2007 was a great year for games, with multiple triple-A titles vying for consumers' attention. Bundled along with the Half-Life games and Team Fortress 2 in The Orange Box that year was a three-hour-long game called Portal, which caught many people off guard and spawned several popular memes. Skip ahead four years, and Valve is sending players back to the Aperture labs for more physics-based fun.
Unlike the first game, Portal 2 offers a co-op experience, featuring its own side story alongside the single-player offering. The PS3 version of The Orange Box may have been seen as the inferior version by many people, but the same can't be said this time about Portal 2. Not only has Valve brought the Steam platform over to Sony's console, but PS3 owners of the game who link their PSN and Steam accounts will also be able to download Portal 2 to their PC or Mac free of charge.
For all the armchair commandos out there, Sony and Codemasters have got your six, with both SOCOM: Special Forces and Operation Flashpoint: Red River being released this week. Zipper returns to the helm for the latest SOCOM game, sending players to Asia to battle a revolutionary uprising. As it now seems to be stock-standard with most new Sony releases, SOCOM: Special Forces supports stereoscopic 3D TVs and the PlayStation Move controller.
Operation Flashpoint: Red River on the other hand has players battling al-Qaida in a fictional conflict raging in Tajikistan. Codemasters has dialled down the depth of gameplay to make it friendlier for new players and has looked to popular TV shows like HBO's Generation Kill for inspiration.
Had Mortal Kombat not been refused classification in Australia, this week would also have marked its release. Keep in mind that if you do try to import it to get around the censors, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service can seize your copy and fine you substantially.
The final big game to come out this week is AFL Live, from Melbourne-based Big Ant Studios. Arriving just in time for round five of the 2011 season, AFL Live brings Aussie Rules to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for the first time. A Wii version is slated for release further down the line in May.
To find out what else is out this week, check out the list below:
April 21, 2011
Operation Flashpoint: Red River (360, PC, PS3)
AFL Live (360, PS3)
SOCOM: Special Forces (PS3)
Portal 2 (PC, PS3, Mac, 360)
Forza Motorsport 3: Ultimate Edition (360)
The Conduit 2 (Wii)
LEGO Battles: Ninjago (DS)
Trainz Simulator 12 (PC)