What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - MovieCat, iPhone
While waiting for more Cover Orange levels I'm frequently turning to MovieCat as my go-to iPod Touch game. I love this game so much that I actually play with sound on (something I generally never do), if only to listen to the catchy opening music. I've even spent money on the add-on pack, which includes new questions - sorely needed as I'd exhausted almost all the game had to offer. Rather troubling, though, is that despite lots of the questions repeating time and time again prior to the update, I wasn't able to set a new high score. Not only does that mean my movie knowledge isn't as good as I thought it was, but that my short term memory is terrible.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Red Faction: Armageddon - PC, PS3 and Xbox 360
Yes sir, Red Faction is back. The political plotting may have been pushed to the background, and Guerrilla's open-world sprawls may have been swapped for linear levels, but the destruction physics are still hugely fun. There's something of a Dead Space-y vibe to Armageddon, with vicious insect creatures replacing the usual gun-toting enemies. The game feels more like an arcade shooter than a traditional survival horror, but I dare say that the change may surprise long-time fans of the series. Still, they're bound to be happy with the weapons on offer: there's a gun here that fires out black holes, for starters. There's also another score-attack mode, Ruin, where you destroy buildings as fast as you can - a good thing, as Wrecking Crew was easily one of the most fun parts of the last game.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer - Red Dead Redemption, Xbox 360, PS3
As FBI sod Edgar Ross tells Marston in the closing chapters of Red Dead Redemption, "Everyone will pay for what they've done." It's a central theme to the game, which I saw through to 100 per cent completion last week, and Rockstar make absolutely sure to drum the idea into your skull over the course of the game; its method of storytelling is about as subtle as Jocelyn Wildenstein's face.
It is good, though. After almost thirty hours of herb picking, cougar skinning and bird shooting the end of the game comes together rather nicely. The tedium of Mexico vanishes into a strong finale and the closing cinematic sequences are genuinely affecting. The sheer sprawl of it all is a detriment to the experience, however, although maybe I made it worse for myself by insisting on completing all the challenges. Maybe one day I'll manage to kick my OCD.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Sins of a Solar Empire, PC
I knew my PC had a use beyond being that machine I use to store tat from WoW quests. Aside from having one of the best game titles ever, Sins of a Solar Empire is also a solid RTS. Essentially a strategy title-meets-Space opera that focuses on colonising planets. You explore, exploit, expand, and exterminate in real time. And for that it gained recognition as a thinking man's RTS, which in glib terms means that, yes, it's a slow-paced real-time strategy. Knee-jerk reactions don't have a place in the game, and similarly jumping immediately into combat isn't the key. Even the AI will be reluctant to sometimes, committing themselves to their colonial duties unless they have a better reason to start shooting. It's a different animal to your garden variety StarCrafts, and certainly an acquired taste next to shinier, faster paced genre favourites, but it still stands out surprisingly well.