Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Operation Flashpoint: Red River, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
I had mixed feelings about the return of Operation Flashpoint. I loved the original Bohemia Interactive-developed game, but 2009's Dragon Rising didn't quite cut it for me. Codemasters did its best, but the end result felt a bit awkward, an experiment that didn't quite work. Red River moves further away from the military sim angle in favour of something a bit more accessible (read: it's got a recharging health mechanic). But while this move will probably piss off the OpFlash hardcore, I'll admit that I rather enjoyed my first hands-on - a four-player co-op sweep through the insurgent-packed badlands of Tajikistan. Getting shot in the belly is more fun when there's a chum nearby to magically heal you. Who'd have thunk it?
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer- Mass Effect 2, 360, PS3, PC
Following on from last week, I can confirm that playing on Insanity is actually much harder near the start of Mass Effect 2 than it is at the end - I took out the final boss on my first try, and the suicide mission as a whole was a breeze. Apart from the one bit where you get rushed by Husks and a Scion, that is, but I've blotted that whole encounter from my mind.
Did I learn anything? Sure: Mass Effect 2 is even more brilliant than I thought it was. The combat definitely has more depth than I thought, and on Insanity you actually have to make use of your squadmates to get the job done. It did mean that I just took Miranda and Grunt (easily the most useful duo for an Infiltrator) on every mission, however.
So, yeah, the whole thing took me just over 30 hours, I finally got to play all the DLC I bought last year, and now I have all the Achievements. I consider that a roaring success. Roll on Mass Effect 3.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer – Assassin's Creed 2, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
The first Assassin's Creed was boring. I played it for five or six hours, and thought, "Nah, I've had enough of this." There are only so many times I can dash over some rooftops, murder a dude and then run away. This is why, despite hearing so many good things, it's taken me so long to play the sequel. The critics were right, though. Assassin's Creed 2 puts to right all the wrongs of the first game, and then some. The first time I popped it into my 360, I didn't stop playing for nine hours. Nine. I haven't had a session with a game like that for some time. This weekend I'm hoping to top that and hopefully finish it in the process, with all collectibles to boot. If I have to go to work on Monday morning without all 100 feathers, I'm not going to be a happy bunny.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - World of Warcraft Cataclysm, PC
I promise, this is one of the last times you'll see me write about this. I've nearly reached my threshold for WoW. There's only so much grinding I can take, and I've almost completely lost interest in levelling so I think it's about time for me to put my character to pasture and start leaving my house again. I'm level 70 right now, so I've basically finished off the Burning Crusade section. That means I can head out of the alien-desert tedium and into Wrath of the Lich King territory where I might feel some faint surge of interest again, but I can almost certainly promise I'll stop bloody talking about it already.