WHAT i’M PLAYING – Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Halo 5, and WHAT i’M DRAWING

Over the weekend I started playing through Deus Ex Human Revolution again, to get caught up with the story before I pick up Deus Ex Mankind Divided this week.

I last played the game in 2011, and when I was going through the achievement list, I realized there were quite a few story related ones that I had missed the first time around, so I’m focusing on those this time.

Graphically the game still holds up – the faces are a bit polygonal and the facial animation is a bit off, but that could be choked up to the Xbox 360 emulation on the Xbox One.

I’m also playing through the original, and not the director’s cut. I had heard the DC adds the DLC and changes the boss fights dramatically, but I opted to not purchase the game again, since I’m just running through the story again. I’m also playing through it a bit quicker now; more of a run and gun play through, and less on the stealth side. Pistol and Tazer only though. See how this strategy holds up against the bosses.

Interesting things I’ve notices during this play through:

  • A lot of the time you’re climbing through vents to access closed off areas. These vents are kept very clean. Like, immaculate.
  • Many vehicles are parked on the side of the road, and in some of the dilapidated areas they are on fire. At no point is anyone driving these cars.
  • Nobody questions you when you move the man-hole cover and climb into the sewers, or when you are witnessed climbing scaffolding and jumping on air-conditioning vents to access the rooftops.
  • Turrets can still see you when you cross their line-of-sight, even when you’re squatting, carrying a crate to hide behind.
  • In The Hive night club in Shanghai, the bouncer won’t let you in, but you can access the building from the vent in the back. You exit the vent into the Women’s washroom. No one cares the slightest when you enter the club this way.
  • Also on this note, you can exit the club through the front door, and the bouncer doesn’t seem to notice, nor question how you got in the club in the first place.

More impressions as I progress further. I’m hoping to wrap up the game this week and pick up DE: Mankind Divided as soon as possible.

Last week I wrapped up Halo 5, which was a fun play through with ILLESTRADER. I’ll write more about that when I find the time.

I’m also trying to keep up with my drawing as much as possible, which limits my time for writing sadly. Hard to find time for 3 separate hobbies.

I recently completed a drawing of Widowmaker from the game Overwatch. She’s a sniper and I really liked her Noire skin, with the crazy techno dreadlocks. I haven’t played Overwatch. It’s an online only game with limited game modes, but lots of character types. I really like the character designs, so I’m going to make an attempt to draw a few more of the characters before moving on to new subjects.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the final product.  I initially only wanted to do black and white, but because her Noire suit is primarily black, so there wouldn’t be a lot of definition. So I decided to add some colour, but didn’t really want to spend a lot of time colouring and shading. So I stuck with the cross hatch black and white, with flat colours. Quickly dumped in a crappy background as well so the gun wasn’t floating, and voila.

I might go back and actually do a proper colouring job on this one. I know I can do better. And going forward, my goal is to try harder on backgrounds. I usually never do them, and with my comic book aspirations, they’d look pretty weird without backgrounds.

I had fun drawing her name though, with all the spider webs. 😉

You can check out more of my drawings in the arts page.


WHAT i’M PLAYING – Just Cause 3, Homefront The Revolution, and More

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a breakdown of what I’m currently grinding through…

Homefront: The Revolution

I pop into this game a couple hours a week just to continue the progress. Homefront has been a pretty tedious grind. There are some sections that rely on stealthy incursions, and because stealth is so inherently broken in this title, these sections are hard. You basically have to avoid all enemies entirely as any sort of takedowns or combat will most likely get you seen. Lately I’ve gone with the mindset of “perfection through repetition”. Attack this route, and if it doesn’t work, die, and try again from a different angle. I rarely use the limited health packs unless I successfully advance. Your health takes a hit so hard from the smallest attack and health packs can only be purchased from the bases at a price, or found. The guerrilla warfare mechanics works pretty well, unless the whole area is on alert from the Overwatch ships above, and then really, no matter where you run, you’ll find enemies.

Besides that, the ridiculous loading times, and game saving lags still irritate me, so I’ve been limited my play time. I’ll get through it sooner or later.

Just Cause 3

Another title that I’m putting little bits of time into when I can find them. My main issue with Just Cause games is their overall lack of narrative and direction. The main reason to stay is for the gameplay, I understand this, and appreciate it. But in cases like these, that alone doesn’t hold my attention for long. So far #3 has been the best one of the bunch in both departments, but I’m finding that I’m easily distracted by the challenged, and then don’t advance.

DIRT Rally

Here’s a game I accidentally did dump a bucket load of time into over the weekend. I had a 4 hour Twitch stream going last Friday afternoon which was fun. And I think I’m slowly starting to get the hang of the game’s difficulty and car handling.

