Tom Orry, Editor - Driver San Francisco, Xbox 360 and PS3
I thought the Shifting mechanic in Driver San Francisco was a stupid gimmick, having not played the game until last week. How wrong was I? Well, very wrong. While the coma storyline is more than a little ludicrous, the gameplay it allows for is hugely original. When developer Reflections really goes to town with the craziness towards the end of the campaign things really get exciting, with numerous clever and memorable sequences. It's hard to imagine how the dev team will manage a sequel if San Francisco is a success, but hopefully they will work something out. Driver deserves to do well.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, PC
My housemate Daniel is the most hardcore StarCraft player I know. He watches live matches online, is a daily viewer of Day 9, and has a notepad filled with tweaks to his build order. Since the game came out last year it's been increasingly tricky to lure him away to anything else, so this week I teamed up with him for spot of 2v2 play. He and his normal partner have reached diamond level, so I figured we'd get by. Big mistake.
Long story short, we lost - and in embarrassing fashion. Despite the fact that one of our two opponents dropped out immediately, the guy who stuck around made short work of our pathetic coalition. Daniel was taking it easy, while my laid-back approach to army construction left me helplessly underpowered when the enemy starting showing up en masse. StarCraft II is an amazing game, but I still refute the idea that it can be played casually. Frankly, successful play demands acute reflexes, practice, and more concentration than I'm prepared to give.
In contrast, when my girlfriend plays Age of Mythology she drops the AI to the easy setting and spends ages building a huge base with all the trimmings; combat is almost an afterthought. Shameful as it may sound, I think I prefer her style of RTS play to Daniel's.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Xbox 360
I've made a promise to myself that I'm going to complete Deus Ex without spilling the blood of a single enemy. I'm going to slip through the game like a shadow, only using violence when the game puts me in a position where it's the only option available - which I've heard is just for the boss battles. I'm only an hour or so into things, but so far I've stuck by this promise.
It certainly strikes me as a good game, but lord is it shonky. Trailers, promotional artwork and the such lead me to believe this game would be slicker than your average, but the character models, animations and lip-syncing are all straight out of 2005. Still, I doubt this will deter me; it certainly seems like this is a game I'm going to pour a decent amount of time into. I'm away over the bank holiday, however, so my adventures as Adam Jensen are going to have wait until late next week. For shame.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Terraria, PC
Terraria is the next logical step up from MineCraft, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. In fact don't even listen to me: here's a helpful and subtle link to trailer. This is a side-scrolling, world-building, sandbox-styled action game that is best played in co-op. Make a character, explore, build a house, dig for raw material, create items and weapons, then wait for nightfall for zombies, blobs, flying eyes, and Dune-style sandworms to attack. Amazing game.