Tom Orry, Editor - Heavy Rain, PS3
Yes, I'm very, very late to the party, but I finished Heavy Rain this week. This has finally meant that we can talk about it in the office, going over who got what ending and what happened during key sequences. From what I've heard my ending was actually quite happy, although it didn't leave me totally satisfied. I'm not convinced games like Heavy Rain are the future, but as a break from the norm it was extremely enjoyable - and I didn't work out who the killer was before the reveal.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Mass Effect 2, PC, Xbox 360
I'm well over 20 hours into Mass Effect 2 now, and to be honest the game is starting to lose its shine. Don't get me wrong - it's still clearly one of the best releases of the year; I'm just getting a bit bored with how repetitive the quests are. Everything seems to be always arranged in a neat straight line. You land on a planet, discover a situation, and then blast through a linear sequence of firefights until you reach the end of the corridor-like level. At this point you have a chat with someone, and then kill them. The action itself is pretty sweet, but I rather wish there was a bit more depth to the actual questing. Still, the dialogue and characterisation are still pretty great. The bit where Mordin starts singing is pure class.
James Orry, News Editor - Limbo, Xbox LIVE Arcade
After the best part of six months without playing a real game - Football Manager Live is pretty much all I've touched since I finished Heavy Rain early in the year - I caved to peer pressure and took Limbo for a spin. As games go it was alright, but there was far too much in the way of 'game' for me to contend with. Things got especially tough when lifts came into play; as a child I got my hand trapped in the door of an elevator and had to travel up several floors before my squashed appendage was released from its vice-like jaws.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer - Deadliest Warrior, Xbox LIVE Arcade
With so many deadly warriors to choose from, I'm glad Pipeworks Software chose eight of the most clichéd stereotypes when making its 1-on-1 fighter. I gave the game a 4/10 in my review, but the only other title I've been playing is StarCraft II and I'm not supposed to write about it two weeks in a row. Back to the point: Deadliest Warrior is a game so bad it's almost fun for a couple of hours, and you might even wheel it out when you're drunk. Still, there's no escaping the fact it's a terrible game - awful in both construction and execution. Fun fact: I just noticed how the Wikipedia page for the game says it features motion capture by some of the martial artists who've appeared on the accompanying TV series, which you certainly couldn't tell by looking at it.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Alan Wake: The Signal, Xbox 360
I love Alan Wake. Abso-freakin'-lutely love it/him. It's the benchmark I'm currently judging games in 2010 by, and so far the likes of Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2 and God of War 3 have yet to knock it from its pedestal. Returning to Bright Falls this week in The Signal was an absolute joy, even if the trip only lasted a couple of hours. Those hours were blissful, though; Bright Falls is, in my humble opinion, one of the most fantastically realised locations in the history of games. Few games portray such a fantastic sense of atmosphere from their location alone. I'm still trying to work out exactly what I made of the games incredibly interpretive narrative, but either way, I know I enjoyed it. Join me in the forums over the weekend (if you've played it) and we can get the speculative ball rolling.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - DJ Hero, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii
For anyone who's been clamouring for another game about repeatedly pressing buttons until blood stops flowing to your arm and your hand becomes forged into a kind of carpal tunnel claw then DJ Hero is for you. Someone gave me this for free a few weeks ago so despite the fact that I feel like I'm losing most motor function in my arms after a few hours of play I'm still up 40 pounds. Swings and roundabouts.
Tom Pearson, Video Producer - Mass Effect, PC, Xbox
It's been over two years since the original Mass Effect was released and it's only now that I have chosen to place that shiny disc into my console (or PC rather). So far I've been having a ball, with every bit of hype coming true. However I can't help thinking it would be better played on an Xbox. I've heard that the second instalment continues on from the initial game and that anybody lost in this edition would cease to exist in the next one. But I suppose that's the least of my worries. For now, the storytelling and voice acting is brilliant, and this is by far its best asset. Although the clunky battle system is getting in the way, the gameplay is just sublime. Let's hope the second one will wow me just as much.