The campaign is broken up into tiers: Open, Clubman, Professional, etc, and it promotes the top 3 places at the end of each 6-day set. I’ve made it up to Professional, and have been able to purchase a few cars, and put in enough time to have them upgraded. So now I’ve decreased my rank back to Clubman to try again, and to try and get some first place wins. For the achievements of course. ;). The career also supports online races where you race against the online times of others. It hosts daily races, weekly, and monthly.


I picked up Inside during the Xbox Summer Game Sale (it wasn’t on sale, it just happened to be released that week) and beat it in one sitting (approx 4 hours) and 100%’d the achievements. I haven’t gone back yet to complete the other “meta” ending. But maybe one day. Or when I play through it again during my Extra Life Marathon (November).

The game was pretty incredible, and I’ll put up a review for it some time this month. The game is dark and ominous, and really gorgeous to look at and watch. It’s basically all black and white with little hints of colour. The subtle brilliant animations of the player’s character are a wonder to behold, and so technically perfect.

Play it if you get the chance.


Finally, after many months, I’m getting the opportunity to play through Halo 5 in co-op. The game is pretty impressive so far, but it does have it’s notable problems. The scale of the levels and visuals are both really impressive. With Halo 5, the 343 team implemented new technology that allows the game to run seamlessly at 60fps but has a texture optimization system that will adjust the resolution on the screen to ensure that in the larger areas with a lot going on, its still looks good, and plays smooth. I haven’t noticed any blatant drop in resolution or textures.

Gameplay is just as good as always, although it feels a bit like Call of Duty now, where you run into an area, fight waves of enemies, and then move to the next area only to fight more waves of enemies. A little bit repetitive and only broken up by a vehicle section. One of the downsides of the huge open maps I guess. They’ve lost out on the variations of small close quarter combat of past Halo’s, sneaky hallway gunplay, and sleeping grunts, as the maps keep getting bigger and more open.

Another gripe is the two teams. Spartan Locke has a fleshed out team, with Buck and a few others. Chief has 3 other Spartans of his own, but they have bland names and just masks on.

Song of the Deep

Lastly, when the Xbox Summer Games Sale was underway, I also picked up Song of the Deep, and Transformers (Which I haven’t tried yet). Song of the Deep and is an underwater submarine game. 2D platforming type game with a little bit of submarine-on-fish combat. It’s also developed by Insomniac Games, which initially drew me.

It’s quite a lengthy game for an indie-like title, and took me about 9 hours to complete, so I guess this would fit under the “what I’ve Played” category if I had one. Review section would be more appropriate. Its a game with a lot of little collectibles that earn you currency to upgrade your ship, and as you progress through the story, you unlock different abilities for your ship that allow you to progress further into the map, but also encourages you to go back and reveal some of those treasures that were once locked away.

The map is quite big and with not enough fast travel portals. All the hidden objects come in 3, so you’re forced to navigate the whole map quite often, unlocking new areas each time.

Its a thoughtful game with an easy story and a feel good ending. A nice little break from the norm.

On that note, I’m still in vacation mode for the better part of August, and then things should swing back around to the normal side. Added a few new drawings to the art section (Harley, Jessica Jones, and Rico from Just Cause 3) and will be working on more when I return.

Still plugging away at my long list of reviews, and I’m getting excited for some of the new games coming out (Dues Ex, ReCore, Forza Horizon 3, Mafia 3, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2… to name a few haha). PAX WEST 2016 is around the corner in September, and then Extra Life 2016 (as mentioned above) is in November. That’s my year ahead.


TGS 2015, Nintendo’s New President, Halo 5, and Need For Speed – IDL NEWS

Monday, Monday, Monday.

The day the new week starts and new news starts coming in. E3 is over, Gamescom is over, PAX Prime is over. Tokyo Game show is coming up this weekend, and then the year’s shows should be done. Luckily I’m almost caught up on the news as those shows take up a lot of time. I’m not sure yet if Tokyo Game Show actually has press briefings or not, or if it’s just a game showroom. Will continue to investigate. <- *Update at the bottom*


Onward though, to news:

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

Night Dive Studios has announced that it will be restoring and publishing modernized versions of Turok 1 and Turok 2. Both Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil will be getting graphical upgrades and other improvements. Unsure yet if this is only PC, or console release.

Mad Max 1080p and the Map Isn’t Finite

Avalanche Studios has revealed that Mad Max is 1080p which is nice to see, as a lot of the games to date on the Xbox One have not been true 1080p. And the map is also not finite.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Release Date

Square Enix and Eido Montreal have announced the release date for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The sequel to Human Revolution will be released on Feb 23rd, 2016 and is set 2 years after the events of HR, in the year 2029 with augmented people separated from normal residents. I’m super excited for this sequel, and should probably replay the first at some point. Hopefully it’s backwards compatible before February.

