Tom Orry, Editor - Turning Point, Xbox 360
Playing games for a living is usually great, but from time to time a game will come along that is so disappointing I'm completely put off gaming for a while. Codemasters' Turning Point had great potential. At numerous preview events over the last year or more the idea behind the game seemed to be quite novel and the general buzz around it was positive, but then as the release date approached things looked far less rosy. The final game, something I had to play this week, is so far below the level I expected that it ranks as one of the worst games I've played on the Xbox 360. For a game built on the Unreal Engine 3 it looks awful, the great ideas haven't been built into exciting gameplay and the multiplayer is almost broken. I also had the misfortune of seeing one killed soldier's face melting into a grate. Not intentional of course, but sadly the highlight of my time with the game.
Wesley Yin-Poole, Deputy Editor - Mass Effect, Xbox 360
As regular readers will know, Mass Effect was my 2007 game of the year. I absolutely loved it, and still do. And I've returned to the game, dripping with sweat at the prospect of unleashing my biotic powers against the new DLC - Bring Down the Sky. It's fantastic - Shepard and crew arrive on an asteroid which has been taken over by Batarian fanatics. They've commandeered three boosters and are sending the asteroid head first into a heavily populated planet. It's up to you, as you'd expect, to land on the surface and sort everything out. I won't spoil anything for you, but what I will say is that it will only last you 9 hours and right at the end, you're presented with one of the best moral decisions in the whole game. Usually it's obvious which decision will lead to Paragon points and which will lead to Renegade. This time though, I wasn't sure. Now, I'm simply bursting with excitement for the next round of Mass Effect DLC. Bring it on BioWare.
James Orry, News Editor - Buzz! Quiz TV, PS3
This came into the office this week so, being fans of the PS2 versions, we sat down for a Thursday afternoon session of wireless quiz action. Yes, Buzz on PS3 features wireless versions of the buzzer controllers. What immediately struck me was how well the developers have moved the fun franchise to the hugely more powerful PS3, with character models up there with the best you'll see in modern video games. In a hard-fort battle which saw a cheerleader, superhero and mime artist gang up against an evil villain (Darth Vada wannabe), it was the cheerleader that came out on top, despite my truly astonishing display in the fastest finger first round. Rather excitingly, this PS3 incarnation of the Buzz franchise will enable players to create their own quiz questions, allowing other players to download all-new sets of questions - creating a potentially endless supply of quiz fodder.
Nick Peres, Video Producer - Bully: Scholarship Edition, Xbox 360
I was thankfully never really bullied through my years of school; I attribute that to my louder thespian side, managing to blag my way out of many a tricky situation by the power of Brian Blessed style word combos and damn weird excuses. I wasn't perhaps the most attentive student, still believing back then that Drama would secure me a career in acting - ha! I ran around like a headless chicken. Nonetheless I did enjoy the idea of learning so much so that I now have a library of books I enjoy looking at (from a distance). So I began Bully with the intent of being a model student, learning lots and hopefully getting some kisses along the way. Within two minutes of running around the playground I had already floored a fat kid, two 'jocks' and maybe a girl?! Oh the great shame of it all! Bring back the cane! The soundtrack didn't stand out for me so I shouldn't worry about listening to it in your extra curricular time. Ok School's out for Easter, bye!
Simon Hunter, Associate Video Producer - Total Annihilation, PC
To this day I swear to Zeus there is no RTS as good as Total Annihilation. Even the illegitimate "sequel" Supreme commander doesn't compare. So this week a few of us in the office decided to give it a whirl for old times' sake and it hasn't lost an ounce of its appeal. Even bearing in mind this game was among the likes of Red Alert and Age of Empires 2, it was still years ahead of its time in terms of its scope and detail. One of the most epic games we played this week had us building armies in the 4-500 range. Being an old Win95 game, things did end rather abruptly though when the systems all crashed as soon as our armies merged.