What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - Killzone 2, PS3
It's at times like this that I realise why so many people want to write about video games. Quite amazingly we received a hefty preview build of Killzone 2 in the post this week. Receiving preview builds isn't uncommon, but to get our hands on a game of this magnitude outside of a developer's office or press event is practically unprecedented. Killzone 2 is seen by many as a key title in the PS3's library next year, if not the most important and it's clear why. This game looks staggeringly good. It looks so good that it'll make you wonder why all PS3 games don't look like this and could well put a damper on the rest of the year as you struggle to play through what seemingly less technically competent development studios produce. Yes, this is hyperbole of the highest order, but when you play the game in February you'll be saying the same things.
Wesley Yin-Poole, Deputy Editor - Metal Gear Solid 4, PlayStation 3
This week I completed one of 2008's best movies. Oh, sorry, I meant games. Forgive me the innocent slip up - it's an easy mistake to make. Of the 17 hours or so it took me to watch the movie, oh, sorry, finish the game, I'd say at least 10 were spent, pad in hand, eyeballing the seemingly never ending cut-scenes. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy them. They're probably the best cut-scenes ever seen in a video game, but even the most obsessive Metal Gear Solid fan, even the most devoted Kojima follower, has to admit that one or two of them go on far too long. Drebin's explanation of the history of each of the game's bosses, triggered right after you defeat them, were so mind-numbingly boring they made me want to eat my Sixaxis pad just for the need to do something, And the ending (don't worry, I won't spoil it for you), well, just wow. I actually fell asleep during it and had to re-watch the whole thing the following evening. Brilliant, brilliant, game, but Kojima clearly needs to direct a movie just to get it out of his system.
Neon Kelly, Previews Editor - Mario Kart DS, Nintendo DS
I had more travelling to do this week, thanks to a trip to Bordeaux to check out Codemasters' FUEL (I know, it's a hard life being a games journo). DSs seem to be part of some form of unofficial uniform in this industry; if you gather a crowd of hacks together, you can be sure that around half of them will have the little console in their bag. This meant that we could indulge in some truly obscene mid-flight Pictochat, followed by an hour long session on Mario Kart. One cart, a handful of players and a healthy dose of friendly competition: a heady mix that lead to much shouty swearing on my part, as a fellow writer smashed me into 7th place with a flying blue shell. Man, I hate those things!
Sebastian Ford, Video Producer - Prince of Persia, Xbox 360
The little spare time I have between interviews, preparing Christmas trees and procuring gifts for this year's Christmas feature has been spent playing Prince of Persia. This game really seems to be a "love it or hate it" affair, with a lot of negative feedback being spewed all over the web, particularly about the American voice acting. Personally, I love everything about it. It's the kind of game that I like to unwind to, from the light hearted banter between the two main characters and their stunning interactions, to the beautifully choreographed fighting and the 'oil painting' art style. If this sounds like your kind of deal as well, I would also highly recommend picking up the Play.com exclusive content edition, with some unlockable skins, bonus DVD and comic book. If that's not enough for you, I'd say its worth it alone for the box it comes in!