NEWS – Some Catching Up to Do

Alright, we have some catching up to do, so let’s stick to the big stuff, shall we?

Today we’ll talk more about: Star Wars Battlefront, Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed, The Last of Us, Rainbow Six Siege, DOOM, Need for Speed, Halo MCC, and Evolve.

 I’ll also briefly talk about the games I have on the go and up-coming, and plans for E3.


Star Wars Battlefront: No Ironsights, Squads or Classes
EA and Dice are doing away with some of the expected FPS features included in their previous games like Battlefield. Star Wars Battlefront won’t have ironsights for its common blasters, but some rifles will still have scopes. Looks like you’ll be shooting from the hip. Also, there will be no more Classes or Squads. You can outfit your character however you see fit, with the items you’ve unlocked, and there will be a “partner” system, that will allow you to see your friend on the UI, and will allow you to spawn on them.

Dishonored Next-Gen Release?
Looks like there might be a Definitive Edition release of 2012’s Dishonored; a fantastic game that I’d like to play through again. Fingers crossed.

New Details on the next Assassin’s Creed
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will feature two main playable characters, one of whom is a woman. Brother and sister duo – Jacob and Evie Frye. The game will take place in Victorian London in 1686. The brother will be taking the lead in the story in terms of playtime, approximately 75% of the story. October 23rd, 2015 release date on the PC, Xbox One and PS4.

The Last of Us’ Left Behind DLC Now Standalone
Playstation and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was one of 2013’s greatest games. The Left Behind DLC featuring Ellie is now available as a standalone package, no longer requiring The Last of Us game.

Rainbow Six Siege Release Date
Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege has found its release window: October 13th, 2015.

DOOM Gameplay Teased, Full Reveal at E3
Bethesda has revealed that it will be showcasing its DOOM reboot at its E3 press conference on June 14th. I’ll discuss my E3 plans at the bottom.

Need for Speed 2015
Electronic Arts and Ghost Games are rebooting Need for Speed, and it’s titled just that: Need for Speed. EA promises “deep customization, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative that pulls you through the game”. Seems like it’s going back to the Underground days? Release date is November 3rd, 2015, and will require an online connection.

need-for-speed-announce-01

“It’s been going from studio to studio, and creatives were creative, but there wasn’t really a strategic way of thinking of what the brand is and what it stands for,” EA Executive Producer Marcus Nilsson. “For sure, it’s been delivering great experiences, but not experiences that can build on top of each other to become better and better necessarily.

“If you look at the last few games – Hot Pursuit, The Run, Shift, Rivals, Most Wanted – and you asked people, ‘What does Need for Speed stand for?’, you’d get a million different answers.

Halo 3: ODST Re-mastered Now Available
The re-mastered edition of Halo: ODST for the Halo Master Chief Collection, is now available for those who played the game during the launch window.

Evolve’s New Arena Mode Free
Evolve has a new update and it’s free, and it’s a new mode: Arena. The 4 Hunters face off against a stage 2 monster in that typical 4 v 1 method. The change is that it’s in a small enclosure now, and it’s best of 3. No longer are the hunter’s required to  track down and chase the monster. Take-Two recently announced that Evolve is permanent franchise for the publisher, joining Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto, among others.


So I recently went through my queue of games that I currently have on the go:

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China
Assassin’s Creed IV – Blag Flag
Battlefield Hardline
Borderlands – The Pre-Sequel
Contrast
Destiny
Far Cry 4
Splinter-Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360)
State of Decay
Tales From the Borderlands
The Crew

Contrast I should be able to wrap up pretty quick. Unmechanical is a quick puzzle game I just finished recently, and there’s a review for that on Friday. I recently completed Sniper Elite III as well, with a review around the corner.

I have a few games on the shelf waiting to be played: Metro 2033 and Last Light bundle, Badland GOTY that I picked up today, Assassin’s Creed Unity (after IV), Shadow of Mordor. I’d like to give The Evil Within another shot, but who knows. Also, out in the wild is Evolve, Alien Isolation, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. These are homeless, out on the streets, looking for a nice warm home on my hard-drive.


Lastly, E3 is just around the corner. I’m going to be posting a new section for E3 news on the title bar, and I’ll be watching the press conferences on Sunday, June 14th, and Monday June 15th, and live blogging those all day.

Exciting stuff is just around the corner: New Games and deals tomorrow, early reviews and What I’m playing on Thursday, an iReview on Friday. Stick around, as I’m back.

-iRogan

NEWS – Forzas, Far Crys, Borderlands, oh my.

First things first, but not necessarily in that order: New Design.

I’m not sure if I like it yet, as visually, I really prefer the whole text-blog look. I find the feels of the tile mosaic overwhelming, but I can understand how reading the previous way, things get overlooked. These are raw emotions.

