So, we're here. We're sitting around a big hotel room in Leipzig eating cheese and sausages, looking like pandas because we all have massive bags under our eyes. Why? Because at 3am this morning some idiot parked his car outside our window and blasted us with hardcore Euro-spaz music. For three hours. You've never heard Twinkle Twinkle Little Star till you've heard it tweeted over the top of a gatling-gun smash beat.
In any case, our mood remains bright and chipper because a) we're going to find that guy and lynch him and b) because tomorrow marks the start of one of the world's largest game shows. Over the next few days we'll be getting our sticky mitts on most of the biggest titles due for release in the coming six months - and the good news for you guys is that we're gonna spill our guts like roadkill. We'll be bringing you as much coverage as we can from Leipzig itself, with plenty more reports to follow on our return to Blighty. In the words of our Operations Director, it's going to be "lecker-din". That's Dutch for "great," apparently; Adam seems oblivious to the fact that people speak German over here...
At any rate, all of the team have earmarked a few games that they can't wait to see. Tom is gearing up to examine the PC and console versions of Far Cry 2, and he's dead eager to see how the two compare. He also says he's looking forward to Need for Speed: Undercover and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts - he was a massive fan of the N64 original and is hoping for a return of the familiar Rare magic. Tom will also be prodding Alone in the Dark on the PS3 to see if Atari has addressed the problems experienced on other formats.
Being a massive Street Fighter fan, Wez is getting borderline-aroused about the prospect of interviewing Capcom's developer-god Yoshinori Ono. They will be discussing the fourth entry in the legendary series, along with all things hadouken. Wez is also quite frothy about the new PES and the fact that he'll be getting up close n' personal with the developers of StarCraft II. Oh, and he's going to check out a game we can't name that involves "water that weighs a lot".
Meanwhile James is busy polishing his wimple ahead of an illicit encounter with Fable II. "I didn't play the first one," he says. "In fact, I haven't played a game in about five years. I just read about them." Which is his way of saying that he's very, very excited. James also wants to play Sonic Unleashed and another game we're not allowed to directly mention - this one is for "classic arcade racing" fans.
Me? I'm just happy to be here - but I've also got some really great stuff lined up. I'm a massive Fallout fan, so I'm "pulling a whitey" over the fact that I'll be playing the third game later this week. I'll also be weighing up two titles in direct competition with each other: Codemasters' Operation Flashpoint 2, and ArmA 2 - the rival game from original OF developer Bohemia Interactive. Both promise to offer an absolute banquet of military sandbox action, so I can't wait to get stuck in. I'm also going to take a look at a certain offering that may be on the radar of a few PS3 owners: Littlebigplanet.
As you read this, we'll be wading our way through the maddened crowds. We'll be doing our best to check the site as we go - so if you have any questions or things you want to know about a specific game, let us know below and we'll do our best. In the meantime, I'm going back to teaching the team important phrases in German. Altogether now: "Wie geht's, Frau Krankenschwester? Gestern habe ich meine Schildkröte gegessen."
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