I'm a big stickler on spoilers, and generally try to avoid them. But the nature of a few of my reviews this time may lead me to reveal certain, non-story related tidbits.
1) Bulletstorm - So this one has been out for a while, but I did want to let everyone know how I felt about the full release. While some of my worries did come to pass - the ocaissional lack of skillshots to be found, or areas where you are forced to repeat the same ones over-and-over - the game itself was a blast.
Essentially, you reach a point where you have access to enough weapons, their unique charge shots, and environmental factors that each encounter is like a puzzle. A puzzle in which the solution might be using a guided, explosive sniper round to castrate a genetic freak and redirect his corpse into a group of his friends. The set pieces are also a triumph; trains being chased by a giant mining wheel, escaping a giant dam as it collapses around you, a helicopter battle against Godzilla's big sister.
The only negative points that really caught my attention were the lackluster story - complete with a "buy the sequel" ending - and the rather erratic nature of the achievements. I'm usually not highly concerned with gamerscore, but a full run-through of the game plus several of the secret / bonus achievements brought me in at under 400.
2) Homefront - Let me get this out of the way: this game is short. I beat it in under 5 hours.
And that was with breaks.
The single player campaign is, in a word, incomplete. There are phenomenal ideas here, and a few moments that genuinely would set a more finished product apart from the now-almost-self-depricating CoDs. Unfortunately, those moments are strung together by a lackluster, by-the-numbers shooter. The theming and character development that were so heavily discussed in the trailers are present, but only in small snippets between the run-and-gun parts. There are achievements to intice multiple playthroughs: beating each mission on hard, beating each without dying, a special objective in each mission, etc.
I decided to play some of the multiplayer - alone, because none of my squadmates were online - just to see how well that part of the investment would pan out. I lost about two hours. While the experience wasn't complete, the 'battle points' system is awesome. Essentially, doing things in-game awards you XP; it also awards you battle points, which can be used to activate things like vehicles, extra ammo, support abilities, etc. Expect a more detailed review once I've spent some more tim with it.
- Dragon Age: Origins - This one is way behind schedule, but I have been putting a lot of energy into this to gear up for the sequel. It's fantastic, but I'm guessing most people already knew that.
- FLCL Blu-Ray - I've always loved this show, and the chance to finally own it all (and with hi-def video and audio, no less!) was something I couldn't pass up. The show holds up, but the extras are pathetic.
- Alan Wake DLCs - "The Signal" is a great lead in to "The Writer" which is itself a great lead-in to a possible sequel. There are some great new game mechanics in play, and a few setpieces - especially one toward the end of "Writer" - really up the ante for what a new game might bring.