What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - Portal 2, Xbox 360
Portal 2 is a funny game. The witty one-liners hit the mark every time and companion Wheatley is always amusing. It's hard to say anything about this superb sequel without spoiling something, with even the smallest moments being memorable events that you'll want to experience for the first time yourself, rather than second-hand via a friend's badly remembered anecdote. I'd love so called 'non-gamers' to give Portal 2 a try, but I fear the game's tricky portal firing puzzle mechanics later in the game may prove to be too much of a barrier to entry for many. I think Portal 2 has set a new bar for in-game dialogue that is going to be hard to better.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Borderlands, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
There, I've finally finished it. I'd heard from endless sources that the end to Borderlands' main plotline was a bit crap, and guess what - it turns out they were right. I suspect everyone knows this already as you all wrapped up the game (and its DLC) ages ago, but for what it's worth I think the last area is actually rather interesting. The supposed climax is a major letdown, but to be honest it hardly bothered me: I sat through the credits and then just went back to roaming about, shooting people in the face with my absurdly powerful acid revolver. It would have been nice to get a better battle at the end, but a game like this barely needs an ending anyway. Maybe we'll get a more satisfying conclusion in Borderlands 2 (it must be on the cards for some point soon), but part of me wonders whether a shooter like this actually needs an ending at all...
Martin Gaston, Previews Editor - Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Brotherhood is an absolute beast of a game. There's something about Ubisoft's gentle mix of wading through shiny collectible trinkets to go alongside its nonsensical overarching narrative about an evil species of popes or something (I honestly have no idea), but it's Rome that's the real star of the show. There's a quick travel system in place through a series of underground tunnels, but I tend just to run, jump, and leap everywhere because I love bounding over the sights on the way. If you ask me, the reason Rockstar decided not to enter Red Dead Redemption into this year's BAFTAS is because it knew Brotherhood was going to mop up - and rightly so.
I do find it fascinating that Ubisoft is having such success in annualising a franchise which requires a significant time investment. My Rome is now 60% renovated, but I've barely scratched the surface of the game - I'm just coming to the end of the third memory sequence, so there's plenty to battle through before I get to the supposedly baffling conclusion.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer – Infamous 2, PS3
Should I find the time to play Infamous 2 when it releases in June, I'll steer Cole down the path of the goody-two-shoes. I always feel morally obliged to play the hero in a game featuring a choice of ethics. So, when I played it earlier in the week, I made sure to make the most out of the opportunity to be evil. First I overloaded a generator, killing a whole bunch of civilians just to save time killing a few enemies. Then, out on the streets of New Marais, I revelled in throwing cars at pedestrians, filling passers-by with thousands of volts of electricity and generally going out of my way to beat the crap out of perfectly innocent people. By the time I surrendered my controller to the next journo, Cole's body was a canvas for menacing blue veins and angry tattoos, and the electricity surging out of him was red, instead of blue. He looked badass.