What's New? (18th May 2007)

PAL releases.

To paraphrase Parkin, Eurogamer undrinks and the floor greens itself. We're chasing a bottle of wine with Guinness, Kronenberg and Jack Daniels. We're not drinking responsibly. We're not even "good at pool" drunk, we're just disgraceful. It's all gone wrong. There's a story I, well, am writing now, that a hot American woman was getting a neck-rub from a friend, and I offered to massage the rest of her, with distinctly un-Bramwellian regressiveness. Thankfully she's a good sport, because dignity's thinner on the ground than Nicole Ritchie feeling under the sofa. All we can say in our defence is that the following morning we got up as if nothing had happened. And promptly collapsed in agony, went back to sleep for another 48 minutes, and arose with a song in our throat and a, wait, that's not a song that's, gulp, be with you in a minute.

An experience that must be all too familiar at Bungie, where this week saw the highly anticipated launch of the Halo 3 beta followed by the highly unanticipated Crackdown access launch catastrophe. But if there's one thing you can rely on it's that Bungie bounces back. "It's been a long day for a lot of people," Bungie wrote on its website, "but we're happy to announce that effective immediately, a title update for Crackdown is available on Xbox Live that will fix the issue that previously prevented you from downloading the beta". As a goodwill gesture, the developer whose AI programmer bought us dinner at The Cheesecake Factory in Bellevue on Sunday which was nice of him added that the beta has been extended from 6th to 10th June to make up for the debacle. That includes an additional weekend among other things (notably Thursday and Friday).

Guffaws all over the Internet, then, and a bit of consternation on our own forums. "The supposedly brilliant Live network has been struggling immensely ever since the beta was launched. My system keeps locking up when I access a Live service via the blades, and it's happening to pretty much everyone else as well," someone generalised. Another echoed the sentiment: "They keep banging on about how many 360 owners are using Live, so if they know how many people are out there, you'd think they'd have the network strong enough to cope. It wouldn't be so bad if it was even just the busy games which were falling over, but it's not. The whole thing is buggered, and that seems rather poor to me to be honest." At which point someone added: "But, but, it's a beta." Which it is, and apart from the now-fixed access issue, it's a well-formed one, that speaks to a concept "evolved" rather than regurgitated. We've already played it and tipped it, and will be offering more of our thoughts in an upcoming episode of the Eurogamer TV Show, which we aim to precede with at least one evening of not destroying ourselves with all the chemicals The Misty Moon can muster. So prepare yourself. And don't bother going to the shops today.

This week:

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