The games we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - Deus Ex Human Revolution
I bought Deus Ex Human Revolution for about a fiver when gamestation was flogging most its pre-owned stock earlier in the year, but I've only just given the game a whirl. I wasn't expecting to play a sci-fi CoD, but I was expecting a better, more exciting opening than what I got. I know the game is supposed to go up numerous notches on the brilliance barometer once the augs have kicked in properly, but the first 30 minutes of this left me feeling a bit meh.
In an age where the opening few minutes of a game are usually full of spectacular set pieces and OMG WOW WTF moments, a fairly dull trundle around a sci-fi lab complex, with some objects on fire and the odd innocent being shot, felt rather uninspired.
Still, with my expectations lowered perhaps the game will have an easier time impressing me going forward. I'm not convinced Human Revolution is really my kind of game, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
Oh, and I'm still playing New Star Soccer. I am going through a rough patch at the moment, not helped by my girlfriend doing an interview with the press and slagging off the manager - not what I needed on the back of being dropped to the subs bench.
Neon Kelly, Deputy and Features Editor – Dota 2, PC
Gosh, it's hard isn't it? I can't remember the last time I had to do so much research for a game, so much prep work before delving in. And to a certain extent it was all for naught, too. If you're not a veteran of the MOBA scene, I'm not convinced that any amount of reading or YouTubing can prepare you for Dota 2, for all the things you need to remember and keep track of. Your first Dota 2 match will likely be a remarkably intense experience; in my case, most of my advance plans were lost when my brain melted into sludge and trickled out my ears.
But I tell you this – there's definitely something important in this whole MOBA business. I can't recall the last game that drove me to watch a 40-minute strategy video, and happily at that.
Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - Dota 2, PC
£1.59. That's the price of a slice of curiosity. Curiosity has currently cost me £4.77. Plus I bought the Fearless Badger (Imeancomeonlookathimhe'sabadgerforcryingoutloud) so make the running total £7.26. £7.26? Free to play? Balls to that. The game isn't even out and I'm forking over fistfuls of cash.
Fact: you haven't really played Dota 2 until you've felt the pain of forking over £1.59 for a virtual key because you want to open a digital box that may or may not have something good in it. You're still at the dipping-your-toes-in stage if you haven't looked wistfully over at the Dr Kleiner announcer pack and thought, yeah, I'll probably buy that the next time I come home smashed.
Actually playing Dota 2 feels like walking a tightrope over a pit of lava while your friends are throwing stones at your face and your enemies, well, your enemies just have rocket launchers and a steady aim. The chances of you actually walking that slither of string are minuscule, but you so desperately want to be able to do it.
Heck, it's a tough game. It took me about fifteen minutes to even explain why it was called Dota 2 the other day. But it gets to you. This morning I thought about making a YouTube video pledging my love to the Skeleton King. I still might.
I'm at 15.7 hours played. That's more than most games, but in Dota 2 I'm still at the stage of turning up to work on your first day wearing a suit and not knowing where everything is. From what I've been told I'm about 25 hours away from smart casual and automatic knowledge of the coffee machine (read: understanding terms like 'Rosh' and knowing never to lark about in the river unless you're a suicidal pr**k, which is something I was called last night for larking about in the river).
I realise that there's a statistical certainty that absolutely zero of you are reading this. It's okay, I get it, VideoGamer.com is a site that tailors itself to console gamers and you're probably a console gamer. So am I. But, but, I think Dota 2 is going to consume the world and have us all drumming our fingers on tables thinking about whether we can fork out another £1.59 this month even though we shouldn't be. Games journalists especially seem to be desperately trying to work it out right now as we all collectively do our best to not suffer the fate of the dinosaurs in the next three years.
So, yeah, Dota 2 can go and royally eff itself. And by that I, of course, mean it's probably Game of the Year.