Tom Orry, Editorial Director - Uncharted 3, PS3
I'd put off playing Uncharted 3 for too long, so with The Last of Us on the horizon I dusted off my copy, installed four updates and set off on another Drake adventure. Well, I actually took part in some horrible scripted combat and wandered about as young Drake. I'm sure things will pick up, but I was pretty underwhelmed by the opening 30 minutes. Still, it looks very pretty.
Simon Miller, Editor-In-Chief - Donkey Kong Returns 3D, 3DS
As well as The Last of Us – and for more on that read our preview or take a peek at Dave's novel below – I dove into Donkey Kong Country Returns on the 3DS this week. As a veteran Nintendo idiot (which basically means I really like Nintendo) throwbacks get me oddly excited, and although this is just a port of the Wii game that came out in 2010, having these kind of experiences on the move makes me happy.
Those who have played or heard the noise that it's harder than trying to buy the sun will be pleased to hear that there's a specific mode that makes it all a little easier and it's just so lovingly nostalgic that I can't help but warm to it. Some areas are still too hard – although that's because I have a tendency to get angry and lose my way – but it's yet another reason to believe that the 3DS is currently the best console going at the moment.
Dave Scammell, Deputy News Editor - The Last Of Us, PS3
The trees look rubbish. Forget the atmosphere, the characters or anything else that's going on - it's thoughts about the trees that are the first thing to pop into my head as I load up The Last of Us' Lincoln demo, a sequence that sees Joel laying down planks of wood to cross building tops before stepping into a booby-trapped labyrinth of makeshift bombs and zombie bits.
But in all sincerity, the foliage really can look poor, and for a developer that made its name this gen with Uncharted - a series that has some of the best looking computer-generated trees in the business - it comes as a bit of a surprise.
Still, the rest of the demo's pretty good, even if, like Simon said in his preview, it can feel a bit fiddly. I'm not as fazed as he is about the controls, but it's the awkward cover system and overbearing combat that leaves me conflicted. Though deliberately inaccurate, the gunplay feels spectacular, with the recoil from shotgun blasts conveying a magnificent sense of power and brutality. But when things get up close, The Last of Us can start to feel a little flimsy.
In the demo at least, it's quite easy to lose track of your bearings and have opponents flank you from behind. On the face of it, that's cool, but it becomes a particular problem when you attempt to take down someone silently, only to have a shotgunner creep up behind you and kill you fairly quickly. I'm still not entirely sure how you're supposed to takedown enemies from behind cover or around corners, either (or even if you can), but every time I tried I just ended up rattling off a flurry of non-connecting punches.
I'm almost certain that it's a problem with the way in which the demo has been presented, and I hope it isn't the same demo that Sony plans to release publicly later this month. There isn't any introduction to the mechanics, and the frustrations and irritations I have with it may not be valid once everything becomes clearer in the final release.
But that's the problem with playing two unrelated chunks lifted from partway through the game. I'm still excited about The Last of Us, but for a game whose strengths will almost certainly lie in the narrative and characterisation, it's impossible to get a true feel for it here.
Steve Burns, Reviews and Features Editor - Dog's Life, PS2
This week has been dominated by one thing: Dog's Life, 2003's wonderful dog-em-up. You can see more of it here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuWe4Xjl5cA), but while playing it I couldn't help but wonder: wouldn't more games be better with dogs in them? After all, how good was sending your mutt out to kill fools in Shadow Dancer on Mega Drive? Ace. Dead to Rights, less ace, but still.