Last week, Issac Clarke and his plasma cutter frightened retail with the release of Dead Space 2. This week's focus, however, is on postapocalyptic settings and first-person shooter action.
Leading the week is Masthead Studios' massively multiplayer online role-playing game Earthrise. The first project from Sofia, Bulgaria-based Masthead, Earthrise is set in a world in the wake of civilization-leveling World War III, which nearly eradicated Earth's human population.
Now, a tyrannical corporate government has assumed control of the remainder of humanity, pumping out human clones in an effort to create the perfect society. Players can choose to align themselves as an agent of the totalitarian regime or join the resistance movement known as the Noir.
Also out this week is the first map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops. The $15 First Strike add-on content lands exclusively on Xbox Live on February 1. The content sports five new environments ranging from war-torn Germany to an American hockey rink. The content also bundles a new environment for the fan-favorite zombie game mode called Ascension. None of the maps are remakes of legacy environments, as was the case with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's controversial Stimulus Package downloadable content.
Gamers with an ear for country music and a proclivity for the Rock Band franchise this week can pick up the Rock Band: Country Pack 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. The $30 title includes 21 songs from artists like Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Johnny Cash, Sugarland, and Keith Urban. The track pack is compatible with the original Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and Rock Band 3. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation iterations of the track pack allows gamers to export the tunes to their existing Rock Band libraries.
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.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 30
Gabrielle's Ghastly Groove--DS--Natsume
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Reverie--X360, PS3--Konami
Call of Duty: Black Ops - First Strike--X360--Activision
The Sims 3: Outdoor Living--PC--Electronic Arts
Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2--PS3--Capcom
Kevin Van Dam Fishing--PS3--Zoo Games
Junior Brain Trainer 2--DS--Avanquest Software
Alien Breed 3: Descent--PS3--Team 17
Rock Band: Country Track Pack 2--Wii, X360, PS3--Electronic Arts
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2
Bionic Commando Rearmed 2--X360--Capcom
Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops--PC--Viva Media
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4