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

GTA V Came Out 8 Years Ago

That’s not a question. That’s just a observation. And for some reason, people are still playing it. Including… well, me. And I am not happy with myself. I almost bought a Shark Card. Our multiplayer group recently got back into the game, playing the online multiplayer. Doing jobs. Pulling heists. That game still holds up 8 years later, and there’s another upgrade in the pipe for March 2022.

I’d argue that it’s time for Rockstar to let it go and focus on GTA VI. But I can only imagine how much money that game still brings in. Hell, Nintendo just re-released the N64 controller for the Nintendo Switch. And the Nintendo 64 came out 25 years ago. So what do I know?


I will give GTA credit though. It still holds up. Its still fun, albeit difficult. I’d forgotten how hard some of the missions / heists are. And you only have two lives to share amongst your teammates, and then game over.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition and More Coming Soon  - Rockstar Games

Speaking of GTA, the announcement of the remastered definitive trilogy has me excited. I played all of these games on the PS2 and would love to go through them again on the Xbox. Again, achievements, but also they were all great.

GTA III changed gaming. Period.

Vice City was just plain fun.

And San Andreas was, well, good…? Bloated. Had too many different mechanics that sucked some of the fun out, but still good.

I hope they’re able to retain all the original music too.

Besides my depression into the GTA depths again – ha, a water joke.

Because I unlocked the shark achievement. 4 years after the last time I played the game. There’s my Achievement of the Week. Segway.

As I was saying, besides GTA, I’ve just about wrapped the main storyline in Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. I have the final mission thread unlocked, but I’m wrapping up a few of the side quest lines first, as I won’t want to go back.

I have the 3 DLCs as well. But…I dunno. I’ll maybe read a review or two of those to see if its worth it. I can’t even argue that it would be for the achievements at this point. I’m pretty much over the game. I can say that it was not a worthy successor of the original. The base conquering was fun, but the mission structure was a pain to deal with. And the multiple areas was just tedious. I’m ready to move on.

We didn’t even play anything else this past week. But I am excited about the news that It Takes Two is coming to GamePass. I really liked his previous game, A Way Out, and this one looks fun in its own way.

I also didn’t work on my final #drawtober piece, so I don’t have any updates on that front. Nor did I read any comics. All work and no play, makes me a dull boy.

Be Good.
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IDL FEATURE – Day 9: Narrative – Grand Theft Auto V

The fifth and final category of this Top 10 series is dedicated to stories drive games – games I felt had the best story or concept, or games that just didn’t really fit in the previous categories. Now, there have been many, many great games over the years with incredible stories. The Gears of War series told a harrowing, gloomy tale of desperation and loss, while the heroes fight against insurmountable odds. Bioshock 1 and Infinite also told incredible stories in unique locations. Bioware with EA are well known for their rich and deep Role-Playing stories in the Mass Effect series, and Dragon Age. Rockstar is another team that continually produces incredible, lengthy campaigns. Any of the games on my list thus far could have made this category, and there’s hundreds that I’m not evening thinking about, including numerous indie gems, or games from smaller teams like Telltale Games.

With two games remaining in my countdown, I obviously had many to choose from, but I wouldn’t be doing this list justice if I failed to mention the Grand Theft Auto series, and the brilliant minds that gave us Portal 2. Now, neither of these games are specifically story games, one being a crime filled, explosion fueled murder simulator, and the other being a platforming puzzle game pitting a lone hero against a psychopathic robot. But these games broke the mold and redefined genres. And they each delivered an incredible experience. That’s why I chose them to round off my Top 10.

Honourable mention goes to Red Dead Redemption, Dues Ex Human Revolution, and Bioshock Infinite (I know, a FPS, but the story was its best feature).

Day 8 – Grand Theft Auto V

Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games

CoverArt-GTAVRockstar as a developer, with its many teams, can seemingly do no wrong, except release a stable multiplayer environment (heyoooo), but at least they apologized and made up for it.

But back on track – Rockstar refuses to make bad games. Sure Grand Theft Auto 4 was kind of murky looking, and Max Payne 3 came out 30 years too late, but I digress. With each new game, Rockstar takes what they did previously and builds on it, and then takes what failed, re-evaluates it and fixes it.

Rockstar Games started initially gaining traction with their early Grand Theft Auto games: a top down, uber violent game about killing people and stealing cars. They built on these concepts further with a deeper story and a 3rd dimension with Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto Vice City. With these huge successes under their belt, they stirred it up a bit and released a racing game, Midnight Club, and a dreary, dark story game revolving around a tragic hero in Max Payne, and gave us slow-motion gunplay. Then they refocused and gave us Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: a huge world with a boat load of new mechanics, like body types and athletic levels, and hunger.

