IDL NEWS – Destiny, PAX, and New Games

I posted earlier today (and updated), the Xbox Ultimate Summer Game Sale, but there’s also more Xbox Deals With Gold to discuss, Destiny rewarding their most dedicated fans, and some PAX news. 

No new games were released, but they made up for it I guess by unloading a ton of sales.

Bungie Rewarding Dedicated  Fans
has announced a special reward for first-year Destiny players who complete a certain set of challenges, called The Moments of Triumph, before September 9th. Some of the hardcore fans out there will have already completed some of these, as the data is being pulled retroactively, but here’s the list for those who want to strive for the exclusive emblem:


The Moments of Triumph are:

  • Apprentice of Light — Reach level 20
  • Light of the Garden — Finish the Black Garden mission
  • Light in the Soul  — Finish The Dark Below story
  • Light of the Reef — Finish the House of Wolves story
  • Bane of Skolas — Defeat Prison of Elders on hard
  • Bane of Atheon — Finish the Vault of Glass raid on hard
  • Bane of Crota — Finish the Crota’s End raid on hard
  • Public Servant — Complete 50 public events
  • Crucible Gladiator — Win 100 Crucible matches
  • Chest Hunter — Find all 20 golden chests

PAX Prime 2015 – Kim Swift
Prime’s Keynote speaker will be none other than Kim Swift, one of the creators of a little game called Portal.

Kim Swift is currently a Senior Game Designer at Amazon Game Studio and her resume shows she previously worked on another little game called Left 4 Dead, among others. She’ll be telling stories and sharing insights about her career.

PAX Prime runs from August 28-31. I’ll be at the event itself, and adding a section up top, as we near the event. So stick around for further coverage of the event.

E3 Game Critics Awards
The Game Critics Awards results for E3 have been revealed, and I’ve chosen a few of the notable ones, shown below:

  • Best of Show – Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)
  • Best Original Game – Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/SCE)
  • Best Console Game – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SCE)
  • Best PC Game – Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)
  • Best Action/Adventure Game – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SCE)
  • Best Independent Game – No Man’s Sky (Hello Games/SCE)

Deals With Gold

Xbox One
Lords of the Fallen – 60%
Destiny Expansion Pass – 25%
Destiny DLC I – The Dark Below – 25%
Destiny DLC II – House of Wolves – 25%

Xbox 360
Monaco – 60%
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men – 75%
Kane & Lynch 2 – 80%
Destiny Expansion Pass – 25%
Destiny DLC I – The Dark Below – 25%
Destiny DLC II – House of Wolves – 25%

Hopefully some more news tomorrow, but it’s definitely slowing down on the overall news front, and new releases as we hit the summer lulls. It’s all just sales while we wait for September, and then the holiday season.

This would probably be the time for me to start expanding the different features of the site, like articles, shorts, and E3 opinions. Or maybe play some games.


IDL NEWS – PC Woes – Batman Arkham Knight Recommended Settings

Today in the news there’s tears coming out of the PC camp as Batman Arkham Knight PC edition burned up in the atmosphere as its launch reached Earth. Also some Destiny stuff.

Bungie’s Plan for Timed Exclusives and The Taken King
Bungie has confirm that it will be releasing the extra content, originally restricted to the Playstation consoles once the Sony timed-exclusive expires later this year. This will bring a couple of extra strike missions and new exotic  to the Xbox this Fall. The strike will include the original version and a new refreshed version included with The Taken King.

The Taken King is released on September 15th, and will be available as a collector’s edition for $40, or for those who already own Destiny and the two expansion packs will now be able to pick up the content for $20


I guess it’s coming soon?

Batman-Arkham-Knight-Dev-Reveals-More-About-Main-Villain-s-Identity-457611-2Can Rocksteady Solve The Riddle of Batman’s PC Problems
Rocksteady had acknowledged the problems with the PC release of Batman Arkham Knight, and stated that they’re working with the graphics teams and NVIDIA and AMD. AMD GPU’s can expect hitches and stuttering and for the game to be run off an SSD harddrive. No timeframe for the patch.

