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.


Homefront The Revolution First Impressions

While currently in between household moves, I got the chance to pick up Homefront: The Revolution. Sequel/Reboot to 2011’s Homefront by Kaos Studios and THQ. The game was about a resistance movement fighting off the occupation of the USA by a military powerful unified Korea.

After THQ’s public bankruptcy, the rights were sold to Crytec, and then to Koch Media. Deep Silver took over publishing of the sequel/reboot Homefront: The Revolution, and it was developed by Dambuster Studios.

The style changed from linear FPS to an open-world FPS, and you continue to play an out-matched resistance fighter fighting against the imposing enemy.

Visually the game is pretty. Very similar to the latest Far Cry games. In both looks and feel. The open world is split into quadrants and blockaded by huge security walls. But the resistance has underground tunnels to access new areas. And there is a fast travel option once the area is unlocked.

I did notice that the game freezes fro a few seconds every time a quick save or checkpoint is happening, which is a little more than frustrating. And the difficulty is also ramped up a bit. For realism sake, I suppose. We are supposed to be outmatched and out-gunned after all. I found that enlisting some resistance stragglers around your base will help. They follow you around and will help defend you.

Little updates will come in sporadically over the next little while as I continue my move, and go in and out of Internet access. Stay tuned.


WHAT I’M PLAYING – Stop. Shoot. Stop. Shoot.

Do those words sound the same to you?

I’m nearing the end of Far Cry 4, and happily playing it in co-op the oft chance I get. It’s a very fun game with lots to do, but the game does suffer, I feel, from some repetition of the side quests. They are essentially fetch or destroy quests, and don’t require a lot of thought, just more walking or driving around.


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