, Tiger Woods was not used as the cover athlete, and his likeness is not used in the game whatsoever. He’s not the household name he once was. Rory McIlroy is the new face of golf, and our new cover athlete. Rejoice.

The 2015 iteration of the PGA Tour franchise was rebuilt from scratch for the latest console generation, and now uses the Frostbite 3 engine to render more realistic environments. An entire 18 hole course can now be rendered as a single map, so other fairways become playable whereas before, errant shots would have been considered out of bounds, when the course was rendered hole-by-hole.

Not only do the courses look better, but more information can be gathered from the different lengths of grass, tree branches and sand. Throughout, the engine just allows for more realistic physics and interactions between the ball and environment. That being said, while the courses may look nice, everything else about the visual presentation is lacking, from the static wildlife to the laughably minimal character creation and clothing options. Swimming ducks hover above the water, deer or foxes just walk a straight line with barely a hint of animation, and you’re stuck with a bare selection of generic faces when creating your own golfer, and only a handful of different “EA” labeled clothes, until more are unlocked through tour progression. You also can’t create a female golfer. But at least the AI crowd reacts as one would expect, when you aim a golf ball in their general direction.


“Did that go in? I wasn’t watching, did it go in? I didn’t see it, could you tell me if it went in?”

The game offers up a few different swing mechanics to try: “Arcade”, which uses the analog stick to swing and allows the player to apply a spin to the ball mid-flight, the traditional “3-Click”, click once to generate the back swing, 2nd at the peak of the swing, to generate the forward momentum, and 3rd at the precise point of impact, and finally “Tour” which is for advanced users, similar to the “Arcade” method, but with higher sensitivity, and with no assists.  Additionally, the game has also seen some improvements in the aiming, and putting line.

The regression is also noticed when you take a look at the lack of game modes and courses, as most are notably missing from the game on launch. As previously mentioned, no female golfers allowed, so the Women’s events have been scrapped, as well as Best Ball, Skins, and Stableford gameplay modes. All you’re allowed to play is Stroke and Match, and restricted to back 9, front 9, and 18 hole courses. Online tournaments and a full proper career scheduled have also been removed.

The game at launch included eight real-world courses, with a few additional courses made available through free DLC, and a handful of fantasy courses. The PGA Tour event has the player playing through many 4-day events, to increase PGA Tour rank and level up our player’s attributes. What I noticed with this mode is you no longer play a full 18 hole course every day, but a smaller selection of 5 to 8 holes per day, and then the game simulates the rest of the day based on your attributes. This may have been the result of my choice in Arcade gameplay style, so I’ll have to dig a bit deeper. No visible calendar is available, so you just move from one event to the next. As we rank up, the attributes that improve our player are based on our play style, and will focus on areas that we excel at, or improve in, instead of letting the player manually pick where we want to see the incremental changes.

A new mode that they have added is the Night Club Challenge mode, which offers up about 200+ challenges across 3 maps. These challenges range anywhere from target practice, to putting challenges to trick shots, and utilize boosts and power-ups like a rocket-ball, double bounce, or speed spin. Each challenge grades you on a 3-star measurement based on points.


“Lotta pressure. You gotta rise above it. You gotta harness in the good energy, block out the bad.”

Overall, while some improvements have been made to the engine as a whole, better visuals, life-like crowds, and better ball mechanics, the lack of features and courses, non-existent game modes, and character creator are what hurt this title the most. It’s clear that this is a 1.0 title again, for the latest console generation. And this is something that plagued a lot of the EA annual titles at the transition to this latest console generation. It’s just a little concerning that EA took a full year off from the brand, and we’re still left with an empty shell.


On the Achievement side, like Need For Speed, the game is quite generous. At the time of this writing, I am only two locked achievements shy of 100%, and the remaining two are related to the Night Club challenge mode, where I’m left to finish each challenge, and getting the required amount of stars. Just time consuming. The rest are basically complete the PGA Tour season, and try the different game modes at least once.

Notable Achievements
All I Do Is Win (Win a PGA TOUR event) – 15G
Now you’re golfing with Portals (Hit through a portal for the first time) – 15G


iReview – NEED FOR SPEED – What Once Was Bare is Now Complete


Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Ghost Games
Platform: Xbox One
Availability: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Calling Electronic Arts‘ Need For Speed 2015 edition a “reboot” is kind of a misnomer. The annual series is not a continuity, in name or form. Each iteration stands alone, and doesn’t share anything that the previous release showcased. Each game is different, with different play styles being highlighted each year.


The Underground pair (’03 and ’04) showcased an open city focused on street racing and car modifications. Most Wanted (’05), open country, was about out-running cops. Carbon (’06), urban setting, was about crew and drifting. ProStreet (’07) went away from the street racing and focused on closed courses – to mixed reviews. NFS Undercover (’08) brought back the story lines and open city, where we play an undercover cop chasing down street racers, trying to recapture the Underground glory days. This is also where the series would shift between different developers each year.

NFS Shift (’09) and Shift 2 (2011) brought back the closed course circuit races, highlighting pure racing and drifting, and focused on authenticity, with the returning dash-cam. Hot Pursuit (2010) brought back the open city and cop-centered chases. At this point Criterion, known for their Burnout series, took the helm as developer, and takedowns and crashes became a key point in the series for alternating years.