Borderlands Backwards Compatibility

Speaking of backwards compatibility, the original Borderlands is among the games that will be backwards compatible day one in the upcoming update in November.

GTA V Online Freemode

GTA V Online is getting a new feature update that will have structured events pop up in the open world for the players to join and play, with entering a lobby first.

Released tomorrow, the goal is to blend the freeform gameplay with structured events that offer rewards. Every 12 minutes in the open world, a new Freemode Event will start, with a countdown alerting players. If you miss the start or opt not to join, you can still spectate. Over 200 variants will be available at launch including cooperative battles, stunt challenges, king of the hill modes, and damage and speed limit tasks. Two new adversarial modes will be made available as well.

Nintendo’s New President

Nintendo has announced that Tatsumi Kimishima, 65, will assume the role of President and Representative Director for the company. The election will be for a 1 year term.

Kimishima’s appointment as the new head of Nintendo comes two months after the sudden death of former president Satoru Iwata from a cancerous bile duct growth. Iwata was 55.

Halo 5’s 60 FPS

SIMG_5039tudio head at 343 Industries has confirmed that Halo 5 will consistently run at 60 frames per second. The goal from the outset was to deliver 60 fps across all game modes. This meant re-engineering the gameplay systems at the core and uses a “progressive resolution system” that scales the games resolution based on what’s on the screen at that time.

“This enables us to deploy resources where they have most impact across a diverse series of experiences throughout the game while delivering the most visually stunning Halo game ever.”

PC Need For Speed Stalls

Ghost Games has announced that the latest PC installment of Need for Speed, titled Need For Speed, has been delayed. Expected to be released alongside its console counterparts in November, the PC version wont be seeing its released until “Spring 2016”.


Well, that enough news for today I think. Tomorrow we’ll talk about some more news, and new games and deals, and awesome things. Wednesday will be a Metal Gear Solid V wrap up: part 2. More game previews around the corner and then Tokyo Game Show 2015 stuff around the weekend.


Tokyo Game Show takes place from September 17th-20th, and is getting kicked off with Sony’s keynote tonight at midnight, so I should have a wrap-up later in the week. Sony, Square Enix, and Capcom are some of the main companies in attendance, so there should be some exciting news coming soon.

Stick around!


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 NEWS – No New Games, New News, and How Time Flies

Where does the time go? All of a sudden it’s What i’M Playing Wednesday, then it’s the weekend, then I play Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag for 24 hours over the weekend, then it’s Tuesday? Where is my mind?

So it’s Tuesday and there’s not really any new games to report on, so that’s lame. But there’s lots of news to discuss. Starting off with sad news. 😥

Rainbow Six Siege Delayed
Sometimes it’s sad sometimes it’s for the best. Ubisoft has announced that Rainbow Six Siege has been delayed from October 13th until Dec 1st for all regions to improve the co-op experience across all game modes and other improvements and adjustments.

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Xbox One and Xbox 360 Deals With Gold
Xbox One

  • Grand Theft Auto V – 25%
  • Batman: Arkham Knight – 25%
  • LEGO Jurassic World – 25%

Xbox 360

  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – 75%
  • Splinter Cell Conviction – 75%
  • LEGO Jurassic World – 25%
  • Modern Warfare 3 – 50%
  • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron – 50%
  • Bully Scholarship Edition – 75%
  • L.A. Noire – 75%
  • Midnight Club: LA – 75%
  • Max Payne 3 – 75%
  • Red Dead Redemption – 75%
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 – 75%
  • Grand Theft Auto 4 – 75%
  • Plus others…

Windows 10 Xbox App Update
High quality streaming has been added. Which is good

to see. 1080P 60 fps very high quality streaming. And comparing achievements with a friend is supported and recently played list has been added to show which or your friends are playing what.

Destiny The Taken King Teaser

Note Ghost’s new voice talent, Nathan Drake– I mean Nolan North.

Halo 5’s lack of split-screen

Halo_GuardiansHalo 5: Guardians developer 343 Industries has responded to the outcry from fans in response to the news that its upcoming Xbox One-exclusive shooter won’t feature split-screen support.

343i franchise development director Frank O’Connor explained that adding in the feature simply isn’t possible. “If we could do it, we would do it. But it is what they call ‘nontrivial,'” he said.

So tomorrow I have another What I’m Playing Wednesday, as I’ll go into further details about my 24 hour Assassin’s Creed IV bleeding-eyes marathon, and what I’ll be playing next.

I’ll be writing more of a proper review for the title as well, about its good’s and bad’s and why it takes me 6 months to beat a Ubisoft open-world game, where I usually resort to a complete shut-in weekend to get it out of the way. Actually tomorrow’s column might just be a What I’m Playing/iReview.

I also really didn’t get up to doing anything last week in the way of a review or achievements. I hope to change that this week. They’re my favourite parts after all.

Makes sense to me.