Back in August I visited Cologne, for Gamescom 2010. The first big trade show I’ve ever attended, Gamescom was a blur of appointments, ad-hoc interviews, amazing games and lovely people. It was both a massive priviledge and utterly exhausting.

But the real work didn’t start until I got home. I had to write about it all. By the time I was finished I had knocked out 22 previews, 4 big interviews and a whole bunch of news stories. In total it all came to around 30,000 words.

So, because Collect is for collecting, it’s all going up here. But rather do individual posts for each article, I’m consolidating them. Below the jump you’ll find links to all the previews I wrote for Gaming Union, along with some flavoursome snippets.

I’ve put the Gaming Union interviews and the previews up separately.


“‘That’s it, now get him with the leash. Right, now kick him. Kick him! Brilliant. Now shoot him in the ass and see what happens. No, no, right up his hole! That’s it! Awesome! Hahahaahaaa!’

“I’ve never had a developer say that to me before.”

Hunted: The Demon’s Forge

“So off you trot together, in search of… something. To be honest, I can’t really remember what it was. But it wasn’t very exciting.”

Knights Contract

“If it all sounds a little generic, that’s because it is. There was a feeling of familiarity that hung over our demo. And while the Japanese developer was keen to stress that the team were taking their cues from Western games, it may be to Knights Contracts’ detriment. Despite Japan’s current malaise, we would rather see titles that reflect their own creative origins than those that attempt to offer a poor facsimiles of others.”


“While our time with Okamiden was  limited, it did offer a tantalising glimpse at what to expect. For sheer charm alone, it has already earned a place in our hearts. And with gameplay that makes the most of the hardware, that gorgeous art-style and a knowing, playful tone, Okamiden could prove to be one of the DS’ very best titles. No hyperbole, this looks brilliant.”


“Just a minute into our GamesCom demo of Inversion I scrawled it in big letters in my notepad, GEARS OF WAR.”

Marvel vs Capcom 3

“‘Insanity.’ That’s the word Capcom’s community manager and “special adviser” Seth Killian used to describe the Versus games to us. Well, that and the phrase, ‘generating a giant storm of crap.’ If you’ve played any of the previous games in the series, you’ll know exactly what he’s getting at.”

Def Jam: Rapstar

“As you can probably guess from my painfully tortured street slang, I’m not much of a rapper. Indeed, my experience with the form extends only to a Primary School talent show where I dressed up in a large nappy and danced to Vanilla Ice (true story). I won, by the way. But I don’t think that’s going to help here.”

Apache Air Assault

“This is a game laser-targeted at a gap in the market. It wasn’t made from love or passion or ideas, it was made because – as the Activision rep said – there aren’t any another heli-sims out there. Apache: Air Assault will do everything perfectly well, but we suspect you’d be hard pressed to fall in love with it.”


“But Brink’s uniqueness isn’t just relegated to it’s big-chinned avatars. Brink has ideas. Ideas like, ‘Hey, why don’t we create a class-based, super-nimble, ultra-customisable FPS that melds single-player and multiplayer together in a way that’s entirely fresh!?’

“Presumably the answer around Splash Damage’s boardroom table was, ‘Um, yeah. Go on then.'”

Fallout: New Vegas

“Indeed, it’s only as you spend a little more time with the game that New Vegas’ unique qualities reveal themselves. But the question remains, is it enough?”


“Makeshift yet welcoming, Oasis is haven from the prying eyes and pointing guns of the Koreans. Hidden from view by camouflage netting and tree cover, it’s a crumbling, decaying symbol of all that America has lost.”

The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings

“The first playthrough of the dungeon sequence centered on stealth, with Geralt sneaking through corridors under cover of darkness, extinguishing torches as he went. Other than some quiet, neck-snapping combat, there was little in the way of fighting. The second playthrough, however, was a balls-out bloodfest, with Geralt slashing away at everything in sight with his sword. Gruesome stuff.”

Bioshock Infinite

“No, that’s a ridiculous thing to say after a few minutes of gameplay footage. Forgive us. It’s just that when something like this comes along, it’s hard to stop your expectations rocketing up into the ether.”

Spec Ops: The Line

“A big-budget, cover-based, military squad shooter set in a destroyed middle-eastern city? With Nolan North on the voice cast? Well that ain’t gonna win any awards for originality, is it?

“Actually, it might.”

Fable III

“You can see the reasoning, Molyneux has been banging on about increased accessibility for years. The Sanctuary will certainly break some of the barriers for those that are confused by reams of options. But it actually makes the process of equipping items more cumbersome, slower. Time will tell how successful it proves to be.”

Halo Reach

“Bungie’s farewell to Halo is shaping up to be a glorious swansong. Promising to reclaim the magic of Halo: Combat Evolved, while echoing the grounded narrative of ODST and building on the stellar online modes the franchise has become known for, you get the feeling that this could be the very pinnacle of the Halo series.”

Instant Jam

“It’s a Guitar Hero knock-off, but it can do what Guitar Hero could never dream of. It’s a game you can play on Facebook, but it’s not a Facebook game. You play it in your browser, but it’s not really a browser game.”

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