This Week In Games

It's a week of little games for the kids this week. Like the 8-bit retro platforming action of Bioshock 2, the Myst-like single player exploration of MAG, and that late running JJ Abrams movie tie-in, Star Trek Online.

Ouch, that hurt my cheek.

Big, big, big titles. Bioshock 2. Big. MAG. A shooter that is almost an MMO. And Star Trek Online. Boldly going where few MMOs have gone before.

With Mass Effect 2 and Dante's Inferno in the past two weeks, and now three games that the respective owners would be seriously banking on, I'm getting the feeling the post-December lull is being tested. Metaphorically perhaps, but also in a very real business sense.

The industry will be watching the numbers on these few weeks very closely. It's hard to break the habit of a lifetime, and this isn't the first year a big title lands early in the year. But analysts still want to know — do games sell in big volume anytime of the year? Or is there really still a section of the market that only buys during the primary gifting window?

There will still be a thousand fools lined up in the Christmas rush, flinging themselves headlong into the path of on coming trains like Modern Warfare 2. But if these strong titles post strong numbers, there's a good chance we'll get a smoothing out of the annual roster. Which can only be a good thing.

New releases for w/c February 8

Bioshock 2 (PC / X360 / PS3) What Is It? Rapture ten years on from your last visit. Should You Care? Would you kindly stop asking such silly questions?

MAG (PS3) What Is It? A massive shooter. 256 players on a map. Don't expect to see them all at once. Should You Care? This isn't just about volume. MAG wants to push new frontiers in FPS. Can it do it?

Star Trek Online (PC) What Is It? It's Star Trek. And it's Online. With lots of other players. Should You Care? If you like your captains well groomed, your alien brows crinkled, and want a taste of a ship combat MMO that demands less spreadsheet expertise than Eve Online


Comments

    Im maddly trying to finish Mass Effect 2 so I can play BioShock 2.
    I think Im nearing the end, but I keep getting sidetracked with damn mineral mining.
    That and the parts for my new PC arrive today, so I dont like my chances of playing ME2 tonight.
    And, Ive got the UFC PPV to watch.
    Still, have to get BS2 tomorrow, price match Kmart, $78.

    Hopefully the numbers do look good and we move to a more even distribution of big games throughout the year.

    For my part I've just picked up ME2, was very wary after the first one didn't impress me that much, but having played it very briefly so far (the whole first combat area up to the shuttle) it seems they may have fixed all my gripes with it as everyone else has been saying. Quite impressed so far.

    As for this week, nothing much grabs my interest. Maybe the Star Trek MMO after it settles in, but you'll have a hard time tearing me away from my spreadsheets.

    Really want to play Bioshock 2, but can't afford it anytime in the near future :(

    2K putting it on Steam at retardo price doesn't help matters either..

    Looks like I'll have to put off buying Bioshock 2 for a few weeks for a couple of reasons. I'm still a bit skeptical about it, so I'll wait and see how it fares. Secondly, getting married next week so any funds I have are going towards that. The paycheck after the wedding though should be good! :D

      I would have thought that newlyweds wouldn't have much time for TV games...

    Star Trek Online certainly sounds like an interesting game, unfortunately Cryptic customer support has gone AFK and serious development issues plague gameplay. As one friend wryly commented, "They could certainly get more money out of micro-transactions if they required players to pay for bug fixes."

    So I don't suppose anyone has a heads up on anywhere that might have jumped the gun and started selling Bioshock 2 a day early? I'm feeling impatient and in the mood for a spontaneous game purchase.

      Na I have called around in my local area and noone is selling it. Damn K-Mart, usually pulls through for me on these kinds of things :) Also doesnt help that we have had the stock in for a couple of days and its just sitting there saying "play me.......Play me"

        I don't think K-mart will be breaking 'hard' street dates ever again after the Fable 2 fiasco...

    I'm really looking forward to bioshock, but my policy of only playing FPS on PC, combined with Bioshock's system requirements means I'll have to do a significant upgrade before I can play. So I won't be returning to rapture right now.

      This is the reason why I play using consoles now.... No expensive upgrading for stuff all return, everyone has the same specs as you, not hunched over a desk. Though I do miss the M/K control's accuracy, it's a small price to pay for the endless headaches that computers give you.

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