Condemned 2, Gas Powered RPG, Wii Ghost Squad top Sega slate

Japanese publisher unveils quintet of new titles, including 360 Universe at War and XBLA Happy Tree Friends.

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Traditionally, the second week in May is when the Electronic Entertainment Expo is held. However, following the event's drastic revamp and move to July, the time slot has been pounced upon by several publishers, including Electronic Arts, to use the period to hold near-simultaneous gamers' day events.

Among the publishers showing their wares to a thinly stretched press corps is Sega. The company announced a quintet of new titles this morning, including a sequel to its popular survival horror title, Condemned. Though no mention was made of a PC version, Sega did confirm Condemned 2: Bloodshot will ship in early 2008 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America and Europe.

No rating or pricing for Condemned 2 was announced, although an M for Mature sticker is almost assured. That's because like it predecessor, Condemned will have players "engage in visceral combat using a variety of firearms and blunt instruments," according to Sega. However, the game will sport an all-new combat system with a reworked fighting mechanic and will introduce several online multiplayer modes including (what else?) deathmatch.

Sega also announced another deal with a Western game developer, continuing a recent trend for the Japanese publisher. In 2005, the Japanese publisher bought British-based studio The Creative Assembly, developer of the highly praised Total War series. In March 2006, it struck a deal to develop a role-playing game with Obsidian Entertainment, maker of Neverwinter Nights 2. Nine months later, the game was revealed as a sci-fi RPG based on the Alien film series.

Now, the publisher is prepping an all-new, as-yet-unnamed PC RPG with Redmond, Washington-based Gas Powered Games, developer of the critically acclaimed Supreme Commander. However, the companies had nothing to reveal other than the title's existence and their enthusiasm for working with each other.

"Sega is continuing its march forward in building a strong western developed portfolio of games," said Sega of America and COO Simon Jeffery. "Partnering with well-established and visionary game creators such as [Gas Powered founder] Chris Taylor and his talented group at Gas Powered Games aligns perfectly with our strategy."

Also announced today was an Xbox 360 port of a previously announced PC game, Universe at War: Earth Assault. Set for a late 2007 release on the PC, the far-future real-time strategy game will arrive on Microsoft's console in the first quarter of 2008. Like EA's just-released 360 version of Command & Conquer 3, the game will sport a control schemed designed "from the ground up" for console controller play.

Speaking of dual PC and Xbox 360 games, Sega is also prepping a new game for both platforms based on the popular cartoon and Web short series Happy Tree Friends. The game will be released via Xbox Live Arcade and digital download and is being developed by Stainless Games (Crystal Quest).

Finally, Sega is also prepping Ghost Squad, the 2004 Sega-AM2 shooter, for release on Nintendo's new console. The game will let players use the Wii Remote as they did the game's light gun in arcades, and it will also add new, Wii-specific features like four-player multiplayer. It will arrive in stores this coming holiday season.

Check back later today for a spate of previews from Sega's 2007 Gamers' Day.

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