What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - FIFA 12, Xbox 360
This is meant to be where I talk about what we played this week, but instead all I've got is a story about how I didn't play FIFA 12 because our ad man Andy Spenceley decided getting a free pair of shoes was more important than the happiness of the entire office!
Right, so we'd agreed to play FIFA at lunch. It was set in stone - the kind of arrangement you can't break. Lunch rolled round, I nipped out to buy a chicken wrap, headed back, sat in the gaming room and waited. Spenceley had decided he had to use a deal through his phone provider to nab a free pair of summer shoes - things weren't looking good for FIFA at lunch, or FIFAAL as I will now call it.
He'd be right back for FIFAAL, or so he believed. 45 minutes later, at 1:50 pm, he returns, crap-looking 50p shoes in one hand. He wants to start FIFAAL now but even a 5-minute game would take too long. I sit slumped in my chair, once again disappointed that Andy 'Smiler' Spenceley decided to put his happiness above my own. The FIFAAL dream is over.
Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Xbox 360
Yay! Regular readers of this weekly featurette are no doubt delighted to see me go back to Skyrim. Blame Dawnguard, if you must - it put me back on the mountain path, and Shadowmere and I are happy to climb it near-vertically. I'm actually heading back onto the main questline now, having exhausted the four main factions, and I figure it's finally time to knock off Alduin.
It really is a wonderful game, and while I am sympathetic to those who've had their experiences tarnished by nasty bugs I have (touch wood) managed to get by pretty scot free. I've certainly had a less painful experience than with Oblivion, which routinely forced me to flush my Xbox 360 cache for some reason that I never quite understood.
One thing that struck me this week is that many are quick to criticise Bethesda for its storytelling. While I wouldn't say plot and character have ever been Bethesda's strongest areas, there's plenty of rich ambient narrative here for those willing to find it. For instance, I am particularly fascinated by the relationship between the daedric princes and mortals and how such a religious, supernatural world seems unnaturally devoid of any nice deities. Basically, nothing good ever seems to happen to anyone in Skyrim.
David Scammell, Staff Writer - Battlefield 3, Xbox 360
I've been desperately trying to get back into Battlefield 3 this week, eagerly looking for reasons to justify shelling out nigh on £40 for its DLC. But every time I try, I'm put off by the unbalanced carnage provoked by the arrival of private servers.
300% tickets? Snipers only? What is this - a late 90s PC shooter? But, to the game's detriment, that's exactly how Battlefield 3 feels at the moment - a disappointing reality to someone who just wants to play a 'normal' game of Rush.
EA, give me back some official servers and maybe then I'll think about laying down the cash for Premium.