Tom Orry, Editor - Halo 4, Xbox 360

Halo 4 screenshot

One of the first published reviews I wrote was for the original Halo. I wrote it for the now long-gone Madgamers.net. I don't remember much of what I said, but no doubt it was an overly long piece full of gushing praise. These days I'm more cynical, but I still love a bit of Halo. For me, Halo 4 is the most fun I've had with the series since the original, and that's quite something given that I really really like Halo 3 and Reach.

The core gameplay is absolutely top drawer, with no combat in a shooter feeling as dynamic as it does here, but I've never shied away from the fact that I am taken in by big budget spectacle. I tend to gravitate towards games that excel at throwing graphical wonders onto the screen, so Halo 4's pristine appearance (it really does feel like 343 spent more money on the main menu than the budget for some entire games) is quite something.

While some games feature open worlds, Halo 4 features a believable world. Everything here is so solid, so deliberate, so thought out, it's easy to lose the sense that you're walking through a virtual area, with walls that literally block out the nothingness on the other side. As Master Chief I'm there in the world, completely immersed and loving every moment.

Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - Hotline Miami, PC

Hotline Miami screenshot

I'm not sure about you, but I didn't think Hotline Miami looked particularly fun from the screenshots and videos. Unbelievably violent, sure, but not fun. Then somebody told me it was frustrating in the way Super Meat Boy was frustrating (as in, totally awesome) and I handed over a fistful of digital pennies to have a crack. In the past few days I have senselessly killed a lot of pixelated people.

So, yeah, it's pretty good. Well, it's very good. It's very moreish, actually. I play it in short little bursts of about fifteen minutes and then quit out to do something else (read: play Halo) before going back an hour later and have another quick pop. Hotline Miami is very good at getting under your skin like that.

The Soundtrack is wonderful, too. I find the controls a little bit fiddly, but you get over that. All in all, definitely worth your time.

Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor – Assassin's Creed 3

Assassin's Creed III screenshot

I don't know about you, but I thought that Hotline Miami looked like lots of fun from the screenshots and the videos. And then it turned out that it was. The End.

Okay, fine. I'm not going to talk about Hotline Miami, as I've done enough of that in recent weeks. No, I want to talk about Assassin's Creed 3. I want to, but I can't really – I'm too concerned that I'll spoil something for those of you who haven't started it yet. For those of you who have started already, I'll simply say this: isn't he amazing? What a brilliant character, even in a year where we've had a particularly generous crop of interesting creations. And don't even get me started on his hat. It's 100 per cent prime rib badass.

David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012), Xbox 360

Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012) screenshot

When I spoke to Criterion's Matt Webster a few weeks ago, he opened the interview by posing a couple of questions. "Are we on the right track?", he asked rhetorically. "Are the decisions we've made the right ones? And are people going to understand why we've made them?"

After 'finishing' Most Wanted, I can understand why he'd ask such things.

Don't get me wrong, I think Most Wanted is fantastic: Its vehicle handling makes driving its selection of supercars immensely satisfying (albeit perhaps not quite as gratifying as Hot Pursuit's drift-crazy motors), and its sense of speed, the thrill of the chase, and the realisation that just one minor mishap could send you hurtling into the path of an oncoming SUV makes racing tense and exciting. But Criterion's decision to rip up the rule book in its approach to Most Wanted's structure works both for and against it.

I've put around 7 hours into Most Wanted now and have finished climbing the core 'Most Wanted' ladder. I've beaten the Most Wanted list. I've driven the fastest cars. The credits have rolled. I've experienced - I assume - the vast majority of race events available. And now I'm grinding. I'm grinding to unlock items and finish races specific to cars I don't particularly care for, and I'm searching high and low for gates and billboards, slowly working my way towards that magical 100% completion barrier. That's fine, but with very little sense of purpose besides satisfying the completionist within, I can't help but feel that I - and I expect many of you - could be burned out long before that time comes.

Clearly, then, the meat of Most Wanted lies in its multiplayer, and I'm looking forward to exploring that in more depth this weekend. But if you're thinking of going solo, be warned that - though there's an incredible amount of fun to be had within Fairhaven's concrete playground - you'll likely race through Most Wanted's core path far quicker than you had perhaps expected to.

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Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Borderlands 2 at the start of the week. I've been in RPG mode for most of this game, finding the missions very dull and struggling with the rubbish inventory system. It's still a great game, but I can't identify any improvements over the original aside from visuals and characters.