Recommended Hardware Specs: XBox One or PS4

Warner Bros has since suspended sales of the troubled PC game until the issues have resolved, and are pointing fans towards the Steam Return Policy if they’re upset and want a refund.

I’ve nearly completed Badland and will have a review up shortly, and will be the feature of The Achievement of the Week, played in solo, and co-op, and I’m still playing The Crew and Splinter Cell BlacklistSplinter Cell being wrapped up shortly as well. Fingers crossed. More on these tomorrow, plus a round up of all the games I’m playing.

Yesterday I discussed a little more about E3 and some highlights from the show, notably Rise of the Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid V, Dues Ex Mankind Divided and Dishonored. I’ll be writing some of these over the weekend for next week.

November 7th, I’ll be participating in a 24 hour video game marathon to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Network. The event is Extra Life.

“Play Games. Heal Kids”

I participated last year, and I’m happy to be doing it again. I stream the whole event through Twitch as well. I’ve included a link on the main bar as well to highlight the event.

Tomorrow I’ll be going into more detail on my current queue of games, and discuss the reviews coming around the corner.


NEWS – How Does This Thing Work Again?

Lets get this thing back on track, the inconsistency is killing me…

Visceral Games Boss Leaves

Sad to see, but Steve Papoutsis, the Executive Producer on Battlefield Hardline, has left his position as General Manager of Visceral Games. Unsure at this point is if he still works for EA. Hardline, which was just recently released is still expected to receive upcoming story-related DLC. Papoutsis is also known for his work on the Dead Space series, a series which I quite enjoyed.

GTA V Retail

Grand Theft Auto V’s DVD retail version is presumably set to ship as a 7-disc box set. I guess Blu-ray is uncommon on PC? DVD it is. I’d recommend just buying the digital copy ;). Tomorrow!!!

Much DVDs

Much DVDs

Don Mattrick Steps Down as Zynga CEO

Zynga, the mobile games giant, announced that their new-ish CEO, Don Mattrick is stepping down after just 2 years. Mattrick was the former President of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft until 2013 (before the Xbox One launch) when he joined Zynga.

“I am excited about the company’s trajectory and wish the best for Mark, Zynga and NaturalMotion as I plan to return to Canada to pursue my next challenge,” Mattrick said.

Mankind Divided

Check out the launch trailer for Dues Ex: Mankind Divided:

You’re welcome!

Black Ops: Another One

Call of Duty Black Ops III was announced, no gameplay trailer yet, just a teaser. Activision has confirmed that the game will release in 2015, and it is the Treyarch team that will be releasing it, now that all three teams are working in the 3-year dev cycle. It looks like this will be the first true next-gen exclusive Call of Duty game. Black Ops 3 takes place in a “dark, twisted” future where the lines between humanity and our technology are blurred. Military robotics are the core of warfare.



EA Access

EA’s NHL 15 is now free for subscribers of EA Access. Too bad I already have this game :p. After 3 sports game in a row, I’m curious what EA’s next Vault game will be.

Too bad the NHL 15 has been neutered as far as features, otherwise you’d be seeing my glorious photo ops.

Destiny House of Wolves Expansion

Destiny’s 2nd expansion, House of Wolves is set to release on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015.

The 2nd expansion will not have a new Raid and will instead offer a three-player cooperative multiplayer arena mode.

Bungie announced that a new Raid would be made for release later this year, giving weight to the information out there that states the biggest content release yet to come, is coming out after the expansion release.

Maybe its time to step back in to the fight.

All caught up on news? Good.

Tomorrow will be new games day – prep your wallets! Wednesday I’ll talk about the current queue of games. Thursday will be an iReview, and Friday will see us off into the weekend.

I feel I’ve been kind of slacking off here, and I gotta get back on track.

See you when I get there.


Day 4: iReview – DESTINY – Convoluted By Design

Developer: Bungie
Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher: Activision
Reviewed on: Xbox One

I love you Destiny, I love you not….

I started off a proponent for Bungie’s newest edition to their family. Sure, they were quick (10 years) to toss off their allegiances to the Microsoft family and their Halo children. It’s understandable. 343 was quick to pick up the reigns and break the Master Chief Collection.