We’ll see how it goes for now. Once you actually start filtering things down into categories its easier to find things. I’ll start titling things to their respective categories, which I had previously only done with reviews.

Also posted over the weekend was a new screenshots page. So far I have Forza Horizons 2, GTA V (360 edition), and Saints Row III. I’m really liking the new screenshot options on the Xbox One, so expect some from Far Cry 4 once the Upload app gets up-dated. 😉

GetPhoto

Earlier today I posted a quick review of Forza Horizons 2‘s presentation of Fast and Furious tie-in game content. While not bad, its weird how it all came about, presented as its own stand-alone thing, with achievements, and free for a limited time. Its nothing more than a demo of what Forza Horizons 2 is, with some movie-centric cars.

GetPhoto (63)

I completed Episode 1 of Tales from the Borderlands and will be posting a quick review of that for Thursday before starting Episode 2. I’ve also been playing Far Cry 4 a lot, inferred from the mention of screenshots I suppose. Expect a more thorough impression write-up on Wednesday for What I’m Playing feature, and a proper review. I’ve been playing it in co-op but reached a point where further story progression is necessary. The game elements are just so random and hilarious sometimes. I hope to get a Short Story out of that game soon too.

Well enough about me…


Evolve’s New Hunters

Probably better suited to tomorrow’s update, but Evolve is getting a big content update tomorrow, which includes 4 DLC characters. Slim, the new Medic, Sunny, the new Support, Crow, the new Trapper, and Torvald, the new Assault. Behemoth is the new Monster being released.

Sadly I haven’t had the opportunity to try this game yet. It doesn’t cater to my typical game, but if it drops in price like Titanfall, might be worth looking into.

April Games With Gold

To celebrate 100 million games downloads, Microsoft is doubling down on the free Xbox Games with Gold in April:

Xbox One

  • Pool Nation FX
  • Child of Light

Xbox 360

  • Gears of War: Judgment (Available from April 1-15)
  • Terraria (Available from April 1-15)
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Available from April 16-31)
  • Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel (Available from April 16-31)

I’ll give Pool Nation and Child of Light a shot, but I’m not sure it’ll be my style of game. Unfortunately the 360 games I have. 😦

Half-Life 2: Update

The fan-created mod for Half Life 2, titled Half-Life 2: Update has been released on Steam free of charge. The 7GB update has numerous visual enhancements and bug fixes. Half-Life 2 has always been my favourite game and this serves as another opportunity to go back and revisit it. Maybe keep an eye out for some screen shots from that :).

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Requires a day one patch of 16GB on the Xbox One and 8.3GB on the PS4. Yikes. Luckily I have the storage. But do you?

I’m curious how big the game’s install is alone. I’ll be picking this up on Thursday. Eee!

Black Tusk Teasing Gears of War

Its not much, but Black Tusk has teased some Gears of War stuff via a Twitter picture Friday. Just a quick photo from a mo-cap shoot, but its still exciting to know that they are working on another Gears of War.

Gears

Halo 5 Dates

At the end of the HuntTheTruth trailer featuring Master Chief and Locke, the release for Halo 5: Guardians is announced as Oct 27th, 2015.


See you tomorrow with this weeks new games and DLC.

-iRogan

Thursday iReview, Delays, and Cops Vs Robbers

This morning the Review for Evolve was posted, written by a friend I work with. She’s playing it on the PC, and I don’t own it yet. You can find the review here. She even picked out her own notable achievements :O.

Last night I installed Battlefield Hardline, a whopping 43GB on the Xbox One HDD, and I’m excited to play it tonight. I’ll be streaming it on Twitch, and posting my first impressions tomorrow.


In other news:

Titanfall 2 Confirmed

Coming off the heals of the Titanfall one year anniversary, the previously rumoured, and more or less expected, Titan fall 2 was confirmed by Respawn CEO Vince Zampella, and will be a multiplatform release. No official title.

I’ll be playing some more Titanfall this weekend in honor of the anniversary.

Cities: Skyline Open House

Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive have announced its city-building sim Cities: Skylines has wracked up sales of 250,000 in its first 24 hours. There’s still lots of love out there for city sims, especially after the Sim City reboot struggled. A lower price point at $35 definitely helps, and no mandatory online connection required. I’ll be picking this up shortly to share my thoughts. Stay tuned.

Saddness on the Homefront

Homefront: The Revolution has been delayed until 2016.

Dambuster studios picked up the IP for the Homefront franchise off of Crytek UK, who had picked it up off of the now folded THQ. After the acquisition, and in the interest of focusing the efforts for a quality product, the studio has announced the delays. Not really unexpected as there hasn’t been a lot of information about the title.

Go Outside!

