Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Goldeneye 007, Wii
This week's Nintendo showcase event provided an opportunity for something I've not experienced in years: a GoldenEye deathmatch. The code I sampled was a very early build, and the match in question limited players to AK-47s plus a near-useless sidearm, but there were - whisper it - the faintest traces of The Good Old Days. Or to put it another way, four-player splitscreen is a huge amount of fun, even if the current build is hilariously biased towards Oddjob. Not only is he tiny and thus hard to hit (comme toujours), but the lil' bugger can throw his hat in place of a grenade. The deadly bowler is a one-hit kill, and on top of that he seems to have an infinite supply of them! You can stick four or five in a wall before they start to disappear, and since it's utterly humiliating to be killed by one, there's a massive temptation to ignore the AK entirely. Stupid? Oh yes. Funny as hell? Undoubtedly.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer - StarCraft II, PC
Core gamers are a finickity bunch. One minute they're moaning about how games have been reduced to window-licker levels of difficulty, and how the miserable future is all waving your arms around in the air pretending you're an aeroplane or a tiger farmer or whatever, but the next they're complaining how StarCraft II is too difficult and too hardcore and, whatever, RTS games aren't their cup of tea anyway. Man (or woman) up, people! Be proud that you're brave enough to try every time you GG, f10 and surrender. Super Street Fighter IV, Demon's Souls and now this? 2010 is the year for hardcore gaming - and by that I mean games that are really difficult and might cause your hair to fall out from stress.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Uncharted 2, PS3
After months of umm-ing and arr-ing and pondering whether I could afford to drop the cash on it, I've finally stolen an office copy of Uncharted 2. From the three or four hours I've played so far, I'm thoroughly impressed - blown away, in fact. In terms of cinematic storytelling, there's nothing that comes close to it in a video game form. The voice acting is fantastic, the script is genuinely funny, and oh-my-god the graphics. I had a few issues with the poor pacing and repetitive nature of the first Uncharted, and I'm pleased to see there's not a hint of these problems in the sequel. It's an incredibly rounded experience, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing how it's all concluded. On top of all this, I've got the biggest man crush on Nathan Drake. He's such a dude <3.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - System Shock II, PC
At some point in your life you're going to have to accept that SystemShock II is infinitely cooler than you will ever be. At some point in the future you'll own a car or properly kiss a woman and SystemShock II will still be better than you. If the game were a man it would be able to unclasp the bras of models with a single glance, then publicly play a full rendition of Stairway to Heaven on air guitar, to explosive applause. Between the brilliantly varied gameplay, audio log-based narrative and SHODAN it's a cyperpunk Fonzie.