Peeker’s Disadvantage

“Back smacked” with a ton of games and gameplay this past week, as we gotta talk about Forza Horizons 5’s awesomeness, GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition’s not-so-awesomeness, Halo Infinite shadow dropped, and maybe a touch of Watch Dogs Legion; so let’s just jump right into it.


What I’m Playing

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite multiplayer dropped on us this week, releasing early on the Xbox 20th Anniversary. This was just the Multiplayer component and not the campaign. And its basically the beta, only a full release where the developers are asking the players to treat it like a beta as they are still ironing out bugs and server load. They are expecting the player count to drastically increase around the proper launch date of Dec 8, but wanting to surprise players too. I’m sure EA is none-too-pleased to have the early competition to BF2042.

I guess because the game hasn’t officially launched, Xbox is like “no achievements for you!”. But also, sure, you can have achievements.

600G are included with the multiplayer component, 50 or so, so I’ve been burning through those as I can. A chunk are training/tutorial related, and then customization, and then gameplay.

From what I’ve read, a large chunk can actually be unlocked when playing on the bot list lobbies, making them significantly easier to acquire. I won’t argue that.

Impressions: It’s fine. It’s Halo. It’s what you’d expect.

Forza Horizons 5

As you’d expect, not reinventing the wheel here, Forza Horizons is great. Another meaningful step forward for the franchise but nothing new, aside from the locale. It is amusing to me, to see that they were able to finally pull off the “seamless multiplayer integration” which they touted for 4, but weren’t actually able to pull off.

Impressions: The game is beautiful and plays amazingly, performance mode or quality mode.

Grand Theft Auto Trilogy – The Definitive Edition

Definitely not definitive. But still fun. Still a nostalgic trip back in time. From my initial experience, aside form the awful rain effects (since fixed), it actually looks quite good. The lighting is impressive in the evenings, standing amongst the vehicle headlights. And the game is just as quirky and goofy as I recall. Currently playing through III.

I’m just going to tackle these as a campaign playthrough, and not going to go after 100% completion. Just focus on the bulk of the achievements, but I don’t need to find all the hidden packages or anything. Ain’t no one got time for that!

“What are you plans for the weekend?

Well, I have a family… so I don’t make plans.”

Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion? Really? Where did this come from? Well… see… I beat ME: Shadow Of War, and needed another open-world game to fill the void. I wasn’t ready to tackle Assassin’s Creed Valhalla yet. So… Watch Dogs? Right? But GTA is open world. Yeah I get it, but I started this before that came out and now I have two on-going and I don’t want to talk about it.

Watch Dogs Legion has been pretty fun. I’m not too sure how I feel about the “no main protagonist” angle, but it works with the whole DedSec movement; No leader, No Problem, etc.

They brought back Aidan Pierce as a paid-for, playable character, so I suppose I could just play the whole campaign with him, but he also has his own expansion, so we’ll leave him to that.


It’s unfortunate that with the recent batch of releases, quite a few games on my list have fallen by the wayside. Far Cry New Dawn, The Ascent, Back 4 Blood, Surgeon Simulator 2. Wreckfest and Dirt 5. Hell, even GTA V was popular all over again amongst my group for all of twelve minutes.

This is why I don’t like starting too many things at once, as it’s so easy to just forget and move on. Sad, really.


Achievement of the Week

Halo Infinite. You guessed it.

Working from home has its advantages.

You can drop everything at 12pm, nuke some food and load into some afternoon Halo.

It’s even better when your friends are also working form home. Talk about needy.


Be Good

iReview – THE CREW – We’ve Got A Secret Weapon. God is Our Co-Pilot

When you’ve been driving around the United States for a couple hours, visiting all the 242 country landmarks, do you get a sense of overwhelming joy, wonder, or fatigue?

Title: The Crew
Developer: Ivory Tower
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher: Ubisoft
Reviewed on: Xbox One

The Crew in one word: expansive. On its own, it’s a decent racer, featuring a wide array of vehicles from many different brands and classes. It also displays a huge map of a contiguous United States. The world is massive, open, and persistent, for both racing, and free-roaming. As a multiplayer racer, it enjoys its always-online connection, reinforcing the idea that this game should not be played alone.