I was, however, a little apprehensive when they signed a 10 year agreement with Activision as a publisher for their next game/dynasty. Activision publishes World of Warcraft, and spams us with Call of Duty games afterall. But Bungie is a company of bright people, so I had faith.

We are all slaves to Destiny

We are all slaves to Destiny

This new agreement turned into a new brand: Destiny. Destiny is to be something huge, something epic. Destiny is something to change the gaming landscape. And maybe, fingers crossed, become another household name, like Halo. What we have right now is a First Person Multiplayer Shooter, or “shared-world shooter”, with its gameplay not unlike its Halo predecessors, but with an online community to support it. What we got was, arguably, not a lot, but with the promise of more to come, and early talks of sequels already.

Bungie and Activision are promising a 10 year life cycle for Destiny, whatever it is, or will be. These partners have invested a lot of time and money and effort into this project and only time will tell if it truly pays off. Financially, it’s already paid off, but when you ask for people’s opinions of the game, you’ll find mixed responses. I’m not of negative opinions towards Destiny, I don’t intend to waste time saying off-putting things about games in general. I play games that I like, and I stop playing, and quickly forget about those I don’t like.

I could go into details about the shortcomings of Destiny’s story, its lack of any real narrative or backstory. How there’s maybe 3 cutscenes, and the rest is fed through unenthused voice-work and text on the screen while the game loads the upcoming mission.

This uncommitted, unwillingness resembles the first time you meet the Speaker, the Voice of the Traveler, Earth’s savior, and now deteriorating squatter. Wait…what? Ok, start over.

Destiny is to be something huge, something epic. Destiny is something to change the gaming landscape.

We play the game as a Guardian, with the choice of 1 of 3 races: Humans, Awoken, and Exo. We are also given the choice of 3 classes: Titan, Warlock, and Hunter. Who are these races? What’s their story? You’re guess is as good as mine.

What we DO know is that The Guardians are the last defenders of humanity, of the last safe city on Earth after the Collapse. Earth was, at one point, very prosperous and advanced. The humans were able to spread out and colonize planets in our Solar System. The Collapse came about and dissolved all of these efforts and nearly brought mankind to extinction. The only humans left were saved by the Traveler, a giant spherical celestial body, or ship, or entity, who had arrived centuries earlier, and who was responsible for Earth original prosperity. Mankind again strived for growth and repopulation of the Solar System, but the Traveler is dying, and there are threatening alien races occupying the System’s previously terra-formed planets. As a Guardian, we are tasked with investigating and eliminating the Darkness, that, which ails the Traveler, and destroying the encroaching alien threats before humanity is wiped out.

We are the three best friends

We are the three best friends

As intimated, we have 3 class choices, each having 2 sub-class traits. The Titan is the brute of the trio, relying more on armour, and melee abilities. The Titan’s Striker subclass allows the player to release a huge ground smash, killing anything within its range. The Titan’s Defender subclass can provide a protective spherical shield to the group. The Titan is equipped with a jetpack , allowing access to higher elevations which may lead to some truly epic ground smash moments – if one was so inclined.

Up next is the Warlock, which can be looked on as the tank/support of the three. Warlocks focus on regaining their health and shields quickly. The Warlocks Voidwalker subclass has the player throw a large Nova Bomb that detonates on impact. The Sunsinger subclass increases all the player’s abilities dramatically for a short time, and reduces all cool downs. When spec’d high enough, they can also revive themselves after death. Warlocks have the ability to glide for a short time to scope out an area or line up the Nova Bomb.

Finally, the Hunter is Destiny’s scout. Quick, and agile, and focused on a quicker combat style. The Hunter’s Golden Gun subclass provides the player with just that, a Golden Gun, for a short burst, and only 3 rounds. Hunters are also equipped with a throwing knife for melee, and the Bladedancer subclasses focuses on a charged blade. Bladedancers can also utilize an invisibility perk.

