Hellgate: London

If there was any doubt that Hellgate: London will be dark in both its setting and its offbeat humor, it’s lost as soon as you begin playing. The search for a kid’s missing appendage took me from Covent Garden tube station, through randomly generated tube tunnels and desolate London streets, on to a final encounter with a 15ft hulking mass of flesh. Exactly why he'd jackthe leg of a kid remains a mystery to us, but Lil’ Timmy promised he’d give me the stump of wood (an entry-level melee weapon) he was using as a replacement legupon returning hisprosthetic.

The randomly generated surroundings of the game are built for those who have only a vague familiarity with the city. It’s postcard London, it’s the Ripper’s London, it’s red postboxes, waving monarchy and the sort of pea-soup fog which hasn’t been seen since the days of Sherlock Holmes.