This Season's Discerning Gamer Is Playing"

Today, is the first chilly day of autumn and that means thoughts start turning back towards being indoors. The nights are drawing in, so by the time I've finished work, I can no longer lounge in the garden, catching the last rays of the setting sun. It's time to start thinking about what I'm going to be playing in the next couple of months.

I'm going to make a playing list and thought I'd let you in on my gaming schedule.

Mass Effect

No, not Mass Effect 2, the special behind the scenes preview. I can't believe it, but I'm still playing through the original. My head is hung in shame. It's not because I don't like it. I love ME, but it's a slow burn and need hours to set aside. Hours are in short supply these days, but I'm determined, so it's top of the list.

Champions Online

It's an MMO, so it's going to need some serious time investment too. Luckily MMOs stick around for a while before they hit you with a sequel, so I'm feeling optimistic about this one. I just want the chance to create my arch nemesis. It's all very post-Freudian, but hey. Come on, it's got super heroes and new shiny things to play with, so I'm there.

Assassin's Creed II

I mostly enjoyed my sojourn with Altair, apart from the infuriatingly samey missions and repetitive scan-a-city-type gameplay. For me AC was a game with potential. It looked like a test run for something better and this autumn could provide it. For a start you get to use Leonardo Da Vinci's flying machine! Now if that doesn't get your gaming juices flowing, I don't know what will. Taking place during the Italian Renaissance, I'm looking forward to the canals of Venice, swan-diving through stained glass windows (a la Cowboy Bebop) and sticking it to the Inquisition.

APB – Beta

The open Beta for APB kicks off next week and I for one am signing up. APB is that most rare of things; a MMOG that doesn't slot into the fantasy or sci-fi genres. When it comes to MMORPGs they're pretty limited, but APB is bringing something new to the table. This is basically GTA for MMOGers and it can't come too soon. APB is semtexing the sides off the GTA sandbox and as always with me, the character-gen is going to be key for this one. You can create your own soundtrack and characters progress according to skill, rather than pure playing hours. I'm looking forward to seeing all these promises pay-off.

Brutal Legend

It's Jack Black and overblown rock posturing in a fantasy world that looks like something off the cover of a Saxon album (gatefold). Need I say more? Really? Need I? Okay, so you must battle the forces of darkness armed only with an axe, a flying V guitar and the power of heavy metal. ‘Nuff said.

So that's my line-up for autumn 2009 and it's looking pretty healthy. Sometimes life makes you happy to be a gamer. Don't you love the euphoria that comes with expectation? Let's just hope I'm not brought back down to earth with the reality of disappointment – you'll be the first to hear if I am.

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