Assassin's Creed III has been exactly what I was expecting so far, and that's disappointing. Too much time spent in combat, watching cut-scenes, and not being able to run on rooftops when I bloody well want to.
Posted 11:43 on 05 November 2012
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I finished off the extra packs with Doom 3 so that I was free to concentrate on Need For Speed Most Wanted which I'm rather enjoying. I do feel AutoLog 2 isn't as good as what I saw in Hot Pursuit though.
Posted 08:56 on 05 November 2012
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

I've had a weekend of NFS: Most Wanted - Played a little bit on the PS3 version but then decided to apply all my time to the Vita version, (thanks VG). Really enjoying it and it is a great indication of exactly what the Vita can achieve if a developer is willing to put the effort in - let's hope it sells well for them.
Posted 08:51 on 05 November 2012
mrsid's Avatar

mrsid

After stupidly thinking that NFS:MW would run spectacularly on my hi-end PC I resorted to Forza Horizon and enjoyed most of it until I got bored with the repetitive gameplay and f__king annoying characters. Then went back to finally put Borderlands 2 to bed after 110 hrs (is that excessive to arrive at lvl 35 and most side-missions complete?)

I have bought AC3 but will not start it until I finish Halo4 which I will be picking up in 10 hours time at the mid-night release down here in Sydney...
Posted 03:07 on 05 November 2012
Njeezy's Avatar

Njeezy

I've been playing AC3 and have already had a sour taste in my mouth from taking control of a fort and lowering the Union Jack to replace it with the stars and stripes, I have somehow managed to commit digital treason, I didn't even know that was a thing. Hit the level cap with my assassin in BL2 now I want to get the mechromancer underway.
Posted 23:33 on 04 November 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

Finished Forza Horizon on Tuesday (set some speed camera times before donating it to Daughter Number One's growing collection) and got cracking on Halo 2 which I finished on Saturday (damn your big open maps with no waypoints and tiny exits hidden away at the far corners). A great way to pass a few hours.

Watched Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn parts 1-5 (all on YouTube). A great way to kill an hour and a half.

Finally checked out Diablo III which, since I last played it, has now been tweaked, nerfed, buffed and had lots of new gameplay systems added, including 100 Paragon levels past the level 60 cap and customisable Monster Levels which allows one to increase difficulty and rewards, so you can now take its original Metacritic 88 rating with a pinch of salt. A great way to kill time itself.
Posted 16:54 on 04 November 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Been playing Resonance which started really well but has now started to lose it's legs and is getting very cheesy.

Played a bit more of Hell Yeah but after a bit it does get a bit repetitive for me.

Also very breifly Borderlands 2 with cheekylee and Reyliondo who both had clearly played it before :P

It's much better than the first one and a bit more linear with it's narrative and is what I felt the first one should have been.

Might finish it sometime.

Completed three games this week Spec Ops: The Line which I loved and was way better than all the other COD and Halo shooters around, one of the biggest surprises of the year for me.
And second was Forza Horizon which I felt was very bland and soon as I have done a few things will be looking to selling it for funds towards AC3 possibly.
Linger in Shadows which was something that had been on my PS3 HD for a while and was luckily only a quid I think.
Posted 13:30 on 04 November 2012
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

Last time I was struggling to get into a game, but this week I've struggled to find the time, and that's not going to improve when the second child arrives next month.
I did get some co-op done on Borderlands thanks to another 48hr code fro the forum. I do love that game but I only with someone else.
Forza Horizon I've had for a little bit and I this is the game I wish I was playing more, it looks good, feels good and plays great. Got to send it back this week so need to put some serious time in.
Posted 12:39 on 04 November 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Just gotten Steam up and running lats night on my partner's desktop PC, so finally got to play Poker Night at the Inventory - what a brilliant crossover concept! :D Think I might just cave and also buy Hotline: Miami later tonight...

It is an old PC (only a 1.6 processor), but I have already been reminded why I switched to console gaming many years back - accursed Blue Screens of Death, stuttering, and an occasional crash, requiring numerous tweaks to settings... ... here's hoping I can get Team Fortress 2 running, which is something I have always wanted to play!

Other than that, I have carried on with a replay of Dungeon Keeper, which has retained all of its charm and replayability, and Forza: Horizon, which is really rather addictive (despite the lack of even a single Spyker, which has been much bemoaned to Playground Games! :p).
Posted 12:13 on 04 November 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee

Toca Band! It's a game, right? Maybe a toy. I don't know. What I do know is that it has the best MC in history (perhaps better than Parappas) and rolls with the meatiest flows when you slot everything in place. It cost me 69p and has me giggling like a small child.

"Hello.. Hello.. Bass!"
Posted 11:20 on 04 November 2012

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