I’m overdue for an update. What have I been playing?

Shadow Complex
My last update consisted of a Review for Shadow Complex. I revisited this game after it was re-released on the Xbox One, re-mastered. You can check it out here.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare
I finished the campaign for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. As I’m not an “online competitive gamer” I’m typically a year behind on Call of Duty games. The campaigns are usually solid, but since I’m not mad crazed over the online competition, picking the game up at full price is usually not worth it. And since I’ve been know to write reviews well after the game becomes irrelevant, there’s no incentive in picking up the game at release, when I have so much else to play. Expect a review soon.

Mad Max
Mad Max was a great game, so expect a review for it soon. It also has a photo editor, so I’ll be adding a gallery to the in-game photo section. I can’t speak highly enough about how fun this game was. It did have some drawbacks, mainly about the length of the game and size of the word, and boring busy-body side-missions, but nothing felt better than taking on a convoy, and ripping people out of their vehicles with the toe-cable.
Mad Max (4)

Lords of the Fallen:
As one of  March’s Xbox Free Games With Gold, I gave this a try. It’s sort of a poor-man’s Dark Souls. This should probably be under the “What I’m No Longer Playing” section, but I don’t have one of the those.

I don’t know what it is about golf games, but they are addictive. I’ve completed the main tour, and I’m working on some of the side mini-games. Review soon – it’s not as bad as some have made it out to be, but it is definitely lacking in some areas. But the same complaint can be made towards every single EA “next-gen” launch/transition titles.

A re-branding or re-imagining of sorts, EA has been a fun game to play over the past while. Pundits will complain about Live Action cutscenes, but these don’t deter from the final product. At launch the game was limited, but since then EA has updated the title with some fresh new vehicles and gameplay modes, as well as bolstering the online environment, allowing others to join in on the campaign races, as it is a populated world. So now that the game is considered complete, I’ll write a review for it.
Need for Speed™ (6)

Tom Clancy’s The Division
Holy cow have I been playing this game a lot and I’ve been having a lot of fun. It even inspired me to create a journal/diary to the game. You can check that out here. Only 5 entries as of this post, but I hope to continue it more as I progress through the campaign.

DIRT Rally
I just picked this game up before the weekend, so I haven’t had the chance to fully dive into it yet, but expect some more info throughout the week, and in-game photos. So far its very good looking (not as great as I’d hoped) and its not easy to jump right into, and requires patience to master, which I appreciate.

Deciding to release this game as Episodic was an interesting choice. Not sure if it’s because the game is incomplete or they’re wanting to spread out the title so that it’s not immediately forgotten after the launch window. It might be a smart choice. Either way it looks fantastic, with beautiful environments and lighting. And it actually allows the player to focus on each mission, playing it numerous different ways while we wait for the next episode.

Rocket League
A fun local and online soccer game with cars. I’ve been playing online with ILLESTRADER and I started up the season mode locally to try and knock off some achievements. Fun times had by all.

Well that’s no short list. Hopefully I’ll be able to knock some of this stuff off the list before month end.

In other news, E3 is around the corner in June and I am super stoked. Some of the developers have decided not to have their big conference at E3 and instead have decided to host it the day before – most notable EA. Last year Bethesda hosted theirs the day before and they’ll be doing so again, but this year EA is following suit and hosting their EA Play event. Either way I’ll be watching  and blogging. Its and exhausting 2 days of conferences, but I love it. Expect lots of news on June 12 and 13

Take care,




Publisher: Microsoft Game Studio and Epic Games
Developer: Chair Entertainment and Epic Games
Platform: Xbox One
Availability: Xbox 360, Windows, Xbox One, PS4

I played the original release of ChAIR’s Shadow Complex back in 2009 as an Xbox 360 Arcade title. The title at the time  broke the mold as far as 2D side-scroller action games were considered. The world is actually fully three-dimensional but the player can only move on the 2D plane. Mixing up the genres, the player can shoot in the 3RD dimension as some enemies will be in the background. Luckily the game’s shooting mechanic are pretty forgiving in these instances, knowing that the enemies are actually in the background, and will assist the player when aiming. Now Epic Games has remastered it and released it for the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 in the summer.


