Though the high-profile games Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops are still a ways off, the dog days of summer feel like they're coming to an end this week. Gamers looking for something new to play this week have a number of purchase options ranging from 2K Games' gritty crime sequel to a Wii-exclusive hockey simulator.
Leading the pack is 2K Czech's Mafia II for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. A sequel to the adored original, the game casts players as Vito, an up-and-coming made man in the '40s and '50s. Players will follow the violent adventures of the dapper henchman on varied crime endeavors in the living and breathing open world of Empire City.
For the Nintendo Wii sports gamer, 2K Sports releases NHL 2K11 this week. Coming exclusively to the Wii, the Visual Concepts-developed title features the Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler on its cover. The game will feature improved lighting in arenas, touched-up player models, and improved jerseys and sticks. Additionally, the game will allow players to shatter their sticks, a gameplay mechanic not included in previous installments.
Also dropping this week is Klei Entertainment's Shank, an action adventure beat-'em-up. Hitting the PlayStation Network on Tuesday and Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday, the game thrusts players into a violently stylized 2D world. The title also features a cooperative level, which acts as a prequel to main campaign events, where players can fight as both Shank and his partner, Falcone.
The "epic of epic epicness," Scott Pilgrim vs. The World starring Michael Cera hit theaters August 13, but the game of the same name hits Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday. Available for $9.99, the four-player offline brawler takes the premise of the original comics and combines it with side-scrolling action. It also features 8-bit art by renowned pixel artist Paul Robertson.
For the PC gamer, Stardock's Elemental: War of Magic hits Tuesday. The fantasy strategy title is set in a world brimming with magic and ancient lore. In the game, players start with a single wizard character and must recruit heroes to fight for them and thwart the game's nefarious forces.
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.
MONDAY, AUGUST 23
And Yet It Moves--Wii--Broken Rules
G.G. Series: Ninja Karakuri Den--DS--Genterprise
Martian Panic--Wii--Zoo Games
TUESDAY, AUGUST 24
Elemental: War of Magic--PC--Stardock
Grease: The Game--DS, Wii--505 Games
Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns Arcade Hits Pack--Wii--Sega
Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar--DS--Natsume
Ivy the Kiwi?--DS, Wii--XSeed Games
Mafia II--X360, PS3, PC--2K Games
NHL 2K11--Wii--2K Sports
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25
The Bachelor--DS, Wii--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Jade Dynasty: Vengeance--PC--Perfect World Entertainment
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World--X360--Ubisoft
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26
Disney Guilty Party--Wii--Disney Interactive
Worms Reloaded--PC--Team 17
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27
Ship Simulator Extremes--PC--Paradox Interactive
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28
The Treasure of Montezuma--DS--O-Games