When the game Fuel was released, the map was colossal. One could probably claim that it was too big. It was mountainous and rocky and barren of anything interesting. Hardly any roads and terrain that wasn’t really fun to drive on. Forza Horizon 2 was immense as well, featuring highways, and forests, and farming fields, and a scaled down version of some of the popular European destinations. Test Drive Unlimited 2 brought us to Hawaii and Ibiza, full coverage of the two islands, landscape and cities.


The Crew brings these similar concepts, however this time, of an authentic re-creation of the major cities across the United States. The map is broken up into 5 regions: The Midwest, East Coast, Mountain States, West Coast and The South. Each region has 1-2 main cities, various other large cities, and then 30 odd, smaller cities and towns spread out. All the major US landmarks are view-able, and attainable as collectibles.

The game map takes approximately 45 minutes, in real world time, to cross from coast to coast, depending on your vehicle of choice. Some of the races themselves may even net you a 2-3 hours dedicated game session, as they take you on a tour of the US.


The map is filled with landmarks to visit, hidden busted up car parts to collect, satellite towers to unlock, and pedestrians and wildlife aplenty to swerve around, as you weave in and out of oncoming traffic. From coast to coast, the world is also littered with challenges. These are little mini games to help unlock upgrades for your respective vehicles: Drive fast while on the road, drive through the marked gates, slalom, jump distance, etc. Each has a bronze, silver, gold and platinum trophy and unlocks car parts. And each of these challenges just requires the vehicle to drive through the marked zone to initiate. Then the only loading is when you equip the part after it’s won. The seamlessness is appreciated.

Each region of the map is the home to its specific class of car, and these are unlocked as we progress through the story. Each major city has its own Garage, Tuner, and Showroom for buying new cars.

The Story of The Crew is commonplace to any typical driving game or driving movie: a family member is killed, and you need to infiltrate the ranks of the rival street gang to ruin their day and potentially get revenge for your family. It’s tired and predictable. Need For Speed in a nutshell.

Our protagonist, Alex Taylor, looks like Morgan Freeman. He’s a street racer, as is our older brother, Dayton, big surprise. Our brother is the leader of the 5-10 motor club. I guess street racers don’t hold down real jobs anymore. After winning a race, hanging out by our cars, our brother is shot by an eager up-and-comer, wanting to move up the ranks. As our brother dies in our arms, in the middle of the street, the mysterious driver gets away, and the police arrive, suspecting us of the killing, and we get put in jail for 5 years by a crooked FBI agent.


After 5 years, we get released by another FBI agent, a new face, incorruptible probably. She knows that we were put away wrongly, and has given us the task of tracking down our brother’s killer, the new leader of the 5-10 motor club and the crooked FBI agent, in return for our freedom. All we have to do is infiltrate the ranks, and work our way up through the 5-10 motor club, and get a few permanent tattoos along the way. The deal is that we get our brother’s killer; she gets the crooked FBI agent. Everyone is happy.

What follows is about a 20 hour campaign, working our way through the 5-10 ranks through a series of races, starting in the Midwest, in Detroit, progressing down to The Big Apple, across through The South, all the way to The West Coast, Los Angeles. We start with a functioning car, upgrade it for off-road Dirt races, then Raid class, advance onto Perf, then Street, and finally Circuit. Race types include: A to B style races, checkpoint, lapped races, and even some collection style races.

We meet many different allies, and bad guys along the way, and have to out-run the cops, to remind us that street racing is illegal. But in the end, we finally meet up with our brother’s killer, force him to crash his car, and let the police take him down.

The visuals of the game are impressive, considering the scope of the game. Cars are detailed inside and out, and the map is alive with pedestrians and civilian cars in the city, and many different kinds of wildlife outside. Luckily a lot of the environment is destructible. The one downside of Test Drive Unlimited 2 was its indestructible fences and lamp posts. Luckily The Crew fixed this, as all poles and fences can be driven through without much friction. As mentioned already, the map is large and very diverse, with a full day and night cycle, so it is a joy to drive across the large expanse of country side.


