Samuel Roberts: Hotline Miami 2, coming soon (maybe)
Hotline Miami 2 has a release date! Kind of. Possibly. Allegedly. This bizarre reveal hints at a March 10th release date, which timing-wise seems about right, even if there’s no official confirmation yet. The notion of more Hotline Miami levels seems so bizarre to me, having lived and breathed those same levels for so long, mastering the position of every enemy and weapon. With a level editor in there to keep the content coming after Dennaton puts the bloody animal masks away for good, there’s a strong chance I’m going to play this forever. Possibly my most anticipated game of the year. Can’t wait.
Tom Marks: Besiege my beating heart
I generally have a pretty strong policy of staying away from Early Access games like water stays away from California, but the trailer for Besiege won me over. I was presented with a tower and told to build something to destroy it. I began by saying “this is probably a stupid idea, but…” before attempting to make a not so magnificent flying machine. Getting that to successfully dodge arrows and drop a bomb before kamikaze-ing the rest of the tower felt like a bigger accomplishment than beating bosses in almost any other game I’ve played, partly because Besiege didn’t force the narrative upon me. It was my idea to make that contraption, and it shouldn’t have worked. I made it work. It’s unfortunate that there is so little to do in Besiege right now—I finished all the currently available levels in about an hour and a half—but I’m excited for when it delivers more castles for me to destroy.
Tyler Wilde: Sitting really well
Now that Tim is done sweating over which desk chairs to recommend (the article was a harrowing experience for him), I’ll put in my two cents: all of them. That is, all of them that aren’t $30 piles of spine-damaging garbage. Of all the samples Tim called in, the $1014 Steelcase Gesture was by far the best, but I tried several other more affordable chairs and oh my God. What the hell have I been doing to my back by sitting in the non-adjustable ass cup I have at home? Where’s the gentle, loving lumbar support? Do yourself a favor, and if you notice your posture slipping or back pain, invest in a good chair. It’s so worth it.
Chris Livingston: Scroll 'n save
Steam sales happen so often they barely even register anymore, but Square Enix is having a whopping great publisher sale that lasts until February 9th. Seems like a great time to catch up on all things Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Thief, Just Cause, Deus Ex, and Hitman, with most games and DLC marked down between 75-80%. Hope you've been exercising your scrolling finger: it's a long list with a lot of temptations.
See something you like? Don't forget to check elsewhere before you buy. Good deals for some of these games can be found on places like gog.com or in the Humble store, possibly not as cheaply as during this sale, but without Steam's DRM.
Chris Thursten: I got block dispensers like whoa
I’m either great at Infinifactory or deeply terrible at it and I don’t much care either way. It’s easily the best time I’ve had with a game this year—I wrapped up a slick solution to one of the later puzzles last night, the culmination of twenty hours of satisfying brainwork. It’s an incredibly characterful and shareable game. I came up with a solution for rapidly assembling twelve individual blocks into a single six-by-two rectangle that is so gratifying I earnestly described it to another human being as ‘sexy’. “God, my block dispenser is sexy this time” are actual words that I said. That’s how good Infinifactory is. For other, less personal reasons, here is my review.
Phil Savage: Welcome to the jungle
I've spent hundreds of hours in Guild Wars 2. Naturally, I have Serious Thoughts about what I want from its first expansion—in terms of systems, events and progression. While much of what ArenaNet is saying about Heart of Thorns speaks to a considered approach to extending the game, the true merit of their plans won't be known until players get their hands on the thing.
Why am I excited, then? Because look at the bloody thing. The region of Maguuma already had some of Guild Wars 2's most striking and vibrant environments. Pushing further into its heart should secure even wilder and more beautifully untamed locales. I want to venture into that world. I hope it won't be long before I can.