What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - Tomb Raider, Xbox 360
I'm really enjoying Tomb Raider, but there's something nagging at me, saying it could have been a whole lot better. I think it's about pacing and combat. To me the change from innocent Lara to killer Lara was rushed, and when she starts killing she dispatches far too many people. This was so close to being a really gritty experience, but it quickly descends into a "shoot all the dudes" third-person action adventure. It's fun, looks brilliant, and will likely end up as a contender for one of the best games of the year, but I wish the dev team had been a bit braver.
David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Nintendo DS
I thought I'd found one of gaming's greatest characters in Missile, Ghost Trick's heroic Pomeranian pooch. But then I was introduced to the Chicken Kitchen's singing chef, and the flirtatious 'perfumed woman', and the flamboyant police inspector... The list goes on.
There are so many fantastic characters in Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, each distinctly unique and bursting with their own quirks, that even minor characters tend to have more life in them than most leads. The first two chapters are free on iOS, too, so if you're in the mood for an absorbing narrative-led puzzle adventure this weekend, definitely give it a try.
Steve Burns, Reviews and Features Editor - BioShock: Infinite, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC
BioShock Infinite has taken up all of my time this week, which is a shame because I'm not allowed to talk about it until Monday. All I can say is that yes, it is a shooting game. Insightful!
Matt Lees, Video Production Editor - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, PC
The lion-shaped pride that resides in my heart has taken a bit of a beating this week when I realised that I'll probably never be any good at StarCraft II. After months of practicing on DOTA 2 I'd sort of hoped that some of the skills would transfer over, but while the former relies on savvy knowledge a lot of StarCraft II is all about raw ability and skill. Juggling base management while sending armies into battles is far more than my monkey brain can handle, so I've already started resorting to rushing foes early in the hope of securing an early win.
My favourite unit in Heart of the Swarm undoubtedly remains the mighty Widow Mine - they burrow underground out of sight, and fire missiles at stuff that moves nearby above the surface. The best moment so far? A online 3v3 game in which one Protoss player simply stopped mining for almost four minutes simply because I'd spiked his base with a couple of Widow Mines. Those of you who've played SC2 online will know how things panned out for that guy. GG, chaps.
Matt Nellis, Video Producer - SimCity, PC
People have been giving SimCity a hard time since its launch, and rightfully so for the inexcusable server issues which left most people unable to even play it for over a week, but you know what? I actually really like this game.
Booting up Origin just now and apparently I've played 76 hours. Granted, a lot of that is from letting the game run overnight while my industrial city raked in 25 million a day, but still I've played a lot. When you finally get a city like this you start to feel indestructible. I've got so much money now that I could literally bulldoze the entire plot and rebuild 10 times over with absolutely no issues. I've whittled down the once thriving population to the bare minimum required to keep my consumer electronics factories running because, quite frankly, the residential zones were taking up valuable industrial space. Beside, they can all go live in my wonderful residential utopia elsewhere in the region! A sprawling 250,000 population city with all the amenities they could possibly hope for! All fuelled by a clean nuclear power plant which no one complained about until an earthquake destroyed it...
Now that city is the digital equivalent of Chernobyl, completely uninhabitable due to the entire area festering with ground pollution. Ah well, I guess I'll just go start a new region...