The Tuner shop features a very robust car detailing and upgrades section. This area will allow you to modify the car parts currently assigned, as well as style, colour, and body mods to each. These are all purchased with in-game currency which is earned through races and challenges.

All this, and the game functions with very minimal loading, which is a blessing. When accessing the map, the zoom feature allows you a view right down on top of your car and shows a real-time view of the streets, down to the minor details of any recent tread marks left in your wake, and any crew member who happens to be doing donuts around you. The map also allows the player to fast travel to anywhere they’ve already been, and with only seconds of loading.

That said, the frustrations start to pop up as we try to work within the menu structures. It’s not always readily apparent where to find information about factions, or challenges, or what winning Reputation even means. And trying to access the in-game start menu is all through a cell phone that houses the games settings, vehicle changer, and radio. All of this, while driving? Don’t text and drive kids!

Lastly, the multiplayer and co-op components are what make The Crew worth picking up. Test Drive Unlimited 2, and to an extent, the Forza Horizons twins, introduced us to a social, persistent driving game, where you could road trip with friends. The Crew takes these ideas and puts some weight behind them.

Your crew supports up to 4 drivers, including you, and with these friends, you can enjoy the full campaign, as well as PvP events. The co-op crew functionality includes a shared waypoint indicator for meet-ups, and everyone will be able to participate in campaign events and faction missions. You can also see your friend’s location on the map, and on the horizon. Only downside is you can’t challenge your friends to any spontaneous point-to-point races like some other online racers.


The shared multiplayer world hosts 5 factions. You choose one, and all faction races you take part in will benefit the overall community experience handed out daily. Sort of like a global competition. Faction choice can be changed at will, but not constantly, as there is a delay before switching again.


The multiplayer also supports PvP free-for-all and crew vs crew. The online community, sadly, is lacking, so it might be difficult to find races consistently.

All the campaign races, challenges, and faction events can be replayed endlessly to get a better ratings and trophies. Once the player reaches the level cap of 50, the platinum trophy is unlocked, and this will provide huge boosts to your car parts.

Overall, the crew is a worthy driving game contender. Its map is huge, diverse, and robust with distractions (last bit a staple with all Ubisoft games). It’s satisfying as a racer, if not a little frustrating sometimes with its forceful ground magnets ensuring your vehicle is always right side up, to the sacrifice of any semblance of control, on occasion. Challenge menus, settings, and map quirks aside, the co-op element make up for the shortcomings, and ensures that any friends are welcome to come along for the ride.

“For those who like driving from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic in 45 minutes, near misses with wildlife, or for those who thought that Battlefield Hardline’s story would have been better served in a driving game. Bonus: for those who like Gordon Freeman.”

Achievements aplenty, but these are mainly collectibles. Finding all the landmarks, hidden cars, or getting gold on the 500 skill challenges. Drive forever in one car? Blegh.

Give me those multi-hour races, test-driving expensive cars, or breaking sound barriers on the Salt Flats. Thanks.

Notable Achievements
Coast to Coast (Complete the Faction Mission Coast to Coast in a Crew (2-4players)) – 15G
Salt Rocket (Achieve a speed of over 236 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats) – 15G

WHAT I’M PLAYING / NEWS – Far Cry and The Handsome Collection and News

Far Cry 4

As I had mentioned in the past couple posts, I’ve been playing Far Cry 4 a lot. The game is a lot of fun and so random at times. It also caters to the creative types who want to have fun. Lately I’ve been playing in Co-op, but upon switching roles, I’ve noticed there are some limitations.

Co-Op Glory

Co-Op Glory

For starters, it runs off the hosts’s game, therefore the host will retain any of the map progress that the pair unlock: Bell Towers, Forts, Outposts. The joining partner only retains the XP, loot, and and unlocked perks. Loading up their own game will see the Map progress returned to their previous single-player campaign progress. This is kind of unfortunate. It still fun though as there are a lot of activities the two can take part in.

