IDL NEWS – News Catch-up, New Games and Games With Gold

Ah, Tuesday, the best day of the week. It’s like the first day of the week for all things new. Including Games, DVDs, Comics, and Music. But not theater releases.

Today I’ll discuss the new game releases, and look at the notable ones I missed for the past 2 weeks, plus Deals with Gold and Games with Gold.

Games With Gold
phantompainposter808Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One will be able to download Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for free throughout August. How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition will also be free from August 16 to September 15.

On Xbox 360, Metro 2033 will be free for Gold members from August 1 to August 15. The sequel, Metro: Last Light, will then be free from August 16 to August 31. I have the bundle on the Xbox One, but have yet to start it up.

I am excited to go through Ground Zeroes again before the full release of MGS V, and now with it available for free, I don’t need the disc anymore. This, by far, is the best benefit of the GwG feature for those who already own the games.

Deals With Gold
The Xbox One and 360 weekly deals have been announced; notable ones listed below:

Xbox One
Thief – 60% off
Project CARS Digital Edition – 30% off
Mortal Kombat X – 25% off
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood – 80% off
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – 75% off
The LEGO Movie Game – 75% off
Never Alone – 50%

Xbox 360
Hitman HD Pack, or Absolution and Blood Money separately – 80% off each
Mafia II – 80% off
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 – 70% off
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – 75% off
The LEGO Movie Game – 75% off

The LEGO games are always a blast to play alone or in split-screen. Thief was recently made available for free on the 360, so I might just try out that version. I am interested in Mortal Kombat X though, we’ll see how much the discount brings it down too. And check out my review for Max and Never Alone if you’re interested.

Notable New Game Releases Extended Edition: July 28 – Aug 11

RARE Replay (Xbox One) – The RARE Replay is a collection of 30 hit and classic titles from the historic developer. Included into one package for $30.

Prototype 1 + 2 Bundle (Xbox One, PS4) – I played the first Prototype game on the Xbox 360, and wasn’t really impressed. Its great as a mindless sandbox game, but the story and quests and any direction whatsoever was lost on me, so I lost interest quick. This is an unnecessary HD remaster package.

Goat Simulator (PS4, PS3) – PS4 and PS3 consoles finally got Goat SimulatorMy review.

Goat Simulator is the latest in goat simulation technology.

Goat Simulator is the latest in goat simulation technology.

King’s Quest Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4) – A puzzle adventure game with stylized visuals akin to TellTale games. Chapter 1 is available now with more coming, or you can purchase the complete collection. The game looks pretty interesting, and there’s less dialogue and more puzzles than TellTale’s games, so I’ll likely pick it up.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss more news, and what I’ve been playing.


iREVIEW – Goat Simulator – More Than Just Explosions and Dubstep Music

What is Goat Simulator? Is it even a game? Or a sandbox physics simulator? What’s the story? I’m confused.

Title: Goat Simulator
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios (Double Eleven – 360 and One)
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Xbox 360 & One
Reviewed on: Xbox One

Is it fun to play?
Is it funny?
Well then what is it?
Ummm . . .

Goat Simulator, at its most primitive, is an open-world, third-person perspective action game. Similar to Tony Hawk skateboarding games, you’re dropped into an open area, with notable key areas, and then given the task of creating your own fun through experimentation.

The Latest in Goat Simulation Technology

The Latest in Goat Simulation Technology

Major deviation, is you are a goat, aimed at doing as much damage as possible in this world, without any larger goals or aspirations.

Initially developed at Coffee Stains Studio as a joke prototype during an internal game jam and shown off on YouTube, Goat Simulator started to gain traction and excitement just from the ridiculousness of it all. Due to the popularity of the YouTube videos, the studio was prompted to build the game out to a state where it could be released as a stand-alone. Obviously the game was buggy in alpha, and a lot of these bugs added to the humour and entertainment, so they were retained in the release product.

Most notably of these bugs or glitches is the goat’s head and neck. It is very floppy and gets caught on objects easily, sometimes to the point where it doesn’t seem attached to the body anymore.