Destiny’s gameplay, as previously mentioned, is of the FPS genre, but with a Role-Playing MMO feel. We’re equipped with the basics: a primary, secondary, and heavy gun, grenades, and hover bike. We also have to manage 5 types of armour. Complying with RPG expectations, we have an inventory to store our guns and gear that we pickup, and each weapon and piece of armour has experience and perks. Our subclass of choice also levels up and unlocks new perks, and attribute tweaks as we progress. These perks and characteristics allow the player to adjust their Guardian to their preferred play-style.

So, the familiar Halo game mechanics are there.

The game’s features worlds on Earth, the Guardian Tower on Earth (Destiny‘s online hub), the Moon, Venus and Mars. Reportedly more planets to come with expansions and sequels, but these are what we have now. There are a handful of story missions, one or two Strike missions and a Patrol Mission, per planet. Strikes are like the boss missions, and Patrols give you access to the planet to do as you see fit, and maybe partake in a few fetch quests. The structure is thus: story missions can be played alone or in a Fireteam made up of 3 friends. These missions are also shared online, so you’ll see other Guardians running around killing the same enemy respawn groups you’re fighting. Certain portions of the mission get closed off to just your Guardian or Fireteam. These are essentially the dungeons of the game, with the promise of focused firefights and possible loot drops.

The Strike mission is dedicated to the Boss fights. They’re a lengthier mission, higher chances of pick-ups, and experience upon completion. These mission are mandatory 3 player excursions. Patrol is last, and essentially self-explanatory. Solo or in a group, you have free reign of the planet to mine for kills, loot, collectables, or partake in fetch quests. Again, it’s another “shared” mission, so you’ll see other Guardians running around.

So the familiar Halo game mechanics are there, there’s even a personal hover bike to get you around the large levels. The game is very pretty, and I believe this is where Bungie truly shines. Their world creation is nearly unmatched, and the attention to detail is literally seen on the moss covered walls, the sides of structures decayed after decades of wind, where the other face’s side is unblemished, or even the sand slowly floating off the dune tips on Mars. These planets showcase the civilizations that’ve been there, whether it be the remains of the past human colonies, or the recent alien inhabitants. The design shows age, decay, overgrowth and neglect. We’re not told what happened; only that something happened. We’re shown the remains of colonies past, but not encouraged to look any deeper, or ask questions, just look upon it and wonder and reflect. There are sights and vistas to marvel at, but save for the structures, there’s no history, no evidence of life. This is how fan fiction is written.

There's nothing I hate more than an alien with no respect for history...

There’s nothing I hate more than an alien with no respect for history…

Now, at this point, with maybe 8 to 10 hours invested, cracks in this game’s gorgeous exterior start to show. The leveling aspect and the dark role-playing grime start to show teeth. Your character’s max experience level is 20. You’ll reach this in 8 hours by just playing the story. Level 20 is when you get access to the Tower’s goodies. These goods are still kept out of reach, where the vendors that sell their armour and weapons all require you to meet certain requirements. These demands are met by endlessly playing the same story missions, and Strikes, and fetch quests, and multiplayer PvP matches, over and over. To level beyond 20, you must acquire newer armour with an attribute called Light. Found through drops if you’re lucky, but to buy the legendary gears will require time and perseverance.

Accessing the game’s first Raid requires a level 26 character. The time and patience to tolerate this tedium will not be for everyone, and the scope isn’t fully explained to begin with. The game at this point takes on a life of its own, and becomes something entirely different. “So you’ve beat the story missions? That’s great!”, it proclaims. “The darkness still loom”. Come back and play the same tired missions some more. There’s weekly and daily showcased Strikes. Come play with friends at the Heroic difficulty if you dare. You might get something cool. Or come and play for hours in the PvP arena to rake up enough experience and points to buy a gun or a helmet off this vendor. Some can tolerate this. Some might not have known what they were getting into when they purchased Destiny. Some might ask why the grinding is necessary and level 26 is a requirement to access the Raid.

Maybe the layered murkiness is there to confuse us, keep us returning, showing a little more at a time, until the next expansion is released. Maybe I’ll continue to play this game with friends, in the spirit of fun. I don’t anticipate reaching level 26 or accessing the Raid. Maybe the DLC will change things for those out there like me, behind the curve, looking for the Light. I won’t know. Why invest in two pricey expansions, further supporting a game that didn’t have the sufficient content to justify the initial buy-in?