The game also prevents the two of you from getting too far apart from one another. At a certain point, the other player will be forced to spawn closer.

Keep an eye out for Screenshots once the Xbox Upload app gets updated, and a proper review around the corner.

Forza Horizons 2 Presents Fast and Furious

I recently wrote a quite review of this game, and wrapped it up today. Easy 1000G achievements, and maybe 2hrs of gameplay. It really is just a glorified demo as it only has 11 driveable cars, and 1/4 of the Forza Horizons 2 map. At the end it encourages you to buy the real game. Which you should. Forza Horizons 2 review here.

GetPhoto (74)

The Handsome Collection

I picked this up today, and I’m excited to start in the Pre-Sequel. When the Pre-Sequel was announced and released for the Xbox 360 last year, I really hoped that a current-gen version would be released. I didn’t even need it to be re-mastered. Luckily I got more than I wanted. Borderlands 2 (including DLC) and the Pre-Sequel (including DLC), all remastered and combined into one package.

The only issue I’ve seen so far is the games are separated. Nothing transfers over, and they actually install as two different games. So if you want to switch, you need to quit one and launch the other. Just lazy complaints.

So Handsome

So Handsome

Keep an eye out for Tales From the Borderlands Episode 1 – Sum Zero review tomorrow. All borderlands all the time it seems.

Sunset Overdrive Price Drop

Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive has received a price drop, down to $40. This isn’t a deal, but a permanent drop. i’ll pick this up when it goes on sale, though. I tried it during the 24hr free period, and it was fun. But it’s a playground game, where I typically prefer more of a narrative to drive me. 😉

Kojima’s Role in Silent Hills

Kojima’s role in Silent Hills is, at this point, still a mystery. His name, and Kojima Productions is continuing to be removed from all Konami products and websites as Konami focuses their company into a concise direction. Unknown, is if Kojima will still have a role in Silent Hills, or if it will be made by Kojima Productions. I guess we’ll have to continue to wait and see. 😦

Assassin Creed Chronicles

Ubisoft has announced the 2.5D trilogy in Assassin’s Creed Chronicle.

I watched a bit of footage from the first iteration in China and it looks pretty cool, with an interesting art style. Gameplay very much like Rayman Legends, Deadlight or early Prince of Persia games. Its a linear 2.5D platformer where you spend a lot of time running from left to right, up ladders and down buildings, slicing and dicing the whole way. Seems neat but I’m not sure where the story ties into.

We’ll see as more info gets released.

Excited for a games filled Easter Long Weekend. Stick around, but don’t forget to go outside.


iReview – FORZA HORIZONS 2 PRESENTS FAST & FURIOUS – More Like Glorified Demo

….But why is it a separate game?

Title: Forza Horizons 2 Presents Fast and Furious
Developer: Playground Games
Platform: Xbox One
Publisher: Microsoft
Reviewed on: Xbox One

I’d previous reviewed Forza Horizons 2, and really, really liked it. It bested its predecessor in every way, and brought to the table what I like best in a racer. Forza Horizons 2 has since seen multiple car packs and a 2nd area DLC package in Storm Island. Storm Island brought with it a few new rally cars and rally car modifications, new championship races, new bucket lists, a brand new area, as mentioned, and new weather systems. $20 was the asking price, which is a little steep, but 50% for those who had the VIP season pass. The Storm Island DLC’s map added new types or terrain, more hills and off road segments. The DLC brought with it some modifications to the races themselves. Rally inspired. Ramps, and obstacles. Things like that.

“Storm Island is an enjoyable addition to say the least.”

Next came the announcement that Forza Horizons 2 would have a Fast and Furious movie tie in. And available for free for the first few weeks nonetheless. Sounded great. New inspired cars tied to the franchise, but not much else was really mentioned. Were there going to be actor’s involved? Story ties? Whats the point?


Well, sadly nothing else was included. The Fast and Furious movie tie-in version was released as a separate game, with its own achievements. and its own place in the game library. So what is it then? It’s not DLC. It’s a glorified demo.

