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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

We'll be updating between now and the New Year. Check inside for details.

Welcome to the end of the year! It's been a memorable 12 months for the Eurogamer family. We've brought new people into the mix, like the lovely Martin Robinson, and some of us have even brought new life into the world, like Ellie Gibson, who hammered out a kid in June. Respect.

It's been an interesting year for games, too, and although many continue to debate whether it's been a particularly good one overall, there is no question that a great many good games were released. I didn't get to do as much reviewing as usual this year, but even I managed to get through Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Rage, two wildly different and interesting games. We hope you enjoyed the stuff we wrote and didn't get too upset when we were wrong/biased/trolling/whatever.

Anyway, the Eurogamer team is taking a hard-won break for the next week or so before spinning back up fully on 3rd January, but in the meantime we have put together masses of content for you to get stuck into while we recharge our batteries.

As is tradition, we've put together little end-of-year retrospectives about some of the best games of the last 12 months, and you can look forward to the likes of Christian Donlan, Simon Parkin, John Teti, Oli Welsh and many of our other writers talking about our favourites. Then on 31st December we'll be announcing our 2011 Game of the Year.

We've also been busy pulling together all your votes and comments for the Eurogamer Readers' Top 50 Games of 2011 feature, which will go up shortly afterwards, and as you recover from New Year's Eve and get really bored of your time off we have some interesting developers' perspectives on the best of 2011 and the potential best of 2012, along with some highly anticipated reviews - Star Wars: The Old Republic for one, and PlayStation Vita for another.

Plus we'll no doubt be larking around on Twitter in the meantime. You can follow the likes of myself, Martin Robinson, Wesley Yin-Poole, Johnny Minkley and Tom Champion if you fancy keeping in touch over the holidays, or if you just fancy watching us go into meltdown when there's nothing to write about. (I should be a sobbing, drunken wreck by about 6.30 this evening, I expect.)

Thanks again for all your support and feedback this year. We hope you're all set for a refreshing break and we hope to see you back and raring to scream at us about 8/10s from 3rd January onwards. ONWARDS!