For those who like Halo, and repetitious acts in futility.

Notable Achievements:
Change of Heart (Reverse a decision you made in an upgrade grid) – 20G
The Life Exotic (Obtain and equip a piece of exotic gear) – 20G

E3 2014 – Sony Press Conference

Well, its finally time. The final conference of the night. Hopefully trying to end big, Sony Computer Entertainment’s Press Conference is up.


Predictions: Uncharted 4, The Last Guardian (finally), Maybe something from The Order 1886.

Sony opened big with Destiny, revealing The Traveler, stating we’re Earth’s last hope. This game has everything: its big, its a FPS, it’s an RPG, it’s got a MMO style campaign. It’s gonna be huge. Bungie’s new world is going to be a big investment, and it’s obvious that PlayStation is backing them pretty hard.

Andrew House – President and Group CEO of SCE comes out and describes how the PlayStation brand caters to gamers, releasing the best games on the best console. July 17th will be the Destiny Playstation beta, and PS4 owners will get a first-look alpha on Thursday, June 12th, 2014. They also announced an exclusive Destiny White PS4 Bundle on September 9th, 2014 for the full launch of the game.

The Order 1886 is up next, and we get a nice reveal trailer/ gameplay blend. PS4 exclusive. Dark setting with our hero getting attacked by a zombie-like man who transforms into a werewolf. Very cinematic, very dark, very cool setting.

Indy IP up next – Entwined. Shows two very vibrant origami like creatures. Brought to us by the dev Pixel Opus, their first game. You control both characters at once, using both joysticks, in a tunnel-like obstacle based game. Available now on PS4.

SuckerPunch’s Infamous: Second Son announced stand-alone DLC featuring a female lead. Doesn’t require the original copy of the game. Infamous Second Son: First Light. August 2014.

Blazing along with new exclusives, Little Big Planet 3 announced. 4 player co-op with 3 new character: Oddsock, a dog which can jump off walls, Toggle, a fat guy who’s strong enough to push object or weigh them down, but can shrink to fit through tight spaces, and Swoop, a parrot that can fly, and carry other players. November release.

Shuehei Yoshida announced that LBP1 and LBP 2 user created levels will be transferable to LBP 3 which enhanced graphics.

From Software announced Bloodborne, a new gruesome creepy title. Gory fighting, zombie dogs. Coming 2015.

Next up is the big Far Cry 4 gameplay reveal. Ubisoft’s conference gave us the opening introductory sequence, now we get to explore. Location is Kyrat, high in the mountains. Very much a Far Cry game, and it looks gorgeous. much improved engine. You’re fitted with a wingsuit and grappling hook, which allows you to swing over gaps or scale the side of cliffs. You can shoot and drive, hi-jack other cars while driving, and wing-suit out of the vehicle if you happen to plummet off a cliff. Very bright and colourful locale. Looks like there’s 2 player co-op options as well. Second player is introduced and arrives on a little helicopter to pick you up. Definitely new uses for the wildlife and an elephant helps you attack a secured fortress. Tagline “every second is a story” November 2014. Exclusive to the PS4, a friend can join your game even if they don’t own a copy.

Adam Boyes – Publisher and Developer Relations comes out and talks about letters from the fans and what they want:

Zombies: a very fun, colourful trailer is before us showing a zombie outbreak, as a runner with headphones misses all the events behind him, as he slowly turns himself. Very cool. Pretty gross. Dead Island 2. Deep Silver does cool trailers.

Diablo 3 PS4 edition announced, gets bundled with exclusive The Last Of Us enemies and themed dungeon, and exclusive character class.

We get another montage trailer for Battlefield: Hardline, basically summarizing the gameplay heist reveal we got from EA earlier today. Highlights on the zipline and grapple gameplay mechanics.

Fans want exclusives: Disney Infinity 2.0 will have Hulk on Playstation. Destiny will have lots of PlayStation exclusive maps and guns.