Since then, they’ve been releasing hit after hit, with Grand Theft Auto 4 in the most recent generation, and Red Dead Redemption, another Midnight Club Game, Max Payne, and now finally Grand Theft Auto V, arguably the biggest game release, and most anticipated of all time. And the sales back the arguments.

Grand Theft Auto V was huge, and not just in scale and scope, but game mechanics, story, characters, heists, and a persistent online world.

The game focuses on three separate characters:  Michael De Santa, retired ex-criminal trying to make a new life, Trevor Philips, redneck, con-man, and Michael’s old partner in crime, and Franklin Clinton, upstart criminal working for an illegal repossession ring.

Grand Theft Auto V

Each character is interconnected through the story as they complete missions and heists, sometimes with only one, sometimes with all three. And each player is separately played to complete their own individual stories on the side. The player can switch at any time to whichever character they want, assuming that they’re available at that time. The characters, when not being played, will continue to live their lives as ‘normal’.

This was a big leap in gameplay and storytelling for games, and I’m assuming a lot of developers will try to mimic this mechanic in the future. Sounds like the Assassin’s Creed iteration this year will use this feature.

The game brings us back to country San Andreas and the city of Los Santos, both country and city realized in amazing attention to detail. The game pushed boundaries on art and design, and hardware when it was released last generation and called for a complete overhaul on the Xbox One and PS4 a year later, with a 4K remastering on the PC.

The online world was a new game unto itself, allowing you to play with friends, race, and do PvP missions. And recently, play cooperatively in Online Heists.

Grand Theft Auto V is hard to describe. Its story has heart, its gameplay is perfect, and it looks gorgeous. Rockstar has taken all their experience from years of crafting amazing games, and come up on top again, with their best creation to date. It’s hard to imagine how they could ever top this.

<– Yesterday – Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Tomorrow – Portal 2 –>


IDL GAMES – New Game Tuesday and some News

Well, we all know the big game this week, so lets jump right in.

Following the break, we have the new games and deals, and we’ll talk a little about the news and what we have coming later this week on the site.

Batman: Arkham Knight (Xbox One, PS4, PC) – The game is finally here, after only a few delays. Probably worth it. I posted the launch trailer yesterday, and I’ve been excited about this game for a while. It’s on order and will be arriving into my hands shortly, so I’ll be leaving my impressions soon. I don’t anticipate waiting on this game, letting it grow stale on my shelf like some undeserving others. 😥

Tales From the Borderlands: Episode 3 – Catch a Ride (PC, X360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One) – I really enjoyed Episode 1, and now that 3 is out, I should get started on Ep 2.


Dishonored 2’s Path Chosen To Go
Dishonored 2 is another game high on my anticipation list, and will be added to the E3 page for ongoing opinions. Recently out of E3 was the announcement of a secondary female character. After about 20-30 minutes into the story playing as the new female, Emily, we’re given a choice of continuing as her, or doing the remainder of the game as Corvo. This change is permanent for the remainder of the story but doesn’t change the missions, just the perspective and commentary.


Deals with Gold and Spotlight Sale
Xbox One
The Crew and Season Pass each 50% off
Evolve and Deluxe Edition each 50% off
Wolfenstein Bundle 35-45% off

I’m currently playing through The Crew, and I’m really liking it. It’s everything I wanted for a social racer. The season pass, which includes 4 monthly car packs plus 2 exclusive cars, might now be worth it.

Evolve, unfortunately, I have not had a chance to try, save for PAX 2014 where I played the monster. Might be time to give it a shot now that it’s on sale. Maybe it’s too late though? This sale comes in time for The Hunting Season Pass 2.

Xbox 360
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier 75% off
Splinter Cell Double Agent 75% off
Grand Theft Auto V 58% off
Grand Theft Auto IV 80% off
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas 75% off
Skyrim 60-66% off
Fallout New Vegas 60-66% off
Dishonored 60-66%
The Evil Within  60-66% off

I’m currently working on adding new material to the E3 page as info continues to surface. I’ll also be working on a PAX Prime 2015 page for the convention in September, and a Extra Life page for the 24 hour video game marathon in November.

I’m continuing to play The Crew and Badland, and streaming those games on Twitch occasionally. I should have a Badland review up this week as the game is a hell of a lot of fun.

I also recently dropped back into Destiny, so I’ll be posting a little summary of the House of Wolves DLC and more info about Year 2 and The Taken King expansion.