In The Week Ahead we summarise what's coming up across the next seven days of gaming. Did we miss something? Or do you have an idea for useful info we could include in future instalments? Let us know in the comments below.
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This week's key releases
- Assassin's Creed 4: Freedom Cry DLC (Standalone) (PC, PS3, PS4) - Feb 19
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) - Feb 21 (US, EU), Feb 22 (AU)
- Earth Defence Force 2025 (PS3, 360) - Feb 18 (US), Feb 21 (EU)
- Rambo: The Video Game (PS3, 360, PC) - Feb 21
- Rayman Legends (PS4, One) - Feb 18 (US), Feb 21 (EU)
- Strider (PSN, XBL, PC) - Feb 19
Hello. How has your week been? Amicable? Uneventful? Well that's just swell.
Can I tell you about it? Officially, no. Not until March 5 at least. But bizarrely the publishing overlords in Japan did allow me to post some tweets about my adventures in Japan - for 6 hours only - and now they mark the only record of my time there (for the next 16 days at least).
Mental James Bond real estate and confusing NDAs aside, the long trip East was more than fruitful thanks to an insightful chat with the Metal Gear creator himself and a thorough playthrough of what, according to my Tweets (I'm not allowed to share opinions here, remember), will prove to be a "controversial release".
It's not just me who's been up to exciting video games related gubbins either; Rob Crossley has been to see PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 and has things to say about it (accompanied by brand new footage) on Tuesday. That is looking very special indeed.
On Monday you can read the first of our planned reviews for the week, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Although CVG contributor Chris Schilling provided the verdict, I've also been playing the game and can vouch for its hectic approach to platforming and overwhelmingly nostalgic David Wise soundtrack. I wish I could invite that man over for dinner and have him provide an OST for my house.
On Tuesday we'll publish a review for this week's other big release, the next-gen version of Rayman Legends, followed by Capcom's new version of Strider.
On Thursday, as ever, you'll see the latest CVG Off The Record podcast. If you haven't already, please listen and subscribe to it on iTunes. I might even read out some of my Metal Gear tweets.
Looking ahead, both Castlevania and Thief are due next week, alongside more secret hands-on stuff. It's gonna be a good'en.
Thanks for reading / listening / watching. See you on Twitter.
Game fact of the week
This week in... 2007
"Peter Molyneux has brandished himself "a talentless bastard" - after admitting that he over-complicated elements of the first two Fable games.
"As you might predict, the Lionhead boss thinks his team has got things spot on in Fable III, however - after removing the HUD, RPG experience system and expressions of the second game.
Lionhead has introduced two major gameplay elements to Fable III in their stead: A 'touch' system and 'followers', which gamers must accrue to ascend to the throne.
"However, that doesn't stop Molyneux beating himself up for perceived mistakes in earlier iterations.
"Molyneux told CVG in a new interview: 'There was this amazing moment when a piece of research came back [that showed us] more than half the people who played Fable II understood and used less than half the features in the game. And as soon as you see that you think: 'Oh my God. What a talentless bastard I really am.'
"'How can I have made a game in which people actually understood less than half of its mechanics? It's like making a film that makes people think: 'It looks quite cool. I don't know what the hell is going on, but it seems quite cool.' You know, that's just wrong.
"'So I think Fable III is all about using mechanics, exploiting mechanics, giving gameplay reason to things. Expressions [which don't feature in Fable III] were cool in Fable II, but they were a way of just doing a fart joke over and over.
"'Let's be honest, you know, that's what they were. There was no real meaning to them. There was no real emotional connection to them. They need to have an angle [to them]. The simpler things are, the more people use them.'"