IDL NEWS – And Tuesday Blues . . .

I slept through Monday, so here’s some news.

So this week I’ll be just rattling off a few things as I prep for my trip down to Seattle for PAX Prime 2015. As I mentioned on Sunday, I’m not sure what my internet connection will be like so I don’t know if I’ll be posting a daily update or not, but expect a full report when I return.

Today I’ll discuss the new games and deal, and the news. I’ll have a review for Far Cry 4 up before I leave, and some discussions on what I’ll be playing next.

Dirt Rally Gets Multiplayer
One of my favourite racing games have been the Dirt series by Codemasters. They’re currently working on the pivotal rally game in Dirt Rally, currently only available on the PC through Steam Early Access. Good and bad I suppose. Good in that they’re funding the game as they go along, working out all the bugs before they release it on the consoles. BAD, in that I can’t play it yet. With Xbox’s Game Preview, maybe they can work something out.

Codemasters has recently added rallycross mode which is their head-to-head multiplayer mode. The free update also includes 3 new cars and a new map set in Hell, Sweden.

Master Chief’s Face
343 Industries has confirmed that that Master Chief’s face will not be revealed in Halo 5: Guardians. Only Bungie knows that little secret anyways ;).

NHL 16’s GM Mode
Recently revealed in the latest NHL 16 video was the game’s bolstered GM mode, and how to help shape the future of your favourite franchise by handling teammate relationships and morale.

September’s Games With Gold
Microsoft has revealed its monthly Games With Gold free games for September:

Xbox One
The Deer God. Available from Sept 1 – 31
Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition. Available from Sept 16 – Oct 15. Check out my review from the 360 version and just add visual quality to the pluses ;).

Xbox 360
Battlestations: Pacific. available from Sept 1 – 15
Crysis 3. Available 16 – 31

This Week’s Deals With Gold

Xbox One

  • EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR – 33%
  • Life is Strange – 50%
  • Life is Strange Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) – 20%
  • Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – 33%
  • Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones – 50%
  • The Swapper – 33%
  • BADLAND: Game of the Year Edition – 50%
  • Worms Battlegrounds – 50%

I don’t know what the difference is between Life is Strange and Life is Strange Complete Season? Rory McIlroy’s golf game I am looking forward to, but I will wait till it hits the EA Access vault. And make sure to check out my review of The Swapper and BADLAND.

Xbox 360

  • All Gears of War 3 DLC and Map Packs – 50%
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – 50%
  • Life is Strange – 50%
  • Life is Strange Season Pass (Episodes 2-5) – 20%
  • GRID 2 – 60%
  • GRID 2 All-in-Pack – 60%

I’m gonna go listen to Rick and Morty’s DOTA 2 Announcer lines now, having never played or watched the game.


IDL FEATURE – Day 4: Driving – DIRT 2

The second category is Driving Games. Driving Games is another category with a plethora of games to choose from, and one that can share games with other categories. For this example however, I wanted games that were strictly driving, and what better companies to look towards but Codemasters, EA, and Turn 10. Even Rockstar has thrown their hat in from time to time with their Midnight Club series. There are the Forza’s, and Need For Speed’s, F1’s and Rally. Driving games, like first person shooters, can make you feel different emotions while playing, but these are mainly just different levels of exhilaration, and sometimes relief. Hitting the tarmac with tires screeching can feel glorious if done well, and fish-tailing around bends while climbing as thin dirt path can be terrifying. Some teams have managed to do it better than others.

For the driving category, for lack of more space, I was only able to choose one game: Codemasters’ Colin McRae DIRT 2.

With the Honorable mention going to Forza Horizons.

Day 4 – Colin McRae: DIRT 2

Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters

When Colin McRae Dirt came out, it wasn’t by any stretch, the first of its kind. At its most fundamental, you’ll find a rally driving game. It wasn’t even the first rally game by Codemasters, as they had done Colin McRae Rally games prior. But they had taken a break from the series, and come back to the next generation a little more invigorated.

Dirt 1 was raw and dirty. It was also true to the sport. The cars were beautifully rendered and realized, and sounded real. Almost guttural. When doing the hill climbs, you felt the speed and the desperation of the vehicles as you expertly corner the next bend, dirt scattering everywhere behind the tires.

At the end of each segment or portion of the race, knowing you were leading the pack, felt like an achievement, as the game wasn’t easy. The main difficulty was the damage mechanic. The realism and realization that your car was literally falling apart around you was its selling point. Each rock, poorly landed jump or tree ripped components of your car away and with some of the rally segments – and damage – carrying over to the next day or 3, each car component is vital. A poorly judged corner and subsequent smashed rear brake might make the different between 1st and 10th tomorrow.

Rally wasn’t the only mode either; there were buggies, trucks hill climbs, and rival races.

Now, Dirt 2 took all this, added a festival feel to the campaign, and tacked on Gymkhana modes and tournaments.


Dirt 2 understandably had to make some sacrifices with the sequel by toning down the damage a bit, but adding a rewind feature and some water physics with matching windshield wipers. OH! They also added the option of hanging your own Xbox Avatar as a rear-view mirror ornament, to my child-like amazement – me, stupidly clapping and laughing dumbly as little iRogan hangs on, upside-down, for his life. A feature that no other game – to my knowledge, has replicated. Not even subsequent DIRT or GRID games sadly…

Dirt 2 was a cleaner, sportier version of Dirt 1, but this made it more fun all the same. It stepped up the visuals by making everything brighter and more colourful, but the rewind function did take away some of the difficulty curve that the first one had no problem reminding us of.

<– Yesterday – RAGE
Tomorrow – Third-Person Category: Spec Ops – The Line –>