The game was originally released on Steam, to the community, and was received pretty well; some praising the title for its originality and its humourous sandbox mode, others criticizing it as a simple, buggy product that somehow became popular through social media. Coffee Stains Studio isn’t complaining though, as it made back its development budget within hours of the game’s release, and saw more success than some of its other, non-accidental, titles.


Going back to the game itself, you play a goat, obviously. You spawn in an open-ended suburban setting, and left to explore, jump, run, headbutt things, and lick objects. Licking objects will attach the goat’s tongue to said object, and lets you drag the object around.

The game also supports a ragdoll mode and slow-motion mode. At any time the player can drop the goat into ragdoll mode which allows the physics engine to take over. Slow-motion, obviously makes the game mode slower and allows more finesse while doing tricks, or more time to laugh as the physics engine does what it does best.

And the suburban environment we’re placed in allows the goat to pull off tricks or stunts – similar to a skating game – with chaining tricks together for added points. We have trampolines, mattresses and industrial fans to jump off, walls to run up, or fences to crash through. Some of the in-game goals are displayed as a checklist, meant as a type of progress report for the player throughout the game. These include destroying certain objects, or completing flips, or even doing a “manual” – walking on the goat’s front lets for a specific distance.


The collectibles scattered throughout the game, when collected, will allow certain modifiers to the goat, such as playing as a demon goat, or a giraffe (long-necked goat), or even an ostrich.

The game is very good at poking fun at itself, while also including a lot of winks to pop culture references, and other games. Even the original trailer itself was a parody of the Dead Island trailer – showing shots of the game, reversed and in slow-motion.


The game is fun for a while. It includes some very easy achievements, and may have you coming back for the collectibles, trying to find hidden Easter eggs, and of course, the laughs. It’s more than a simple joke game though – more akin to a brief distraction game. Short in content, with only two worlds, but it has its own version of Flappy Bird to keep you frustrated for hours.

For those who liked playing in the sandbox, wall running, general mayhem or slow-motion . . . things.

Notable Achievements:
Alexander Goatstafsson (Win the title boat!) – 15G
Devil Goat (We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell) – 30G


WHAT I’M PLAYING – BattleCry: Far-Goat Simulator

Over the weekend I started playing Goat Simulator and quite enjoyed the time I spent in Goat Ville. The game is essentially just a fun physics engine, with a goat as the lead. There are a lot of fun little jokes scattered throughout, with a lot of winks towards popular memes and pop culture news.

Goat Simulator is the latest in goat simulation technology.

Goat Simulator is the latest in goat simulation technology.

I probably won’t be playing the game that long though. I got it primarily for the achievements, which are pretty easy, and the lol’s. So once those are acquired, I don’t see myself playing the game much more.

The game was originally designed as a joke, internally in the Coffee Stains studio, during a one month game-jam, and a video was posted online for a laugh. It gathered such a following that the group decided to polish, and release it. The developer stated the game was designed as “an old school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you’re a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff”.

Originally released last year on Steam, the game has since been released on other operating systems, and mobile. The release on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One was its first time on a console.

Keep an eye out for the review.

Lately I had been spending a lot of time on the FPS genre, and I’ve had a hard time sticking with one title. I had originally started Far Cry 4 and then Battlefield: Hardline was released. I played Hardline during the EA Access window, and then didn’t go back, relegated to the backburner.

After I needed a little break from Far Cry 4 I jumped into Call of Duty Ghosts. I quickly wrapped that up within a couple sittings. I need to quickly jump back in to get a few achievements and then I’ll jump back to Far Cry 4 for the remainder of the week.

Battlefield_HardlineThis past weekend I did jump into Hardline while I was testing some Twitch Streaming and game recording, and managed to complete a few more of the story campaign missions. I think this weekend I’ll play more of that as well, but I am definitely falling behind on Far Cry 4Hardline has been fun, but it definitely is not a Battlefield game.  It’s primarily stealth based, and when its not, its a difficult shooter – as a cop, I guess you’re not really meant to shoot people, or absorb bullets. Ammo is limited, and the shootouts are intense, as they’re typically in claustrophobic areas, normally not pre-meditated, but defensive, stressful, and usually outnumbered shootouts. If that’s the intent, its pulled off well.

