Tom Orry, Editor - Rise of Nightmares, Xbox 360
I don't really like Rise of Nightmares, but at the same time it's one of the most interesting and ambitious Kinect titles I've played. The game's problem is that the controls seem designed for complete beginners (simply because Kinect seemingly can't manage anything more complicated), but the horror theme is clearly trying to go for the hardcore group - not that this element of the title works as anything other than a cheesy and occasionally amusing ultra-violent comedy. Yes, Rise of Nightmares is the closest to a traditional game the peripheral has, but it's a long way from being an experience you'll enjoy. Still, it's a game that's worth trying if only to see how the use of Kinect is evolving - for better or worse.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
I'm not exactly sure what brought me back to Modern Warfare 2; perhaps there's just some kind of animal instinct that kicks in as November approaches. It's odd, as to be honest I'm not particularly bothered about this year's sequel.
In any case, I intended to play a bit of Spec Ops, but inevitably found myself being drawn towards multiplayer instead. The results were as messy as you'd expect, although there is something oddly comforting about coming back to your old, long-forgotten custom loadouts. The variation across my five classes speaks volumes about my inability to find a workable style, and two years on their names seem sadly optimistic. My "Heavy" RPD class is swept aside by the opposition while "Survive" - which uses the SCAR with a heartbeat sensor - seems to almost accelerate the rate at which I get killed.
It's not the game's fault, of course: I'm just not very good. But despite myself (and to my surprise, if I'm honest) I did end up having a decent time - but only when I switched to making territory grabs in Domination. When it comes to CoD, I'm a borderline pacifist.
Martin Gaston, Previews Editor - Horrid Henry's Horrid App, iOS
The price is a bit horrid: £1.99 for three mini-games? I guess parents will do anything to placate a grotty child. My childhood loosely overlaps with Horrid Henry - the series started in 1994, so I was just about too old for it. I have three younger brothers, though, so the mischievous guy has been in my life for a while now.
The iPhone app has been released to coincide with the movie, but uses artwork from the book series. You flick water balloons (a bit like Angry Birds), or run down school corridors (a bit like Canabalt), or dress up characters with funny clothes. It's not particularly complex, but neither is Horrid Henry. If you're less than eight years old and you have an iPod (though I do question why your parents thought it was a good idea to buy you an iPod) then you'll probably think it's worth a pop.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Xbox 360
I am the Foxiest of the Hounds. And by that, I mean I've finished Deus Ex without being spotted by a single hostile (lovely little nod to Metal Gear Solid that). I also completed the game without a single death (other than the bosses) on my conscience, granting me the Pacifist Achievement. I'm terribly proud of myself.
I think this could be my favourite game of 2011 so far. It's certainly not the best game of 2011 - it's got its fair share of problems. Even by the end of the game, I still found it hard to get over the terrible character models, appalling lip syncing and shonky animations. But this was never to the detriment of the experience itself, and I feel Deus Ex managed to sink its teeth in deeper than anything else in 2011 so far. With Skyrim on the horizon, however, I doubt that accolade will remain for long.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Dead Island, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
Here's a picture of professional games journalism: playing Dead Island for so long the grooves in your couch start appearing on your body. Interestingly, the epic saga of me slowly growing into my furniture is more intriguing than any part of the game, so if you're thinking about another game in the future, Techland, and zombies aren't doing it for you, I'm free to talk about this couch idea I have. Chesterfield Peninsula, it's called. It features a cast of B-movie stars who speak only in sob story monologues, attempting to survive in a world where even the chairs can't be trusted, while learning the life lesson that really, there's not that much different between us and inanimate, cushioned seating. It works on multiple levels.