This week, gamers not distracted by the looming kickoff of the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit will be treated to several high-profile games. Foremost among the week's debuts is Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution, the first console installment in the traditionally PC-centric turn-based strategy/simulation series in nearly a decade. Though the Wii edition of the game is on hold, a demo for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 has been available for weeks. The DS edition of the game--which Meier told GameSpot is very similar to the console versions--will mark the franchise's handheld debut.
For those fonder of destroying things than building them, Monday saw Unreal Tournament III for the Xbox 360 ship out. Released for the PC and PlayStation 3 last year, the latest entrant in Epic Games' celebrated shooter series is the first to use the developer's Unreal 3 Engine, which famously powered Gears of War. GameSpot's review of the PC version has a detailed rundown of the game's single-player campaign and online multiplayer modes, which are expanded in the 360 version.
Also arriving one month before the torch is lit at the real thing is Beijing 2008 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games. Developed by Eurocom Entertainment (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), the PS3 and 360 game will be the second Olympics-based game published this century by Sega, after last year's Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for the Wii and DS.
For those who didn't pick it up on the 360 or PS3 in February--when it generated solid reviews and strong sales--Devil May Cry 4 also arrives for the PC this week. Joining it on the original gaming platform are Nancy Drew: The Phantom of Venice and Ghost Online.
Besides two Virtual Console releases--King of the Monsters and the WiiWare game SPOGS Racing--the Wii will play host to Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon. The turn-based role-playing game follows one of the titular bird-creatures and series regular Cid as they navigate a variety of dungeons to help an amnesia-stricken town regain its collective memory.
Last but not least, Wednesday will see two new games for Xbox Live Arcade: the Hot Shots Golf-like Golf Tee it Up! and the co-op actioner Schizoid. The latter is historic, given that it's the first commercially released game that was made by independent developers using the XNA Game Studio Express toolset. Microsoft outlined its XNA-based indie-friendly development initiative at this year's Game Developers Conference in February.
This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).
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