Racing fans, start your engines, because this week sees the launch of the latest in the popular Gran Turismo series of games on the PlayStation. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue was released in Japan last December, and to the dismay of Westerners, it included only Japanese menus, which made it a tough import to justify to rev-heads the world over. The local release has been well worth the wait, though, and the Australian version includes an abundance of additional content such as offline two-player split-screen support, 16-player online racing, more than 20 extra cars, and a new track (High Speed Racing Ring) not found in the Japanese release. If you were considering buying a PlayStation 3 console to jump on the GT 5 Prologue bandwagon, then don't worry: Sony has you covered with a new hardware bundle to celebrate the game's launch. For A$699.95, gamers will be able to buy a pack including a 40GB PlayStation 3, a single Sixaxis controller, and a copy of GT 5 Prologue. The game will also be available separately for A$59.95 when it races into stores this Thursday.
Sega's original Condemned game launched alongside the Xbox 360 back in 2006 and was well-received by gamers. Set 11 months after the events of the first game, Condemned 2: Bloodshot sees players reprise the role of main character Ethan Thomas, whose life has taken a turn for the worse. After a distress call from his old mentor, Malcolm Van Horn, Ethan is rerecruited to the SCU (Serial Crimes Unit) of the FBI to help investigate what happened to Van Horn, and in the process investigate the crazed violence that plagues the city's homeless population. Like its predecessor, Condemned 2 is not a game for the fainthearted, and contains bloody melee battles in which players can take advantage of a variety of weapons and found objects to dispatch enemies. A new addition to the game is the ability to finish off attackers using environmental kill zones. Instead of bludgeoning an enemy to death with a piece of wood covered in nails, you can now throw your enemy into televisions, over balconies, or impale a baddie on bars sticking out of concrete pillars. Condemned 2: Bloodshot comes out on March 27 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
There haven't been many major blockbuster games for Sony's struggling PSP handheld, but things are starting to look up with the release this week of the highly anticipated God of War: Chains of Olympus. Set between the murder of Kratos' family and the events of the original game, Chains of Olympus tells the backstory to our hero and his sad past. The game takes advantage of the recently unlocked extra processing power of the PSP, allowing developer Ready at Dawn to faithfully re-create the God of War experience on the small screen. Given that hardware bundles are the flavour of the month, gamers will be able to buy a limited-edition PSP slim with a copy of the game for A$309.95, whereas a standalone copy of Kratos' latest adventure will set you back A$59.95 when it lands on March 27.
This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer and publisher information--actual dates may vary).
March 27, 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault (360)
Sega Superstars Tennis (PS3, Wii, DS, 360, PS2)
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (PS3)
Worms: A Space Oddity (Wii)
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PS2)
Viking: Battle for Asgard (PS3, 360)
God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
Condemned 2: Bloodshot (PS3, 360)
Sega Bass Fishing (Wii)
Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of Ancient Arts (DS)
Worldwide Soccer Manager 2008 (360)
Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey (Wii)
Warriors Orochi (PSP)
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (PS2, Wii)
The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (Wii)
MX vs. ATV Untamed (PSP)
Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath (PC)
Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2008 (Wii)
George of the Jungle and the Search for the Secret (Wii, DS)