If the gaming release schedule were a roller coaster, this week would be the top of the tallest peak, where a slow buildup of anticipation over a light summer slate of titles is about to give way to the lightning-fast succession of twists, turns, dips, and corkscrews that is the holiday release season.
Kicking off the gauntlet of highly anticipated titles is Square Enix's cyberpunk revamp Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Developer Eidos Montreal has said it wants to stay true to the spirit of the original Deus Ex, allowing players to choose their own approach to each level. Depending on the augmentations players choose, they can go through each part of the game with a focus on combat, stealth, hacking, or even social interactions.
Deus Ex will be available in two versions: The regular $60 edition and a $70 Augmented Edition. The latter will include premium packaging for the game, a 40-page art book, a DVD with behind-the-scenes features, and a motion graphic novel included on a bonus disc. Players who preorder from specialty retailer GameStop will get a new mission--complete with a cameo from original Deus Ex protagonist JC Denton--as well as in-game assists in the form of a grenade launcher, explosives, and an automatic lock pick.
The other notable retail release is Atlus' 3DS adaptation Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked. An enhanced 3DS port of 2009's DS strategy role-playing game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, the game will feature the same basic story as the original, with a group of teenagers trying to escape Tokyo after the city goes into lockdown following a demon invasion. As for new bells and whistles, Overclocked will feature full voice acting through the game, remastered art to take advantage of the 3DS's higher-resolution screens, and an extra epilogue chapter continuing the story.
There are also a pair of high-profile offerings on the downloadable front, with the Xbox 360 debut of the Call of Duty: Black Ops - Rezurrection map pack and Capcom's Street Fighter III Third Strike: Online Edition for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The unfortunately spelled Rezurrection is a $15 add-on that includes five levels for Black Ops' Zombie mode, as well as a 20-song Zombies soundtrack and a Moon Xbox 360 theme. The first four maps (Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, Shi No Numa, and Der Riese) are remakes of the environments from Call of Duty: World at War, the game that first introduced zombies. The fifth map--Moon--is entirely new and takes place in outer space, on the moon.
Meanwhile, as its name implies, Street Fighter III Third Strike: Online Edition is an online-enabled edition of the arcade fighting game Street Fighter III Third Strike. What isn't quite as obvious is that Capcom has made a number of enhancements to the game, including a revamped user interface to take advantage of the system's HD capabilities and a handful of visual filtering options.
For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23
Deus Ex: Human Revolution--X360, PS3, PC--Square Enix
Street Fighter III Third Strike: Online Edition--PS3--Capcom
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Rezurrection--X360--Activision
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked--DS--Atlus
Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death--PSP--Laughing Jackal
Hamilton's Great Adventure--PS3--Fatshark AB
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24
Street Fighter III Third Strike: Online Edition--X360--Capcom