-iRogan

Cro0ked Review – EVOLVE – Bring Friends. Get Eaten.

Title: Evolve
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher: 2K (Take-Two Interactive)
Reviewed on: PC

I first heard about Evolve last year, after my friend returned from PAX Prime and told me about this new multiplayer game that had been showcased at the convention. He said that he played a hulking, squid-faced monster, and had to eat wildlife to evolve into a bigger and better beastie so he could kill four of his friends in PvP play.

Come at me bro!

Come at me bro!

Wait. Four friends against you?

Hell yes! Play as the single ferocious monster, or one of four hunters determined to track it down. Evolve is the first one versus four game – a pioneer of a new, interesting take on multiplayer – developed by Turtle Rock Studios (the creators of Left 4 Dead) and published by 2K. The game boasts a myriad of options for you to choose from: as the single player, you get your choice between the beefy Goliath, the long-ranged Kraken, or the swift Wraith. Hunting monsters more your style? There are four Hunter classes to choose from for your four-man team: Assault, who deals the majority of damage; Support, who buffs the hunters; Medic, who heals the hunters; and Trapper, who traps the Monster. Each hunter class has a choice of 3 characters, with the first tier of characters available upon booting up the game. The other two tiers you have to unlock by “mastering” the previous one’s abilities, effectively making sure you’ve played each one enough times to understand how to use them.

Evolve is the first one versus four game – a pioneer of a new, interesting take on multiplayer

The game is currently played in two modes: Skirmish Hunt mode, in which the Hunters must track down and kill the Monster before it evolves to Stage 3 and kills them (or destroys the power relay); or Evacuation mode, which is played over a series of 5 matches – these matches are played over 4 different game modes and will all take place on a different map. Gameplay consists mostly of evading the Hunters and eating wildlife to evolve and acquire new skills as fast as possible when you’re the Monster, and running after tracks, corpses, or fallen trees to stay on your quarry’s trail as the Hunters…then shooting the beast to death once you find it.

Now is the time to PANIC!

Now is the time to PANIC!

The Cons

If you’ve heard of Evolve, you’ve likely heard of 2K’s questionable launch decisions. To start, there were confusing packages available for pre-purchasing the game, priced from $60-$120. For many of them, the content you paid for was not available on launch (and is still not available, but will be…soon™). Evolve was also released with day one DLC which sparked quite a bit of discontent from gamers who just dropped $60+ on the title. The biggest note about the DLC is this – it is currently cosmetic only. TRS has been very clear in stating that all future maps and modes will be made available to everyone free of charge, and that the only DLC that will be paid for are cosmetic weapon or monster skins or new characters.

The game was also plagued with bugs upon release. Hunters dying and dropping like stones through the floor, Monsters turning invisible and progress resets on Xbox One are just a few of the major bugs present in the game right now. There is an upcoming patch to fix these issues, but it’s been a month coming so far, with only the Xbox progression issue fixed to date. The game isn’t unplayable, but a few of these bugs definitely cause frustration for both Hunters and Monster players alike.

Speaking of matches, the matchmaking in the game is getting negative reactions from some players. The matchmaking system allows you to set a role preference, but it prioritizes a human player for the Monster over an AI, so even if you set the Monster as your least-preferred role you may be stuck with it anyway on occasion. Luckily there are no real penalties for leaving a lobby if you don’t want to play the role you’re assigned, just a one-minute timer before you can re-queue, but TRS has indicated this will change in the future due to abuse.

Some players have noted a lack of re-playability for the game, as the modes and maps are limited for now. This con is subjective – it depends on your preferences when you game. If you need badges to pop up every time you kill someone, or see your rank shoot up over everyone else, you may find the game dull after a week or two. For those gamers who look for improving their skills slowly and coordinating with a team, it may be much longer for you.

You really need a microphone. The game is frustrating at best if your team does not communicate, and due to the fast pace and constantly changing engagements, verbal communication is the most effective.

Evolve Monsters

You must always be able to predict what’s next and then have the flexibility to evolve.

The Pros:

This game is fun. It is the most fun I’ve had with a new release in quite some time. The adrenaline rush you get as the Monster is undeniable, and the thrill of chasing a hulking beast through an alien world – knowing it could jump out and kill you at any moment – is exhilarating. This game is even better when played with other people – either friends or randoms. The player community on PC is the only one I can really speak about, and I must say that this game has the least amount of flaming I have ever experienced in a PvP PC game. The community seems to embrace new players, teaching them the ropes and helping them to improve rather than telling them to (expletive) themselves with a (expletive).

You really need a microphone.