The single player does look pretty good, but sadly not as good as its Battlefield predecessor in any aspects but the cut-scenes. Single player luckily does look better than the multiplayer, but that component, while it does hold its own, still doesn’t feel as immersive as Battlefield 4.

Other newer/older/other games on the horizon:

NeverWinter is free to play, so I might give that a shot, even though my previous post a week or so ago said I would never. We’ll see. I said “never” to Goat Simulator too, and see what happened?

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China has been released, and acquired, so I’ll be playing that. I also have Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag to play more, and GTA V (Xbox One) to play and take lovely photos in.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is waiting. I’ve started with the Pre-Sequel in co-op, so I’ll have to spend more time on Pandora. But again, it’s another FPS, a genre that I’m pretty burnt out on.

Besides that, I have quite the backlog of games I haven’t even opened yet – waiting, eager – on my shelf, or digital library. All in due time games, all in due time:

Metro Redux, TellTale Bundle (Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Wolf Among Us), Shadow of Mordor.  So many :'(.

Keep an eye out for more Far Cry 4, and Battlefield: Hardline info, screenshots and reviews soon, and Goat Simulator review tomorrow. New feature: Achievement of the Week, on Sunday

NEWS – New Game Tuesday and New News Tuesday

Welcome to Tuesday. We got some new games and some news.

Big releases this week are Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, and Goat Simulator. 

And the big news includes: Write/Director Leaves Gearbox, New Microsoft IP, Steam Features, Halo 5:Guardians, Alan Wake Sequel?, Gears of War Cinematic Director Leaves Epic for Black Tusk, Destiny, and this week’s Xbox Deals With Gold.


Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China (PS4, PS3, XBox One, PC) – Chronicles is a series of 2.5D Assassin’s Creed games developed by Climax Studios, and published by Ubisoft. The games will feature a new protagonist. China’s protagonist is Jun, who was trained by Ezio Auditore.

The follow up games later this year will be Chronicles: India, and Chronicles: Russia.


Release Trailer below shows the story and gameplay. I’ll be picking this up shortly and playing through it. The art style and gameplay looks intriguing, and I’m all about the Assassin’s Creed titles.


Goat Simulator (XBox One, XBox 360) – Finally released on all the Xboxs, Goat Simulator is here. I played some over the weekend, and I’ll be talking more about it tomorrow, with a review on Thursday.


On to some news for Tuesday:

Writer/Director Leaves Gearbox

Matthew Armstrong has left Gearbox Software. Credited as a writer and game design director of Borderlands.

“Things changed. No longer working at @GearboxSoftware. I will always love Gearbox, but it’s adventure time.”

New Microsoft IP at E3 2015

Xbox head Phil Spencer announced that new exclusive IP would be announced this June at E3 2015. He confirmed that it would not be another military space marine game or racing title.

I’m excited about E3. And I’ll be live blogging the day of the press conferences, June 15. So look out for that.

Steam Features Unlocked to Paying Customers

Valve announced that, in a move to protect its customers against spamming and phishing, it would be locking some of its features to all but paying customers.

Users who have not spent the $5 will not have access to features such as sending friend invites, voting on Greenlight, or submitting content on the Steam workshop.

New Halo 5: Guardians Trailer

Regardless of the fact that its a trailer announcing pre-order bonuses, it is a pretty cool gameplay trailer showing off new weapons and abilities. The trailer focuses on Spartan Locke taking out Covenant in pursuit of Master Chief.

Alan Wake Sequel Possibilities

Remedy has announced that even though the Alan Wake 2 sequel project was scrapped, a prototype was created after the first was released. The company opted to work on their next game Quantum Break instead. But the possibilities are still there.

“For Alan Wake, from the get-go, we assumed there was going to be a sequel and we mapped things further out when it came to character, story, details and focus changes. We knew we would have to iterate and refine, but there was always a rough road map there.”

Remedy is 100 percent focused on the upcoming Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break, which was just recently delayed until 2016.

Epic Cinematic Director Leaves Epic

Greg M. Mitchell, who was previously responsible for the cinematics in the Gears of War franchise, has left Epic Games to join Black Tusk Studios, to most likely work on, yup, cinematics, on the next Gears of War game. Way to branch out.