NFS The Run (2011) switched to the Frostbite Engine and focused on a break-neck story as the player sped across the United States in a cannon-ball run. Featuring a mix of highway and city races, and big action pieces, with a story, and cut-scenes. Then the series switched back to their roots with another Most Wanted (2012) and Rivals (2013). Again, focusing on chasing or being chased, and taking down opponents.

EA then took a year off in 2014, after Rivals was released, to ‘refocus’ their brand, to figure out what Need For Speed really meant. To ‘reboot’. But calling it a reboot seems odd. Anyways, as it turns out, what Need For Speed really means is: Speed, Style, Crew, Build, and Outlaw; the pillars of the series. Mash them all together and you have Need For Speed (2015). And then just add a gorgeous new engine, and tack on Live-Action cutscenes, composited over real-time CG backgrounds. Now you’re set.


As its first “true” next-gen NFS game, EA‘s Need For Speed 2015 was slightly limited at its outset, its catalogue of cars left a lot to be desired when you compare it to Forza Horizons 2, and it hosted an online city with not a lot of online options. AND its actual races were not that diverse. You have your time trials where you drift around corners. You have your points-focused drift races, where you drift around corners to earn points. There’s the group races, checkpoint or free roam, where you face off against anywhere from one to four opponents, and drift around corners. And then you have group drift races, where, as a pack, you tackle the hills, and drift around corners to earn points. The closer you remain as a group, the higher the point multiplier.

Then the cops show up, sometimes even during the races, where you’re asked to escape. Each race, as you progress through the story becomes a little bit more difficult. But as long as you have the right car for the race (checkpoint or drift) then you actually remain fairly competitive throughout. Minor upgrades to your engine parts is all it takes.


So, repeat that a hundred times, and that’s the scope of the game. There are collectibles thrown around the map as well, vistas, doughnut spots to ruin your expensive tires, and car parts.

The map is fairly large, comparable to other NFS open-city games. There’s not a lot of traffic, and you may come across a handful of other online racers competing in a race of their own, or running away from cops. Similar to NFS Rivals, NFS 2015 hosts an online-only world, filled with leaderboard tracking and friend suggested races. Having only a small grouping of other online players in your world is a nice feature, but I’m glad its limited as the online world is persistent. So when you’re competing in a race, you’ll likely see another player drive by, or through your race. The game takes place primarily at night, on rain-slick roads, so corners or other traffic isn’t always easy to see. Some parts of the city, oddly, as you drive through may suddenly be lit by the dawning sun, and these instances are sudden and jarring, like opening the door of a dark lit, blinds-closed room, into the morning sun. Like we’ve been racing all night, and suddenly realize that it’s morning, and should probably get some sleep. Not like we have a job or anything.


Aside from the jarring sunrise, visually the game is absolutely stunning. A lot of love has gone into the cars and designs, and effects. The rain slick roads, reflections, and lighting at night are all life-like. The city has a lot of destructible elements, and some that are frustratingly not, which as a result will have you looking at the slow-motion spectacle that is you crashing your car. The city streets and buildings are nicely textured, but the buildings especially are somewhat plain to look at. But the developers at Ghost Games probably aren’t expecting you to be looking at the low-poly box buildings for long.

Need for Speed™ (6)

As mentioned, the game’s story focuses on the 5 pillars that define Need For Speed, and you play a part in a small group of racers waiting to be noticed by the 5 real-world motorsport and street racing icons, who each represent one pillar. As you race through the story, and earn reputation in each focus, you then get to face off against each icon. The final races have you facing off against all the story characters and each Icon to become the Ultimate Icon. Happy ending. Fin.


There’s been a lot of bemoaning about the story in Need For Speed, and how it’s told through terribly acted Live-Action cutscenes. Everyone is super hyped, or super jealous, and they live out of trailers, or auto work-shops, listening to Dead Mou5, and drinking Monster. It’s terribly cliché, but it doesn’t actually detract or distract from the game.

The game is still fun. Sure it feels like all the races are exactly the same. And there are some gripes about the loose handling, or that in designing the game in Frostbite, the developers have turned the vehicles into four million pound bricks that can hardly take a jump. The lack of interesting things in the city did make the trips between each race kind of tedious, and instead, I found myself just transporting to the start line, as the loading times were minimal.


Since its release last November, the game has seen some free love from EA and Ghost Games. They’ve made some of the Icon cars playable, added a race tournament, they’ve bolstered the player’s vehicle garage from 5 to 10 store-able vehicles, added Drag style races, and some Roadster vehicles, as well as improved some of the online functionality, adding the ability to challenge other racers on the fly, or invite them to take part in the campaign races. They’ve also added a photographer mode to capture your vehicle, and your beautifully hand-crafted artistic wraps, in-game. Almost like they knew they were releasing the game less than full. Extra effort has been put into the online functionality and competitive racing scene.

Now, after release, the game feels complete, and a better positioned contender for your harddrive’s storage or internet’s bandwidth than in November. Not to mention, at a lower price point.


In the Achievement department, the game is very generous. Most are story related, and will be unlocked by just completing all the races. Every new DLC addition adds new achievements as well, to encourage people to come back, as these are overly generous in Gamerscore numbers.

Notable Achievements
Choo Choo! (Complete the drift train mission with the Risky Devil crew) – 30G

Wrap It Up (Download a Shared Wrap) – 80G
Filter Addict (Take a snapshot with a filter in the Snapshot Pro Mode) – 80G

See? Super generous.