The game is a 3rd-person action platformer and follows Jason Flemming and his new girlfriend Claire. They’re out on a camping expedition and stumble across some caves that lead to a hidden underground base filled with enemy soldiers and futuristic technology. Claire is captured and we are tasked with navigating the complex to save her and uncover the story behind the massive complex.


The whole game takes place in the underground facility, and mountainous region directly above. As the player progresses through the game, we start to get access to some of the future tech, starting with a jump pack to allow us to double jump, then grenades, and assault rifle. We then find an advanced suit, a foam gun, missile launcher and hook shot. The player’s flashlight will highlight objectives and colour-coated hidden areas. Each weapon allows the player to advance into new areas:the gun can shoot through yellow grates or floor panels, grenades can blast through green walls or rocks, the foam gun can freeze or explode purple paneling, and the missile launcher explodes through red blast shields. Each unlock is staggered throughout the facility while exploring, but will also encourage re-treading the map and exploration later one when everything is unlocked to find all the game’s many collectible collectibles. The hidden key cards are required to unlock the suit’s last upgrade – however this is not required to complete the game.

The gameplay and visuals really stood out at the time, for a 360 Arcade title, and it still stands up today. The remastering has brought brighter colours, and some better lighting and textures – Jason’s face especially. Claire has not seen that same upgrades though -maybe it’s true that men age more gracefully. The facility textures have been upgraded too, but with that, the land above in the mountains have not seen the same attention. There are still some hiccups in frame rate when a cut-scene initiates or in an especially large area with a large number of enemies.


The game has a diverse set of enemies from the foot and rocket + shield soldiers and special ops with a hook shot of their own. Then there are some mechanized walkers and a few spider tank bosses, and a huge bi-pedal boss with a shield.

*spoilers ahead*

The bulk of the story is only revealed at the end. The whole time in the facility we get the impression that this base is meant as a staging ground for something bigger, but our main focus is tracking down Claire and escaping. When we finally get the chance to do so, Jason lets Claire escape and we go back to shut the operation down. The final section concludes with a large airship leaving the base as we confront the leader, and find out that they’re going to invade San Francisco. Having unlocked all the suit’s perks and weapons, we attempt to survive the final stage while taking down the airship with some programmable nuclear warheads and shooting them at the airship – that the base has active warheads, and the player is able to initiate their launch notwithstanding.

The COBRA-esk villain approaches Jason threateningly, and in turn ends up with a bullet in his head thanks to our returning friend, Claire. Turns out she’s NSA and used us as a cover to infiltrate the base. She killed the boss in an attempt to save us from killing him in cold blood. Are you kidding me? The game tallied it up for me: I killed 798 soldiers to save you and the world! But thank-you Claire, my conscience is clean. I’ll sleep easier.



The controls are smooth and intuitive, and aside from a few visual glitches the Remastered Edition is just as fun as I remember the original being. My only gripe is some inconsistencies in the enemy AI. In some of the larger stages, enemies off-screen will see the player without being provoked and start shooting immediately, before we can even see them, but other cases the player can walk up to enemies completely unaware, and do a stealth take down.


The game should be lauded for its gameplay: it’s built around the idea that you can infiltrate the facility with minimal weapons and perks a la Metal Gear Solid, so there are a lot of sneaky paths and creative ways to attack each section. Or you can go in guns blazing, removing every foe in your path. Choose your own adventure.


The remastered edition also brings with it a slew on new achievements encouraging playing the game in creative ways, collecting all the collectibles, and killing the bosses in different ways.

For those that like remastered games, 2D Metroid/Castlevania/Mega-Man Games, or those that wished they could abandon the princess half-way through the story.

Notable Achievements
Status Update: Single (Complete the game by abandoning Claire to her fate) – 30G
Hook, Line, and Sinker (Kill an enemy with the Hookshot) – 20G