“BIG NEWS!! I’m leaving Epic, but heading to @blacktuskstudio to work on #Gearsofwar!! I’ll quote Marcus Fenix, by saying “NICE!!” :)”

Destiny’s House of Wolves Reveal Trailer

Destiny has launched a newer trailer showing off some new information about the upcoming DLC House of Wolves: New social space, new characters, new gear upgrades.

There’ll be a Twitch reveal tomorrow.

XBox Deals With Gold

Mostly Call of Duty games this week on sale. Maybe it’s time to get Advanced Warfare? Let’s see . . . (nope):

Call of Duty: Ghosts and Ghosts Hardened Edition are 60% and 40% off on the Xbox One, respectfully, and Never Alone is 40% off. Ghost review is upcoming, and check out the review for Never Alone here.

Ghosts, Black Ops II, and COD 3 are on sale as well, on the Xbox 360.

That’s all for today. Check in tomorrow for thoughts and impressions of Goat Simulator, and Thursday for the review.

It’s raining, so don’t go outside.


NEWS – And the Monday’s Have It…

So I was finally able to export some of the screenshots from my time in Far Cry 4. Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to completing the game, but I’m getting there. The only frustrating thing so far with the Upload studio on the Xbox One, is you’re only able to Upload one photo at a time. This alone, coupled with the fact that I had approx 300 screenshots saved, was quite time consuming. I’ll have to make an effort to export them daily, instead of building up a queue. Check out the screenshots here.

Moving onto some news for the week: Star Wars, Cities: Skylines, Destiny, Dues Ex, EA’s Free-To-Play, 2K Australia,

Star Wars Battlefront

Lots of news came out over the weekend regarding all things Star Wars. Check out the launch trailer below. The game will be first available to Xbox One users who have EA Access (me), so that’s exciting. The game looks really exciting, although disappointing is the exclusion of any type of campaign. There are smaller co-op/split-screen missions that can be played, but the main point of the game will be the large scale battles online. Also excluded are any type of space battles as all flying segments will take place in-atmosphere. Also announced was that this game with be the original trilogy, before the prequel era.

The first 4 planets were revealed to be Endor, Tatooine, Hoth, and a previously unexplored planet Sullust.

First DLC will be free for those who pre-order, and will be The Battle of Jakku, from the new movie, The Force Awakens.

Release date November 17th, 2015, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Cities: Skylines

Paradox Interactive announced that Cities: Skylines has sold 1 million copies within the first month. This is obviously exciting news for the brand and genre. I should get back into my city, as I’ve been neglecting it.

6GB Destiny Patch

Destiny’s latest patch, 1.12 is a whopping 6GB. Included in the fix is some online multiplayer changes, bug fixes to the Raid bosses, and a new Colourblind mode. The House of Wolves Expansion is just around the corner, dropping on May 19th.

More on the patch, Data miners have discovered the plans for two more social spaces to be added to Destiny. To be included in the Expansion, or at a later date, who knows?

Dues Ex: Ghost Mode

The director of Dues Ex: Mankind Divided announced last week that the ghost option will be available throughout entire levels and even the boss fights. Ghost option is the ability to make it past all enemies and levels completely unseen.

EA’s Free2Play Games Getting Shut Down

EA announced that they will be stopping development and support for several of their free-to-play games, including: Battlefield Heroes, Need for Speed World, FIFA World, and Battlefield Play 4 Free.

They did announce, however, new story content and continued support  for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

2K Australia Closing

The Borderland: The Pre-Sequel developer has been announced to be closing. 2K Australia is Australia’s only remaining AAA studio. Previously they were apart of Irrational Games,, best know for the Bioshock series.

“We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process for 2K Australia in order to better manage ongoing development costs while improving the working proximity of our creative teams.  We are very grateful for the team’s valuable contributions to numerous 2K projects, and are working with affected staff to explore reassignment opportunities where possible.”

Stick around for the new game releases tomorrow, we’ll talk more about Goat Simulator, Battlefield Hardline, and Far Cry 4 on Wednesday, and I’ll have a quick review up for Goat Simulator on Thursday.

Going outside now….