The games we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - DiRT Showdown demo, Xbox 360
If you've read any of my blog or VG Plays entries in the past you'll know that I love racing games. PGR is my favourite, but Codemasters are up there with the best with its DiRT and GRID series. So, I find it rather bizarre that with DiRT Showdown only a few weeks from release I'm really not at all excited. It's possibly a mentality thing. When the game was revealed I got the impression it was an XBLA title - it isn't, yet I've struggled to see it as a full-price release ever since. Content wise it feels like it could be one of the racing types in DiRT 3, and if I'm honest one of the types I don't enjoy playing.
Anyway, I tried the demo (and signed up to Racenet) and I'm still not sure. Visually, throughout the menus and in the game proper it's incredibly slick, but the racing itself leaves me cold. Going from first place to last because a guy rammed you at a crossroads is infuriating, and it simply isn't the type of experience I want from a Codemasters racer. Maybe if I thought of Showdown as a racer comparable to the combative nature of Mario Kart I'd like it more, but at the moment the game seems to be in a middle ground I don't want to be in.
Neon Kelly, Deputy and Features Editor – Trials Evolution, Xbox 360
I resisted the urge to pick up Trials Evolution, I really did. I know it's a good game, and I'm also painfully aware of what it would do to me – that it would sink its claws in like a hellcat, trapping me into an endless cycle of despair, punctuated by fleeting moments of joy. This is one of those games where the initial download feels like the bit in a horror movie where the nubile teens are in the cellar of an old cabin, reading from the Necronomicon.
If that sounds like criticism, think again. All i'm saying is that Trials is potent stuff. It's not easy to make a game this addictive, one that immediately ensnares everyone on your friends list – and yet RedLynx has pulled it off again. But why am I telling you this? You already know...
Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - Prototype 2, Xbox 360
Between sitting around doing absolutely nothing, almost killing everyone in our flat by burning a stir fry to the point it became toxic and watching my housemate play The Splatters for about forty hours, I've not played any great video games this week. But I have played Prototype 2, going around the city and mopping up some of the superfluous sidequests and doodads I was yet to do.
Dossing around an open-world game gives a sort of benign satisfaction, the kind of lukewarm comfort from doing something essentially meaningless but quietly entertaining nonetheless. I've already voiced my disappointment with the overall game, but clearing out a few lairs isn't an unpleasant way to spend the odd twenty minutes. But it does feel entirely vacuous, like I could have been doing something amazing with my time if I wasn't so lazy and complacent. But I am both of those things, so perhaps I shouldn't be complaining and I should just pipe down and get back to levelling up Heller.