This week: Things that made me go squeee!

Witcher 3 ThumbnailBetween an ill baby, a dissertation-writing wife, a house move and a lack of internet connection I’ve been a little out of the loop these last couple of weeks. So imagine my delight when I finally catch up on recent game news and find it full of wonderful wondrous wonders!

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Rock, Paper, Shotgun took an extensive look at the upcoming third instalment of CDP’s Witcher at Gamescom and their report makes me all warm and tingly inside. The Witcher games have always been exemplars of storytelling, character development and world-building, and Wild Hunt promises to take that to the next level. As RPS say:

What we’re seeing is a studio spooling up to full power … The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, threatens to outshine an entire industry with its technical and artistic prowess. Full power, I suspect, has been reached.

CDP are creating a game world of the kind of scale usually reserved for MMOs or Bethesda’s leviathans, and if they can fill it with the kind of storytelling, detail and style we’ve grown used to, then we may well be about to see something remarkable.

Boats and horses and cranes, oh my.

Boats and horses and cranes, oh my.

Broken Sword: The Serpant’s Curse

I confess I was late to the Broken Sword series – I started playing years ago, but it was only with the iOS releases that I really got into them. It’s nice to see people keeping the adventure game genre alive, whether it’s in the comedy traditions of LucasArts (yes, you, Journey Down), or the almost-serious globe-trotters (stand up please, Secret Files). Broken Sword definitely falls into the second category, and following a successful kickstarter campaign, Nico and George will be falling right into it again, cross-platform, late 2013.

Ah, Paris, wherein may be found comedy accents.

Ah, Paris, wherein may be found comedy accents.

XCOM: Enemy Within

My (wussy difficulty) Iron Man playthrough of XCOM still ranks as one of my best gaming achievements, so the game will always have a place in my heart. The Slingshot DLC added a series of missions which, while fun, went the route of most DLC and unbalanced the game. You could get scads of resources and the battleship tech much more easily, trivialising the end game. It wasn’t mandatory so you can hardly complain, and the missions were fun to play. But now there’s a full expansion en route – XCOM: Enemy Within. It adds a new mech class and an alien to counter it (the Mechtoid), gene labs which offer new upgrade paths for your soldiers and more than 40 news maps. The maps alone would be worth it – you can play an entire game of XCOM without seeing the same map twice, but after several playthroughs they can get a little repetitive and predictable. The new maps should serve to give the game a nice fresh feeling as you have to learn a whole new bunch of levels, and the gene labs promise some more variety and replay value – XCOM suffered slightly from having a small number of optimal strategies, and it sounds like this might mix things up a little.

Drive the tractor with in-app purchases

Drive the tractor with in-app purchases

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

Diablo 3 was a colossal disappointment and I never managed to put more than a few hours into it before giving up and going back to D2. That sais, Blizzard still know how to put a video together and the cinematic trailer for the just-announced expansion Reaper of Souls. Unless the reviews are truly startling it’s not likely to turn me around on Diablo 3, but bloody hell, look at the trailer…

No fair, finding the doodad before they’d finished hiding it.

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