Tom Orry, Editor - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Xbox 360 and PS3
I love a bit of hack 'n' slash action. This year's already been one of the best, with Bayonetta, God of War 3, Darksiders and Dante's Inferno all being worth your money, and there's more to come. I've been putting an awful lot of time into Konami's Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the franchise reboot being handled by Mercury Steam. You'll be able to read my review towards the end of the month, but you should definitely have the game's October 8 release on your radar. This is an epic adventure that could be the surprise hit of winter 2010.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Def Jam Rapstar, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii
There's something a bit awkward about middle class white guys pretending to be gangster rappers - and yet there's something about Def Jam Rapstar that makes everything okay. I'm not sure if it's the blinged-up reverence of the presentation, the accuracy of the vocal gauging, or simply the fact that it's got a killer tracklist, but the bottom line is that the game is hugely fun. Some people (well, most of us) may need a few stiff drinks before we jump in, but once you give it a go you'll probably be surprised at how quickly your rhyming improves. It's a very rewarding experience, and less antisocial than rapping along to a top-deck-of-the-bus sodcast.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer – Halo: Reach, Xbox 360
I was about three seconds away from attacking Chris after a disastrous Halo: Reach incident this week. It's all about the daily challenges, where you do a certain amount of tasks a number of times for bonus experience and another notch on your profile. This particular one (I think it was Wednesday's set) was killing seventeen people in one match. I was on sixteen in a game of Team Slayer with thirty seconds left on the clock, and – getting a bit excited - I only happened to run into Chris piloting a chuffing great Wraith. He didn't give a toss about my noble endeavour, and promptly proceeded to blow me to smithereens. The massive git.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Abe's Oddyssee, PC
Oh look, I'm continuing to fail at playing anything made after 1999. But Abe's Oddyssee is a classic, the kind of puzzle platformer that is necessary to play in order to fill out your checklist of great nostalgic games. You play as Abe - a slave at a meat processing company within Oddworld - who escapes and attempts to save his fellow slaves along the way. With graphics that still look legitimately quite good, a near-perfect balance between its puzzles and its action, and a difficulty so high it's very funny, it's the sort of game you'll inevitably keep coming back to every two or three years.
Tom Pearson, Video Producer - Halo: Reach, Xbox 360
Like many others, I'm playing Halo: Reach. I look at my friends list and see an array of parties and teams raring to go. I'm yet to finish the campaign but from what I've experienced, it's classic Halo at its core. The multiplayer has seen some major tweaks and improvements, including the new game mode: Invasion. The armour packages are what make Reach fresh compared to its previous editions. Ultimately it changes how the online battlefield plays out. You're able to take on a tank with nothing but your pistol and the armour lock package. Just like real life.