Jumping into more from the indy developer section of the conference. Paradox Interactive announces Magicka 2 – Learn to Spell, again. Should probably learn to spell magic first. Tim Schafer and Double Fine remastering Grim Fandango, exclusive to PS4 and Vita. Devolver announced some indy games coming exclusively to PlayStation console: Broforce, Not a Hero, Hotline Miami 2, Titan Souls, The TALOS Principal, and others. Journey’s dev, Giant Squid announced their new game too: an underwater setting with a scuba guy: ABZU. Looks incredible.

Last but not least from the indies – No Man’s Sky from Hello Games, an infinite space and planet procedure game. Every player starts on their own unique plants. Vast and boundless. Planets have wildlife, and water habitats, players get an X-Wing to fly around, there’s space ships and dinosaurs, and then you can leave the planet’s atmosphere and there’s space battles, and you can fly right into another generated planet’s atmosphere. Pretty incredible showing from this tiny team. #mind_blown. Colourful and vibrant, no two planets alike.

Hardware time: Sony’s PS Camera solo sales exceed their expectation, announced their VR, Project Morpheus. And then outcome the sales and social numbers. Later this year, utilizing the sharing functionality, PS4 users will be able to publish videos right to Youtube.

A quick sizzle reel is shown advertising all the free to play titles coming to the Playstation consoles, and Vita. 25 titles coming. Truly free to play, doesn’t require PS+.

Playstation Now: open Beta starts July 31st for PS4 in Canada and US. PS3 and Vita shortly after, later to Sony TVs. 100 titles during the beta to test rental duration and pricing.

Sony still showing strong support for Vita, with 100 titles in development, and the ability for remote play a huge selling point, and cross title purchases. Playstation TV, their little peripheral, that allows sharing over 2 TVs, and streaming Playstation Now, remote play, $99.

The conference is getting a little stale at this point. Sony, as a company, is more than just the games, so they have to sell us on their other hardware endeavors, and services. But wrap it up.

We get a gameplay reveal of Mortal Kombat X. Looks great. Sub and Scorpion of course, and two new characters. Not as smooth as the rendered reveal, but looks real good. More brutal x-ray moves, smooth fluid, BRUTAL animations and effects, and new environmental interactions, and weapons.

Back to Sony Services to wrap up the hardware side of the company. Brian Michael Bendis comes out to reveal Powers TV show, 2 seasons green lit. Sony original, only on Playstation. Rachet and Clank the movie, 2015 and a remastering of the original game, for PS4.

Alright, moving on, time to bring out the heavy hitters, Sony, to wrap the show.

Last of Us Remastered, included Left Behind DLC, July 29th, 2014.

Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain trailer. The game looks incredible. The story, as always is confusing and convoluted, and jumps around. Hard to follow, but I’m stoked. Kojima was right a couple weeks ago when he said the trailer was a little hard to watch. There’s some gruesome looking parts. No announce date of course.

Rockstar, an E3 rarity, announced GTA V for PS4 this fall. Online profile will carry over from 360 and PS3. I’m sure this will be available on Xbox 1 too, but Sony got the right to announce it.

Finally closing in on the end of the show now: Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham Knight. Recently delayed, and thank god for that. Extra time is a blessing well deserved to polish this masterpiece. Visuals – incredible. Gameplay with the Batmobile – amazing. Scope of the city – Daunting. Batman’s new suit is ridiculously high-tech. Armored batmobile that goes into a tank-like mode, and can strafe. Batman wrecks this city. Rocksteady said this game would be faster paced, no more climbing through vents, you shoot through vents, and you can launch yourself out of the car, and it’s AI will patrol the city while you fly around. Fast maneuverability is key in this show-case. Next gen only – Playstation gets exclusive Scarecrow nightmare missions. Can’t wait.

Alright, the time has come, what will Sony close the show on?

You guess it, Uncharted 4. Nathan Drake and Sulley, one last time. Back to the jungle, and Drake’s model and face looks damn near real. A very dark and ominous feeling to the trailer, but he’s still wearing that wedding ring. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. 2015.

Sizzle reel to close the show. Thanks for coming everyone. 19 games shown.

No The Last Guardian from Team ICO. There’s always E3 2015.

Thanks for hanging with my today, it’s been tiring.
Stick around for new reviews and previews coming soon.

iRogan signing off.