The summer is drawing to a close and the shops are already starting to think about Christmas - it doesn't feel like five minutes ago I was sitting on a beach, soaking up the sun and watching Rooney stamp his way out of the World Cup.
Alas, all is not miserable though. With Christmas comes a whole host of news games, as publishers attempt to cash in on the most lucrative of the seasons. Over the next few months there are loads of big titles coming out for every platform, and today we've previewed three of the most anticipated.
There's something for everyone here so if you like your gaming served with dashings of light hearted, platform fun then stay right here and Jedi-mind trick your way through our Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy preview. If that doesn't tickle your fancy then pop over to page three where we check out Caesar IV, the legendary Roman city builder series upcoming iteration. If you're still not satisfied then check out our Dark Messiah: Might and Magicpreview, possibly the most exciting game (maybe) ever.
I'm bricking it!
Star Wars has always been close to my heart; lightsaber battles, the best ever bad guy, Yoda... the list could go on forever. However, one aspect of the movies always remained elusive to me, the comedy. I couldn't stand the cheesy lines that made other people laugh, C-3PO's uptight British worrying about R2-D2 never made me titter, Han telling off Chewy for messing up the hyperdrive never made me guffaw and Yoda's farting around in the jungle nicking Luke's food just wasn't comedy for me. Star Wars never made me laugh - well that is until now.
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Lego Star Wars just is funny. I unfortunately missed out on Lego Star Wars the first time round, a mistake I am making up for at the moment as I feverishly play through it in every spare minute. Picking up the recent demo (which you can get here) I discovered a whole world of comedy I never saw before in the series. Suddenly the characters look ridiculous, their movements incite fits of giggles as I try to bounce around collecting coin things, solving puzzles and decapitating stormtroopers - suddenly Star Wars has become comedy gold.
Any Star Wars fan will instantly recognise the in-game cutscenes; in the demo you start with the scene where Obi Wan remarks: "These aren't the droids you're looking for!" The Lego version of Obi-Wan doesn't actually say it in the game, it's more of a mumble (I suppose how a lego figure would actually say it), but you get the idea. Stars float round the stormtroopers head to signify a Jedi-mind trick has been employed - it works brilliantly making me actually laugh out loud - a literal LoL.
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Not only does the game feel like a fun experience, it also plays remarkably well. Those familiar with the previous game will instantly recognise the feel, as it is very similar in terms of puzzle and platform style. For those not familiar with the series then don't cast it off as a child's game too quickly, sure, it's Lego, but as I've already said that makes the game funnier. Besides, most of the time you forget about the Lego thing and just concentrate on some of the fiendishly clever, and sometimes annoying difficult, puzzles.
One highlight for me is the Jedi-styled construction of objects. Intermittently, spread through the levels, are piles of Lego blocks. Send over Obi Wan and his little claw like lego hands start furiously working over the objects, using the force, to construct something useful, such as a door or a gun. Finding these blocks can be difficult and often involve some kind of challenge. On top of this the game provides tons of secrets for you to find and explore - a relic of a bygone era where games were always made with secrets, now due to the internet there is no such thing as a secret so companies don't bother to invest the energy into devising them.
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One thing that will really get Lego Star Wars gamers excited is the addition of playable vehicles. In the demo you get to hop into one of the AT-ST units and stomp around blowing everything up, as well as, of course, hover round in the trusty land speeder. I'm not sure how much the vehicles really will add to the game, as I found them to sometimes feel slightly awkward and not too responsive. However, the thought of getting into a lego version of the Millenium Falcon would be enough to get even a die hard Star Trek fan excited.
Turn over to find out why the developers are so excited about this game...