The game starts you off as a newb who’s never played Forza. Tells you how Horizons 2 ended. and then proceeds to tell you how to accelerate, brake, and rewind. It gives you the driving line, and it even starts you off the same way Forza Horizons 2 does, in the Lambo. And now go drive to Nice, newbie.

It brings a new narrator, and some new music tracks. It gives you the Horizons 2 map, and it tasks you with the goal of chasing down and winning 10 vehicles. Cars, big surprise, from the Fast and Furious movie.

It brings back all the staples of the original game, with the discount boards, the bucket lists, screenshot mode, and after a while the online modes.

Lastly are the showcase races, which I believe are the only actual ties to the movie. First is a race against a Black Hawk Helicopter, and then at the end is the race with the Cargo Plane.

The game is an authentic view of what the full Forza Horizons 2 game brings. With Fast and Furious it brings 10 vehicles to Horizons‘ 200, roughly 30 races to Horizons‘ 700+.

“Free for now, but soon it turns into a $10 demo.”

For those who like easy achievements, Forza Horizons, or free movie tie-in games.

Notable Achievements:
Fast and Furious (Get to Nice) – 100G
Selfie! (Take a photo of the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T) – 30G

New Ideas, and the News!

So over the past little while I’ve been thinking of new things to add to the site. I’ve come to the realization that I do not play enough games quick enough to ensure constant updates via Reviews only. So I’ve started thinking of different types of content to add, to cushion the gaps between reviews.

One idea that came to me was to comment on the video game news of the day, and try to update every day. I sit on a computer at work all day so it should be easy enough.

This will be more focused, big news stuff, related to the 3 platforms: XBox, Playstation, and PC, but with a focus on the Xbox. News that appeals to me.

Tuesdays we’ll talk about the new game releases. Wednesdays I’m going to start a feature called What I’m Playing, in which I’ll provide a progress update on what I’m currently playing. And Fridays is usually game night with Friends, which is streamed via Twitch.

And finally, obviously, the Reviews will keep coming, albeit slowly. I recently wrapped up Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) in co-op, so I’ll be writing about that shortly.

So…lets talk about the news that appeals to me:

Forza Horizons 2

Forza Horizon 2’s Rockstar Energy Car Pack is now available for $5 or free for Season Pass holders.

With the new pack, racers get to enjoy five new cars: the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI, the 1996 BMW 850CSi, the 2015 Jaguar XFR-S and the 1970 Volkswagen #1107 Desert Dingo Racing Stock Bug. Acura Integra Type-R is the free car of the month.

Last month, the Top Gear Car Pack was released, adding six new cars, including the 2015 Lexus RC F, 1986 Lamborghini LM002, 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale, and the 1993 Jaguar XJ220.

Also announced was the Fast and the Furious 7 movie tie in, later this month. It looks like the DLC is just some tie-in cars. Free for all players for a 2 week window. Afterwards it will be a paid DLC. All those who download it during the free window will keep it for free.

Metal Gear Solid V – Phantom Pain

We were finally given a firm release date today, by Hideo Kojima, for the upcoming MGS V. Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 on all the major consoles, and a PC release a couple weeks later. Kojima has stated that this will be the last game in the Metal Gear Solid saga.

“I always say ‘this will be my last Metal Gear,'” Kojima said, “but the games in the series that I’ve personally designed and produced — Metal Gear on MSX, MG2, MGS1, 2, 3, 4, Peace Walker, and now MGSV — are what constitute a single ‘Metal Gear Saga.’ With MGSV, I’m finally closing the loop on that saga.


Bethesda has announced a stand-alone prequel to the surprisingly excellent 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, called Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Due out in May, the game is a digital release for $20. The prequel takes place before the Allies lose the war.

Mad Max

Unbeknownst to me, Avalanche Studios is making a Mad Max game. The post-apocalyptic, open-world game will focus on driving, and surviving the wasteland. Food and water, which is scarce, will both be used to replenish Max’s health. That being said, the game will make available a large amount of fuel to the player, as the designers want the player to drive around, not walk around.

September 1st release, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions cancelled.

This will be a work in progress, as like anything, I suppose.

See ya later.