Tom Orry, Editor - Tomb Raider, Xbox 360

Tomb Raider screenshot

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

ghosttrick570 -

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 screenshot

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

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm screenshot

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

SimCity (2013) screenshot

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...

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Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

The bulk of my gaming this week has been on Assassins Creed III, which I think is a good game, let down by a dumbing down of the combat. It's readily apparent Ubi have tried to go for the Batman: Arkham style of combat, when the potential for complex duelling was right in their face. The game could also do with a bit more platforming.

The naval combat though... now THAT is something. A little simple, like everything else in the title, but you do feel powerful lining up a shot and commanding your crew to fire on your mark. Here's hoping Black Flag will feature much deeper mechanics for this, with grape- and chain-shot becoming involved.

I also took part in the Tea Party last night, which made me thoroughly ashamed of myself (was sipping an earl grey at the time, no less). :D
Posted 14:22 on 23 March 2013
MrRevelation's Avatar

MrRevelation

I finished Tomb Raider last Sunday and have just been waiting for Bioshock: Infinite. Although the new Blizzard game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, could be good and thus I am interested. Plus hopefully the Steam 'Indie Spring Sale' will include some little Indie gems, I'm quite interested in Thomas Was Alone and Kentucky Route Zero and will probably pick them up at some point; although I am * attempting* to reduce my spending so I can save up for some decent sound recording equipment as I plan to start up my own podcast/game play commentary channel for a hobby soon.
Posted 00:53 on 23 March 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I've been playing Life is Crime as usual, sorry. On the plus side I'm now a whizz at running multiple spreadsheets and sorting data for one game at the same time. I'm trying to win using applied intelligence rather than just buying great gear that's otherwise unobtainable unless you buckle in to the -mium suffix after the word 'Free'. So far so good, I'm holding my own.

But, news just in! I took a 90 minute break to test drive Defiance which is currently on its XBox 360 beta weekend (well, 5 or 6 days if you're counting). I'm very impressed by its apparent depth, lots of systems, lots of perks, lots of weapon skills to level up, vehicles, a day/night cycle, pursuits (cheevos), elites, different drop rarities, even a crafting system. But even though it's an MMO I have to ultimately compare it to Borderlands 2, and it just doesn't seem to quite have the same magic to keep me enthralled for several hundred hours as the latter will undoubtedly do when I get back to playing it.

I think it's because Borderlands 2 has really stupid quests, whereas Defiance has bog standard "Go here, shoot these" boring ones. Both types of quests are really exactly the same, Borderlands 2 just disguises them better. And I have to factor in how long it'll actually run for given it's being released at the end of this generation rather than the start of the next, and I absolutely hate having the plug pulled from under me in MMOs.

One of my Facebook (and real life friends) challenged me to beat her hi-score in Subway Surfers on Android, which is basically a Temple Run-like. I've been pulling my hair out ever since, but I'll get there eventually dagnabbit.
Posted 18:20 on 22 March 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Ragnarok Odyssey still, the Vita's answer to Monster Hunter. GOW Judgement multiplayer beta too, then hopefully the full game tonight.

loads of iOS and Android games including Snoopy Rollercoaster, which does exactly what it says on the tin...
Posted 17:57 on 22 March 2013
AndySpence's Avatar

AndySpence

Tomb Raider and FIFA 13 - both and work on lunch breaks (damn you Nellis) and FUT at home. I seem to not be able to win. Losing 7-1 and 5-0 consecutively, I rage quit during the first half of the second game. Yes it was 5-0 in the first half.
Posted 17:35 on 22 March 2013
jeffyboy40's Avatar

jeffyboy40

been playing a ton of GOD OF WAR ASCENSION,the game gets better as you progress,but its the multiplayer that has really pulled me in,its fantastic,just pure fun,and great to see your warrior level up,also the servers are full of players at the moment so its easy to find a match.
Now BRING ON THE BIOSHOCK!
Posted 17:22 on 22 March 2013

Game Stats

Release Date: 05/03/2013
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 613 9
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