Release Chat – 1 / 3 / 10

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is the sequel to the Battlefield spin off series. The first game, whether intentional or not, was a comically refreshing cowboy action game featuring over the top jingoism and some unsavoury, yet likeable lead characters – and was well worth ten hours of your time. Being a direct sequel, I’d expect more of the same from this second instalment, which promises a more advanced building damage model and a few expanded multiplayer features.

When it was announced that Brit-developed Silent Hill: Shattered Memories on the Wii – a re-imagining of the original game – was to feature no combat, the usual knee-jerk response from gamers online was to freak out and declare that the developers are doing their jobs all wrong.

I, on the other hand, rejoiced, since a dodgy combat system is something which has plagued the series (and to some extent, the whole survival horror genre) from the start. Does combat even belong in a horror themed game? If the player can fight off any grotesquery by simply slapping it a few times with a rusty golf club, doesn’t that tend to understate the horror of the thing?

In Shattered Memories combat is instead replaced with an interactive ‘fleeing’ system. You don’t beat monsters up, you run the hell away from them, and they chase you. The idea reminds me of the Resident Evil 3 Nemesis chase sections, the best parts of the whole game and I can’t can’t wait to see how a whole game based on this premise feels.

Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, in Cinemas this week, also looks pretty freaky, yet for different reasons. It’s actually a sequel to the books, set as Alice is entering adulthood and doesn’t require any previous knowledge (that old memory loss trick). The main draw with this one is the visuals, which employ some clever techniques to distort the characters into some bizarre shapes.

– Stew (@Chicknstu)