I also find that the unlocking system they have in place, though tedious, is essential to furthering your gameplay. It ensures that you have an understanding of each Hunter character before moving along the line to try the next one. This comes in especially handy during matchmaking, where you may not get the role you prefer. That way, when you enter the game you (hopefully) have a grasp of all the characters, not just your preferred class. This also makes sure you don’t select some of the more nuanced characters right away, whose role in a fight may differ slightly from the norm.

Another refreshing thing about this game is how engaged the developers are with the community. They are regularly haunting their forums and taking suggestions from the community seriously. Though a bit slow to get things out, they show their appreciation for the Evolve fanbase through community play events, even releasing their TRS developers signature gold Monster skins to the public for free this past weekend. The player community for this game is also thriving, even though the playerbase has dropped since launch due to the DLC fiasco and the buggy release. There are still active players in many forums, and the majority of them are very friendly and willing to teach new players.

All in all, if you are willing to spend the $60 on this title, Evolve is a ton of fun. It’s a unique experience with a rush you won’t quite get anywhere else. Though the release and marketing could have been more streamlined, the gameplay itself is well worth the cash for hours of hunting.

Notable Achievements:
Cockroach (Kill the Monster while incapacitated outside of the Tutorials) – 30G
12-Sided Die (Reach elite status on all Hunters) – 90G

-Cro0ked

What I’m Playing, Pipe-line Projects, and your News Fix

As Assassin’s Creed IV – Black Flag warms up, and I’m loaded into the head office of Abstergo Entetainment, I’m happy to see the triangle logo is still in place. Curiously missing or at least less prominent in the last few Creed title, I was beginning to worry they had done away with the logo entirely. Worrisome, considering I do have the tattoo on my wrist.

Animus Unite

Animus Unite

Assassin’s Creed IV – Black Flag, not really considered a new release anymore. Can’t fault me for sticking to my slow methodical pace through some of the AAA titles on my shelf. Not that I don’t bang off a new title now and then, but it really needs to grab my attention. Or must stray from the default 3rd person Ubisoft Open World platform genres, FPS, or Racing title.

But when it comes to the Assassin Creed title, I’m usually always at least one generation behind.

I think the title’s annual similarities is the reason. They sometimes take months to complete, and the next edition then comes out later that year, and is just more of the same type of game play with tweaks to the story. At least when you consider Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood, Revelations. III started the trend into the right direction, and then IV really is a breath of fresh air. Because you’re on a boat. Ha!


Assassin’s Creed IV is the current title under review, and as mentioned in an earlier post, I wrapped Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) in co-op, so expect a quick review of that. I’m also playing Sniper Elite III in co-op, and playing through Forza Horizons 2 Storm Island DLC. In the pipeline is Far Cry 4, and Shadow of Mordor.

Lastly, I’ll be providing my first impressions of EA and Visceral’s Battlefield Hardline with the early Access on March 12th. Cities: Skylines is also on the list for the next PC game I want, but I’ll need to upgrade my graphics card first. So close :(.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be posting a friend’s review of Evolve, as she’s been playing it on the PC, and has some thoughts. Very nice of her to provide that.


To increase game-time, gotta get news-time out of the way…

Uncharted 4 Delay

Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated release of the next Uncharted game, 4: A Thief’s End has been delayed until spring 2016. It’s not uncommon for Naughty Dog to delay games, as they do have an incredibly high standard for their products. The wait will be worth it, and it gives me the extra time to save up for a PS4.

GTA Online Heists Launch Issues

Tell me if you’ve this before…Rockstar’s long waited Online Heists DLC update has had a bumpy start, as players are experiencing problems connecting. After about 24 hours the service seems to be more stable. This news isn’t entirely surprising as the GTA Online mode had a rocky start to begin with, and there’s been a lot of hype for this DLC to boot, so obviously a lot of people would be trying to play it as soon as they could. Now I just need some friends to play it with. 😦

Titanfall DLC for Free – One Year Anniversary

Celebrating the one year anniversary of Titanfall, the 3 DLC packs have been made free. This includes nine new maps. No use to me, as I had already purchased the season pass on launch, but this does give me the motivation to jump back into the game. Unknown is how long the free season pass will be available for.

Check my review from Titanfall: Not Here, but Here

Remember Me 2 is “Ready to be Made”

Capcom’s Remember Me developer, Dontnot, has made a statement that the sequel is, technically, ready to be made.

“We know what we would do for Remember Me 2,” said Dontnod creative director, Jean-Maxime Moris. “The main story has been written, we know what we would add to the recipe. We know what we would fix. It’s a game that’s ready to be made, but that decision is Capcom’s to make.”

So development hasn’t been started. Better than no news I suppose. I have a lot of Reviews “ready to be made” too. They just have to be written first. :p

Check my review of the first game:  Remember Me

That’s all for now. Check out the Evolve review tomorrow.

Go Outside!

-iRogan