Simon Miller, Editor-In-Chief - Ducktales (Woohoo!) Remastered, Xbox 360
I like Ducktales. Regardless what that says about me as an individual, anything Scrooge McDuck does, I support. It's why I enjoyed the game as a kid, and why I was excited about the remake which comes out next week.
While I can't talk about it too much until the 'official' review time (which is this coming Monday), I do feel a little disappointed with how this is seemingly going to turn out. The artstyle isn't as nice in motion as I'd hoped, and the game itself... well... is kind of a dick!
More soon, but I may cry a little as I wear my Launchpad pyjamas this weekend*.
David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - Payday 2, Xbox 360
Like one of my many failed bank jobs, Payday 2 is an idea that appears impressive in concept, but is flawed in execution. I've been playing for a couple of hours now and, though the thought of robbing banks with friends sounds incredible, I've found myself wanting to enjoy it far more than I actually am.
Ignoring some of the more obvious complaints I have with the 360 port, the idea behind Payday 2, it seems, is that you begin your career as an amateur bank robber, fumbling your way through heists until you've learned the ropes, levelling up your character and unlocking the necessarily tools and skills to pull off the perfect bank job.
In theory that's fine, but the approach Overkill has taken appears conflicted. So far I've been reduced to assaulting my way through the game's banks, clubs and art galleries simply because I don't have the equipment to efficiently stealth my way to the vault. But at the same time, my armour seems too weak and the early weapons not powerful enough to fend off SWAT teams particularly well.
You're rewarded with money on the completion of each job to unlock more powerful weapons, and skill points to unlock better abilities, but it seems to take far too long to unlock the most basic of stuff. If I'm forced to shoot my way through the early game (which I seem to have been so far), Overkill should have weighted the system to allow for more regular shooter-based unlocks. As it is, it's starting to feel a little too much like a grind.
With more time I hope Payday 2 wins me over, and I have no doubt that when I do eventually pull off the perfect heist it'll feel immensely satisfying. But the early offerings - arguably the most important part of any game - has felt disappointingly slow-going.
Chris Bratt, Video Producer - Papers, Please, PC
Border control really shouldn't be an entertaining premise for a video game; it just shouldn't! I can turn on my PC and play as an array of fantastic characters. I could be an astronaut lost in space, searching for a way home; a soldier answering the call of his/her nation; or an all-seeing, all-powerful being shaping an entire world with the click of a button. Why is it, then, that I just want to play some more Papers, Please, which is (no joke) centered around the life of a border control officer? I don't get it. What's happened to me?
Simon introduced me to the game this morning (you can watch the video here) and it's superb. There's a surprising sense of panic as you try to serve as many people as possible and in turn, earn enough money to support your family, while trying not to miss anything suspicious. Let in the wrong person and the great nation of Arstotska could feel the explosive consequences. I know it sounds weird, but you'll really want to check this one out. Speaking of which, you can still download the beta for free!
Praise the almighty Arstotzka!
*Simon does not wear Launchpad pyjamas...