Gaming round-up of the month

Feeling out of the loop? Need to catch up on what's new and what's coming soon in the world of gaming? Chris Wintle can help out...

PS3

Crikey, it’s been a while since I’ve contributed here (blame uni finals). So let’s see what’s happened in the world of techy-gamey land while I’ve been holed up trying not to fail my degree…

First of all, did anyone feel the ground tremble on May 18th? Well, that’s what happens when nearly 49 million people simultaneously orgasm. That is to say, Blizzard announced that their next game release will be Starcraft 2 and South Korea generally went a bit mental for a day with all the excitement that comes from being told that the game you’ve been playing pretty much as a religion since you were a kid is getting a sexy sequel.

Right, next! ATI have dropped their flagship DX10 cards onto the market and… well, they’re pretty average. Looks like the boys in red have decided not to bother competing with Nvidia performance-wise and have opted for a more mid-range selection of cards for a lower price. Problem is, Nvidia already has some spanking-quality mid-range DX10 cards, for about the same price. We’ll have to see how the cards fare in the long run.

Next, this. Sweet merciful Christ, if that doesn’t make you go all warm in the loins, then you’re probably sleeping with Steve Jobs.

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It looks like Valve have decided that they hate their fans, hinting that the package containng HL2 Episode 2, TF2 and Portal will no longer be available. If you’re looking to buy the games on DVD rather than via Steam, you’d best be prepared to fork out some extra cash, as word on the grapevine is that they’ll only be available as part of a package that contains the original HL2 and Episode One. Bad news if you’ve already forked out the cash and like to own physical copies of games. We’ll have to see how much of this is just conjecture when the game gets released in…oh, let’s say, 2087 (if you’re lucky).

Right, next up, EA churned out C&C3 and it was… well, pretty good. I’m not entirely sure it’s as good as Generals, but it’s a good romp. And it has Michael Ironside in it, which is enough reason for me to buy a game. Well worth picking up if you’re looking for a time-killer that won’t stress the brain cells too much.

The last month also saw the launch of Lord of the Rings: Online and, to everyone’s surprise, it’s really good. Now, it’s not totally different to WoW (if it ain’t broke…), but it has enough nice touches to separate it from Blizzard’s baby and keep things fresh. And it has a better Universe to play in, of course.

The Halo 3 beta got released for the 360 and it looks like Halo 2, with higher res textures. I can’t say that I’m overly impressed. Then again, I think joypads FPS games are a terrible combination, so I may be a bit biased.

In internaional news, the Wii is outselling the PS3 in Japan by a margin of 5 to 1. Yup, for every PS3 sold, FIVE Wiis come off the shelves. I guess that’s what happens when Sony suddenly decided they hate having money and fans. Oh well.

That’s about it. Coming soon: more in-depth reviews of C&C3 and Supreme Commander.

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