Tom Orry, Editor - Dead Space: Extraction, Wii
There was something really quite exciting about blowing the head off one of the rampaging humans turned nasties in Dead Space: Extraction on Wii. Violent games clearly already exist on the platform, but here it feels even more extreme. I probably should have been expecting it, having played and loved the original Dead Space on consoles last year, in which alien limbs were cut off using the arsenal of tools at your disposal. Extraction is also a wonderful looking game, with developer Eurocom getting some hugely atmospheric visuals out of the relatively underpowered Wii hardware. This is easily one of the best light-gun shooters I've ever played, up there with SEGA's hilarious House of the Dead: Overkill.
Wesley Yin-Poole, Deputy Editor - Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Xbox 360
For all its flaws, UA2 has rekindled the adolescent, comic book collecting teenager in me, someone I thought forever lost to time and nostalgia. I've been obsessing over unlocking every character's alternate costume, and great big green powerhouse Hulk. It's irrational, but I can't help myself. Fuelled by this obsession, after work on Thursday I popped into Croydon's Forbidden Planet and bought four comics. Something called Dark Avengers, New Avengers, Thor and The Uncanny X-Men. Things have changed quite a bit since my X-Men collecting days. The X-Men are outcasts, holed up in Magneto's old underwater base, The Avengers are being hounded by improbable media darling The Green Goblin, and Thor's hardly about Thor. Will this newfound comic book enthusiasm last? Doubtful, but I owe UA2 a great debt. This week I've felt 15 again, and it's been great.
Neon Kelly, Previews Editor - Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Xbox 360
Ah, the military sim. No other genre is so consistently punishing, so demanding, so merciless in its tendency to dish out a swift death. I've been playing Dragon Rising this week, and the rest of the staff have had to listen to my screams and curses as yet another mission ends in bloody failure. Indeed, between this and Wez's attempts to battle through Risen, the past five days have heard an awful lot in the way of yelled profanities. At the time of writing, I've spent the past three hours attempting to capture an airfield; countless virtual lives have been lost in the pursuit of this objective, and I now feel battered and bruised. So yes indeed, Dragon Rising is hard as nails - but is it any good? My review will be going live next Tuesday - so check back then to find out.
James Orry, News Editor - FIFA 10, Xbox 360
So I've just put the controller down after back to back wins against Tom and then Wez. The first was a 2-1 victory which saw Tevez scoop the ball over a well positioned Gomez - it was a quite frankly ridiculous chip shot that had Wez leaping out of his chair in amazement. Tom defeated, Wez took the controller, switched Spurs for Chelsea and attempted to dethrone the king. It was a great start for the challenger, Drogba smashing home a half-volley from the edge of the area. Then came some magic from Robinho, weaving in and out until a clumsy challenge from one of Chelsea's ageing centre backs resulted in a stone cold penalty. 1-1. Extra time and it wasn't until the dying moments that Adebayor broke free and, one-on-one with the keeper, lopped the ball over a stranded Cech. It wasn't over, though, with a last gasp headed equaliser forcing the game to pens. After the dramatic end to extra time, the shootout proved rather undramatic, with Wez only managing to sink two of his five pens. The reign of King Orry continues.
Sebastian Ford, Video Producer - Risen, Xbox 360 and PC
I only played it for about an hour; I was capturing for a bit of gameplay footage to go up on the site naturally assuming that I would be able to just pick up the game and play it. It would have made for boring footage; I died within thirty seconds, a trait that continued frequently thereafter. But it wasn't this that made me instantly question the game; it was the sound of the rain beating down on the beach in that opening scene. Every 10 or 15 seconds the sound of the rain would loop, how did I know this? There was actually an audible pause between the loops. I'm all about RPGs, but when people start defending one by saying "it gets good after about 15 hours into the game" then that's 15 hours I would rather spend elsewhere.
For more on what we've been up to this week check out the brand-new VideoGamer.com Podcast.