What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - God of War: Ascension, PS3
I love God of War. It's one of the few series I've 100 per cent completed, so Ascension has been on my "must play once it's released" list for quite some time. The game has been given pretty mediocre reviews (for a title from such a popular series), and I can kind of understand why. While the opening hour is pretty spectacular and the visuals that follow are brilliant too, I'm finding the combat quite tedious at the moment due to some tough difficulty spikes. Despite this, I'm sure I'll play through to the end and see some amazing sequences, but maybe it's time for the studio to try its hand at something new, yet equally epic.
David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - Tomb Raider, Xbox 360
I know it sounds crazy, but I've felt far more compelled to play Tomb Raider's multiplayer than I have to get involved with the single-player. Don't get me wrong: Tomb Raider's multiplayer isn't particularly special - it's essentially Uncharted's MP under a different guise - and is plagued with problems and annoyances, like unpredictable weapon recoil, awkward animations and ropey visuals. But it's inoffensive fun, and a complete surprise given the frosty reception it received on its reveal.
The campaign, then. What I've played so far (which admittedly is little beyond the opening hour) hasn't left me as dazzled as I'd been hoping for. Its production values stun and its visuals and atmosphere doubtlessly impressive. But on the flip side, I feel like the game has been holding my hand a little too much, with early level design that largely involves me holding up and mashing the odd QTE. Lara's comfort in her ability to go from a young, innocent adventurer to trigger-happy killer jars awkwardly with the game's tone, too. It's a fairly typical approach to early-game design, I suppose, and I'm told that it branches out right around the corner. But at the moment, whether Tomb Raider will manage to sink its hooks into me like Lara's arrowheads in an islander's skull is still undecided.
Steve Burns, Reviews and Features Editor - Civilization V, PC
Last week I made the mistake of buying Civ V. Not that it is a bad game; it's just that I've been doing little else but playing it. And when I'm not playing it, I'm thinking about it. I may write a song about my addiction. But I probably won't. Because that would interfere with playing Civ.