*For those of you who are big into EA games, the first-shipment copies include a promo code for use in game, and a code for an engineer-suit-inspired armor set for DragonAge 2. The current challenge over at the EA Gun Club is also for logging in while playing Dead Space 2.
2) Bulletstorm Demo - New one from the guys over at Epic; full game launches end of February, demo went up today on XBL. Essentially, it's a shooter with Borderlands-esq over-the-top action, where the main focus is gaining extra points for killing enemies in special ways. Like knocking them up into the air. With a grenade tied to them. Then kicking them when they land. Into a cactus.
3) Red on Blu-Ray - If you missed this one in theaters, you should at least give it a rental. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren star as retired C.I.A. agents who get pulled into a political conspiracy. With jokes. And explosions. And the coolest car-exiting stunt ever.
- Crysis 2 Multiplayer Beta - Downloadable on XBL. Hell-to-the-yes. If they can deliver a working game based on what I've seen in the two-or-so-hours I've played, this could be as big as CoD 4. The game looks amazing, the controls are tight, the weapons are well-balanced, and the nanosuit powers - superjumps, stealth, extra armor, etc - make each loadout feel genuinely unique. There's just one map, set atop a skyscraper, and it highlights everything except for long-range, open-air sniping. The games modes so far are team deathmatch and a very cool objective-based capture mode. It's essentially team king-of-the-hill, but the "hills" are drop pods that only last a set amount of time before blowing up. There's a lot of strategy in watching the incoming dropship to try and determine where the next pod will fall.
- Dead Space 2 - On Chapter 6, though without context of how many chapters there are, I don't know what that means. I'm about 3 1/2 hours in, still on the first disc. It's every bit as good as the first one, with some major overhauls in some respects that keep it from feeling stale. The presence of other people, for one, though these encounters are usually brief, and involve you watching them all get necro-ed. There are also dozens more enemies on average, which is to be expected, since the Sprawl is much bigger and heavily populated than the Ishimura. I took a break to play some other stuff and eat, but it wasn't for lack of enjoyment. I suspect that most free time between work will be offered up to the Marker.
- Bulletstorm Demo - Played it through three times. It's essentially a demo of the game's "arcade" mode, where you play through story levels just looking for high scores. The controls are above-average, the guns inflict gore-spewing wounds, and some of the special kills are really cool. For example, you can find a bottle of liquor, get wasted for about thirty seconds (complete with blurry vision) and score extra points for all enemies killed in this state. That being said, the standard kills get very repetitive, and you find yourself desperate for something new and high-score worthy. The level shown is also completely linear, with no emphasis on lollygagging around, though this is undoubtedly the intention. The controls are very Gears-esq, with a "climb over" mechanic taking the place of a real "jump" button. Each gun has a primary and a secondary fire, and some of the latter can produce outlandish results on multiple targets. To be honest, I might rate my excitement for the final release as slightly less than before I played this. We'll see if the developers can pull a full game out without it seeming tedious.